Satisfaction with Methods of Spanish Interpretation in an Ambulatory Care Clinic
Article first published online: 25 DEC 2001
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 14, Issue 9, pages 547–550, September 1999
How to Cite
Kuo, D. and Fagan, M. J. (1999), Satisfaction with Methods of Spanish Interpretation in an Ambulatory Care Clinic. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 14: 547–550. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.07258.x
- Issue published online: 25 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 25 DEC 2001
- outpatient clinics;
- communication barriers;
- Hispanic Americans;
- patient satisfaction
OBJECTIVE: To describe the utilization of various methods of language interpretation by Spanish-speaking patients in an academic medical clinic and to determine patients' and physicians' satisfaction with these methods.
METHODS: Survey administered to medical residents and Spanish-speaking patients asking about their experience and satisfaction with various methods of language interpretation.
MAIN RESULTS: Both patients and residents had the highest level of satisfaction for professional interpreters (92.4% vs 96.1% reporting somewhat or very satisfactory, p = .17). In contrast, patients were significantly more satisfied than residents with using family members and friends (85.1% vs 60.8%, p< .01). Physicians and patients agreed that accuracy, accessibility, and respect for confidentiality were highly important characteristics of interpreters (>90% of both groups reporting somewhat or very important). However, patients were more concerned than residents about the ability of the interpreter to assist them after the physician visit (94% vs 45.1%, p< 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Using family members and friends as interpreters for Spanish-speaking patients should be more seriously considered; however, in order to optimize patient satisfaction, differences between patients and providers should be taken into account when using interpretation in medical settings.