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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002 Jul;156(7):693-5.

Teaching Spanish to pediatric emergency physicians: effects on patient satisfaction.

Author information

1
Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Memorial Hospital, 2300 Children's Plaza, Box 62, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. s-mazor2@northwestern.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Language barriers are known to negatively affect patient satisfaction.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether a course of instruction in medical Spanish for pediatric emergency department (ED) physicians is associated with an increase in satisfaction for Spanish-speaking-only families.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, AND INTERVENTION:

Nine pediatric ED physicians completed a 10-week medical Spanish course. Mock clinical scenarios and testing were used to establish an improvement in each physician's ability to communicate with Spanish-speaking-only families. Before (preintervention period) and after (postintervention period) the course, Spanish-speaking-only families cared for by these physicians completed satisfaction questionnaires. Professional interpreters were equally available during both the preintervention and postintervention periods.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Responses to patient family satisfaction questionnaires.

RESULTS:

A total of 143 Spanish-speaking-only families completed satisfaction questionnaires. Preintervention (n = 85) and postintervention (n = 58) cohorts did not differ significantly in age, vital signs, length of ED visit, discharge diagnosis, or self-reported English proficiency. Physicians used a professional interpreter less often in the postintervention period (odds ratio [OR], 0.34; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16-0.71). Postintervention families were significantly more likely to strongly agree that "the physician was concerned about my child" (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.0-4.2), "made me feel comfortable" (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.1-4.4), "was respectful" (OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.4-6.5), and "listened to what I said" (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.4-5.9).

CONCLUSIONS:

A 10-week medical Spanish course for pediatric ED physicians was associated with decreased interpreter use and increased family satisfaction.

Comment in

PMID:
12090837
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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