200339 Disparate Perceptions of Latino Patient-Provider Communication on Prostate Cancer Screening When a Female Interpreter is Present

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mary-Rose Mueller, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA
Nadia Salas, MPH , Cbeach, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Stergios Roussos, PhD, MPH , ACRD/CBEACH, Merced, CA
Linda L. Hill, MD, MPH , Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA
Veronica Villarreal, BA , University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX
Melbourne F. Hovell, PhD, MPH , Cbeach, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Background: In the U.S., 20% of people speak a language other than English. Health care quality is dependent on effective provider patient communication. To offset barriers of Limited English Proficiency (LEP), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (1964) requires organizations in receipt of federal funds to provide health care services in a linguistically accessible manner. Federal regulations, however, do not specify standards for the delivery of such services. Frequently, health care organizations rely on a predominantly female dominated bilingual staff of medical assistants and receptionists to interpret during LEP patient–health care provider visits. While research demonstrates that language competency impacts interpreter effectiveness, missing are studies of gender and communication dynamics in interpreted encounters. Study and Population: Our study aims to describe and improve shared decision making on prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests among LEP Latinos care providers, and interpreters. Focus groups were held to explore, among other issues, perspectives on communication dynamics on culturally sensitive topics like prostate cancer screening during interpreted clinical encounters. Findings: Groups differed on patients' perceptions of gender influence. While some patients and interpreters believed discomfort and embarrassment occurred, other patients and health care providers did not view the presence of female interpreters during prostate discussions as a communication barrier. Conclusion: Gender may by an important factor in interpreted encounters involving LEP Latinos and prostate cancer screening. Researchers and health service providers may wish address the extent to which gender impacts effective health care communication and patient outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the perspectives of Latino patients, health care providers, and interpreters on the affects of gender on health care communications during interpreted clinical encounters.

Keywords: Latino Health, Gender

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have an MPH with an emphsis in helath promotion. I served as the project coordinator for this study. I also served as a moderator and coordnator of the focus group.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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