Limits...
Usage of multilingual mobile translation applications in clinical settings.

Albrecht UV, Behrends M, Schmeer R, Matthies HK, von Jan U - JMIR Mhealth Uhealth (2013)

Bottom Line: Specialized applications can potentially alleviate these problems and significantly contribute to an effective, improved care process when foreign language patients are involved.The conditions for successfully integrating these technologies in the care process are discussed. iPads with a preinstalled copy of an exemplary multilingual assistance tool ("xprompt") designed for use in medical care were deployed on 10 wards.The experts had clear expectations, whereas, without a more thorough introduction, our study participants perceived using the app as too time consuming in relation to the expected benefit.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: P.L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. albrecht.urs-vito@mh-hannover.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: Communication between patients and medical staff can be challenging if both parties have different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Specialized applications can potentially alleviate these problems and significantly contribute to an effective, improved care process when foreign language patients are involved.

Objective: The objective for this paper was to discuss the experiences gained from a study carried out at the Hannover Medical School regarding the use of a mobile translation application in hospital wards. The conditions for successfully integrating these technologies in the care process are discussed.

Methods: iPads with a preinstalled copy of an exemplary multilingual assistance tool ("xprompt") designed for use in medical care were deployed on 10 wards. Over a period of 6 weeks, approximately 160 employees of the care staff had the opportunity to gather experiences with the devices while putting them to use during their work. Afterwards, the participants were asked to fill out an anonymous, paper-based questionnaire (17 questions) covering the usability of the iPads, translation apps in general, and the exemplary chosen application specifically. For questions requiring a rating, Likert scales were employed. The retained data were entered into an electronic survey system and exported to Microsoft Excel 2007 for further descriptive analysis.

Results: Of 160 possible participants, 42 returned the questionnaire and 39 completed the questions concerning the chosen app. The demographic data acquired via the questionnaire (ie, age, professional experience, gender) corresponded to the values for the entire care staff at the Hannover Medical School. Most respondents (35/39, 90%) had no previous experience with an iPad. On a 7-point scale, the participants generally rated mobile translation tools as helpful for communicating with foreign language patients (36/39, 92%; median=5, IQR=2). They were less enthusiastic about xprompt's practical use (36/39, median=4, IQR=2.5), although the app was perceived as easy-to-use (36/39, median=6, IQR=3) and there were no obvious problems with the usability of the device (36/39, median=6, IQR=2).

Conclusions: The discrepancy between the expert ratings for xprompt (collected from the App Store and online) and the opinions of the study's participants can probably be explained by the differing approaches of the two user groups. The experts had clear expectations, whereas, without a more thorough introduction, our study participants perceived using the app as too time consuming in relation to the expected benefit. The introduction of such tools in today's busy care settings should therefore be more carefully planned to heighten acceptance of new tools. Still, the low return rate of the questionnaires only allows for speculations on the data, and further research is necessary.

Trial registration: This study was approved by the local institutional review board (IRB), Trial ID number: 1145-2011.

No MeSH data available.


Three examples for basic communication between nurses (left) and patients (right) based on the phrases integrated into xprompt. “#” indicates the phrase chosen in the application, and “→” the corresponding translation. Notes in “[ ]” describe the reactions of the participants.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4114476&req=5

figure1: Three examples for basic communication between nurses (left) and patients (right) based on the phrases integrated into xprompt. “#” indicates the phrase chosen in the application, and “→” the corresponding translation. Notes in “[ ]” describe the reactions of the participants.

Mentions: The application usage is simple. The phrases are provided in tailored menus for the nursing staff and the patients, grouped according to the situation in which they might be used with a quick navigation to the desired content. Via simple point and touch actions, selected phrases are translated into the target language. As an example, 3 short interactions are shown in Figure 1. The results are presented in text form as well as either an audio output for spoken languages or video sequences for sign languages (Figure 2). Users have the option to respond by using the language of the person they are interacting with by changing the language mode and choosing the desired phrases. Source and target languages can be freely combined (Figure 3).


Usage of multilingual mobile translation applications in clinical settings.

Albrecht UV, Behrends M, Schmeer R, Matthies HK, von Jan U - JMIR Mhealth Uhealth (2013)

Three examples for basic communication between nurses (left) and patients (right) based on the phrases integrated into xprompt. “#” indicates the phrase chosen in the application, and “→” the corresponding translation. Notes in “[ ]” describe the reactions of the participants.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4114476&req=5

figure1: Three examples for basic communication between nurses (left) and patients (right) based on the phrases integrated into xprompt. “#” indicates the phrase chosen in the application, and “→” the corresponding translation. Notes in “[ ]” describe the reactions of the participants.
Mentions: The application usage is simple. The phrases are provided in tailored menus for the nursing staff and the patients, grouped according to the situation in which they might be used with a quick navigation to the desired content. Via simple point and touch actions, selected phrases are translated into the target language. As an example, 3 short interactions are shown in Figure 1. The results are presented in text form as well as either an audio output for spoken languages or video sequences for sign languages (Figure 2). Users have the option to respond by using the language of the person they are interacting with by changing the language mode and choosing the desired phrases. Source and target languages can be freely combined (Figure 3).

Bottom Line: Specialized applications can potentially alleviate these problems and significantly contribute to an effective, improved care process when foreign language patients are involved.The conditions for successfully integrating these technologies in the care process are discussed. iPads with a preinstalled copy of an exemplary multilingual assistance tool ("xprompt") designed for use in medical care were deployed on 10 wards.The experts had clear expectations, whereas, without a more thorough introduction, our study participants perceived using the app as too time consuming in relation to the expected benefit.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: P.L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. albrecht.urs-vito@mh-hannover.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: Communication between patients and medical staff can be challenging if both parties have different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Specialized applications can potentially alleviate these problems and significantly contribute to an effective, improved care process when foreign language patients are involved.

Objective: The objective for this paper was to discuss the experiences gained from a study carried out at the Hannover Medical School regarding the use of a mobile translation application in hospital wards. The conditions for successfully integrating these technologies in the care process are discussed.

Methods: iPads with a preinstalled copy of an exemplary multilingual assistance tool ("xprompt") designed for use in medical care were deployed on 10 wards. Over a period of 6 weeks, approximately 160 employees of the care staff had the opportunity to gather experiences with the devices while putting them to use during their work. Afterwards, the participants were asked to fill out an anonymous, paper-based questionnaire (17 questions) covering the usability of the iPads, translation apps in general, and the exemplary chosen application specifically. For questions requiring a rating, Likert scales were employed. The retained data were entered into an electronic survey system and exported to Microsoft Excel 2007 for further descriptive analysis.

Results: Of 160 possible participants, 42 returned the questionnaire and 39 completed the questions concerning the chosen app. The demographic data acquired via the questionnaire (ie, age, professional experience, gender) corresponded to the values for the entire care staff at the Hannover Medical School. Most respondents (35/39, 90%) had no previous experience with an iPad. On a 7-point scale, the participants generally rated mobile translation tools as helpful for communicating with foreign language patients (36/39, 92%; median=5, IQR=2). They were less enthusiastic about xprompt's practical use (36/39, median=4, IQR=2.5), although the app was perceived as easy-to-use (36/39, median=6, IQR=3) and there were no obvious problems with the usability of the device (36/39, median=6, IQR=2).

Conclusions: The discrepancy between the expert ratings for xprompt (collected from the App Store and online) and the opinions of the study's participants can probably be explained by the differing approaches of the two user groups. The experts had clear expectations, whereas, without a more thorough introduction, our study participants perceived using the app as too time consuming in relation to the expected benefit. The introduction of such tools in today's busy care settings should therefore be more carefully planned to heighten acceptance of new tools. Still, the low return rate of the questionnaires only allows for speculations on the data, and further research is necessary.

Trial registration: This study was approved by the local institutional review board (IRB), Trial ID number: 1145-2011.

No MeSH data available.