WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For pediatric patients with asthma, caregiver non-English language preference (NELP) is associated with increased odds of asthma-related health care utilization, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in Pediatrics.
Mickey Emmanuel, M.D., from the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the role of caregiver language preference on asthma morbidity using data from a registry of pediatric patients (aged 2 to 17 years) with asthma living in the District of Columbia. The primary exposure variable was language preference: self-identified language preference either English preferred or NELP.
Data were included for 14,431 patients; 8.1 percent had NELP. The researchers found that caregiver NELP was associated with increased odds of having an asthma-related emergency department visit, hospitalization, and intensive care unit visit in analyses adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, insurance status, diagnosis of persistent asthma, controller prescription, and encounter with a primary care provider (adjusted odds ratios, 1.37, 1.79, and 4.37, respectively). Caregiver NELP was associated with increased odds of asthma-related hospitalization among 1,555 participants in the Hispanic subgroup (adjusted odds ratio, 1.73).
“Efforts to reduce unscheduled utilization for families with NELP might focus on understanding the unique barriers that caregivers who speak languages other than English face in caring for their children with asthma, and on delivering linguistically competent asthma care in outpatient and acute-care settings,” the authors write.
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