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J Community Health. 2012 Feb;37(1):176-80. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9433-z.

Preparedness for cardiac emergencies among Cambodians with limited English proficiency.

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  • 1Department of Health Services, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.


In the United Sates, populations with limited English proficiency (LEP) report barriers to seeking emergency care and experience significant health disparities, including being less likely to survive cardiac arrest than whites. Rapid utilization of 9-1-1 to access emergency services and early bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is crucial for successful resuscitation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients. Little is understood about Asian LEP communities' preparedness for emergencies. In this exploratory survey, we sought to assess intentions to call 9-1-1 in an emergency and knowledge of CPR in the Cambodian LEP community. We conducted an in-person interview with 667 Cambodian adults to assess their intentions to call 9-1-1 and their awareness of and training in bystander CPR. While the majority of participants stated that they would call 9-1-1 in an emergency, almost one-third of the sample would call a friend or family member. Awareness of CPR was very high but training in CPR was lower, especially for women. A higher level of English proficiency and greater proportion of time in the US was a strong predictor of CPR training and intention to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. This suggests that greater efforts need to be made to reach the most linguistically-isolated communities (those with little or no English) with emergency information in Khmer.

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