Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Communicating through interpreters – a challenge for healthcare

25.10.2010
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.”

For more information, please contact: Nabi Fatahi

Tel.: +46 704 383133
E-mail: nabi.fatahi@allmed.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>