Aim: Describe modifications to technical genomic terminology made by interpreters during disclosure of whole exome sequencing (WES) results.
Patients & methods: Using discourse analysis, we identified and categorized interpretations of genomic terminology in 42 disclosure sessions where Spanish-speaking parents received their child's WES results either from a clinician using a medical interpreter, or directly from a bilingual physician.
Results: Overall, 76% of genomic terms were interpreted accordantly, 11% were misinterpreted and 13% were omitted. Misinterpretations made by interpreters and bilingual physicians included using literal and nonmedical terminology to interpret genomic concepts.
Conclusion: Modifications to genomic terminology made during interpretation highlight the need to standardize bilingual genomic lexicons. We recommend Spanish terms that can be used to refer to genomic concepts.
Keywords: Spanish-speakers; communication barriers; genomic terminology; genomics; interpretation accuracy; medical interpreters.