Comparing In-Person, Video, and Telephonic Medical Interpretation
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Using trained interpreters to provide medical interpretation services is superior to services provided on an ad hoc basis, but little is known about the effectiveness of providing their services remotely, especially using video.
To compare remote medical interpretation services by trained interpreters via telephone and videoconference to those provided in-person.
Quasi-randomized control study.
Two hundred and forty-one Spanish speaking patient volunteers, twenty-four health providers, and seven interpreters.
Patients, providers and interpreters each independently completed scales evaluating the quality of clinical encounters and, optionally, made free text comments. Interviews were conducted with 23 of the providers, the seven interpreters, and a subset of 30 patients. Time data were collected.
Encounters with in-person interpretation were rated significantly higher by providers and interpreters, while patients rated all methods the same. There were no significant differences in provider and interpreter ratings of remote methods. Provider and interpreter comments on scales and interview data support the higher in-person ratings, but they also showed a distinct preference for video over the phone. Phone interviews were significantly shorter than in-person.
Patients rated interpretation services highly no matter how they were provided but experienced only the method employed at the time of the encounter. Providers and interpreters were exposed to all three methods, were more critical of remote methods, and preferred videoconferencing to the telephone as a remote method. The significantly shorter phone interviews raise questions about the prospects of miscommunication in telephonic interpretation, given the absence of a visual channel, but other factors might have affected time results. Since the patient population studied was Hispanic and predominantly female care must be taken in generalizing these results to other populations.
- Shin H, Bruno R. Language use and English-speaking ability: 2000. U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce Census 2000 Brief, October 2003. Available from: http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-29.pdf Accessed December 2009.
- Office of Minority Health. National standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services in health care: Final Report. Washington: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; 2001 [cited 2001 Mar]. Available from: http://www.omhrc.gov/assets/pdf/checked/finalreport.pdf Accessed December 2009.
- Karliner, L, Jacobs, E, Mutha, S (2007) Do professional interpreters improve clinical care for patients with limited English proficiency? A systematic review of the literature. HSR: Health Serv Res 42: pp. 727-54 CrossRef
- Flores, G (2005) The impact of medical interpreter services on the quality of health care: a systematic review. Med Care Res and Rev 62: pp. 255-99 CrossRef
- Azarmina, P, Wallace, P (2005) Remote interpretation in medical encounters: a systematic review. J Telemed Telecare 11: pp. 140-5 CrossRef
- Hornberger, J, Gibson, C, Wood, W, Dequeldre, C, Corso, I, Palla, B, Bloch, D (1996) Eliminating language barriers for non-English-speaking patients. Med Care 34: pp. 845-56 CrossRef
- Gany, F, Leng, J, Shapiro, E, Abramson, D, Motola, I, Shield, D, Changrani, J (2007) Patient satisfaction with different interpreting methods: a randomized controlled trial. J Gen Intern Med 22: pp. 312-8 CrossRef
- Cunningham, H, Cushman, L, Akuete-Penn, C, Meyer, D (2008) Satisfaction with telephonic interpreters in pediatric care. J Nat Med Assoc 100: pp. 429-34
- Lee, L, Batai, H, Maselli, J, Kutner, J (2002) Effect of Spanish interpretation method on patient satisfaction in an urban walk-in clinic. J Gen Intern Med 17: pp. 640-5 CrossRef
- Garcia, E, Roy, L, Okada, P, Perkins, S, Wiebe, R (2004) A comparison of the influence of hospital-trained, ad hoc, and telephone interpreters on perceived satisfaction of limited English proficient parents presenting to a pediatric emergency department. Ped Emer Care 20: pp. 373-8 CrossRef
- Kuo, D, Fagan, M (1999) Satisfaction with methods of Spanish interpretation in an ambulatory care clinic. J Gen Intern Med 14: pp. 547-50 CrossRef
- Fagan, M, Diaz, J, Reinert, S, Sciamanna, C (2003) Impact of interpretation method on clinic visit length. J Gen Intern Med 18: pp. 634-8 CrossRef
- Jones, D, Gill, P, Harrison, R, Meakin, R, Wallace, P (2003) An exploratory study of language interpretation services provided by videoconferencing. J Telemed Telecare 9: pp. 51-6 CrossRef
- Saint-Louis, L, Friedman, E, Chiasson, E, Quessa, A, Novaes, F (2003) Testing new technologies in medical interpreting. Cambridge Health Alliance, Somerville, Massachusetts
- Paras, M, Leyva, O, Berthold, T, Otake, R (2002) Videoconferencing medical interpretation: the results of clinical trials. Health Access Foundation, Oakland, California
- Gany, F, Kapelusznik, L, Prakash, K, Gonzeles, J, Orta, L, Tseng, C, Changrani, J (2007) The impact of medical interpretation method on time and errors. J Gen Intern Med 22: pp. 319-23 CrossRef
- Meaki, R, Weinman, J (2002) The ‘Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale’ (MISS-21) adapted for British general practice. Fam Pract 19: pp. 257-64 CrossRef
- Brown, J, Boles, M, Mullooly, J, Levinson, W (1999) Effect of clinician communication skills training on patient satisfaction: A controlled clinical trial. Ann Intern Med 131: pp. 822-9
- Loblaw A, Bezjak A, Bunston T. Development and testing of a visit specific patient satisfaction questionnaire: The Princes Margaret Hospital Satisfaction with Doctor Questionnaire. J Clin Onc. 1999;1931–8.
- Baker, D, Hayes, R, Fortier, J (1998) Interpreter use and satisfaction with interpersonal aspects of care for Spanish-speaking patients. Med Care 36: pp. 1461-70 CrossRef
- Bertakis, K, Roter, D, Putnam, S (1991) The relationship of physician medical interview style to patient satisfaction. J Fam Pract 32: pp. 175-81
- Cleary, P, McNeil, B (1988) Patient satisfaction as an indicator of quality care. Inquiry 25: pp. 25-36
- Ware, J, Hays, R (1988) Methods for measuring patient satisfaction with specific medical encounters. Med Care 26: pp. 393-402 CrossRef
- Comparing In-Person, Video, and Telephonic Medical Interpretation
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 25, Issue 4 , pp 345-350
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- medical interpretation
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Office of High Performance Computing & Communications, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD, 20894, USA
- 2. Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
- 3. Center for Public Service Communication, Arlington, VA, USA
- 4. Pacific Interpreters, Portland, OR, USA
- 5. Maisiak Associates, Scottsdale, AZ, USA