The Impact of Language Discordance on Patients' Perception of a Clinical Encounter and Trust in Provider

Lauren Caldwell, Gabriela E. Halder, Amanda B. White, Rachel A. High, Michelle L. Wright, Rebecca G. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Importance: The impact of language discordance on care for Spanish-speaking patients with pelvic floor disorders is unknown. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the impact of language concordance with the impact of language discordance on the patient experience and trust in their provider. Methods: This cross-sectional cohort study enrolled English- and Spanish-speaking patients during initial evaluation in a urogynecology clinic. English- and Spanish-speaking patients seen by native English- or Spanish-speaking providers were recruited to the language-concordant group. The language-discordant group included Spanish-speaking patients seen with a translator or by nonnative Spanish-speaking providers. Patients completed the Trust in Physician Scale and the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician and Group Survey (CG-CAHPS). Patients and providers rated the provider's Spanish proficiency on a 10-point scale from 0 (low) to 10 (high). Symptom bother questionnaires were completed 4-6 months after enrollment. Results: Eighty women were recruited, with 40 in each group. Mean age was 55.4 ± 12.9 years. The majority identified as White (75%) and Hispanic (77.5%). Trust in Physician Scale scores were similar between groups (46.2 ± 8.5 vs 44.4 ± 7.5, P > 0.05). The provider communication, provider rating, and recommendation domains of the CG-CAHPS did not differ between groups (all P > 0.05). Provider self-rating of Spanish proficiency was lower than patient ratings (7.5 ± 1.8 vs 9.8 ± 0.5, P < 0.001). There was no difference between groups in symptom bother at 4-6 months (all P > 0.05). Conclusions: Patient-provider language discordance does not affect patient trust in the provider or perception of the encounter as measured by the Trust in Physician Scale and CG-CAHPS questionnaires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-451
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'The Impact of Language Discordance on Patients' Perception of a Clinical Encounter and Trust in Provider'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this