Responses to language barriers in consultations with refugees and asylum seekers: a telephone survey of Irish general practitioners.

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/95293
Title:
Responses to language barriers in consultations with refugees and asylum seekers: a telephone survey of Irish general practitioners.
Authors:
MacFarlane, Anne; Glynn, Liam G; Mosinkie, Phillip I; Murphy, Andrew W
Affiliation:
Department of General Practice, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. anne.macfarlane@nuigalway.ie
Citation:
Responses to language barriers in consultations with refugees and asylum seekers: a telephone survey of Irish general practitioners. 2008, 9:68 BMC Fam Pract
Journal:
BMC family practice
Issue Date:
2008
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/95293
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2296-9-68
PubMed ID:
19102735
Abstract:
BACKGROUND: Refugees and asylum seekers experience language barriers in general practice. Qualitative studies have found that responses to language barriers in general practice are ad hoc with use of both professional interpreters and informal interpreters (patients' relatives or friends). However, the scale of the issues involved is unknown. This study quantifies the need for language assistance in general practice consultations and examines the experience of, and satisfaction with, methods of language assistance utilized. METHODS: Data were collected by telephone survey with general practitioners in a regional health authority in Ireland between July-August 2004. Each respondent was asked a series of questions about consulting with refugees and asylum seekers, the need for language assistance and the kind of language assistance used. RESULTS: There was a 70% (n = 56/80) response rate to the telephone survey. The majority of respondents (77%) said that they had experienced consultations with refugees and asylum seekers in which language assistance was required. Despite this, general practitioners in the majority of cases managed without an interpreter or used informal methods of interpretation. In fact, when given a choice general practitioners would more often choose informal over professional methods of interpretation despite the fact that confidentiality was a significant concern. CONCLUSION: The need for language assistance in consultations with refugees and asylum seekers in Irish general practice is high. General practitioners rely on informal responses. It is necessary to improve knowledge about the organisational contexts that shape general practitioners responses. We also recommend dialogue between general practitioners, patients and interpreters about the relative merits of informal and professional methods of interpretation so that general practitioners' choices are responsive to the needs of patients with limited English.
Language:
en
MeSH:
Adult; Communication Barriers; Family Practice; Female; Health Care Surveys; Health Services Accessibility; Humans; Ireland; Language; Male; Middle Aged; Multilingualism; Physician-Patient Relations; Questionnaires; Refugees
ISSN:
1471-2296

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorMacFarlane, Anneen
dc.contributor.authorGlynn, Liam Gen
dc.contributor.authorMosinkie, Phillip Ien
dc.contributor.authorMurphy, Andrew Wen
dc.date.accessioned2010-03-30T14:23:34Z-
dc.date.available2010-03-30T14:23:34Z-
dc.date.issued2008-
dc.identifier.citationResponses to language barriers in consultations with refugees and asylum seekers: a telephone survey of Irish general practitioners. 2008, 9:68 BMC Fam Practen
dc.identifier.issn1471-2296-
dc.identifier.pmid19102735-
dc.identifier.doi10.1186/1471-2296-9-68-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/95293-
dc.description.abstractBACKGROUND: Refugees and asylum seekers experience language barriers in general practice. Qualitative studies have found that responses to language barriers in general practice are ad hoc with use of both professional interpreters and informal interpreters (patients' relatives or friends). However, the scale of the issues involved is unknown. This study quantifies the need for language assistance in general practice consultations and examines the experience of, and satisfaction with, methods of language assistance utilized. METHODS: Data were collected by telephone survey with general practitioners in a regional health authority in Ireland between July-August 2004. Each respondent was asked a series of questions about consulting with refugees and asylum seekers, the need for language assistance and the kind of language assistance used. RESULTS: There was a 70% (n = 56/80) response rate to the telephone survey. The majority of respondents (77%) said that they had experienced consultations with refugees and asylum seekers in which language assistance was required. Despite this, general practitioners in the majority of cases managed without an interpreter or used informal methods of interpretation. In fact, when given a choice general practitioners would more often choose informal over professional methods of interpretation despite the fact that confidentiality was a significant concern. CONCLUSION: The need for language assistance in consultations with refugees and asylum seekers in Irish general practice is high. General practitioners rely on informal responses. It is necessary to improve knowledge about the organisational contexts that shape general practitioners responses. We also recommend dialogue between general practitioners, patients and interpreters about the relative merits of informal and professional methods of interpretation so that general practitioners' choices are responsive to the needs of patients with limited English.-
dc.language.isoenen
dc.subject.meshAdult-
dc.subject.meshCommunication Barriers-
dc.subject.meshFamily Practice-
dc.subject.meshFemale-
dc.subject.meshHealth Care Surveys-
dc.subject.meshHealth Services Accessibility-
dc.subject.meshHumans-
dc.subject.meshIreland-
dc.subject.meshLanguage-
dc.subject.meshMale-
dc.subject.meshMiddle Aged-
dc.subject.meshMultilingualism-
dc.subject.meshPhysician-Patient Relations-
dc.subject.meshQuestionnaires-
dc.subject.meshRefugees-
dc.titleResponses to language barriers in consultations with refugees and asylum seekers: a telephone survey of Irish general practitioners.en
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of General Practice, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. anne.macfarlane@nuigalway.ieen
dc.identifier.journalBMC family practiceen

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