Language barriers and patient-centered breast cancer care.

Published

Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: Provision of high quality patient-centered care is fundamental to eliminating healthcare disparities in breast cancer. We investigated physicians' experiences communicating with limited English proficient (LEP) breast cancer patients. METHODS: Survey of a random sample of California oncologists and surgeons. RESULTS: Of 301 respondents who reported treating LEP patients, 46% were oncologists, 75% male, 68% in private practice, and on average 33% of their patients had breast cancer. Only 40% reported at least sometimes using professional interpretation services. Although 75% felt they were usually able to communicate effectively with LEP patients, more than half reported difficulty discussing treatment options and prognosis, and 56% acknowledged having less-patient-centered treatment discussions with LEP breast cancer patients. In multivariate analysis, use of professional interpreters was associated with 53% lower odds of reporting less-patient-centered treatment discussions (OR 0.47; 95% CI 0.26-0.85). CONCLUSION: California surgeons and oncologists caring for breast cancer patients report substantial communication challenges when faced with a language barrier. Although use of professional interpreters is associated with more patient-centered communication, there is a low rate of professional interpreter utilization. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Future research and policy should focus on increasing access to and reimbursement for professional interpreter services.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Karliner, LS; Hwang, ES; Nickleach, D; Kaplan, CP

Published Date

  • August 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 84 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 223 - 228

PubMed ID

  • 20685068

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20685068

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5134

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0738-3991

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.pec.2010.07.009

Language

  • eng