barriers, language barriers, nurse, nurses, nursing, and health outcomes




Communication is essential to the medical field. Approximately 350 different languages are spoken in the USA. The commonality of language discordance between patients and health care providers causes poor communication, limited understanding of their condition, and a decrease in the patient’s satisfaction with their care. This literature review explored the effect that a language concurrent healthcare provider has on the health outcomes of LEP patients. LEP is defined as limited English proficiency. METHODS: CINHAL and Pubmed were used. The key terms used were communication barriers, language barriers, nurse, nurses, nursing, and health outcomes. The search revealed 719 articles. Seven articles were included from this search. Two were included from the recommendation function of the literature software Mendeley. Nine articles were included in total. The following filters were used: written in English, research articles, published between 2010-2020, full text, and peer-reviewed and available pdf. Inclusion factors were health outcomes of LEP patients, Health outcomes for patients who used interpreters, language concordance, and patient satisfaction based on language concordance. Seven articles were included based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Articles were excluded due to improper patient population, exclusion of language concordance, improper picot question, lack of professional hospital interpretation, or topics not exploring health outcomes of LEP patients. Nine articles were included in the literature review. RESULTS: Three common themes were identified, decreased patient satisfaction, missed points in care, and declining health outcomes. LEP patients had higher chances of being transferred to the ICU, death, and to be misassigned to lower acuity. Absence of crucial discharge information and dis-satisfaction with care were more likely to occur without language concordant care. CONCLUSION: For patients who are LEP, communication is impaired resulting in declining health outcomes, missed points in care, and decreased patient satisfaction. There was some contradiction in health outcomes for patients. Limitations were that interpreter presence and training level were not always known. Research should focus on health outcomes for LEP patients.

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