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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital
Udgivet

Language barriers and use of interpreters in two Danish paediatric emergency units

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INTRODUCTION: Paediatric consultations require safe and unambiguous communication. For children and adolescents of foreign ethnic and language backgrounds, professional interpretation may be crucial to avoid misunderstandings and malpractice. Knowledge about language barriers in paediatric consultations in the Danish healthcare is sparse.

METHODS: The study was based on questionnaires completed by medical professionals at two paediatric emergency units in Copenhagen from March through June 2018. Questionnaire A, completed by doctors, addressed all patients aged 0-18 years regardless of the parents' first language and, if foreign, the presence of language barriers, whether clinical management was affected and use of professional interpretation. All doctors and nurses were asked to complete questionnaire B addressing their knowledge, experiences and practices with language barriers in their clinical work.

RESULTS: Language barriers were present in 37% of 136 non-native-Danish consultations. In 44% of these, clinical management was affected. Professional interpretation was not used in any consultations. Almost half of the medical professionals reported insufficient communication opportunities with non-native-Danish-speaking patients (48%).

CONCLUSIONS: Language barriers frequently affected communication and clinical decision-making in the two Danish paediatric emergency units studied. Even so, professional interpretation was not used. Further studies are needed to explore whether language is a barrier to equal health.

FUNDING: none.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Vol/bind66
Udgave nummer8
ISSN1603-9629
StatusUdgivet - 2019

Bibliografisk note

Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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