UBC Graduate Research

Evaluating the Effect of Virtual Interpreter Services on the Delivery of Patient-Centred Care and Quality of Care for Adults with Non-English Language Preference Dunlop, Megan K. L.


Background: Patients with non-English language preference (NELP) are less likely to have optimal communication during interactions with their care providers due to language discordance, which may lead to worsened or absent patient-centred care or quality of care. Virtual interpreter services (VIS) allow in-the-moment communication between patients and clinicians through on-demand professional medical interpretation in an increased number of languages and dialects, potentially improving patient-centred care and quality of care for these patients. Aim and Objective: To investigate the effect of on-demand, mobile VIS on patient-centred care and quality of care from the perspective of patients with NELP. Methods: Survey data collected prior to and following the implementation of VIS across multiple sites within one health authority was analyzed. Likert scales were analyzed using t-tests to ascertain differences in pre- and post-states. Thematic analyses were conducted to analyze open-ended response data. Results: Average patient responses to questions reflective of patient-centred care and quality of care significantly increased following the implementation of VIS. Three themes, "current barriers", "perceived barriers", and "perceived benefits", emerged pre-implementation. Two themes, "current benefits" and "resolved barriers", were identified post-implementation. Conclusion: Implementation of VIS has a positive effect on the provision of both patient-centred care and quality of care from the perspective of patients with NELP.

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