As the proportion of racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities in the United States continues to expand, pediatric emergency medicine providers are increasingly likely to encounter cultural and language barriers in practice. This paper reviews a conceptual framework encompassing the decision to seek emergency care, the process of providing such care, and the adherence to treatment plans and follow-up. The ways in which cultural and language barriers can negatively impact each element of this model are discussed in detail. Specific examples include provider ignorance of dangerous folk beliefs, communication barriers secondary to inappropriate interpreter use, and discriminatory assumptions regarding child abuse, pain management, and sexual activity. The practitioner is then provided with concrete recommendations to reduce these negative effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Emergency Medicine