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The content of talk about health conditions and medications during appointments involving interpreters.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21088097     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
INTRODUCTION: Interpreters often join immigrants and physicians to permit communication.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the content of talk about health problems and medications during clinical encounters involving interpreters [professionals (PI) or family members (FI)].
METHODS: We analysed one regularly scheduled encounter for each of 16 adult patients with his family physician and their usual interpreter (10 with a PI and 6 with a FI). A different PI, not involved in the consultations, translated the non-English or French parts. We coded all utterances about each medical problem and each medication using six health problem and 16 medication topics from MEDICODE, a validated coding scheme.
RESULTS: Physicians and patients addressed an average of 3.6 problems and 3 medications per encounter. No psychosocial problems were discussed in encounters involving FIs. On average, three topics were discussed per problem. In order of frequency, they were follow-up, explanations of the condition, non-drug management, consequences, self-management and emotions about the problem. Encounters involving PIs were more likely than encounters with FIs to include discussions of emotions about the problem (42% versus 4%, P = 0.001) and indications for follow-up (88% versus 28%, P < 0.001). An average of 6.5 topics was discussed per medication. Commonest topics discussed were medication class, how the drug was being used, achieved effect and expected effect.
CONCLUSIONS: One can address multiple problems and share vital information even in the presence of a language barrier. When FIs are interpreting, physicians would do well to make a particular effort to bring the patient's psychological and emotional issues into the interaction.
Ellen Rosenberg; Claude Richard; Marie-Thérèse Lussier; Tally Shuldiner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-11-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Family practice     Volume:  28     ISSN:  1460-2229     ISO Abbreviation:  Fam Pract     Publication Date:  2011 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-05-23     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8500875     Medline TA:  Fam Pract     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  317-22     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Family Medicine, McGill University and St Mary's Hospital, Montreal, Canada.
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