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Qual Health Res. 2010 Feb;20(2):170-81. doi: 10.1177/1049732309349935. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

Dimensions of trust: the tensions and challenges in provider--interpreter trust.

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University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma 73019, USA.


In this study we examined the challenges to providers' and interpreters' collaboration in bilingual health care. We conducted in-depth interviews and focus groups with 26 medical interpreters (speaking 17 languages) and 32 providers (from four specialties) in the United States to provide an empirically based framework of provider-interpreter trust. Constant comparative analysis was used for data analysis. We identified four dimensions of trust, theoretical constructs that can strengthen or compromise provider-interpreter trust: interpreter competence, shared goals, professional boundaries, and established patterns of collaboration. In this article we describe how these dimensions highlight tensions and challenges that are unique in provider-interpreter relationships. We conclude with practical guidelines that can enhance provider-interpreter trust, and propose future research directions in bilingual health care.

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