English Language Abilities and Unmet Needs in Community Mental Health Services: a Cross-Sectional Study Anna Durbin, MPH, PhD Frank Sirotich, PhD Janet Durbin, PhD Introduction Language has been described as medicine’s most essential technology and its principle instrument. Even so, persons with limited English proﬁciency (LEP) often do not have access to providers who speak their language. In many jurisdictions in North America, many health 3–5 services are provided in English without linguistic assistance. There is evidence that compared to clients with greater English proﬁciency, persons with LEP have less understanding 3,6,7 of the care they receive, are less likely to follow recommendations for treatment and follow- 8,9 10 5,11–13 up visits, are more likely to have delayed diagnoses, and are less satisﬁed with care. Theyarealsomorelikelytorelyonadhocinterpreters (e.g.,family,friends,nonclinical 3,14 employees, or nonﬂuent health care professionals), which may transform the communication, leading to omission of questions, failure to mention medication side effects, and ignoring 15,16 embarrassing issues. Given these challenges, it is not surprising that LEP individuals also have been shown to have more emergency department visits, more hospital admissions, and 17,18 longer hospital stays for many medical and surgical conditions. For clients with mental illness, language barriers can be particularly
The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 10, 2016
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