Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity 2021
Due to the fast-growing Hispanic population in the United States, health care services are faced with the challenge of bridging the cultural barriers faced by this population. Little data exist about patient satisfaction within Spanish-speaking populations in the Fox Valley area. Informed by patients’ actual experiences, this study aims to understand Spanish-speaking patients’ perceptions of local health care services.
We conducted qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 16 Hispanic participants with limited English proficiency (LEP). Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically.
The patient interviews revealed that language and cultural barriers impact patients’ satisfaction in the following areas: quality and accessibility of interpreters, lack of resources in their native language, and lack of “calidez” or warmth when receiving services.
This study has shown that the healthcare system has not yet met the Hispanic population’s standard of care in the Fox Valley area. Our findings suggest that although policies exist to ensure culturally adequate services, such as the use of interpreters, many participants felt the lack of patient agency and decision making. These findings can help develop evidence-based guidelines for LEP patient care and thus establish better health care outcomes.