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J Natl Med Assoc. 2008 Apr;100(4):429-34.

Satisfaction with telephonic interpreters in pediatric care.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10031, USA. hc451@columbia.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To compare satisfaction among Spanish-speaking mothers who did and did not use telephonic interpreters during pediatric visits, and to examine resident physician attitudes about telephonic interpreter use.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTIONS:

Anonymous surveys were administered to 98 mothers limited in English proficiency and presenting for well-baby visits in an urban university hospital-affiliated practice. Pediatric visits were performed by 24 non-Spanish-proficient pediatric residents. The first 46 women (baseline cohort) received routine services, including ad-hoc interpretation or no interpretation; the second 52 women (intervention cohort) used a dual-headset telephonic interpreter service.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Mothers completed postvisit interviews assessing overall satisfaction, comfort and ease of communication. Pediatric residents completed self-administered questionnaires assessing attitudes about and experience with telephonic interpretation.

RESULTS:

The intervention cohort overwhelmingly rated telephonic interpretation as "very helpful" (94%), indicating the visit would have been "harder" without the service (98%). Significantly more intervention cohort mothers reported it was "very easy" to communicate with the physician (83% vs. 22%, P < 0.01), they understood "all" that the physician told them (97% vs. 80%, P < 0.05) and they were "very satisfied" with the clinic overall (85% vs. 57%, P < 0.05). Almost all intervention cohort mothers (96%) reported a preference to use telephonic interpretation at their subsequent visit; however, only one-third of residents believed their patients would prefer to use the telephonic interpreter in the future.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mothers who used telephonic interpretation reported significantly greater communication and overall satisfaction compared to mothers in routine care. Pediatric residents substantially underestimated their patients' desire to use telephonic interpreters.

PMID:
18481483
DOI:
10.1016/s0027-9684(15)31277-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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