Demi's expertise is in Multilingual Healthcare Communication. She qualified as a conference interpreter (Heriot Watt University, 2006) and completed her PhD in Translation & Interpreting Studies (interpreter-mediated clinical communication, Ghent University, 2013). She has long-standing expertise in interpreter education.
Demi is passionate about co-developing a solid and systematic evidence base in multilingual and technology-enhanced healthcare communication that will inform healthcare policy and practice at national and international level.
Areas of specialism
Affiliations and memberships
Co-chair of the Special Interest Group in Language and Cultural Discordance in Healthcare Communication (2016-2019)
Demi's research interests are in healthcare communication between patients and healthcare professionals who do not share a common language with each other and need to rely on language support solutions, such as digital healthcare technologies, interpreters, communication technologies and other forms of language support.
She is particularly interested in:
- communication in primary care
- cancer communication
- evidence-based guideline development on technology-enhanced multilingual healthcare communication
- curriculum development and evaluation of Interprofessional Education interventions
- realist methodology
- multimodal interaction analysis
Before joining the University of Surrey (2020) Demi conducted postdoctoral work at Ghent University and KU Leuven (2014-2020) where she investigated empathic- and cancer communication in multilingual and interpreter-mediated medical consultations. She co-adapted the Empathic Communication Coding System (Bylund & Makoul 2002, 2005) for interpreter-mediated consultations and developed an analytical tool for the study of empathic communication in interpreter-mediated medical consultations that allows for the investigation of participants' verbal and non-verbal communication strategies.
In her doctoral work Demi studied the interpreter's role(s) in mediated medical encounters as negotiated in interaction and as perceived by medical doctors, patients and interpreters. The findings that emerged from that empirical study paved the way for Demi's follow up work in Interprofessional Education and empathic communication. She co-developed, -led and -evaluated the first Interprofessional Education intervention for students in interpreting and medicine in Flanders (Ghent University, 2014), which served as a model for subsequent educational interventions with interpreters in Flanders and internationally.
Postgraduate research supervision
Demi welcomes applications for PhD projects in the following areas:
- interpreter-mediated communication in healthcare
- interprofessional education in health sciences
- multilingual and intercultural communication in healthcare
- cancer communication with people from ethnic, linguistic and cultural minorities
- empathic communication in linguistically and culturally diverse healthcare