Seen but not heard – ethnic minorities’ views of primary health care interpreting provision: a focus group study

Barron, D., Holterman, C., Shipster, P., Baston, S. and Alam, M. (2010) Seen but not heard – ethnic minorities’ views of primary health care interpreting provision: a focus group study Primary Health Care Research & Development, 11 (2). pp. 132-141. ISSN 1463-4236

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Abstract

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the awareness and views of members of the ethnic minority community towards primary health care interpreting provision in two localities in Hertfordshire. Background: Ethnic minority groups often have to undertake many aspects of their day-to-day lives with limited English. The provision of high quality language interpretation services is vital for enabling access to public services, including healthcare. The use of accredited or professional interpreters has been minimal within primary care and undermines the principle of equity in the National Health Service. The local Primary Care Trust and ethnic minority forums initiated this study. Methods: The overall research design was qualitative and data collection was undertaken using focus groups. Twenty-four participants from the Pakistani (Punjabi and Urdu speakers), Bangladeshi (Bengali speakers) and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin speakers) communities took part in one of five focus groups. Ethnic minority members recruited participants, conducted the focus groups and translated the interviews after receiving in-depth training. Findings: Participants were unaware that healthcare professionals could access interpreting provision for their primary health care consultations, which were usually managed with the assistance of family members (including children) and friends. Both the appropriateness of using children and the potential compromising of confidentiality and privacy when using friends to interpret were concerns. Women discussed inventing illnesses rather than talking openly about embarrassing health issues in front of their children or husbands, which they suggested, may lead to depression or other mental health problems. Trust, accuracy, independence and confidentiality were important attributes participants expected in a professional interpreter whom they would prefer was from their own gender and culture. Key words: ethnic minorities; focus groups; interpreting provision; primary health care

Item Type: Journal article
Additional Information: © Cambridge University Press, 2010
Subjects: B000 Health Professions > B500 Public Health
B000 Health Professions > B600 Health Research
B000 Health Professions > B700 Nursing and Midwifery
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1017/S1463423609990399
Faculties: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Depositing User: Glynis Flood
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 10:10
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 11:01
URI: http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/id/eprint/9332

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