Methods: Using the 2018 National Survey of Children’s Health (n=30,530), we examined primarily Spanish-speaking households and the quality of healthcare that they receive, based on 3 selected measures of quality (time with providers, sufficient information provided, frustration with services). The sample included NSCH respondents who reported living in households where Spanish was the primary language spoken. The associations between primary household language spoken and quality of health care received were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression, controlling for all covariates.
Results: Our analysis showed that children from primarily Spanish-speaking households were 49% (OR=0.51, 95% CI=0.44, 0.60) less likely to report doctors or health care providers spent enough time with their child; in addition, 41% (OR=0.59, 95% CI=0.51, 0.69) were less likely to report being provided with the specific information needed for their child when compared to children from English-speaking households. In contrast, our study found children from primarily Spanish-speaking households were 1.33 (OR=1.33, 95% CI=0.88, 1.99) times more likely to report rarely experiencing frustration in their efforts to get services for their child compared to those from primarily English-speaking households.
Conclusions and Implications: We found that parents of children from primarily Spanish-speaking households experience poorer quality health care compared to English-speaking parents. Social work practitioners should use this knowledge to advocate for interpreter and translation services in healthcare settings for families, to create and promote community support groups in different languages, and to advocate for and support initiatives for new and improved policies to mitigate this problem.