Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Mixed methods study
Language barriers may put patients at risk during daily hospital care
  1. Ian K Walsh
  1. Clinical Skills Education Centre, Queen's University, Medical Biology Centre, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Ian K Walsh, Clinical Skills Education Centre, Queens University Medical Biology Centre, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK; i.walsh{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Commentary on:

Implications for practice and research

  • Patient safety can be improved by attention to language barriers.

  • Awareness of and attention to language barriers is not part of routine practice in the Netherlands.

  • Checks for language barriers should form a routine part of safety checks.

  • Research in this area is limited. Previous recommendations derived from research in the area may not be pragmatic.


Inadequate language proficiency poses patient safety risks, with the potential for patient harm or inadequate care. Such shortfalls …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests None declared.