Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Access Only Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Primary Minor


Second Minor


Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN, CNS



Language barriers cause a disconnect between patients and health care workers. What further causes a disconnect is when patients have a lower level of education in addition to having a language barrier. I will be focusing on Latin immigrant individuals in the United States for my research. Many Latin immigrant patients may not have gone to school in their native countries, so their education level is lower making it harder to understand discharge information or patient teaching. When patients are unable to have that health literacy it may lead to negative patient outcomes due to not adhering to medication or not following their care at home.


The purpose of this investigation is to analyze how patients' outcomes are affected when there are disconnects in language barriers, health literacy and socioeconomic status. Further, the purpose is to assess quantitative and qualitative research to see how Latin immigrant patients feel towards the healthcare system and the barriers they face.

Summary of Findings

Through my descriptive literature review I found that patients find health topics difficult to grasp, which relates with health literacy. Findings included: 1) When interpreters were present, patients were able to fully express themselves; 2) Patients would forgo health care as they assumed health issues would simply go away; 3) Routine health care visits were seen to be less prevalent in Latin immigrants; 4) Medication adherence was seen to be affected due to not being informed nor having access due to cost, pharmacy operation hours, and lack of motivation; 5) When patients are given resources to learn more regarding health literacy they participate and show improvement on their knowledge.


I propose to conduct a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative research. Using interviews in communities in the San Francisco bay area with high populations of Latin immigrants. They will be asked about their level of education, health care accessibility, and feelings towards health care.