Communication barriers among spanish-speaking women with pelvic floor disorders: Lost in translation?

Aqsa A. Khan, Claudia Sevilla, Cecilia K. Wieslander, Meghan B. Moran, Rezoana Rashid, Brita Mittal, Sally L. Maliski, Rebecca G. Rogers, Jennifer T. Anger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The purpose of our study was to evaluate barriers in communication and disease understanding among office staff and interpreters when communicating with Spanish-speaking women with pelvic floor disorders. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study to evaluate barriers to communication with Spanish-speaking women with pelvic floor disorders among office staff and interpreters. Sixteen office staff and interpreters were interviewed; interview questions focused on experiences with Spanish-speaking patients with pelvic floor disorders in the clinic setting. Interview transcripts were analyzed qualitatively using grounded theory methodology. Results: Analysis of the interview transcripts revealed several barriers in communication as identified by office staff and interpreters. Three major classes were predominant: patient, interpreter, and system-related barriers. Patient-related barriers included a lack of understanding of anatomy and medical terminology and inhibited discussions due to embarrassment. Provider-related barriers included poor interpreter knowledge of pelvic floor vocabulary and the use of office staff without interpreting credentials. System-related barriers included poor access to information. From these preliminary themes, an emergent concept was revealed: it is highly likely that Spanish-speaking women with pelvic floor disorders have poor understanding of their condition owing to multiple obstacles in communication. Conclusions: There are many levels of barriers to communications with Latin women treated for pelvic floor disorders, arising from the patient, interpreter, and the system itself. These barriers contribute to a low level of understanding of their diagnosis, treatment options, and administered therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disease understanding
  • Pelvic prolapse
  • Underserved Latin women
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology

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