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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2019 Aug;66(4):791-804. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2019.03.006. Epub 2019 May 23.

Communication with Diverse Patients: Addressing Culture and Language.

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Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 3333 Burnet Avenue, MLC 5018, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA. Electronic address:
New York State Department of Health, Office of Minority Affairs and Health Disparities Prevention, 9th Floor Corning Tower, ESP, Albany, NY 12237, USA.
Department of Family Medicine, Uniformed Services University, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


Effective communication is key when providing quality health care. The dynamics of communication within the health care team and with the patient and family can be challenging. These challenges stem from the sharing of complex information, highly emotional topics, and health literacy barriers. Linguistic and cultural barriers can further aggravate these challenges. This section provides an overview of linguistic and cultural challenges related to patient-provider communication, strategies for effective communication with patients with limited English Proficiency via the use of interpreter services, and tips for how to teach these skills to health care providers.


Cultural competency; Language assistance; Limited English proficiency (LEP); Linguistic competency; Patient-provider communication


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