Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lost In Translation. Language Barrier Adds Confusion To Pre-Natal Testing

Many people struggle to understand the complexities of genetic problems in pregnancy and find medical language difficult to understand, particularly when faced with major decisions such as whether to terminate a pregnancy.

A recent study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), investigated how Britain’s Bangladeshi community understand the disorders, and make decisions about testing and screening in the light of health care and religious opinion.

The researchers found language difficulties added a great deal of misunderstanding about the nature and cause of disorders. There were difficulties, for example, over the distinction between being ‘affected’ and being a ‘carrier’. The nature of risk, and the kind of inferences that can be made from genetic testing, can also be a source of confusion.

While earlier studies have found that similar confusions are common among the general public as well, the difficulties of translation can make minority groups, such as the Bangladeshis, especially vulnerable to such misunderstandings.

Those who have English as a second language are not alone in struggling to understand the complexities of medical terminology. Researchers find that these misunderstandings are not solely connected to language as a barrier but commonly to misinterpreting medical information. Such as a 75% chance of a having a child that is not being affected by a particular condition can be interpreted as having a child that is 75% normal.

Problems linked to use of interpreters are compounded by the fact that there may be medical terms for which there is no appropriate translation. Women with limited English may be entirely reliant on their husband, or another family member, for an explanation of what consultants or genetics counsellors have said. As a result, information they receive may be inaccurate, misunderstood, or incomplete.

Senior Research Fellow, Dr Santi Rozario, said: “Genetic disorder is likely to be understood by Bangladeshi Muslims in Britain, at least initially, as a biomedical problem for which conventional medical treatment is appropriate, and indeed fard (obligatory) as an Islamic duty. Bangladeshi families will therefore almost always look to the British medical system for assistance.”

The research shows us that the issue is not simply one of numbers or availability of interpreters and it is a complex and difficult time for patients. Greater understanding of the language barrier and possible misunderstanding need to be considered when dealing with patients whose first language is not English.

Danielle Moore | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>