Physician–Patient Language Discordance and Poor Health Outcomes: A Systematic Scoping Review
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Frontiers Research Foundation
Language concordancePhysicianPatientHealth outcomesMigrants
Cano-Ibáñez N, Zolfaghari Y, Amezcua-Prieto C and Khan KS (2021) Physician–Patient Language Discordance and Poor Health Outcomes: A Systematic Scoping Review. Front. Public Health 9:629041. doi: [10.3389/fpubh.2021.629041]
Objective: This systematic review assessed whether physician-patient language concordance, compared with discordance, is associated with better health outcomes. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted, without language restrictions, using PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and PsycINFO, from inception to July 2020. We included studies that evaluated the effects of physician-patient language concordance on health outcomes. Articles were screened, selected, and data-extracted in duplicate. Review protocol was prospectively registered (PROSPERO, CRD42020157229). Results: There were 541 citations identified through databases and eight citations through reverse search and Google Scholar. A total of 15 articles (84,750 participants) were included reporting outcomes within five domains: diabetes care (four studies), inpatient care (five studies), cancer screening (three studies), healthcare counseling (two studies), and mental health care (one study). Ten studies were of good quality, four were fair, and one was poor, according to the modified Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Eight studies (53%) showed a significant negative association between language discordance and at least one clinical outcome. Five studies (33%) found no association. Conclusion: Over half the evidence collated showed that physician-patient language concordance was associated with better health clinical outcomes.