Counseling Spanish-speaking patients: Atlanta pharmacists' cultural sensitivity, use of language-assistance services, and attitudes.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To document the types of language-assistance services available in pharmacies and the perceptions of pharmacists regarding the effectiveness of these services, and to measure the attitudes toward counseling Spanish-speaking patients and cultural sensitivity of pharmacists.


Cross-sectional assessment.


Metropolitan Atlanta, Ga.


Registered Georgia pharmacists residing in metropolitan Atlanta.


Mailed survey, with repeat mailing 2 weeks later.

Main outcome measures

38 survey items measuring demographic and practice-site characteristics, types of language-assistance services available with an assessment of the effectiveness of each measured on a nominal scale, and attitudinal items concerning counseling of Spanish-speaking patients and pharmacists' cultural sensitivity using a 5-point Likert-type response scale.


Of 1,975 questionnaires mailed, 608 were returned, a 30.8% response rate. Nearly two thirds of the pharmacists had recently counseled a Spanish-speaking patient, but only one fourth of those respondents considered their interactions effective. Nearly all pharmacists, 88.0%, worked in pharmacies with language-assistance services. Of seven types of these services, a mean of 2.19 were available in pharmacies, and the majority of pharmacists (84.4% or more) identifying a service considered it to be effective. The pharmacists were neutral about counseling Spanish-speaking patients (mean = 2.94) and indifferent toward other cultures (mean = 3.28); however, they agreed they had a responsibility to counsel Spanish-speaking patients, and they believed that use of language-assistance services would constitute a reasonable effort to counsel these patients.


Pharmacists have an opportunity to address barriers to communication with the Spanish-speaking population through use of language-assistance services and educational measures within the profession.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Muzyk, AJ; Muzyk, TL; Barnett, CW

Published Date

  • May 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 366 - 374

PubMed ID

  • 15191247

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1544-3450

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1544-3191

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1331/154434504323064002


  • eng