Public Health and Community Nursing


Non-English-speaking individuals face a linguistic and cultural barrier to managing prescribed medications in the community. Wilson et al. (2005) found that limited English proficient (LEP) patients reported more misunderstanding and negative drug reactions when taking prescribed medication compared to English-speaking patients. Not only is the inappropriate management of medication dangerous, but it is also a disparity in health care that is inequitable. The purpose of this literature review is to collect community-dwelling non-English-speaking patient and caregiver experiences with managing medication. These perspectives will highlight what is successful and what needs to be improved regarding non-English-speaking patient medication interactions. Literature suggests that language interpretation, method of medication education, patient cultural variation, and relationships with health care professionals all impact medication management for this population. Recommendations to improve non-English-speaking patient and caregiver experience with medication management include increased use of trained medical interpreters and the development of a standardized assessment tool to measure medication knowledge.

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