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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.


Details regarding usefulness. White bars: a translation system like xprompt is very helpful for communication with non-German speaking patients. Cross-hatched bars: with xprompt, I was able to provide assistance with language problems.
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figure4: Details regarding usefulness. White bars: a translation system like xprompt is very helpful for communication with non-German speaking patients. Cross-hatched bars: with xprompt, I was able to provide assistance with language problems.

Mentions: The results from the interviewed group showed that 76% (27/36) had “rarely or never” used xprompt during the study, and 71% (27/38) stated that the iPad was almost always available when desired. Mobile translation tools such as xprompt were found to be helpful for daily communication with foreign-language patients (median=5, interquartile range (IQR)=2, scale 1-7, N=36) although xprompt itself received more neutral ratings (median=4, IQR=2.5, scale 1-7; N=36, see Figure 4). This difference cannot be attributed to the usability aspects of the application (see Figure 5) as xprompt was perceived to be easy-to-use (median=5, IQR=2, scale 1-7, N=36) and users did not have to spend much time to familiarize themselves with the application (median=5.5, IQR=2, scale 1-7, N=36). It was primarily used with patients (median=5, IQR=1, scale 1-6, N=36), but also with colleagues (median=5, IQR=2, scale 1-6; N=35, see Figure 6).


Usage of multilingual mobile translation applications in clinical settings.

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

Details regarding usefulness. White bars: a translation system like xprompt is very helpful for communication with non-German speaking patients. Cross-hatched bars: with xprompt, I was able to provide assistance with language problems.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

figure4: Details regarding usefulness. White bars: a translation system like xprompt is very helpful for communication with non-German speaking patients. Cross-hatched bars: with xprompt, I was able to provide assistance with language problems.
Mentions: The results from the interviewed group showed that 76% (27/36) had “rarely or never” used xprompt during the study, and 71% (27/38) stated that the iPad was almost always available when desired. Mobile translation tools such as xprompt were found to be helpful for daily communication with foreign-language patients (median=5, interquartile range (IQR)=2, scale 1-7, N=36) although xprompt itself received more neutral ratings (median=4, IQR=2.5, scale 1-7; N=36, see Figure 4). This difference cannot be attributed to the usability aspects of the application (see Figure 5) as xprompt was perceived to be easy-to-use (median=5, IQR=2, scale 1-7, N=36) and users did not have to spend much time to familiarize themselves with the application (median=5.5, IQR=2, scale 1-7, N=36). It was primarily used with patients (median=5, IQR=1, scale 1-6, N=36), but also with colleagues (median=5, IQR=2, scale 1-6; N=35, see Figure 6).

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.