Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Nov;81(2):187-91. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.05.002. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Language barriers and the use of interpreters in the public health services. A questionnaire-based survey.

Author information

1
National Center for Minority Health Research NAKMI, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevaal, Oslo, Norway. emine.kale@nakmi.no

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aims to examine cross-cultural communication in health-care settings, which has implications for equal access to health services. We studied how often health-care workers experience a need for language assistance, what they do in such situations, what expectations they have of the interpreters and their evaluation of competency needs.

METHODS:

A quantitative cross-sectional design using a structured questionnaire was used. The participants were health-care providers in Oslo, and the survey was conducted 2004-2005.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 35.1%. The largest category of participants (51.1%) consisted of nurses, followed by the second largest category (26.6%) of 120 physicians. Our results suggested an underutilization of interpreter services in the public health-care system.

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of interpreter services seems to be sporadic and dependent on the individual health-care practitioner's own initiative and knowledge. Many survey participants expressed dissatisfaction with both their own methods of working with interpreters and with the interpreter's qualifications.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

A key area for further improvement is the process of raising awareness among health-care providers and institutions regarding the legal responsibility they have to ensure the sufficient level of communication with their patients/clients.

Comment in

PMID:
20542656
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2010.05.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center