PIF member Crohn’s and Colitis UK has been sharing its research on accessible language in healthcare.

The charity commissioned a study asking people from all over the UK how comfortable they feel talking about their bowels.

Answers from a survey of 400 people and 10 face-to-face interviews were used to compile a report – The Language of Poo. Key findings include:

  • Nearly everyone knows and accepts the words ‘constipation’ and ‘diarrhoea’
  • People are comfortable using the words ‘stomach’ and ‘tummy’
  • Most people prefer ‘poo’ to ‘stool’ or ‘bowel movement’
  • Some do not know or understand ‘bowel’ or ‘faecal incontinence’.

The report shows people may not understand, or like, the terms doctors and nurses use when they talk about poo.

Breaking down barriers

Crohn’s and Colitis UK took its research to the Festival of Politics in Edinburgh for a discussion event, The Language of Poo: Can Words Disengage Communities?

The panel and audience talked about the importance of language when diagnosing and treating conditions such as Crohn’s and colitis.

They agreed complicated or ‘scary’ language can be a barrier to people trying to get medical help.

Accessible words break down barriers and can help stop stigma.

The discussion was held in collaboration with the Cross-Party Group on Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Cross-Party Group on Health Inequalities.

Find out more and download the report from Crohn’s and Colitis UK here.

Watch the discussion on the Crohn’s and Colitis UK website here.