Objective To explore differences in perspectives of general practitioners, Turkish–Dutch migrant patients and family interpreters on interpreters’ role, power dynamics and trust in interpreted GP consultations.
Methods 54 semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with the three parties focusing on interpreter’s role, power and trust in interpreters.
Results In line with family interpreters’ perspective, patients expected the interpreters to advocate on their behalf and felt empowered when they did so. GPs, on the contrary, felt annoyed and disempowered when the family interpreters performed the advocacy role. Family interpreters were trusted by patients for their fidelity, that is, patients assumed that family interpreters would act in their best interest. GPs, on the contrary, mistrusted family interpreters when they perceived dishonesty or a lack of competence.
Conclusion Opposing views were found between GPs on the one hand and family interpreters and patients on the other hand on interpreter’s role, power dynamics and the different dimensions of trust. These opposing perspectives might lead to miscommunication and conflicts between the three interlocutors.
Practice implications GPs should be educated to become aware of the difficulties of family interpreting, such as conflicting role expectations, and be trained to be able to call on professional interpreters when needed.
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