Research conducted over the past 25 years has shown a strong correlation between language barriers and poor quality health care. Language can affect the accuracy of patient histories, the ability to engage in treatment decision-making, poorer understanding of a medical diagnosis or treatment, under use of primary and preventative services, lower use and misuse of prescription medications, and a decreased level of patient trust.
Linguistically, the majority of the population in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR) speaks English as their primary language. Spanish ranks second, German third, and French fourth. (more…)