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Health insurance -- United States -- Evaluation, Hispanic American parents -- Communication, Health Services Accessibility


OBJECTIVE: To determine if differences between English- and Spanish-speaking parents in ratings of their children's health care can be explained by need for interpretive services.

METHODS: Using the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey-Child-Survey (CAHPS), reports about provider communication were compared among 3 groups of parents enrolled in a Medicaid managed care health plan: 1) English speakers, 2) Spanish speakers with no self-reported need for interpretive services, and 3) Spanish speakers with self-reported need for interpretive services. Parents were asked to report how well their providers 1) listened carefully to what was being said, 2) explained things in a way that could be understood, 3) respected their comments and concerns, and 4) spent enough time during medical encounters. Multivariate logistic regression was used to compare the ratings of each of the 3 groups while controlling for child's gender, parent's gender, parent's educational attainment, child's health status, and survey year.

RESULTS: Spanish-speaking parents in need of interpretive services were less likely to report that providers spent enough time with their children (odds ratio = 0.34, 95% confidence interval = 0.17-0.68) compared to English-speaking parents. There was no statistically significant difference found between Spanish-speaking parents with no need of interpretive services and English-speaking parents.

CONCLUSIONS: Among Spanish- versus English-speaking parents, differences in ratings of whether providers spent enough time with children during medical encounters appear to be explained, in part, by need for interpretive services. No other differences in ratings of provider communication were found.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Ambulatory Pediatrics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ambulatory Pediatrics, 4(6), 2004.



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