The 3rd International E-Symposium for Communication in Health Care by HKU Research and Impact Initiative on Communication in Healthcare

22 February 2021 (Monday)

The 3rd International E-Symposium

Research and Impact Initiative on Communication in Healthcare (HKU RIICH) at the Faculty of Arts, the University of Hong Kong will hold the 3rd International E-Symposium for Communication in Health Care entitled “Advancing Frontiers of Health Communication Research, Education and Practice during the Pandemic” via Zoom on 1 and 2 March, 2021. 

Effective health communication is more essential than ever during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Ever-changing health information, conflicting views and advice, coupled with uncertainty and anxiety among the world’s populations have challenged many well-established and effective health communication practices. Medical and healthcare professionals face the daily reality of difficult conversations about death and dying, the need to establish rapport with patients and families remotely, and significant burnout, among other challenges.
Communication with chronically ill patients and those with acute diseases other than COVID-19 is also disrupted due to the wide-spread restrictions on access to medical facilities and services. Medical educators confront new challenges in providing students with clinical exposure in live clinical contexts to achieve graduate competencies. Some medical students were fast-tracked to graduation to join the frontline in this unprecedented fight. These are just a sample of the many issues brought to the fore by the pandemic. Meanwhile, other clinical issues related to effective health communication that existed pre-pandemic remained.
Associate Professor Dr. Olga Zayts-Spence, Director of the Research and Impact Initiative on Communication in Healthcare says: “Medical research has been, understandably, prioritized in the first year of the pandemic, however, it has now become evident that other impacts of the pandemic, such as social, educational or mental health impacts, also have severe and long-lasting effect and call for immediate attention. Effective health communication across social domains is a key factor in addressing and ameliorating these negative impacts. At HKU RIICH we are committed to conducting impactful interdisciplinary research that can make a difference.”

HKU RIICH is a founding member of the International Consortium for Communication in Health Care (IC4CH). The consortium’s mission is to translate cutting-edge communication research into best practice and training for safe and compassionate health care. Other key members of the consortium include Australian National University (Australia), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), University College London (UK), Lancaster University (UK), Queensland University of Technology (Australia).

The 2-day event will bring together international academics and practitioners from across relevant disciplines of health communication, linguistics, social sciences, medical education and medicine to share their ongoing research and practical insights to address the challenges of health communication in the current times and lessons going forward.

Date: March 1 to 2, 2021 (Monday, Tuesday)
Day 1: 9.00 am to 7.00 pm (HKT)
Day 2: 9.00 am to 6.15 pm (HKT)
Via Zoom, please find the details of the Symposium and the registration at:

For further details of RIICH please visit:, or contact Dr. Olga Zayts-Spence,

For media enquiries or individual interview requests, please contact Ms Grace Cheung, Development and Communications Team, Faculty of Arts, Tel: (852) 3917 4633 / email: