Original Paper

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 195-203

First online:

Decomposing the Gap in Satisfaction with Provider Communication Between English- and Spanish-Speaking Hispanic Patients

  • Jennifer VillaniAffiliated withDepartment of Health Services Administration, University of Maryland School of Public Health
  • , Karoline MortensenAffiliated withDepartment of Health Services Administration, University of Maryland School of Public Health Email author 

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Disparities in patient-provider communication exist among racial/ethnic groups. Hispanics report the lowest satisfaction with provider communication compared to whites and blacks; these differences may be due to level of acculturation or patient-provider concordance according to their ability to speak English. Using data from the 2007–2009 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, this study identifies and quantifies the components that constitute the gap in satisfaction with provider communication between English- and Spanish-speaking Hispanics. English-speaking Hispanics are 7.3 percentage points more likely to be satisfied with the amount of time their providers spent with them compared to Spanish-speaking Hispanics. Differences in acculturation between the two groups account for 77 % of this gap. Satisfaction with provider listening is 6.8 percentage points higher for English-speaking Hispanics. Hispanics who speak English are more satisfied with provider communication. The gap in satisfaction is largely attributable to differences in health insurance, acculturation, and education.


Hispanic Healthcare disparities Language Patient satisfaction Provider communication Acculturation Patient-provider concordance