Aims and benefits

In order to make the right diagnosis and communicate the right therapy offer, it is particularly important that the doctor and the patient understand each other. A common cultural and linguistic basis for communication is essential. With this study, we want to test a mobile human-to-human translation system that is being developed at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). This cross-cultural translation tool will be used specifically in psychiatric care and facilitate the treatment of refugees.

How does the study proceed?

First appointment (duration: approx. one hour): 

  • We provide you with detailed information about the study.
  • We conduct a diagnostic interview with you, with interpreter if necessary.
  • We will conduct an interview and you will fill out questionnaires, e.g. about your living habits or your social situation.
  • You can also fill in some of the questions from home via the Internet.

Second appointment (either on the same day or on another day): 

  • A doctor will conduct another diagnostic interview with you with the help of an interpreter.
  • You will read out texts in Arabic.

Additional study information

Communication is an essential part of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. The goal of the project is to develop a transportable, secure and expandable cross-language communication module for smartphones that can be used in diagnostics and therapy with refugees. The first available language will be Arabic (possibly with dialect), as this is currently one of the most common languages among refugees.

In the sub-project "clinical validation" at the Central Institute of Mental Health (ZI), a psychiatric diagnosis, with the help of the developed software from the sub-project of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), will be compared in a clinical study with the current gold standard, an in-depth interview with the help of an interpreter, and thus qualitatively verified. The joint work package of the ZI and the KIT, "Mobile communication platform" involves collaboration with movisens GmbH, which already has a lot of experience with mobile recording of psycho-physiological, stress and other health parameters. During the collaboration, a mobile interaction platform for refugees and therapists will be developed, and it will also be possible to record symptoms of illness in everyday life via a diary function.

Throughout the project, great importance is attached to the cultural and gender-specific characteristics as well as the cooperation of those affected. Therefore, refugees, other stakeholders and a specially established scientific advisory board will be involved throughout the process. The goal is to make the platform widely usable as quickly as possible after successful testing.

Study procedures

The study consists of two appointments, which should take place a few days apart (or on the same day).

During the two study appointments, you as well as the doctor and the interpreter will be given a headset with microphone so that we can record the conversation. This and the reading aloud of the Arabic texts should help to improve the translation tool.

All your information and readings will be kept strictly confidential. You will receive details on data protection in advance in our information leaflet.

First appointment
Introduction and informed consent
Randomized allocation to group 1 or 2
Group 1:
- Diagnostic interview with translation tool (approx. 20-30 min).
- Personal interview and questionnaires (approx. 1h)
Group 2:
- Diagnostic interview with interpreter:in (approx. 20-30 min)
- Personal interview and questionnaires (approx. 1h)
Second Appointment
- Detailed diagnostic interview with interpreter (approx. 40-50 min)
- Reading aloud of Arabic texts (approx. 25-30 min)

+49 621 1703 1938 (deutsch)
+49 621 1703 1939 (arabisch)…

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI)
Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
AG Systemische Neurowissenschaften in der Psychiatrie (SNiP)
J 5 · 68159 Mannheim



Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI), Mannheim in cooperation with Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

Project Duration

2019 - 2023