Strategies for overcoming language barriers in research

J Adv Nurs. 2020 Feb;76(2):706-714. doi: 10.1111/jan.14007. Epub 2019 Jun 17.


Aim: This paper seeks to describe best practices for conducting cross-language research with individuals who have a language barrier.

Design: Discussion paper.

Data sources: Research methods papers addressing cross-language research issues published between 2000-2017.

Implications for nursing: Rigorous cross-language research involves the appropriate use of interpreters during the research process, systematic planning for how to address the language barrier between participant and researcher and the use of reliably and validly translated survey instruments (when applicable). Biases rooted in those who enter data into "big data" systems may influence data quality and analytic approaches in large observational studies focused on linking patient language preference to health outcomes.

Conclusion: Cross-language research methods can help ensure that those individuals with language barriers have their voices contributing to the evidence informing healthcare practice and policies that shape health services implementation and financing. Understanding the inherent conscious and unconscious biases of those conducting research with this population and how this may emerge in research studies is also an important part of producing rigorous, reliable, and valid cross-language research.

Impact: This study synthesized methodological recommendations for cross-language research studies with the goal to improve the quality of future research and expand the evidence-base for clinical practice. Clear methodological recommendations were generated that can improve research rigor and quality of cross-language qualitative and quantitative studies. The recommendations generated here have the potential to have an impact on the health and well-being of migrants around the world.

目的: 本文试图描述对有语言障碍的人进行跨语言研究的最佳实践。 设计: 讨论论文。 数据来源: 2000-2017年间发表的研究方法论文,涉及跨语言研究问题。 护理启示: 严格的跨语言研究包括在研究过程中适当使用口译员,系统规划如何解决参与者和研究者之间的语言障碍,以及使用可靠有效的翻译调查工具(如适用)。在大型观察性研究中,那些将数据输入“大数据”系统的人的偏见可能会影响数据质量和分析方法,因为这些研究的重点是将患者的语言偏好与健康结果联系起来。 结论: 跨语言研究方法有助于确保那些有语言障碍的人提出自己的想法,为形成医疗服务实施和融资的医疗实践与政策提供证据。了解与这一群体进行研究的人的内在意识和无意识偏见,以及偏见如何在研究中出现,也是进行严谨、可靠和有效的跨语言研究的重要部分。 影响: 本研究综合了跨语言研究的方法学建议,旨在提高未来研究的质量,为临床实践扩展证据基础。 提出了明确的方法学建议,可提高跨语言定性和定量研究的严谨性的质量性。 这里提出的建议有可能对全世界移民的健康和幸福产生影响。.

Keywords: asylum seeker; immigrants; language barrier; methods; nurses; nursing; refugee; translations; undocumented immigrants.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection*
  • Qualitative Research