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J Pediatr. 2000 Dec;137(6):842-8.

The importance of language and culture in pediatric care: case studies from the Latino community.

Author information

  • 1Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, 02118, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few studies have examined culture's effect on pediatric care.

OBJECTIVES:

To analyze 3 cases illustrating the importance of culture in pediatrics.

METHODS:

Case analysis with a cultural competency model.

RESULTS:

No interpreter was available for the parents of a 3-year-old brought to the emergency department because of abdominal pain; she was discharged twice, returned with an acute abdomen, and was hospitalized for treatment of appendiceal rupture and peritonitis. A 2-year-old fractured her clavicle in a fall but was placed in social services' custody because of a pediatrician's misinterpretation. Parents of a ventilation-dependent 2-week-old with encephalopathy, seizures, and renal failure were unaware of the infant's poor prognosis, despite use of an interpreter.

CONCLUSIONS:

Culture can have a significant impact on pediatric care; use of a simple model can ensure that pediatricians provide culturally competent care.

PMID:
11113842
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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