First Advisor

Cara L. Eckhardt

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Studies: Health Sciences and University Honors


Health Studies


Transcultural medical care -- United States, Communication in medicine, Hispanic Americans -- Medical care -- United States, Translating and interpreting




The goal of this thesis was to examine the primary methods of communication that Latinos with limited English proficiency (LEP) use when professional translators are not available. Latinos constitute 17% of the United States population, 64% of which have limited English proficiency. A literature review was conducted to identify research done in regards to children as translators and physician language concordance. Two themes of communication for Latinos with LEP in the absence of professional translators emerged from the literature review: the use of children as translators, and reliance on physician language concordance. Providers should take caution when working with these children in order to avoid misdiagnosis for their parents, understanding the stress and possibility for miscommunication when children translate. Physician language concordance was shown to lead to greater patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes and should be the gold standard in LEP patient care. These two methods of communication are some of the ways patients with limited English proficiency interact with physicians when seeking healthcare.


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