JOURNAL ARTICLE

A survey of language barriers from the perspective of pediatric oncologists, interpreters, and parents

Marisa Abbe, Christian Simon, Anne Angiolillo, Kathy Ruccione, Eric D Kodish
Pediatric Blood & Cancer 2006, 47 (6): 819-24
16615062

BACKGROUND: Oncologists in the US increasingly face the challenge of communicating with non-English speaking parents of children with cancer. This study explores this challenge from the perspectives of a sample of pediatric oncologists, interpreters, and Spanish-speaking parents of children with newly diagnosed leukemia.

PROCEDURE: Thirty-seven oncologists and 17 professional language interpreters based at two non-profit pediatric hospitals in the US were surveyed on the topic of language barriers in pediatric care. Seventeen parents who communicated with their child's oncologist through an interpreter were also surveyed.

RESULTS: All groups expressed considerable concern over the process of communicating across a language barrier. For oncologists, these concerns included the accuracy and completeness of interpretations, complexity of information, and loss of confidence and control over the communication process. For interpreters, they included complexity of information, information overload, and lack of clinician sensitivity toward the cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds of limited English proficiency (LEP) families. Parent concerns included difficulties comprehending information and anxiety over the possibility of missing out on important information. All groups provided multiple suggestions for improving communication across a language barrier.

CONCLUSIONS: Oncologists, interpreters, and parents expressed considerable concern over the process of communicating across a language barrier. Some of these concerns could be minimized through efforts to boost interpreter accuracy and completeness, including the use of more simple, easy to understand language. Other issues, such as differences in culture and socioeconomic background, warrant consideration of the intercultural knowledge and skills of interpreters.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
16615062
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"