Clinician Ratings of Interpreter Mediated Visits in Underserved Primary Care Settings with Ad Hoc, in-Person Professional, and Video Conferencing Modes
Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0320, USA. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
(Impact Factor: 1.1).
02/2010; 21(1):301-17. DOI: 10.1353/hpu.0.0269
Linguistic interpretation ameliorates health disparities disfavoring underserved limited English-proficient patients, yet few studies have compared clinician satisfaction with these services. Self-administered clinician post-visit surveys compared the quality of interpretation and communication, visit satisfaction, degree of patient engagement, and cultural competence of visits using untrained people acting as interpreters (ad hoc), in-person professional, or video conferencing professional interpretation for 283 visits. Adjusting for clinician and patient characteristics, the quality of interpretation of in-person and video conferencing modes were rated similarly (OR 1.79, 95% CI 0.74, 4.33). The quality of in-person (OR 5.55, 95% CI 1.50, 20.51) and video conferencing (OR 3.10, 95% CI 1.16, 8.31) were rated higher than ad hoc interpretation. Self-assessed cultural competence was better for in-person versus video conferencing interpretation (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.11, 4.86). Video conferencing interpretation increases access without compromising quality, but cultural nuances may be better addressed by in-person interpreters. Professional interpretation is superior to ad hoc (OR 4.15, 95% CI 1.43, 12.09).
Available from: Elaine Hsieh
Available from: Ben Gray
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ABSTRACT: Australia and New Zealand both have large populations of people with limited English proficiency (LEP). Australia's free telephone interpreter service, which is also used by New Zealand through Language Line (LL) but at a cost to the practices, is underused in both countries. Interpreter guidelines warn against the use of family members, yet the lack of uptake of interpreter services must mean that they are still often used. This paper reviews the literature on medical interpreter use and reports the results of a week-long audit of interpreted consultations in an urban New Zealand primary health centre with a high proportion of refugee and migrant patients. The centre's (annualised) tally of professionally interpreted consultations was three times more than that of LL consultations by all other NZ practices put together. Despite this relatively high usage, 49% of all interpreted consultations used untrained interpreters (mostly family), with more used in 'on-the-day' (OTD) clinics. Clinicians rated such interpreters as working well 88% of the time in the OTD consultations, and 36% of the time in booked consultations. An in-house interpreter (28% of consultations) was rated as working well 100% of the time. Telephone interpreters (21% of consultations) received mixed ratings. The use of trained interpreters is woefully inadequate and needs to be vigorously promoted. In primary care settings where on-going relationships, continuity and trust are important - the ideal option (often not possible) is an in-house trained interpreter. The complexity of interpreted consultations needs to be appreciated in making good judgements when choosing the best option to optimise communication and in assessing when there may be a place for family interpreting. This paper examines the elements of making such a judgement.
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