Schouten, B. C., & Schinkel, S. (2014). Turkish migrant GP patients’ expression of emotional cues and concerns in encounters with and without informal interpreters. Patient Education and Counseling, 97(1), 23-29. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2014.07.007

Objective: The aim of this study was to compare patients’ expressions of emotional cues and concerns, and GPs’ responses during consultations with and without informal interpreters. Furthermore, informal interpreters’ expression of emotional cues and concerns and their responses were examined too.
Methods: Twenty-two audiotaped medical encounters with Turkish migrant patients, eleven with and eleven without an informal interpreter, were coded using the Verona Coding Definitions of Emotional Sequences (VR-CoDES) and the Verona Codes for Provider Responses (VR-CoDES-P).
Results: In encounters with informal interpreters, patients expressed less emotional concerns than in encounters without informal interpreters. Only half of all patients’ cues is being translated by the informal interpreter to the GP. Furthermore, 20% of all cues in encounters with informal interpreters is being expressed by the interpreter, independent of patients’ expression of emotions.
Conclusion: The presence of an informal interpreter decreases the amount of patients’ expression of emotional concerns and cues. Furthermore, a substantial amount of cues is being expressed by the informal interpreter, corroborating the often-made observation that they are active participants in triadic medical encounters.
Practice implications: GPs should be trained in communication strategies that enable elicitation of migrant patients’ emotions, in particular in encounters with informal interpreters.