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Abstract

Wadensjö (1993) indicates that a crucial element of interpreters’ work is to maintain relationships and interactional dynamics. The present study explores how these dynamics are developed and maintained in clinical settings as perceived by healthcare professionals. Discussion of interpreter involvement in this process is framed by theoretical models on social networks (Watts, 2003) and rapport-management (Spencer-Oatey, 2008). Quantitative and qualitative data were generated through questionnaire responses and semi-structured interviews with a range of healthcare providers in both primary care and specialist hospital settings. These data indicate that both continuity of interpreter provision and collaborative working are highly valued by clinicians. Healthcare professionals expressed how the development of interpreter/provider trust (Hsieh et al. 2010) afforded by continuity of interpreter provision may lead to improved interactional dynamics, thereby reducing interpreter intrusiveness and enhancing the quality of healthcare provision.

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