Medical Interpreters and Bilingual School Staff: Potential Disaster Information Conduits?

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This study sought to determine whether dissemination of trusted disaster information to limited English proficient (LEP) communities may mitigate the negative effects these higher risk communities experience in disasters. For immigrant communities, disaster messages may be perceived with skepticism, and fear of public officials may affect compliance with disaster messages. This study explores whether medical interpreters (MIs) and bilingual school staff (BSS) are already informal information sources for LEP communities, and could their connection to both public service organizations and LEP communities make them ideal efficient, trusted disaster information conduits for LEP communities. The authors conducted a mixed methods study, which included MI individual interviews, Latino community focus groups, an MI employer survey, and school administrator interviews. They found that MIs, MI employers, and schools are willing to communicate disaster information to LEP communities. MIs and BSS are connected to and share information with LEP communities. Latino LEP communities are eager for more disaster information and sources.

Access Free Abstract


Ike, B. R., Calhoun, R., Angulo, A. S., Meischke, H., & Senturia, K. D. (2015). Medical interpreters and bilingual school staff: Potential disaster information conduits?.  Journal of emergency management,  13(4), 339-348.

About This Study:

Outcome(s): Emergency Preparedness
Intervention(s): None Tested
Relevant ORR Program: Ethnic Community Self-Help Program, Preferred Communities, Refugee Health Promotion
Study Type: Suggestive evidence
Full Text Availability: Paid
Direction of Evidence: No evidence about impact
Strength of Evidence: Suggestive
Gender(s) of Participants: All
Age(s) of Participants: Adults
Region(s) of Origin of Participants: Multiple Regions

Relevant Evidence Summaries:

The evidence was reviewed and included in the following summaries: