Healthcare staffs perceptions of using interpreters: a qualitative study
2010 (English)In: Primary Health Care Research and Development, ISSN 1463-4236, E-ISSN 1477-1128, Vol. 11, no 03, 260-270 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The aim of this study was to describe how healthcare professionals experience and perceive the use of interpreters in their contacts with patients with whom they do not share a common language.
Background Language barriers lead to poor-quality care and fewer medical contacts. To avoid language barriers and their consequences, interpreters are recommended. However, communicating through an interpreter can be difficult. To develop effective interpreter service it is important to study healthcare staff’s perceptions of using an interpreter.
An explorative descriptive study design was used. The study was conducted in different healthcare settings in Sweden and included 24 healthcare staff, of whom 11 were physicians, 9 nurses, 2 physiotherapists and 2 assistant nurses. Data were generated through written descriptions of the use of interpreters in healthcare service and were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Two main categories emerged from the data: 1) aspects related to the interpreter and 2) organizational aspects. The study showed that having a face-to-face, professional, trained interpreter, with a good knowledge of both languages and of medical terminology, translating literally and objectively, was perceived positively. The organizational aspects that affected the perception were functioning or non-functioning technical equipment, calm in the interpretation environment, documentation of the patients’ language ability, respect for the appointed time, and the level of availability and service provided by the interpreter agency. It is important to develop a well-functioning interpreter organization that offers trained interpreters with a professional attitude to improve and ensure cost-effective and high-quality encounters and care.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge, UK, 2010. Vol. 11, no 03, 260-270 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-101936DOI: 10.1017/S146342361000006XOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-101936DiVA: diva2:666864