To determine whether augmentation of the Spanish interpreter's role to include cultural education of residents can improve the satisfaction of Latino patients.
We assessed parent satisfaction during 4 sequential 2-month periods between June 1, 2004, and February 11, 2005, using different interpretation methods: telephone interpretation (n = 91 patient encounters), trained in-person interpretation (n = 49), in-person interpretation with cultural education of residents (n = 65), and postprogram telephone interpretation (n = 45).
General pediatric practice at a large teaching hospital.
A total of 250 Spanish-speaking parents who were limited in English proficiency.
The cultural education program included 3 brief preclinic conferences taught by an interpreter and one-on-one teaching of residents about language and cultural issues after each clinical encounter.
Main Outcome Measures
Parent satisfaction was assessed using 8 questions that have previously been validated in Spanish. Lower scores indicated more satisfaction.
Because they were limited in English proficiency, our Spanish-speaking patients were significantly more satisfied when an in-person interpreter was used compared with a telephone interpreter (mean total satisfaction score of 14.5 [in-person] vs 17.4 [telephone]; P = .006) but were even more satisfied when the interpreter educated residents in cultural and language issues (mean, 11.5 [in-person with education] vs 17.4 [telephone]; P<.001).
Although use of an in-person interpreter can increase Latino parents' satisfaction, a program using an interpreter to educate residents in cultural and language issues can increase satisfaction further.