Norwegian: oppfølging

serbianfan

Senior Member
British English
"Oppfølging", in the context of health and social care, seems to mean any treatment/care which lasts longer than a single consultation. The new buzz phrase is "behandling og oppfølging", which only took off around 1980-1990, according to the N-gram. Before that I suppose people just said "behandling". So how should we translate "behandling og oppfølging" into English? Treatment and follow-up? Treatment and care? Treatment and follow-up care? or just treatment?

Now you would expect the "oppfølging" to come after the "behandling" (å følge = to follow), but now we sometimes see "oppfølging og behandling" instead of "behandling og oppfølging". So maybe it's not always something that follows treatment, but quite simply "care", and of course you can say both "treatment and care" and "care and treatment" in English. NAOB says that "oppfølging" means "det å arbeide videre (med noe) eller gi noe(n) økt oppmerksomhet", the second part of which is not about following anything, as you can see. And if we remove the "økt", "å gi noen oppmerksomhet" is pretty close to the meaning of "care". So maybe "treatment and care" would be the best translation for "behandling og oppfølging" in many cases (?)

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  • AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    I work as a medical secretary at an A&E and "uppföljning och behandling" is used when a patient have been at the A&E for some reason, and recieved treatment, but there are something else discovered (in blood tests or an X-ray) that needs to be followed up by the patient's primary care physician. It could be that the blood pressure is too high, or something in the blood tests is out of the normal range. There might be a reason, for example White coat hypertension - Wikipedia , but it could also be that the blood pressure is too high, and that needs to be treated.
    Follow up and treatment (if needed).

    For "behandling och uppföljning" could be for example be if a patient had visited the A&E and had a pneumonia and was prescribed antibiotics, and the A&E doctor wants the primary care physician to see the patient in a week to see that the antibiotic is working, or perhaps a new antibiotic is needed, and later a follow up after a couple of months with an X-ray to check that the inflammation is gone.
    Check-up/treatment and a follow-up later on.
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thanks, AutumnOwl, for your detailed description. I think the usage is pretty similar in Norwegian, but I still think 'care' is often a better translation than 'follow-up'. In the sentence 'hvorvidt behandlings- og oppfølgingstiltak følges opp på en tilfredsstillende måte' you can't possibly translate both by 'follow up'. Of course you can say 'treatment and follow-up' in English, but if I had a Norwegian text that contained 10-15 examples of 'behandling og oppfølging' (which is quite possible, given that it's a buzz phrase) it would look strange to translate this by 'treatment and follow-up' every time, so I think it would have to be 'treatment and care' or just 'treatment' in many cases to make the text sound like natural English.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    I think that "further care" or "continued care" would be better than just the word "care", as 'uppföljning' has a meaning of ( for me) 'keep an eye on this specific problem in the future', while "care" would be 'vård' as in the meaning of 'keep an eye on the patient's medical needs'.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thanks, AutumnOwl, for your detailed description. I think the usage is pretty similar in Norwegian, but I still think 'care' is often a better translation than 'follow-up'. In the sentence 'hvorvidt behandlings- og oppfølgingstiltak følges opp på en tilfredsstillende måte' you can't possibly translate both by 'follow up'. Of course you can say 'treatment and follow-up' in English, but if I had a Norwegian text that contained 10-15 examples of 'behandling og oppfølging' (which is quite possible, given that it's a buzz phrase) it would look strange to translate this by 'treatment and follow-up' every time, so I think it would have to be 'treatment and care' or just 'treatment' in many cases to make the text sound like natural English.
    Is "care" a sufficiently precise word to be used? "Care" can have so many different meanings. However, it is typical for English to use fuzzy words.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I suppose it depends on what your requirements are for the translation. Obviously "follow-up" is a literal translation, and it would be understood by English speakers. But from what @serbianfan wrote in the top post, "oppfølging" is more general than "follow-up".

    In translation, I think what is most important here is that "care" is actually used by people working in healthcare[1]. They talk and write about "care and treatment" or "treatment and care". It's not just that it's natural English; it's almost fagspråk, and in that context the meaning of "care" is clear.

    A problem my wife has had in her work is how to translate "carer" into Norwegian. In English it is the obvious word for someone who "provides care", and could be a healthcare professional, relative, friend or neighbour. And the care provided could be directly health-related, emotional, or practical. But it must involve actually doing something, even if it just having a chat on the phone. The word "carer" is unlikely to be used for someone who merely feels emotionally attached.

    [1] Confusingly "healthcare" definitely includes treatment!
     

    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    A problem my wife has had in her work is how to translate "carer" into Norwegian. In English it is the obvious word for someone who "provides care", and could be a healthcare professional, relative, friend or neighbour. And the care provided could be directly health-related, emotional, or practical. But it must involve actually doing something, even if it just having a chat on the phone. The word "carer" is unlikely to be used for someone who merely feels emotionally attached.
    Norwegian has been trying hard to find equivalents for English health care terminology since about 1980-1990, when 'omsorgsperson', 'omsorgsgiver' and 'omsorgsarbeider' all started to be used (source: N-gram), along with 'helsehjelp' (= health care). Before 1980, I think Norwegians just used their own terms, such as 'vernepleier' and 'hjelpepleier'. I suppose 'omsorgsarbeider' is best if it's paid work and 'omsorgsperson' or 'omsorgsgiver' for the other cases. 'Omsorgsarbeider' shot up in the N-gram in the 1990s but has since declined. It used to be a qualification/job title but now both 'hjelpepleiere' and 'omsorgsarbeidere' have become 'helsefagarbeidere'.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Norwegian has been trying hard to find equivalents for English health care terminology since about 1980-1990, when 'omsorgsperson', 'omsorgsgiver' and 'omsorgsarbeider' all started to be used (source: N-gram), along with 'helsehjelp' (= health care). Before 1980, I think Norwegians just used their own terms, such as 'vernepleier' and 'hjelpepleier'. I suppose 'omsorgsarbeider' is best if it's paid work and 'omsorgsperson' or 'omsorgsgiver' for the other cases. 'Omsorgsarbeider' shot up in the N-gram in the 1990s but has since declined. It used to be a qualification/job title but now both 'hjelpepleiere' and 'omsorgsarbeidere' have become 'helsefagarbeidere'.
    My wife's comment: 'Omsorgsgiver' is a useful term. It seems Norwegian doctors and nurses mostly use use 'pårørende', but that does not quite cover the role.'

    I presume 'pårørende' is used for non-professional carers.
     
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    serbianfan

    Senior Member
    British English
    It seems Norwegian doctors and nurses mostly use 'pårørende', but that does not quite cover the role.', but that does not quite cover the role.

    I presume 'pårørende' is used for non-professional carers.
    'Pårørende' can certainly be used for carers within the person's family, but as there is now a general trend towards including not only patients but also their relatives in care and treatment decisions, we find 'pårørende' mentioned much more often in texts about care and treatment than a couple of decades ago. Dictionaries seem to give 'next-of-kin' as one of the main translations of 'pårørende' but that only works in certain contexts. When talking about involving the patient's family in treatment decisions, 'relatives' or 'family (members)' are normally used.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'Pårørende' can certainly be used for carers within the person's family, but as there is now a general trend towards including not only patients but also their relatives in care and treatment decisions, we find 'pårørende' mentioned much more often in texts about care and treatment than a couple of decades ago. Dictionaries seem to give 'next-of-kin' as one of the main translations of 'pårørende' but that only works in certain contexts. When talking about involving the patient's family in treatment decisions, 'relatives' or 'family (members)' are normally used.
    Exactly.

    (Incidentally, I managed to horribly mangle the original version of my previous post, which I have now fixed. I don't think it affects anything you wrote, but thought it polite to warn you anyway)
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    For behandling og oppfølging we use treatment and follow-up in AE. The Danish equivalent is behandling og kontrol. The follow-up implies, as AutumnOwl says above, that a patient has been previously seen/evaluated and treated for a condition or illness which needs to be followed(-up) by an additional visit (or visits) to make sure that everything goes according to plan. If you say treatment and care, it doesn't tell me that this 'care' is subsequent to a prior visit. A patient seeks medical care for a problem and care in this context could be synonymous with treatment or simply the medical evaluation to rule out a disease that needs further treatment.
     
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    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    For behandling og oppfølging I would say treatment and follow-up in AE. The Danish equivalent is behandling og kontrol. The follow-up implies as AutumnOwl says above, that a patient has been previously seen/evaluated and treated for a condition or illness which needs to be followed(-up) by an additional visit (or visits) to make sure that everything goes according to plan. If you say treatment and care, it doesn't tell me that this 'care' is subsequent to a prior visit.
    But if you read the top post, and check the (Norwegian) dictionary meaning, it is clear that oppfølging is more than follow-up in English, and may in fact precede treatment.
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    ^^I did read the top post and I also checked the NAOB definition, which is a general definition of the word oppfølging, i.e. it is not just limited to a medical context. The entire definition in the NAOB reads as follows,

    det å arbeide videre (med noe) eller gi noe(n) økt oppmerksomhet; fortsettelse, komplettering (av noe, med sikte mot et bestemt mål)

    The OP specifies that the context is health and social care, and my interpretation of the NAOB definition in a medical context is that oppfølging is what we call a follow-up in AE. The problem with 'care', not otherwise specified, is that it is too vague...in AE at least, as it essentially represents an umbrella term that could include patient care, medical care, continued care, home health care, follow-up care, just to mention a few.

    But if you read the top post, and check the (Norwegian) dictionary meaning, it is clear that oppfølging is more than follow-up in English, and may in fact precede treatment.

    I'm afraid that is not how I would interpret it. The OP mentions 'oppfølging og behandling' in what seems to be a reverse order, but we do not know the specific context of this particular example. Oppfølging og behandling, in that order, would indicate to me that the patient has already been seen by a health care provider and now needs a follow-up appointment and treatment. It could be treatment for a secondary issue discovered at the time of the initial consult, as in the hypertension example given by AutumnOwl above, or it could be a follow-up with (final) treatment of a skin cancer, for instance after a biopsy was obtained during the first consultation, possibly a follow-up with a specialist who can provide the appropriate treatment.

    NAOB says that "oppfølging" means "det å arbeide videre (med noe) eller gi noe(n) økt oppmerksomhet", the second part of which is not about following anything, as you can see. And if we remove the "økt", "å gi noen oppmerksomhet" is pretty close to the meaning of "care". So maybe "treatment and care" would be the best translation for "behandling og oppfølging" in many cases (?)

    Again, the NAOB gives a general and broad definition of oppfølging, not just in the medical context of behandling og oppfølging. Without a specific example I don't think we can conclude that "the second part (økt oppmerksomhet) is not about following anything". In a criminal context the police may conduct a follow-up investigation and you could say they are paying extra attention to the case, to a person of interest, as in økt oppmerksomhet...following a lead for instance.

    In sum, I would use follow-up in AE. I realize there are AE/BE differences also when it comes to medical terminology. Maybe this is one of them.
     

    winenous

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I'm not sure how important it is, but I now realise that even in English, follow-up could be follow-up to the reporting of symptoms or a test result; not just follow-up to treatment. Sometimes conditions need to be monitored, but not necessarily treated at all. In that sense it is å gi noe(n) økt oppmerksomhet.

    You are quite right, @bicontinental, that there may be differences in British and American usage. To be honest I think one would need quite a lot of detailed knowledge of the various health systems to make definitive statements, and it is further complicated by the different disciplines within healthcare.
     
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