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The Quality of Communication between Family Practitioners and their Migrant Patients

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2015.0506-0511

german translation / full article

Heide Glaesmer

Keywords: Doctor-Patient-Communication Migration Language Interpreters Services

Background: National and international research focusing on migrant health frequently mentioned all in all lower health status in migrants compared to natives. So far, the perceptions of physicians about their work with migrants were hardly considered.

Methods: 107 family practitioners from Leipzig were interviewed using a short questionnaire including items about special experiences and most possible problems during the communication process with migrant patients.

Results: The rate of communication difficulties with migrant patients reported by physicians was around 35 %. Poor language skills are the main reason for bad communication between family practitioners and migrant patients. About half of participating physicians were already experienced in using professional language interpreters’ services.

Conclusions: The results of this prospective, observational study provide some evidence for culture related health communication effectiveness. More common use of professional interpreters was recommended, as well as implications for future research were drawn.


(State: 07.01.2016)

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