Interpreter-mediated communication in general practice

Turkish migrant patients with insufficient language proficiency in Dutch often take along family
members (so-called informal interpreters) to the medical consultation in general practice. However, a recent review study on interpreter-mediated communication in general practice has indicated that there is a dearth of research on interpreter-mediated communication from the perspective of migrant patients themselves. Furthermore, most studies lack a theoretical framework, which hinders the consolidation of previous findings. Therefore, the aim of this research project is to study the process of interpreter-mediated communication in general practice, including its possible antecedents and outcomes, predominantly from the patient’s perspective. Patients’ perspectives will be compared to the perspectives of informal interpreters and general practitioners in order to arrive at a more complete picture of interpreter-mediated communication in general practice. The research uses an innovative combination of an emic and etic approach, and an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, drawing on theories from communication science, medical anthropology and health psychology and uses mixed research methods (qualitative, observational, survey) to enhance our understanding of interpreter-mediated communication.

Research team: Prof. Bas van den Putte & Prof. Julia van Weert (promotores)
Dr. Barbara Schouten (copromotor)
PhD Student: Rena Zendedel
Status: Ongoing since September 2013, expected in May 2017
Funding: Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO Graduate Grant)