Patient-Reported Quality of Pain Treatment and Use of Interpreters in Spanish-Speaking Patients Hospitalized for Obstetric and Gynecological Care
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Assessment and treatment of pain are based largely on patient’s self reports. Patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) may have difficulties communicating their pain symptoms in the presence of language barriers.
To determine whether interpreter use was associated with quality of acute pain treatment among Latina patients with limited English proficiency.
Secondary analysis of two cross-sectional surveys.
One hundred and eighty-five Latino female patients hospitalized for obstetric and gynecological care who required interpreter services. Patients were classified into two groups according to interpreter availability ('Always' and 'Not Always' available).
Quality of pain treatment was measured by patient report of 1) overall level of pain control during hospitalization; 2) timeliness of pain treatment; and 3) perceived provider helpfulness to treat pain.
Patients who always received interpreters were more likely to report higher levels of pain control (P = 0.02), timely pain treatment (P = 0.02), and greater perceived provider helpfulness to treat their pain (P = 0.005), compared with patients who not always received interpreters.
Use of interpreters by LEP patients was associated with better patient reports on quality of pain treatment, and may also improve clinical interactions related to pain.
KEY WORDSinterpreters limited English proficiency Latinos/Latinas pain pain treatment
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