PaTH Towards a Learning Health System (PaTH). Spanish Story Booth

Overview of the Study: Patient narratives in healthcare offer invaluable insights into the intricacies of illness, coping mechanisms, and navigating the healthcare system. The PaTH initiative, funded by PCORI, sought to tap into this potential by capturing stories from patients with back pain. Using an audio “document” approach, adults aged 18 or older shared their personal accounts related to health, illness, and their experiences with the healthcare system. These interviews, conducted in Spanish, delved into themes such as diagnosis, treatment, and the challenges associated with back pain.


1. Language Barrier: The Spanish-language interviews presented a challenge for the wider research community looking to conduct qualitative analysis.
2. Cultural Nuances: Direct translations can overlook the depth and cultural nuances inherent in personal stories. Retaining these nuances was crucial for an accurate qualitative analysis.

Datagain's Role:

To bridge the language divide and preserve the essence of each narrative, Datagain took on the task of translating the Spanish interviews into English. The focus was on ensuring translations were both accurate and sensitive to cultural nuances, providing the rich context necessary for subsequent analysis. Building on this, Datagain’s team undertook a thematic analysis of the translated interviews, uncovering core themes and patterns that provided a structured understanding of the patient experiences.

Impact: Datagain's contributions led to:

1. Enhanced Accessibility: The translations expanded the reach of the interviews, facilitating deeper research and analyses by a broader audience.
2. In-depth Insights: Datagain’s thematic analysis illuminated key facets of the patient journey, from diagnosis to coping strategies, offering insights into potential areas for improvement in healthcare delivery and patient support.
With culturally nuanced translations and a detailed thematic analysis, Datagain significantly enriched the value of the PaTH initiative, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of the experiences of back pain patients.