Bachelor of Science
Global Public Health
Patti Culross, MPH, MD
Michaela George, MPH, phD and Veronica Fhruit, PhD
In the United States, patients who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) report having more problems communicating with their children’s doctor which leads to these children having worse health care access than those who have parents with a High English Proficiency (HEP). Parents with LEP also experience discrimination in this setting which can lead to increased psychological distress. The goal of this study was to determine if the level of English Proficiency is associated to stress levels and discrimination among Latinx parents when they take their chidlren to the doctor.
Participants consisted of 22 Latinx parents (86.4% Mexican and 90.9% female) in the San Francisco Bay Area. They were asked to complete a pre-test and post-test about their stress levels before and after their participation in an interview. The interview asked about parents’ experiences taking their children to the doctor. After the interview, participants completed a survey about their English Fluency, perceived discrimination, and demographic questions.
Regressions for both post-interview stress (R2 = 0.497, p > 0.05) and discrimination (R2 = 0.164, p > 0.05) were not significant. Qualitative results demonstrated that regardless of English proficency Latinx parents experience discrimination, a communication barrier, and negative feelings when taking their children to the doctor. Parents hope that in the future more interpreters will be available and that doctors will be more understanding.
Public health practitioners should use Latinx parents’ aspirations to guide interventions to improve their overall experience. Making more interpreters available and providing diversity training to doctors will enhance better medical care for children and a positive experience for parents.