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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Arts in Interpretation
Title Cultural taboos as a factor in interpretation in the medical field.The case study of the Meridian Hospital
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL http://erepository.uonbi.ac.ke/bitstream/handle/11295/75992/Munane_Cultural Taboos As A Factor In​Interpretation In The Medical Field.the Case Study Of The Meridian Hospital.pdf?sequence=4
The study focused on how cultural taboos influence interpretation in the medical field. The
Meridian Hospital was used as the case study. The hospital has four major departments which
are frequently visited by patients which made it easier to collect data. The study also included
the miscommunication in hospitals between both the trained and untrained interpreters and
their patients and how the presence of medical interpreters is crucial. Moreover it examined
some hardships faced in the medical field either due to lack of interpreters or lack of trained
interpreters who are sensitive to culture.
The study adopted the Skopos theory to show what needed to be done by interpreters in
effectively communicating culturally bound taboo words between medical practitioners and
patients. The study employed descriptive and correlation survey design. The study used a
sample of 35 patients from the four main departments which were visited by most patients.
Stratified random sampling used to select respondents to reflect overall response by the
patients from each sampled department. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the
selected four main departments. Doctors were also given the questionnaires.
Analysis was done using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages and graphs.
Simple random sampling was used to select patients who visited the main departments in
Meridian hospital. Descriptive survey design was used to show the nature of the relationships
between cultural taboos displayed by patients in the medical field. The data was analyzed
using a chi-square and Pearson’s Coefficient of correlation. Results revealed that the presence
of medical interpreters in the medical field has a positive impact in patient visits and helps
them understand various culturally bound taboo words as they are interpreted by either
paraphrasing or using euphemisms in order to avoid the stigma associated with some of the
The findings and recommendations of the study are useful in the efforts towards ensuring that
there are trained interpreters in the medical field who will enable the patients to better
understand what they are told by doctors. The patients are also to appreciate or do away with
some practices in the society that have hitherto caused stigmatization. They also adapt better
practices that help in preventing some diseases. Medical practitioners are also better placed to
understand why some patients appear hesitant to go to hospital and instead preferred herbal

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