The aim of this observational study was twofold. First, we examined how often and which roles informal interpreters performed during consultations between Turkish-Dutch migrant patients and general practitioners (GPs). Second, relations between these roles and patients’ and GPs’ perceived control, trust in informal interpreters and satisfaction with the consultation were assessed.
A coding instrument was developed to quantitatively code informal interpreters’ roles from transcripts of 84 audio-recorded interpreter-mediated consultations in general practice. Patients’ and GPs’ perceived control, trust and satisfaction were assessed in a post consultation questionnaire.
Informal interpreters most often performed the conduit role (almost 25% of all coded utterances), and also frequently acted as replacers and excluders of patients and GPs by asking and answering questions on their own behalf, and by ignoring and omitting patients’ and GPs’ utterances. The role of information source was negatively related to patients’ trust and the role of GP excluder was negatively related to patients’ perceived control.
Patients and GPs are possibly insufficiently aware of the performed roles of informal interpreters, as these were barely related to patients’ and GPs’ perceived trust, control and satisfaction.
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