Skip to main content

30.05.2019 | Review Paper | Ausgabe 8/2019

Journal of General Internal Medicine 8/2019

A Systematic Review of the Impact of Patient–Physician Non-English Language Concordance on Quality of Care and Outcomes

Journal of General Internal Medicine > Ausgabe 8/2019
MD MPH Lisa Diamond, BS Karen Izquierdo, MD Dana Canfield, MLIS Konstantina Matsoukas, MD MS Francesca Gany
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11606-019-04847-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Approximately 25 million people in the USA are limited English proficient (LEP). When LEP patients receive care from physicians who are truly language concordant, some evidence show that language disparities are reduced, but others demonstrate worse outcomes. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to compare the impact of language-concordant care for LEP patients with that of other interventions, including professional and ad hoc interpreters.


Data was collected through a systematic review of the literature using PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and EMBASE in October 2017. The literature search strategy had three main components, which were immigrant/minority status, language barrier/proficiency, and healthcare provider/patient relationship. The quality of the articles was appraised using the Downs and Black checklist.


The 33 studies were grouped by the outcome measure studied, including quality of care (subdivided into primary care, diabetes, pain management, cancer, and inpatient), satisfaction with care/communication, medical understanding, and mental health. Of the 33, 4 (6.9%) were randomized controlled trials and the remaining 29 (87.9%) were cross-sectional studies. Seventy-six percent (25/33) of the studies demonstrated that at least one of the outcomes assessed was better for patients receiving language-concordant care, while 15% (5/33) of studies demonstrated no difference in outcomes, and 9% (3/33) studies demonstrated worse outcomes in patients receiving language-concordant care.


The findings of this review indicate that, in the majority of situations, language-concordant care improves outcomes. Although most studies included were of good quality, none provided a standardized assessment of provider language skills. To systematically evaluate the impact of truly language-concordant care on outcomes and draw meaningful conclusions, future studies must include an assessment of clinician language proficiency. Language-concordant care offers an important way for physicians to meet the unique needs of their LEP patients.

Bitte loggen Sie sich ein, um Zugang zu diesem Inhalt zu erhalten

e.Med Interdisziplinär

Für Ihren Erfolg in Klinik und Praxis - Die beste Hilfe in Ihrem Arbeitsalltag als Mediziner

Mit e.Med Interdisziplinär erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Fachzeitschriften auf

Weitere Produktempfehlungen anzeigen
Nur für berechtigte Nutzer zugänglich
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 8/2019

Journal of General Internal Medicine 8/2019 Zur Ausgabe
  1. Sie können e.Med Innere Medizin 14 Tage kostenlos testen (keine Print-Zeitschrift enthalten). Der Test läuft automatisch und formlos aus. Es kann nur einmal getestet werden.

  2. Sie können e.Med Allgemeinmedizin 14 Tage kostenlos testen (keine Print-Zeitschrift enthalten). Der Test läuft automatisch und formlos aus. Es kann nur einmal getestet werden.

Neu im Fachgebiet Innere Medizin

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Innere Medizin und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.

© Springer Medizin