Associations of providers' language and cultural skills with Latino parents' perceptions of well-child care

Alexy D Arauz Boudreau, Christina F Fluet, Colleen Peck Reuland, Jennifer Delahaye, James M Perrin, Karen Kuhlthau
Academic Pediatrics 2010, 10 (3): 172-8

OBJECTIVE: To assess the associations of parent-primary care provider language concordance and providers' self-rated cultural competency items with Latino parent report of well-child care quality.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of parents with children 10-50 months old and their children's providers in 3 community health centers. We used the mean scores of quality domains of the Promoting Healthy Development Survey to examine associations of parent-provider language concordance and providers' self-rated cultural competency items with the quality of well-child care provided (all scales range 0-100).

RESULTS: Results are based on 462 Latino parent responses and 22 provider responses. Latino parents in language concordant patient-provider relationships did not report higher-quality well-child care. Higher parent-reported quality of care was associated with provider self-reported effectiveness in treating Latino patients in the domains of family-centered care (mean 80.5 vs 70.6; P = .02) and helpfulness of care (mean 84.2 vs 67.9; P = .02). A language-cultural competency summary scale was associated with the domain assessing family risk factors (+11.2 points; P = .02) and its subdomain of emotional assessment (+16.1 points; P = .02).

CONCLUSIONS: Language concordance was not associated with parental reports of quality of well-child care. Provider self-perceived cultural competency was associated with higher scores in domains related to how content is delivered-that is, helpful and family-centered. The language-cultural competency summary score was associated with discussion of sensitive topics. These findings indicate that provider characteristics other than language concordance have greater association with quality of care and may offer opportunities to strengthen cultural competency, even among monolingual providers.

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