The importance of language and culture in pediatric care: Case studies from the latino community

Glenn Flores, Milagros Abreu, Ilan Schwartz, Maria Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Few studies have examined culture's effect on pediatric care. Objectives: To analyze 3 cases illustrating the importance of culture in pediatrics. Methods: Case analysis with a cultural competency model. Results: No interpreter was available for the parents of a 3-year-old brought to the emergency department because of abdominal pain; she was discharged twice, returned with an acute abdomen, and was hospitalized for treatment of appendiceal rupture and peritonitis. A 2-year-old fractured her clavicle in a fall but was placed in social services' custody because of a pediatrician's misinterpretation. Parents of a ventilation-dependent 2-week-old with encephalopathy, seizures, and renal failure were unaware of the infant's poor prognosis, despite use of an interpreter. Conclusions: Culture can have a significant impact on pediatric care; use of a simple model can ensure that pediatricians provide culturally competent care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)842-848
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume137
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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