Grappling with cultural differences; Communication between oncologists and immigrant cancer patients with and without interpreters

Phyllis Butow, Melanie L Bell, David Goldstein, Ming Sze, Lynley Aldridge, Sarah Abdo, Michelle Mikhail, Skye Dong, Rick Iedema, Ray Ashgari, Rina Hui, Maurice Eisenbruch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Immigrants report challenges communicating with their health team. This study compared oncology consultations of immigrants with and without interpreters vs Anglo-Australian patients. Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed incurable cancer who had immigrated from Arabic, Chinese or Greek speaking countries or were Anglo-Australian, and family members, were recruited from 10 medical oncologists in 9 hospitals. Two consultations from each patient were audio-taped, transcribed, translated into English and coded. Results: Seventy-eight patients (47 immigrant and 31 Anglo-Australian) and 115 family members (77 immigrant and 38 Anglo Australian) participated in 141 audio-taped consultations. Doctors spoke less to immigrants with interpreters than to Anglo-Australians (1443 vs. 2246 words, p= 0.0001), spent proportionally less time on cancer related issues (p= 0.005) and summarising and informing (p≤ 0.003) and more time on other medical issues (p= 0.0008) and directly advising (p= 0.0008). Immigrants with interpreters gave more high intensity cues (10.4 vs 7.4). Twenty percent of cues were not interpreted. Doctors tended to delay responses to or ignore more immigrant than Anglo-Australian cues (13% vs 5%, p= 0.06). Conclusions: Immigrant cancer patients with interpreters experience different interactions with their doctors than Anglo-Australians, which may compromise their well-being and decisions. Practice implications: Guidelines and proven training programmes are needed to improve communication with immigrant patients, particularly those with interpreters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-405
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Communication
Neoplasms
Cues
Referral and Consultation
Oncologists
Practice Guidelines
Education
Health

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Communication
  • Cultural competence
  • Immigrants
  • Multi-culturalism
  • Stigma
  • Unmet needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Grappling with cultural differences; Communication between oncologists and immigrant cancer patients with and without interpreters. / Butow, Phyllis; Bell, Melanie L; Goldstein, David; Sze, Ming; Aldridge, Lynley; Abdo, Sarah; Mikhail, Michelle; Dong, Skye; Iedema, Rick; Ashgari, Ray; Hui, Rina; Eisenbruch, Maurice.

In: Patient Education and Counseling, Vol. 84, No. 3, 09.2011, p. 398-405.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Butow, P, Bell, ML, Goldstein, D, Sze, M, Aldridge, L, Abdo, S, Mikhail, M, Dong, S, Iedema, R, Ashgari, R, Hui, R & Eisenbruch, M 2011, 'Grappling with cultural differences; Communication between oncologists and immigrant cancer patients with and without interpreters', Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 84, no. 3, pp. 398-405. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2011.01.035
Butow, Phyllis ; Bell, Melanie L ; Goldstein, David ; Sze, Ming ; Aldridge, Lynley ; Abdo, Sarah ; Mikhail, Michelle ; Dong, Skye ; Iedema, Rick ; Ashgari, Ray ; Hui, Rina ; Eisenbruch, Maurice. / Grappling with cultural differences; Communication between oncologists and immigrant cancer patients with and without interpreters. In: Patient Education and Counseling. 2011 ; Vol. 84, No. 3. pp. 398-405.
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