Disparities in patient satisfaction among Hispanics: The role of language preference

Matthew O'Brien*, Judy Shea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Hispanic and Spanish-speaking patients experience lower satisfaction with their health care when compared to whites and English speakers. We attempt to clarify the relationship between language preference and patient satisfaction in Hispanics. Study participants were Hispanic patients recruited from two clinics that serve an exclusively Hispanic population. We compared baseline levels of patient satisfaction among English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, and bilingual participants. Multivariate linear regression was used to model the effect of language preference on patient satisfaction. Baseline comparisons revealed that bilingual patients experienced higher satisfaction with doctor-patient communication and the office staff than Spanish-speaking patients. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that language preference was not significantly associated with patient satisfaction. Patient language preference was not a consistent predictor of satisfaction in this cohort of Hispanic patients receiving linguistically competent primary care. The analysis of local data in this study provides a crude adjustment for healthcare quality that is missing from previous research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-412
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Health disparities
  • Hispanic
  • Language preference
  • Patient satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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