Navigation Links
Communicating through interpreters -- a challenge for health care

The healthcare system faces a challenge in overcoming communication barriers when treating non-Swedish-speaking patients, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The thesis showed that communication difficulties have meant that war-wounded refugees have found it hard to gain access to the disability support and rehabilitation help they are entitled to. Interpreters were sometimes assigned on the basis of a patient's nationality instead of ethnicity and mother tongue, which resulted in inadequate communication.

"The refugees also felt afraid during formal contact with the authorities," says Nabi Fatahi, nurse radiologist at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "The interpreters' neutrality and professional confidentiality were doubly tested when refugees had suspiciousness and political persecution in their background."

One of the studies examined interpreters' experience of their relationship with patients and staff in primary care in Gothenburg. It emerged that they viewed themselves as part of the healthcare team, and that patients also viewed them more as staff. The healthcare staff did not, however, always view the interpreters as a natural part of the team, which resulted in a conflict of roles for the interpreters. The interpreters emphasised the difficulties of their role as neutral intermediaries, who could be influenced both by patients, who sometimes addressed the interpreter in the first instance, and by doctors, who could also focus too much on the interpreter.

"The meeting between doctor and patient could easily end up on the backburner," says Fatahi. "Other problems included a lack of time for the interpreters in consultations, which resulted in stress and incomplete communication of information."

Healthcare professionals' views on communication through interpreters were studied through interviews with general practitioners in Gothenburg's primary care and radiology staff at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The result showed that the healthcare professionals attached considerable importance to the interpreter's ability to balance proximity and distance to patients so that they could then translate what was actually being said without adding in extras or leaving things out.

"A key skill that healthcare professionals looked for in interpreters was cultural expertise, and they also wanted continuity of interpreter contact. They felt that the patient's needs must determine which interpreter was chosen. But they also had other important suggestions, such as training in cultural diversity for staff and interpreters working in healthcare, as well as permanent posts for interpreters working in the most common languages encountered by healthcare professionals."


Contact: Nabi Fatahi
University of Gothenburg

Related medicine news :

1. University of East Anglia makes cancer breakthrough
2. European Nurse Society calls to action on breakthrough cancer pain
3. Better cholesterol drugs may follow Saint Louis University researchers breakthrough
4. OHSU researchers able to determine brain maturity through analyzing MRI scans
5. Breakthrough in drug trial offers hope for heart attack patients
6. Cigarette smoke may contribute to lung inflammation through a new chemical pathway
7. Novel nanotechnology collaboration leads to breakthrough in cancer research
8. Lung cancer survival rates improved through use of individualized chemotherapy
9. Breakthrough news involving migraine
10. Children raised by gay couples show good progress through school
11. Elsevier partners with ASRT to provide multimedia educational modules through Mosbys Imaging Suite
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Califia Farms , one ... its iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage World Magazine’s Global Packaging Design ... announced that it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. Taste Champion in the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December 1, 2015—Since the start ... scientific research and discoveries, leading us to better understand the disease’s behavior. Globally, ... affected by HIV/AIDS. Mediaplanet’s cross-platform edition of “World AIDS Day” provides insight on ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... optimization of adjunctive imaging is the focus of numerous abstracts accepted for presentation ... 29-December 4, 2015. Nine abstracts highlight the use of Volpara Solutions’ quantitative ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... WA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... today that it has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce ... and FierceMobileHealthcare. Next IT Healthcare was recognized as a finalist in the category ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... XTC Semifinals 2016 - ... to head to Las Vegas for CES 2016, the world’s largest Consumer Electronic Show, ... Technology Association Gary Shapiro, Founding Partner of Pacific Investments Veronica Serra, and venture capitalist ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... BANGALORE, India and PITTSBURGH ... TASE: MYL) today announced that it expects to be ... developing country markets funded by international donors, TLE400 (Tenofovir ... Efavirenz 400 mg) for $99 per patient, per year. ... to develop TLE400. The significantly reduced price could generate ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Breg, Inc ... services, announced today that it has been awarded three ... Members served by Novation will have access to improved ... bracing products and soft goods dedicated to advancing orthopedic ... The aging U.S. population, rising prevalence of chronic ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... N.J. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... against HIV/AIDS, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ... its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies to significantly reduce the ... who make up 74 percent of new HIV ... Announced on World AIDS Day, these new initiatives ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: