Impact of language barriers on patient satisfaction in an emergency department

Olveen Carrasquillo, E. John Orav, Troyen A. Brennan, Helen R. Burstin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

328 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine patient satisfaction and willingness to return to an emergency department (ED) among non-English speakers. DESIGN: Cross- sectional survey and follow-up interviews 10 days after ED visit. SETTING: Five urban teaching hospital EDs in the Northeastern United States. PATIENTS: We surveyed 2,333 patients who presented to the ED with one of six chief complaints. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Patient satisfaction, willingness to return to the same ED if emergency care was needed, and patient-reported problems with care were measured. Three hundred fifty-four (15%) of the patients reported English was not their primary language. Using an overall measure of patient satisfaction, only 52% of non-English-speaking patients were satisfied as compared with 71% of English speakers (p < .01). Among non- English speakers, 14% said they would not return to the same ED if they had another problem requiring emergency care as compared with 9.5% of English speakers (p < .05). In multivariate analysis adjusting for hospital site, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, chief complaint, urgency, insurance status, Medicaid status, ED as the patient's principal source of care, and presence of a regular provider of care, non-English speakers were significantly less likely to be satisfied (odds ratio [OR] 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39, 0.90) and significantly less willing to return to the same ED (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.34, 0.95). Non-English speakers also were significantly more likely to report overall problems with care (OR 1.70; 95% CI 1.05, 2.74), communication (OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.18, 2.47), and testing (OR 1.77; 95% CI 1.19, 2.64). CONCLUSIONS: Non-English speakers were less satisfied with their care in the ED, less willing to return to the same ED if they had a problem they felt required emergency care, and reported more problems with emergency care. Strategies to improve satisfaction among this group of patients may include appropriate use of professional interpreters and increasing the language concordance between patients and providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Communication Barriers
Patient Satisfaction
Hospital Emergency Service
Emergency Medical Services
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Language
New England
Insurance Coverage
Urban Hospitals
Medicaid
Teaching Hospitals
Multivariate Analysis
Cross-Sectional Studies
Communication
Interviews
Education

Keywords

  • Communication barriers
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Language
  • Patient satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

Cite this

Impact of language barriers on patient satisfaction in an emergency department. / Carrasquillo, Olveen; John Orav, E.; Brennan, Troyen A.; Burstin, Helen R.

In: Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 14, No. 2, 03.03.1999, p. 82-87.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Carrasquillo, Olveen ; John Orav, E. ; Brennan, Troyen A. ; Burstin, Helen R. / Impact of language barriers on patient satisfaction in an emergency department. In: Journal of General Internal Medicine. 1999 ; Vol. 14, No. 2. pp. 82-87.
@article{757b56aaeb214f6f86dd02450e0963f5,
title = "Impact of language barriers on patient satisfaction in an emergency department",
abstract = "OBJECTIVE: To examine patient satisfaction and willingness to return to an emergency department (ED) among non-English speakers. DESIGN: Cross- sectional survey and follow-up interviews 10 days after ED visit. SETTING: Five urban teaching hospital EDs in the Northeastern United States. PATIENTS: We surveyed 2,333 patients who presented to the ED with one of six chief complaints. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Patient satisfaction, willingness to return to the same ED if emergency care was needed, and patient-reported problems with care were measured. Three hundred fifty-four (15{\%}) of the patients reported English was not their primary language. Using an overall measure of patient satisfaction, only 52{\%} of non-English-speaking patients were satisfied as compared with 71{\%} of English speakers (p < .01). Among non- English speakers, 14{\%} said they would not return to the same ED if they had another problem requiring emergency care as compared with 9.5{\%} of English speakers (p < .05). In multivariate analysis adjusting for hospital site, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, chief complaint, urgency, insurance status, Medicaid status, ED as the patient's principal source of care, and presence of a regular provider of care, non-English speakers were significantly less likely to be satisfied (odds ratio [OR] 0.59; 95{\%} confidence interval [CI] 0.39, 0.90) and significantly less willing to return to the same ED (OR 0.57; 95{\%} CI 0.34, 0.95). Non-English speakers also were significantly more likely to report overall problems with care (OR 1.70; 95{\%} CI 1.05, 2.74), communication (OR 1.71; 95{\%} CI 1.18, 2.47), and testing (OR 1.77; 95{\%} CI 1.19, 2.64). CONCLUSIONS: Non-English speakers were less satisfied with their care in the ED, less willing to return to the same ED if they had a problem they felt required emergency care, and reported more problems with emergency care. Strategies to improve satisfaction among this group of patients may include appropriate use of professional interpreters and increasing the language concordance between patients and providers.",
keywords = "Communication barriers, Hispanic Americans, Language, Patient satisfaction",
author = "Olveen Carrasquillo and {John Orav}, E. and Brennan, {Troyen A.} and Burstin, {Helen R.}",
year = "1999",
month = "3",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.00293.x",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "82--87",
journal = "Journal of General Internal Medicine",
issn = "0884-8734",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Impact of language barriers on patient satisfaction in an emergency department

AU - Carrasquillo, Olveen

AU - John Orav, E.

AU - Brennan, Troyen A.

AU - Burstin, Helen R.

PY - 1999/3/3

Y1 - 1999/3/3

N2 - OBJECTIVE: To examine patient satisfaction and willingness to return to an emergency department (ED) among non-English speakers. DESIGN: Cross- sectional survey and follow-up interviews 10 days after ED visit. SETTING: Five urban teaching hospital EDs in the Northeastern United States. PATIENTS: We surveyed 2,333 patients who presented to the ED with one of six chief complaints. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Patient satisfaction, willingness to return to the same ED if emergency care was needed, and patient-reported problems with care were measured. Three hundred fifty-four (15%) of the patients reported English was not their primary language. Using an overall measure of patient satisfaction, only 52% of non-English-speaking patients were satisfied as compared with 71% of English speakers (p < .01). Among non- English speakers, 14% said they would not return to the same ED if they had another problem requiring emergency care as compared with 9.5% of English speakers (p < .05). In multivariate analysis adjusting for hospital site, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, chief complaint, urgency, insurance status, Medicaid status, ED as the patient's principal source of care, and presence of a regular provider of care, non-English speakers were significantly less likely to be satisfied (odds ratio [OR] 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39, 0.90) and significantly less willing to return to the same ED (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.34, 0.95). Non-English speakers also were significantly more likely to report overall problems with care (OR 1.70; 95% CI 1.05, 2.74), communication (OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.18, 2.47), and testing (OR 1.77; 95% CI 1.19, 2.64). CONCLUSIONS: Non-English speakers were less satisfied with their care in the ED, less willing to return to the same ED if they had a problem they felt required emergency care, and reported more problems with emergency care. Strategies to improve satisfaction among this group of patients may include appropriate use of professional interpreters and increasing the language concordance between patients and providers.

AB - OBJECTIVE: To examine patient satisfaction and willingness to return to an emergency department (ED) among non-English speakers. DESIGN: Cross- sectional survey and follow-up interviews 10 days after ED visit. SETTING: Five urban teaching hospital EDs in the Northeastern United States. PATIENTS: We surveyed 2,333 patients who presented to the ED with one of six chief complaints. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Patient satisfaction, willingness to return to the same ED if emergency care was needed, and patient-reported problems with care were measured. Three hundred fifty-four (15%) of the patients reported English was not their primary language. Using an overall measure of patient satisfaction, only 52% of non-English-speaking patients were satisfied as compared with 71% of English speakers (p < .01). Among non- English speakers, 14% said they would not return to the same ED if they had another problem requiring emergency care as compared with 9.5% of English speakers (p < .05). In multivariate analysis adjusting for hospital site, age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, chief complaint, urgency, insurance status, Medicaid status, ED as the patient's principal source of care, and presence of a regular provider of care, non-English speakers were significantly less likely to be satisfied (odds ratio [OR] 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.39, 0.90) and significantly less willing to return to the same ED (OR 0.57; 95% CI 0.34, 0.95). Non-English speakers also were significantly more likely to report overall problems with care (OR 1.70; 95% CI 1.05, 2.74), communication (OR 1.71; 95% CI 1.18, 2.47), and testing (OR 1.77; 95% CI 1.19, 2.64). CONCLUSIONS: Non-English speakers were less satisfied with their care in the ED, less willing to return to the same ED if they had a problem they felt required emergency care, and reported more problems with emergency care. Strategies to improve satisfaction among this group of patients may include appropriate use of professional interpreters and increasing the language concordance between patients and providers.

KW - Communication barriers

KW - Hispanic Americans

KW - Language

KW - Patient satisfaction

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0033049042&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0033049042&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.00293.x

DO - 10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.00293.x

M3 - Article

C2 - 10051778

AN - SCOPUS:0033049042

VL - 14

SP - 82

EP - 87

JO - Journal of General Internal Medicine

JF - Journal of General Internal Medicine

SN - 0884-8734

IS - 2

ER -