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ERIC Number: ED398757
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 60
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding the Interpreter's Role: An Analysis of Interpreter-Mediated Doctor/Patient Communication.
Briskina, Galina
A study investigated the role of the interpreter in doctor-patient communication by analyzing four complete medical interviews at a large urban hospital, each involving one of two Russian interpreters on staff. Both interpreters were native Russian speakers recently immigrated to the United States. Patients were middle-aged and elderly immigrants with varying English language skills and experience with American health care. Five physicians were involved. Analysis of the discourse in the interviews resulted in development of a model of interpreted medical discourse, including principles of turn-taking, to provide insight into the nature of the relationships created through participants' discourse strategies. In sum, it is concluded that interpreters can control the conversational organization of the medical interview, distribution of turns among the participants, and doctor-patient exchange of information. Direct communication of doctor and patient through the interpreter is the preferred conversational mode because it approximates most closely the normal monolingual interaction and facilitates information exchange. A second common interaction type, in which direct interactions are between doctor and interpreter and interpreter and patient, may result in the interpreter controlling what is said and who gets to talk, endangering quality of care. Contains 25 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A