Perceptions of patient-provider communication in breast and cervical cancer-related care: A qualitative study of low-income English- and Spanish-speaking women

Melissa A. Simon*, Daiva M. Ragas, Narissa J. Nonzee, Ava M. Phisuthikul, Thanh Ha Luu, Xinqi Dong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

To explore patient perceptions of patient-provider communication in breast and cervical cancer-related care among low-income English- and Spanish-speaking women, we examined communication barriers and facilitators reported by patients receiving care at safety net clinics. Participants were interviewed in English or Spanish after receiving an abnormal breast or cervical cancer screening test or cancer diagnosis. Following an inductive approach, interviews were coded and analyzed by the language spoken with providers and patient-provider language concordance status. Of 78 participants, 53 % (n = 41) were English-speakers and 47 % (n = 37) were Spanish-speakers. All English-speakers were language-concordant with providers. Of Spanish-speakers, 27 % (n = 10) were Spanish-concordant; 38 % (n = 14) were Spanish-discordant, requiring an interpreter; and 35 % (n = 13) were Spanish mixed-concordant, experiencing both types of communication throughout the care continuum. English-speakers focused on communication barriers, and difficulty understanding jargon arose as a theme. Spanish-speakers emphasized communication facilitators related to Spanish language use. Themes among all Spanish-speaking sub-groups included appreciation for language support resources and preference for Spanish-speaking providers. Mixed-concordant participants accounted for the majority of Spanish-speakers who reported communication barriers. Our data suggest that, although perception of patient-provider communication may depend on the language spoken throughout the care continuum, jargon is lost when health information is communicated in Spanish. Further, the respective consistency of language concordance or interpretation may play a role in patient perception of patient-provider communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-715
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

Keywords

  • Cancer-related care
  • Low-income women
  • Patient-provider communication
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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