Prenatal Decision-Making in Patients with Limited English Proficiency: What Factors are Involved?




Introduction. A comprehensive definition of culture encompasses shared norms, beliefs, expectations, language, and customs, all of which are crucial considerations when working with patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). In this study, the authors examined how language, external influences, and patient-provider relational factors associated with decisional conflict in prenatal care patients.      

Methods. The authors conducted a cross-sectional study to assess decisional conflict related to postpartum contraception, elective induction, and newborn feeding methods. The survey included questions about demographics, communication methods, external influences, and provider trust, and was distributed to prenatal care patients who spoke either English or Spanish. Data analysis involved using descriptive statistics and chi-square analyses.  

Results. Out of the 23 respondents, 12 were Spanish-speaking and 11 were English-speaking. Spanish-speaking participants were less likely to have health insurance compared to English-speaking participants (χ2(1, N = 23) = 3.67, p = 0.016). There was no statistically significant difference in decisional conflict between English- and Spanish-speaking participants. Religion affected 11 of 23 participants' decisions, while partner expectations influenced 10 of 23 participants. Working with an interpreter and the quality of interpretation were crucial for Spanish-speaking individuals. Most participants (59%) felt that the provider's understanding of the patient’s cultural background was important for decision-making.  

Conclusions. While there was no association between language discordance and decisional conflict, several factors influencing prenatal decision-making were identified. The use and quality of interpretation significantly affected decision-making and should be prioritized for patients with LEP. Religion and partner expectations were found to be highly influential in decision-making. Respondents also emphasized the importance of the provider's understanding of the patient’s cultural background.


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How to Cite

Schelbar, N., Pruss, O., Alonso-Luaces, M., & Butler, F. (2024). Prenatal Decision-Making in Patients with Limited English Proficiency: What Factors are Involved?. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 17(1), 11-15.