Language preference and perceptions of healthcare providers' communication and autonomy making behaviors among hispanics

Lorraine S. Wallace, Jennifer E. Devoe, John D. Heintzman, George E. Fryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Background To examine influence of language preference-English versus Spanish-on Hispanics' perceptions of their healthcare providers' communication behaviors. Methods Using the 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), we observed non-institutionalized Hispanics (n = 5197; US population estimate = 27,070,906), aged ≥18 years, reporting visiting a healthcare provider within the past 12 months. Results When compared to Spanish responders (reference group), English responders were more likely to report that their healthcare provider "always" listened to them carefully (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09-1.78), "always" explained things so that they understood (adjusted OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.08-1.73), "always" spent enough time with them (adjusted OR = 1.62, 95% CI 1.24-2.11),"always" asked them to help make decisions (adjusted OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.03-1.82), and "always" showed respect for treatment decisions (adjusted OR = 1.66, 95% CI 1.27-2.19). Discussion Healthcare providers should consider the complex needs of Hispanic patients whose language of choice is not English.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009



  • Health disparities
  • Hispanic
  • Language
  • Patient experiences
  • Physician-patient communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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