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Are Trained Medical Interpreters Worth the Cost? A Review of the Current Literature on Cost and Cost-Effectiveness.

08:00 EDT 29th June 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Are Trained Medical Interpreters Worth the Cost? A Review of the Current Literature on Cost and Cost-Effectiveness."

The treatment of migrants with limited language proficiency poses major challenges to health care professionals. The use of professional interpreters in medical settings is still limited, which is, among other reasons, due to cost concerns. We performed a literature search in PubMed and included 11 articles examining cost and cost-effectiveness of using professional interpreters. Despite mixed findings, most studies indicated improvement of medical care and the investigated treatment outcome at limited additional cost or cost-savings. The interpretation of findings is limited by the sparsity of available studies, mixed settings as well as different outcome parameters. Therefore, more research on the benefits of using professional interpreters is required. Nonetheless, the available studies indicate a benefit for both patients and health care systems at very limited cost as compared to other expenditures in health care, supporting the call for a more widespread use of professional interpreters with scientific evaluation.

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Name: Journal of immigrant and minority health
ISSN: 1557-1920
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