Healthcare Language Gap

Latinos and the mental health care barrier


Ethnic and racial minority groups tend to face greater exposure to racism, discrimination, violence, and poverty, which can influence their mental health. These challenges are often coupled with poor access to mental health care and a culturally-based stigma around mental health.

A similar percentage of non-Hispanic whites (7.7 percent) and Hispanics (7.1) report that there was a time in the 12 months before the survey when they didn’t get needed mental health care or counseling services But nearly 12 percent of non-Hispanic minorities, a group that includes blacks, Asians and American Indians, report an unmet mental health need – a significant difference from Hispanics.

Those who reported having an unmet mental health need were then asked why they hadn’t seen a mental health care professional. Significant differences between race/ethnic groups are shown for the response that they did not feel comfortable talking with a health professional about personal problems.

About four of 10 Hispanics (40.3 percent) and non-Hispanic minorities (45.7 percent) reported this lack of comfort as a barrier, nearly twice the percentage of non-Hispanic whites (25 percent).

This finding suggests that Hispanic and minority communities face a heightened barrier to receiving mental health care, which may be related to stigma, or a lack of culturally and linguistically competent services. As Colorado becomes increasingly diverse, the CHAS will help bring awareness to minority mental health issues by tracking any disparities between race/ethnic groups. 

Source: Colorado Health Institute


Study shows access and care issues in urban urgent care clinic patients

" Urgency"  is not the reason why most of the people choose urgent care. 


Graphic used in the study that shows the reasons patients chose to seek care in the urgent care setting

Graphic used in the study that shows the reasons patients chose to seek care in the urgent care setting

A study by BMC Health Services Research shows that inappropriate use of urgent care for non-urgent patients is a "growing problem with significant economic and healthcare consequences". 

The purpose of this study was to determine the motivation behind, and characteristics of, adult patients who choose to access health care in our urgent care clinic. A total of 1, 006 patients were randomly surveyed. According to the study, approximately 50% were Hispanic, and over 20% of adults presenting for care spoke only Spanish, while 25% of patients identified Spanish as their preferred language.

Despite a common belief that patients seek care in the urgent care setting primarily for economic reasons, this study suggests that patients choose the urgent care setting based largely on convenience and more timely care. This information is especially applicable to the potential increase in urgent care volume in a universal healthcare system. 

Check the complete study here.  

Source: BMC Health Service Research

Study shows the language gap between patients and physicians in the U.S.

The disconnect is bigger than you might think



Doximity, a social network for physicians, just published a study that details the disconnect between the languages spoken by patients and those spoken by physicians — something that is at the very core of what we do here at Canopy Innovations.

As we know, Spanish is the most common language, other than English, spoken by patients and doctors in the U.S. According to the Census, in 2015, the Hispanic population constituted 17.6% of the population or 56.6 million people. Other languages amongst the most spoken, according to Doximity, include Hindi, French, Arabic, Persian, German, and Chinese (take a look at the map above).

“Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, and Swahili and Sub-Saharan African are included among the top 10 languages for patients, while physicians more commonly speak Persian/Farsi, German, Italian, and Hebrew”, adds the report.

Read the official release here.