Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Date Information

May 2015

Department

School of Nursing

First Advisor

Hannah Fraley

Abstract

United States healthcare is experiencing a growing need for medical interpretation among diverse populations. Of note, the Hispanic population is steadily growing reaching upwards of 17% of the US population. The Hispanic patient experience and perception of care is poorly understood in the context of patient to provider communication in the US, despite 62% of Hispanics primarily speaking Spanish and limited English. A review of the literature was conducted, the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) database was exhaustively searched for English language research published between 2000 and October 2014 that identified disparities between Spanish-speakers and English-speakers regarding their healthcare experiences. Keyword searches included the following: Spanish speaking patients, patient satisfaction, and health disparity. Of twenty-five articles initially yielded by the search strategy, seventeen articles were selected that met inclusion criteria for further analysis and review. Within these articles, it appeared that patients generally did experience a lower rate of satisfaction as compared to English-speaking patients regarding their healthcare providers and the language utilized. Contrastingly, an article described a population of Spanish-speaking patients whose language barrier was not reported as an issue when being assessed for domestic violence. Limited research exists which targets the Hispanic patient population and language barriers faced when communicating with their health care providers. This presents an important gap in the literature to consider for this patient population specifically their experiences and perceptions of how care is delivered in the US. Culturally relevant research is needed in order to appropriately change the way in which health care is delivered to this population, which will ultimately improve patient to provider communication and health literacy.

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