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Background: Culture and language coaching in the CHiCoS (Clínica Hispana de Cuidados de Salud) Program provides bilingual (English-Spanish) residents with longitudinal, personalized training in health care Spanish and cultural aspects of care. This intensive 1:1 training by a culture and language coach (CLC) over three years has been shown to improve residents’ skills and family satisfaction with care. Families’ perspectives on acceptability of the presence and impact of the CLC during visits have not been formally described.


Design/Methods: In this descriptive, cross-sectional pilot study, we surveyed Spanish-speaking caregivers who received care from any of 18 bilingual CHiCoS residents accompanied by a CLC in our academic pediatric primary care clinic. The 10-question survey was created by the study team in Spanish using a formal process including piloting and revision. Respondents surveyed by telephone after their visit were asked how well the resident spoke and understood Spanish, effectiveness of communication, how the CLC impacted communication, future preference for coached vs interpreted visits, and overall satisfaction.

Results: Sixty of 67 recruited parents (90%) completed the survey. A majority reported that their resident spoke (65%) and understood (63%) Spanish very well, with little or no intervention needed from the CLC. The remainder felt that the resident spoke well but needed occasional support from the CLC to achieve complete communication. None had major difficulty understanding their resident. Overall communication was either “very easy and direct without problems” (57%) or “more or less easy,” with problems being “quickly resolved” (43%). Most felt that the CLC improved communication “a lot” (77%) or “somewhat” (10%). For a hypothetical future visit, 58% preferred a coached visit with a doctor speaking at least some Spanish to an interpreted visit with a doctor speaking no Spanish; the remainder said either option would be equally good. None preferred an interpreted visit. All respondents were either “very satisfied” (83%) or “satisfied” (17%) with the care given by the resident-CLC team.

Conclusion(s): Spanish-speaking caregivers strongly support culture and language coaching for bilingual pediatric residents and described positive impact on in-visit communication. Despite the majority of CHiCoS residents not yet passing their validated language proficiency exams, all families reported complete communication and satisfaction with their visits.

Presented at the 2021 PAS Virtual Conference


Language Interpretation and Translation | Medical Education

Spanish-speaking families’ perspectives on the acceptability and impact of culture and language coaching for bilingual residents