Do Standardized Scripts Improve Interpreter Use by Spanish-Speaking Patients?

Devlynne S. Ondusko, Sheevaun Khaki, Cassidy Huun, Julia Krantz, Laura Garcia Godoy, Alicia Johnson, Cindy T. McEvoy, Ladawna L. Gievers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Patients with limited English-proficiency (LEP) who need but do not receive interpreters have lower satisfaction and poorer understanding. A knowledge gap remains regarding the optimal way to offer interpreters. Using standardized scripts, we will determine whether the questions we use to offer interpreters increase utilization. Pilot prospective cohort study of postpartum mothers with LEP. Subjects were assigned one of three unique scripted question offering an interpreter. Data were analyzed using ANOVA, chi-square test, and Fisher’s exact test. Fifty-five LEP patients were randomized into three study arms with similar sociodemographics. Overall interpreter use was 80% (44/55). There was a significant difference in interpreter utilization: 82.4%, 63.6%, 100%, respectively by arm (p = 0.015). Highest interpreter utilization occurred with “In what language do you prefer to receive your medical care?”. There is opportunity for providers to refine the way they offer interpreters to optimize utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1025
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Interpreter
  • Limited-English proficiency
  • Newborn
  • Spanish-speaking
  • Vulnerable populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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