The impact of training on communication quality during interpreter‐mediated cognitive assessments: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
Introduction: The number of Australian residents with dementia is projected to double by 2058, with 28% currently being migrants from non-Anglophone countries. There will be growing demand for professional interpreters for cognitive assessments and dementia-related health consultations in the future. Interpreting cognitive assessments can be challenging for interpreters; inaccurate interpreting can influence assessment outcomes. The Improving Interpreting for Dementia Assessments (MINDSET) project will upskill interpreters through an online training course in dementia and cognitive assessments. The training has been co-designed with key stakeholders from the interpreting sector, dementia-related services, and family caregivers, and has been user-tested with 12 interpreters. The training aims to improve the quality of interpreter-mediated communication during cognitive assessments, and thereby improve the accuracy and acceptability of cognitive assessments with older people who have limited English proficiency.
Methods: We are conducting a single-blinded randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. We aim to enroll 150 interpreters, and allocate them to equal parallel groups. The intervention group will receive access to the MINDSET training, which comprises 4 hours of resources covering five domains: dementia knowledge, cross-cultural communication, briefings and debriefings, interpreting skills, and interpreting ethics. The control group will be assigned to a wait list, and will receive access to the training after the trial. Participants will be assessed according to the five domains, via the Dementia Knowledge and Assessment Scale, multiple-choice questions, video-simulated assessments, and ethical scenarios. Assessments will occur at baseline (prior to the intervention group completing the training), 3 months after enrollment, and 6 months after enrollment.
Results: The trial is ongoing. Recruitment began in June 2022.
Discussion: This is the first time a training resource for interpreters in dementia has been trialed. If successful it may represent a technologically innovative way to offer training to both trainee and practicing interpreters.