Changes in language services use by US pediatricians

Lisa Ross DeCamp, Dennis Z. Kuo, Glenn Flores, Karen O'Connor, Cynthia S. Minkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Access to appropriate language services is critical for ensuring patient safety and reducing the impact of language barriers. This study compared language services use by US pediatricians in 2004 and 2010 and examined variation in use in 2010 by pediatrician, practice, and state characteristics. METHODS: We used data from 2 national surveys of pediatricians (2004: n = 698; 2010: n = 683). Analysis was limited to postresidency pediatricians with patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). Pediatricians reported use of $1 communication methods with LEP patients: bilingual family member, staff, physician, formal interpreter (professional, telephone), and primary-language written materials. Bivariate analyses examined 2004 to 2010 changes in methods used, and 2010 use by characteristics of pediatricians (age, sex, ethnicity), practices (type, location, patient demographics), and states (LEP population, Latino population growth, Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program language services reimbursement). Multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine adjusted odds of use of each method. RESULTS: Most pediatricians reported using familymembers to communicate with LEP patients and families, but there was a decrease from 2004 to 2010 (69.6%, 57.1%, P , .01). A higher percentage of pediatricians reported formal interpreter use (professional and/or telephone) in 2010 (55.8%) than in 2004 (49.7%, P , .05); the increase was primarily attributable to increased telephone interpreter use (28.2%, 37.8%, P , .01). Pediatricians in states with reimbursement had twice the odds of formal interpreter use versus those in nonreimbursing states (odds ratio 2.34; 95% confidence interval 1.24-4.40). CONCLUSIONS: US pediatricians' use of appropriate language services has only modestly improved since 2004. Expanding language services reimbursement may increase formal interpreter use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatrics
Volume132
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Fingerprint

Language
Telephone
Pediatricians
Interpreter
Communication Barriers
English Proficiency
Population Growth
Medicaid
Patient Safety
Hispanic Americans
Logistic Models
Odds Ratio
Communication
Demography
Confidence Intervals
Physicians
Population

Keywords

  • Health disparities
  • Hispanic health care
  • Interpreters
  • Language barriers
  • Patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

DeCamp, L. R., Kuo, D. Z., Flores, G., O'Connor, K., & Minkovitz, C. S. (2013). Changes in language services use by US pediatricians. Pediatrics, 132(2). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2012-2909

Changes in language services use by US pediatricians. / DeCamp, Lisa Ross; Kuo, Dennis Z.; Flores, Glenn; O'Connor, Karen; Minkovitz, Cynthia S.

In: Pediatrics, Vol. 132, No. 2, 08.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DeCamp, LR, Kuo, DZ, Flores, G, O'Connor, K & Minkovitz, CS 2013, 'Changes in language services use by US pediatricians', Pediatrics, vol. 132, no. 2. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2012-2909
DeCamp LR, Kuo DZ, Flores G, O'Connor K, Minkovitz CS. Changes in language services use by US pediatricians. Pediatrics. 2013 Aug;132(2). https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2012-2909
DeCamp, Lisa Ross ; Kuo, Dennis Z. ; Flores, Glenn ; O'Connor, Karen ; Minkovitz, Cynthia S. / Changes in language services use by US pediatricians. In: Pediatrics. 2013 ; Vol. 132, No. 2.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Access to appropriate language services is critical for ensuring patient safety and reducing the impact of language barriers. This study compared language services use by US pediatricians in 2004 and 2010 and examined variation in use in 2010 by pediatrician, practice, and state characteristics. METHODS: We used data from 2 national surveys of pediatricians (2004: n = 698; 2010: n = 683). Analysis was limited to postresidency pediatricians with patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). Pediatricians reported use of $1 communication methods with LEP patients: bilingual family member, staff, physician, formal interpreter (professional, telephone), and primary-language written materials. Bivariate analyses examined 2004 to 2010 changes in methods used, and 2010 use by characteristics of pediatricians (age, sex, ethnicity), practices (type, location, patient demographics), and states (LEP population, Latino population growth, Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program language services reimbursement). Multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine adjusted odds of use of each method. RESULTS: Most pediatricians reported using familymembers to communicate with LEP patients and families, but there was a decrease from 2004 to 2010 (69.6{\%}, 57.1{\%}, P , .01). A higher percentage of pediatricians reported formal interpreter use (professional and/or telephone) in 2010 (55.8{\%}) than in 2004 (49.7{\%}, P , .05); the increase was primarily attributable to increased telephone interpreter use (28.2{\%}, 37.8{\%}, P , .01). Pediatricians in states with reimbursement had twice the odds of formal interpreter use versus those in nonreimbursing states (odds ratio 2.34; 95{\%} confidence interval 1.24-4.40). CONCLUSIONS: US pediatricians' use of appropriate language services has only modestly improved since 2004. Expanding language services reimbursement may increase formal interpreter use.",
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