“It’s just another added layer of difficulty”: Language access equity and inclusion in pediatric interpreted medical encounters — Provider and interpreter perspectives

Amy Olen, Paulina S. Lim, Kathryn A. Balistreri, W. Hobart Davies, Matthew C. Scanlon, Charles B. Rothschild


Limited English proficient or language-diverse patients and families in pediatric interpreted medical encounters (IME) are susceptible to health disparities and inequities in the US compared to English proficient patients and families in language-concordant medical encounters. Policies to improve access to language services intend to bridge this gap, yet evidence suggests that significant inequities still exist. This study explores perspectives of interpreters and pediatric critical care medical providers to better understand the complexities of IME in pediatric settings. Qualitative data were analyzed from two interview studies with medical interpreters and providers using thematic coding and inductive analysis. Several factors were identified by both interpreters and medical providers that negatively affected communication, equity, and inclusion. These included systems-level factors (e.g., time constraints and language variety), interpersonal factors (e.g., difficulties with communication and mistrust), and intrapersonal factors (e.g., implicit biases and judgements). These results highlight multiple layers of potential inequities which adversely affect patients and families in pediatric IME. 


Language access equity, language access inclusion, pediatrics, medical interpreters, interpreted medical encounters

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/Just.1.24879


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