Addressing Cultural Determinants of Health for Latino and Hmong Patients with Limited English Proficiency: Practical Strategies to Reduce Health Disparities

Linda Park, R. J. Schwei, P. Xiong, Elizabeth Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We explored how addressing culture may improve patient-provider relationships and reduce health disparities for racial and ethnic individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). We analyzed qualitative data collected to explore health disparities in preventive cancer screenings for Hmong and Spanish-speaking LEP patients in a large Midwest healthcare system. We interviewed 20 participants (10 from each group) and the audiotaped interviews were transcribed verbatim, then back translated focusing on meaning. Data was analyzed using content analysis. Two themes are: conversation is relational and quality time is valued. Good communication skills involve the amount of conversation, clear explanations, and engaging with the patient. Quality of time meant physical time spent with patient and the task-oriented nature of the encounter. Cultural literacy in healthcare practice helps to understand the whole patient rather than focusing on the symptoms of illness. Patients should not be treated in isolation of their culture. A patient-centered approach to care means physicians should not remain culturally neutral but be more culturally sensitive. We propose steps to reduce disparities by increasing the awareness of cultural literacy for physicians to improve patient-provider relationship.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages536-544
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Fingerprint

Hispanic Americans
determinants
Health
conversation
health
literacy
physician
communication skills
speaking
social isolation
content analysis
cancer
illness
interview
Delivery of Health Care
Physicians
time
Group
Early Detection of Cancer
Communication

Keywords

  • Cultural literacy
  • Health disparities
  • Health literacy
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Patient-centered
  • Patient-provider relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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