Satisfaction with Provider Communication Among Spanish-speaking Medicaid Enrollees

Published in: Ambulatory Pediatrics, v. 4, no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2004, p. 500-504

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by David M. Mosen, Matthew J. Carlson, Leo S. Morales, Pamela P. Hanes

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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.

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