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1.  Testing a Spanish-language colorectal cancer screening decision aid in Latinos with limited English proficiency: Results from a pre-post trial and four month follow-up survey 
Compared with non-Latinos, Latinos in the US have low rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and low rates of knowledge regarding CRC screening tests and guidelines. Spanish speaking Latinos have particularly low CRC screening rates and screening knowledge. Our purpose was twofold: (1) to evaluate the effect of a computer-based, Spanish-language CRC screening decision aid on screening knowledge, intent to obtain screening, and screening self-efficacy in a community sample of Latinos with limited English proficiency (LEP); and (2) to survey these decision aid viewers at four months to determine their rates of CRC discussions with a health care provider as well as their rates of screening test completion.
We recruited 50-75 year old Latinos with LEP who were not current with CRC. Participants screening viewed a 14 minute multimedia decision aid that addresses CRC screening rationale, recommendations, and options. We conducted an uncontrolled (pre-post) study in which we assessed screening knowledge, self-efficacy, and intent at baseline and immediately after decision aid viewing. We also conducted a follow-up telephone survey of participants at four months to examine rates of patient-provider screening discussions and test completion.
Among n = 80 participants, knowledge scores increased from 20% (before) to 72% (after) decision aid viewing (absolute difference [95%CI]: 52% [46, 59]). The proportion with high screening self-efficacy increased from 67% to 92% (25% [13, 37]); the proportion with high screening intent increased from 63% to 95% (32% [21, 44]). We reached 68 (85%) of 80 participants eligible for the follow-up survey. Of these 36 (53%) reported discussing screening with a provider and 13 (19%) completed a test.
Viewing a Spanish-language decision aid increased CRC screening knowledge, self-efficacy, and intent among Latinos with LEP. Decision aid viewing appeared to promote both CRC screening discussions with health care providers and test completion. The decision aid may be an effective tool for promoting CRC screening and reducing screening disparities in this population.
PMCID: PMC3483183  PMID: 22691191
Decision aid; Latinos; Limited English proficiency; Colorectal cancer screening
2.  Colorectal Cancer Test Use among Californians of Mexican Origin: Influence of Language Barriers 
Ethnicity & disease  2009;19(3):315-322.
Striking decreases in colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence have been seen recently in non-Latino Whites but not in Latinos. The purpose of our study was to examine the influence of limited English proficiency (LEP) on differences in CRC test use rates between Mexican American and non-Latino White adults in California and reported reasons for not getting a CRC exam.
Cross-sectional analysis of the 2005 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).
Representative sample of non-institutionalized adults living in California.
Mexican American (n=1,529) and non-Latino White men and women aged 50 and older (n=16,775) who had not been diagnosed with CRC.
Logistic regression analyzed the effect of ethnicity and limited English proficiency (LEP) on CRC test use after adjusting for sociodemographics, healthcare access, health status, and other health behaviors.
Main Outcome Measures
Respondents' likelihood of not receiving the CRC exam was examined as a function of ethnicity and LEP status; differences in reasons for not receiving CRC testing between ethnic groups were also examined.
More than 40% of Californian Mexican American adults aged 50 and older have never had either fecal occult blood test or lower endoscopy CRC tests. Mexican Americans were more likely to have difficulty understanding their doctor due to language barriers (P<.01). Mexican Americans more often reported provider barriers in getting an endoscopy (ie, test was not recommended by their medical provider) than non-Latino Whites (P=.01). After adjustment for covariates, Mexican Americans were 1.32 times and those with LEP were 1.68 times more likely to have never had either CRC test.
Limited English proficiency significantly decreased the likelihood of getting tested for CRC (P<.01). Eliminating language barriers should result in improvements in CRC test use among limited English proficiency Mexican Americans.
PMCID: PMC2757758  PMID: 19769015
Mexican Americans; Colonoscopy; Colorectal Cancer; Screening
3.  Are Latinos Less Satisfied with Communication by Health Care Providers? 
To examine associations of patient ratings of communication by health care providers with patient language (English vs Spanish) and ethnicity (Latino vs white).
A random sample of patients receiving medical care from a physician group association concentrated on the West Coast was studied. A total of 7,093 English and Spanish language questionnaires were returned for an overall response rate of 59%. Five questions asking patients to rate communication by their health care providers were examined in this study. All five questions were administered with a 7-point response scale.
We estimated the associations of satisfaction ratings with language (English vs Spanish) and ethnicity (white vs Latino) using ordinal logistic models, controlling for age and gender. Latinos responding in Spanish (Latino/Spanish) were significantly more dissatisfied compared with Latinos responding in English (Latino/English) and non-Latino whites responding in English (white) when asked about: (1) the medical staff listened to what they say (29% vs 17% vs 13% rated this “very poor,”“poor,” or “fair”; p < .01); (2) answers to their questions (27% vs 16% vs 12%; p < .01); (3) explanations about prescribed medications (22% vs 19% vs 14%; p < .01); (4) explanations about medical procedures and test results (36% vs 21% vs 17%; p < .01); and (5) reassurance and support from their doctors and the office staff (37% vs 23% vs 18%; p < .01).
This study documents that Latino/Spanish respondents are significantly more dissatisfied with provider communication than Latino/English and white respondents. These results suggest Spanish-speaking Latinos may be at increased risk of lower quality of care and poor health outcomes. Efforts to improve the quality of communication with Spanish-speaking Latino patients in outpatient health care settings are needed.
PMCID: PMC1496614  PMID: 10417598
Hispanic; Latino, satisfaction, communication; quality of care
4.  Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening in Latino and Vietnamese Americans 
To identify current colorectal cancer (CRC) screening practices and barriers to screening in the Latino, Vietnamese, and non-Latino white populations.
We conducted a telephone survey of Latino, non-Latino white, and Vietnamese individuals living in San Jose, California. We asked about demographics, CRC screening practices, intentions to be screened, and barriers and facilitators to screening.
Seven hundred and seventy-five individuals (40% white, 29.2% Latino, and 30.8% Vietnamese) completed the survey (Response Rate 50%). Overall, 23% of respondents reported receipt of fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the past year, 28% reported sigmoidoscopy (SIG) in the past 5 years, and 27% reported colonoscopy (COL) in the past 10 years. Screening rates were generally lower in Latinos and Vietnamese. Vietnamese were less likely than whites to have had SIG in the past 5 years (odds ratio [OR], 0.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.09 to 0.72), but ethnicity was not an independent predictor of FOBT or COL. Only 22% of Vietnamese would find endoscopic tests uncomfortable compared with 79% of whites (P < .05). While 21% of Latinos would find performing an FOBT embarrassing, only 8% of whites and 3% of Vietnamese felt this way (P < .05). Vietnamese were more likely than whites to plan to have SIG in the next 5 years (OR, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.15 to 4.38), but ethnicity was not associated with planning to have FOBT or COL.
Rates of CRC screening are lower in ethnic minority populations than in whites. Differences in attitudes and perceived barriers suggest that culturally tailored interventions to increase CRC screening will be useful in these populations
PMCID: PMC1492137  PMID: 15009795
colorectal cancer; screening; prevention
5.  Using colorectal trends in the U.S. to identify unmet primary care needs of vulnerable populations 
Preventive medicine  2012;55(2):131-136.
Colorectal cancer screening (CRC) disparities have worsened in recent years.
To examine progress toward Healthy People 2010 goals for CRC screening among ethnic/racial groups, including disaggregated Latino groups.
Multivariate logistic regressions examined associations between ethnicity/race and primary outcomes of self-reported guideline-concordant CRC screenings considering time trends for 65,947 respondents of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2000–2007 age 50-years and older from six groups (non-Latino White, non-Latino Black, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Mexican, and Other Latino). We also tested for modification effects by education, income, and health insurance.
Most groups approached Healthy People 2010 CRC screening rate goals, including non-Latino Whites (47%), non-Latino Blacks (42%) and Puerto Ricans (40%), while Mexicans remained disparately lower (28%). Higher education, income and insurance coverage, partially attenuated this lower likelihood, but Mexican rates remained significantly lower than non-Latino Whites for receiving endoscopy in the past 5 years {OR(95% CI) =0.68(0.59–0.77)} and having received any CRC screening {0.70(0.62–0.79)}.
Among ethnic/racial groups examined, only Mexicans met healthcare disparity criteria in CRC screening. Findings suggest that healthcare equity goals can be attained if resources affecting continuity of care or ability to pay for preventive services are available, and targeted populations are adequately identified.
PMCID: PMC3786063  PMID: 22659226
6.  Health-related characteristics and preferred methods of receiving health education according to dominant language among Latinos Aged 25 to 64 in a large Northern California health plan 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:305.
Latinos are a fast growing segment of the U.S. health care population. Acculturation factors, including English fluency, result in an ethnic group heterogeneous with regard to SES, health practices, and health education needs. This study examined how demographic and health-related characteristics of Spanish-dominant (SD), Bilingual (BIL), and English-dominant (ED) Latino men and women aged 25–64 differed among members of a large Northern California health plan.
This observational study was based on data from cohorts of 171 SD (requiring an interpreter), 181 BIL, and 734 ED Latinos aged 25–64 who responded to random sample health plan member surveys conducted 2005–2006. Language groups were compared separately by gender on education, income, behavioral health risks (smoking, obesity, exercise frequency, dietary practices, health beliefs), health status (overall health and emotional health, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heartburn/acid reflux, back pain, depression), computer and Internet access, and health education modality preferences.
Compared with ED Latinos, higher percentages of the SD and BIL groups had very low educational attainment and low income. While groups were similar in prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, SD were less likely than ED Latinos to rate overall health and emotional well-being as good, very good, or excellent and more likely to report heartburn and back pain (women only). The groups were similar with regard to smoking and obesity, but among women, SD were more likely to be physically inactive than ED, and BIL were less likely than SD and ED groups to eat <3 servings of fruit/vegetables per day. SD and BIL of both genders were significantly less likely than ED Latinos to believe that health practices had a large impact on health. Compared to ED men and women, SD and BIL Latinos had significantly lower Internet and computer access. As a result, SD Latinos had a greater preference for lower technology health education modalities such as videos and taped phone messages.
There are important differences among Latinos of different English language proficiency with regard to education, income, health status, health behaviors, IT access, and health education modality preferences that ought to be considered when planning and implementing health programs for this growing segment of the U.S. population.
PMCID: PMC2556675  PMID: 18782454
7.  Distinct Beliefs, Attitudes, and Experiences of Latino Smokers: Relevance for Cessation Interventions 
Determine the extent to which Latino smokers are using effective interventions for smoking cessation, with particular focus on nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Related aims were to explore cultural, attitudinal, knowledge, and socioeconomic variables associated with treatment use.
Cross-sectional telephone survey of two groups of Colorado adult smokers: Latinos (n = 1010) and non-Latino whites (n = 519).
Computer-assisted telephone survey in either Spanish or English. Survey addressed sociodemographic variables; smoking and cessation history; knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about smoking and quitting; and experiences in and attitudes toward the health care setting.
Latino and non-Latino white adult Colorado residents who reported being regular smokers.
Colorado Latinos report using NRT substantially less often than do non-Latino whites residing in the state. This and other differences in the study were more pronounced in Latinos characterized as low acculturation on the basis of a language preference variable. Latinos smoke somewhat less than non-Latino whites and report lower levels of dependence. They appear to be motivated to quit but endorse attitudes and beliefs antithetical to NRT use. Health care access was lower among Latinos, and this was related to lower reports of lifetime NRT use. Receipt of recommended practitioner intervention (the “five As”) did not differ by ethnicity.
Results suggested that use of effective cessation interventions among Latinos may be enhanced by education about nicotine addiction and NRT. Policy change to increase health care access also showed promise.
PMCID: PMC3166215  PMID: 21510796
Cigarette Smoking; Hispanic Americans; Culture; Acculturation; Smoking Cessation; Prevention Research
8.  Recruiting Ethnically Diverse General Internal Medicine Patients for a Telephone Survey on Physician-Patient Communication 
Limited evidence exists on the effectiveness of recruitment methods among diverse populations.
Describe response rates by recruitment stage, ethnic-language group, and type of initial contact letter (for African-American and Latino patients).
Tracking of response status by recruitment stage and ethnic-language group and a randomized trial of ethnically tailored initial letters nested within a cross-sectional telephone survey on physician-patient communication.
Adult general medicine patients with ≥1 visit during the preceding year, stratified by 4 categories: African-American (N= 1,400), English-speaking Latino (N= 894), Spanish-speaking Latino (N= 965), and non-Latino white (N= 1,400).
Ethnically tailored initial letters referred to shortages of African-American (or Latino) physicians and the need to learn about the experiences of African-American (or Latino) patients communicating with physicians. Of 2,482 patients contacted, eligible, and able to participate (identified eligibles), 69.9% completed the survey. Thirty-nine percent of the sampling frame was unable to be contacted, with losses higher among non-Latino whites (46.5%) and African Americans (44.2%) than among English-speaking (32.3%) and Spanish-speaking Latinos (25.1%). For identified eligibles, response rates were highest among Spanish-speaking Latinos (75.2%), lowest for non-Latino whites (66.4%), and intermediate for African Americans (69.7%) and English-speaking Latinos (68.1%). There were no differences in overall response rates between patients receiving ethnically tailored letters (72.2%) and those receiving general letters (70.0%).
Household contact and individual response rates differed by ethnic-language group, highlighting the importance of tracking losses by stage and subpopulation. Careful attention to recruitment yielded acceptable response rates among all groups.
PMCID: PMC1490122  PMID: 15963168
recruitment; telephone survey; African Americans; Latinos; physician-patient communication
9.  Perceived Quality of Care, Receipt of Preventive Care, and Usual Source of Health Care Among Undocumented and Other Latinos 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2009;24(Suppl 3):508-513.
Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and experience persistent disparities in access to and quality of health care.
(1) To determine the relationship between nativity/immigration status and self-reported quality of care and preventive care. (2) To assess the impact of a usual source of health care on receipt of preventive care among Latinos.
Using cross-sectional data from the 2007 Pew Hispanic Center/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Hispanic Healthcare Survey, a nationally representative telephone survey of 4,013 Latino adults, we compared US-born Latinos with foreign-born Latino citizens, foreign-born Latino permanent residents and undocumented Latinos. We estimated odds ratios using separate multivariate ordered logistic models for five outcomes: blood pressure checked in the past 2 years, cholesterol checked in the past 5 years, perceived quality of medical care in the past year, perceived receipt of no health/health-care information from a doctor in the past year, and language concordance.
Undocumented Latinos had the lowest percentages of insurance coverage (37% vs 77% US-born, P < 0.001), usual source of care (58% vs 79% US-born, P < 0.001), blood pressure checked (67% vs 87% US-born, P < 0.001), cholesterol checked (56% vs 83% US-born, P < 0.001), and reported excellent/good care in the past year (76% vs 80% US-born, P < 0.05). Undocumented Latinos also reported the highest percentage receiving no health/health-care information from their doctor (40% vs 20% US-born, P < 0.001) in the past year. Adjusted results showed that undocumented status was associated with lower likelihood of blood pressure checked in the previous 2 years (OR = 0.60; 95% CI, 0.43–0.84), cholesterol checked in the past 5 years (OR = 0.62; 95% CI, 0.39–0.99), and perceived receipt of excellent/good care in the past year (OR = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.39–0.77). Having a usual source of care increased the likelihood of a blood pressure check in the past 2 years and a cholesterol check in the past 5 years.
In this national sample, undocumented Latinos were less likely to report receiving blood pressure and cholesterol level checks, less likely to report having received excellent/good quality of care, and more likely to receive no health/health-care information from doctors, even after adjusting for potential confounders. Our study shows that differences in nativity/immigration status should be taken into consideration when we discuss perceived quality of care among Latinos.
PMCID: PMC2764043  PMID: 19841999
Latinos; quality of care; immigrants; preventive care
10.  Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates among Asian Americans and Non-Latino Whites 
Cancer  2005;104(12 Suppl):2940-2947.
Among Asian Americans, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer, and it is the third highest cause of cancer-related mortality. The 2001 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2001) was used to examine 1) CRC screening rates between different Asian-American ethnic groups compared with non-Latino whites and 2) factors related to CRC screening. The CHIS 2001 was a population-based telephone survey that was conducted in California. Responses about CRC screening were analyzed from 1771 Asian Americans age 50 years and older (Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese). The authors examined two CRC screening outcomes: individuals who ever had CRC screening and individuals who were up to date for CRC screening. For CRC screening, fecal occult blood test (FOBT), sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy, and any other form of screening were examined. CRC screening of any kind was low in all populations, and Koreans had the lowest rate (49%). Multivariate analysis revealed that, compared with non-Latino whites, Koreans were less likely to undergo FOBT (odds ratio [OR], 0.40; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.25–0.62), and Filipinos were the least likely to undergo sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.44–0.88) or to be up to date with screening (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.48–0.97). Asian Americans were less likely to undergo screening if they were older, male, less educated, recent immigrants, living with ≥ 3 individuals, poor, or uninsured. Asian-American populations, especially Koreans and Filipinos, are under-screened for CRC. Outreach efforts could be more focused on helping Asian Americans to understand the importance of CRC screening, providing accurate information in different Asian languages. Other strategies for increasing CRC screening may include using a more family-centered approach and using qualified translators.
PMCID: PMC1810896  PMID: 16276538
Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, and Training; cancer; Chinese; Vietnamese; Korean; Filipino; South Asian; Japanese; fecal occult blood test; sigmoidoscopy; colonoscopy
11.  Increased healthcare resource utilization among Latino infants with acute respiratory illness compared with other racial/ethnic groups 
The Journal of pediatrics  2013;163(4):1186-1191.
To examine healthcare resource utilization for Latino infants with acute respiratory illness compared with other racial/ethnic groups.
We studied 674 term, previously healthy infants presenting for an unscheduled healthcare visit for acute respiratory illness. The predictor variable was infant race/ethnicity, and the primary outcome was healthcare resource utilization, adjusted for age and disease severity.
The cohort was 14% Latino, 52% white, 22% African-American, and 12% other races/ethnicities. Mothers of Latino infants were 37% Spanish-speaking. Bronchiolitis severity score was higher (indicating more severe disease) in white infants (median 6.0, interquartile range 3.0–9.0, on a 0–12 point scale) versus Latinos (3.0, 1.0–6.0) and African-Americans (3.5, 1.0–6.0), p<0.001 for the comparison of all groups. Disease severity was similar between Latino and African-American infants (p=0.96). Latino infants were the group most likely to receive antibiotics (58% of Latinos, 47% of whites, 34% of African-Americans, p=0.005) and have body fluid cultures drawn. Latino infants were also more likely than African-Americans to have chest x-rays and respiratory virus rapid antigen testing (p≤0.01). Latino infants from Spanish-speaking families, compared with those from English-speaking families, had increased receipt of RSV testing (76% versus 51%, p=0.016).
Providers caring for Latino infants with acute respiratory illness ordered more antibiotics and diagnostic testing for this group, particularly compared with African-Americans, who have similar disease severity and socioeconomic disparities. This suggests that the language barrier may be a potential explanation for observed differences.
PMCID: PMC3935481  PMID: 23706603
bronchiolitis; healthcare utilization; Latino
12.  Language Barriers, Physician-Patient Language Concordance, and Glycemic Control Among Insured Latinos with Diabetes: The Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE) 
A significant proportion of US Latinos with diabetes have limited English proficiency (LEP). Whether language barriers in health care contribute to poor glycemic control is unknown.
To assess the association between limited English proficiency (LEP) and glycemic control and whether this association is modified by having a language-concordant physician.
Cross-sectional, observational study using data from the 2005–2006 Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). Patients received care in a managed care setting with interpreter services and self-reported their English language ability and the Spanish language ability of their physician. Outcome was poor glycemic control (glycosylated hemoglobin A1c > 9%).
The unadjusted percentage of patients with poor glycemic control was similar among Latino patients with LEP (n = 510) and Latino English-speakers (n = 2,683), and higher in both groups than in whites (n = 3,545) (21% vs 18% vs. 10%, p < 0.005). This relationship differed significantly by patient-provider language concordance (p < 0.01 for interaction). LEP patients with language-discordant physicians (n = 115) were more likely than LEP patients with language-concordant physicians (n = 137) to have poor glycemic control (27.8% vs 16.1% p = 0.02). After controlling for potential demographic and clinical confounders, LEP Latinos with language-concordant physicians had similar odds of poor glycemic control as Latino English speakers (OR 0.89; CI 0.53–1.49), whereas LEP Latinos with language-discordant physicians had greater odds of poor control than Latino English speakers (OR 1.76; CI 1.04–2.97). Among LEP Latinos, having a language discordant physician was associated with significantly poorer glycemic control (OR 1.98; CI 1.03–3.80).
Language barriers contribute to health disparities among Latinos with diabetes. Limited English proficiency is an independent predictor for poor glycemic control among insured US Latinos with diabetes, an association not observed when care is provided by language-concordant physicians. Future research should determine if strategies to increase language-concordant care improve glycemic control among US Latinos with LEP.
PMCID: PMC3019330  PMID: 20878497
Latino/Hispanic; language; diabetes; limited English proficiency; health disparities; health communication
13.  Acculturation and Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Older Latino Adults: Differential Associations by National Origin 
Although modest improvements in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening utilization have occurred, rates remain low among Latinos. It is unclear whether acculturation plays a role in the utilization of CRC screening.
This study aimed to examine the relationships between acculturation and CRC screening among older Mexican, Puerto-Rican and Cuban adults.
Cross-sectional observational study.
Latinos 50 years and older, never diagnosed with CRC, and who were surveyed in the 2000, 2003 and 2005 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
We measured acculturation with US nativity and language of interview, and examined three different CRC screening outcomes: fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the past year, up-to-date endoscopy and any up-to-date CRC screening. Logistic regression models were adjusted for predisposing, enabling and health-care need factors consistent with the behavioral model of health-care utilization.
In adjusted analyses, US nativity was positively associated with up-to-date endoscopy among Mexicans (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.1, 2.2), but negatively associated with FOBT in the past year among Puerto Ricans (OR: 0.3; 95% CI: 0.2, 0.7). In contrast to this latter finding among Puerto Ricans, English language interview was positively associated with FOBT in the past year (OR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.1, 5.4).
Results underscore the importance of stratification by national origin in studies of acculturation and cancer screening and of targeting less acculturated adults to promote CRC screening. Clinicians, however, should consider the complexity of acculturation and treat US nativity and language preference as independent dimensions among their Latino patients.
PMCID: PMC2710471  PMID: 19472016
colorectal cancer screening; Latinos; aculturation
14.  Comparing the effect of a decision aid plus patient navigation with usual care on colorectal cancer screening completion in vulnerable populations: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2014;15:275.
Screening can reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality. However, screening is underutilized in vulnerable patient populations, particularly among Latinos. Patient-directed decision aids can increase CRC screening knowledge, self-efficacy, and intent; however, their effect on actual screening test completion tends to be modest. This is probably because decision aids do not address some of the patient-specific barriers that prevent successful completion of CRC screening in these populations. These individual barriers might be addressed though patient navigation interventions. This study will test a combined decision aid and patient navigator intervention on screening completion in diverse populations of vulnerable primary care patients.
We will conduct a multisite, randomized controlled trial with patient-level randomization. Planned enrollment is 300 patients aged 50 to 75 years at average CRC risk presenting for appointments at two primary clinics in North Carolina and New Mexico. Intervention participants will view a video decision aid immediately before the clinic visit. The 14 to 16 minute video presents information about fecal occult blood tests and colonoscopy and will be viewed on a portable computer tablet in English or Spanish. Clinic-based patient navigators are bilingual and bicultural and will provide both face-to-face and telephone-based navigation. Control participants will view an unrelated food safety video and receive usual care. The primary outcome is completion of a CRC screening test at six months. Planned subgroup analyses include examining intervention effectiveness in Latinos, who will be oversampled. Secondarily, the trial will evaluate the intervention effects on knowledge of CRC screening, self-efficacy, intent, and patient-provider communication. The study will also examine whether patient ethnicity, acculturation, language preference, or health insurance status moderate the intervention effect on CRC screening.
This pragmatic randomized controlled trial will test a combined decision aid and patient navigator intervention targeting CRC screening completion. Findings from this trial may inform future interventions and implementation policies designed to promote CRC screening in vulnerable patient populations and to reduce screening disparities.
Clinical trial registration NCT02054598.
PMCID: PMC4100055  PMID: 25004983
colon cancer; colonic neoplasms; decision aids; early detection of cancer; Hispanic Americans; minority health; patient navigation; vulnerable populations
15.  Pediatrician Identification of Latino Children at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder 
Pediatrics  2013;132(3):445-453.
Latino–white disparities in age at autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis may be modified by primary care pediatrician (PCP) practices and beliefs. The objectives of this study were to assess ASD and developmental screening practices, attitudes toward ASD identification in Latino children, and barriers to ASD identification for Latino children, in a sample of 267 California PCPs.
In mail-based PCP survey, we assessed rates of bilingual general developmental and ASD screening, perceptions of parent ASD knowledge in Latino and white families, reports of difficulty assessing for ASDs in Latino and white children, and perceptions of barriers to early ASD identification for Latinos.
Although 81% of PCPs offered some form of developmental screening, 29% of PCPs offered Spanish ASD screening per American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, and only 10% offered both Spanish general developmental and Spanish ASD screening per American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. Most PCPs thought that Latino (English and Spanish primary family language) parents were less knowledgeable about ASDs than white parents. PCPs had more difficulty assessing ASD risk for Latino children with Spanish primary family language than for white children, even when the PCP conducted recommended ASD screening or had >25% Latino patients. The most frequent barrier to ASD identification in Latinos was access to developmental specialists.
Multiple factors in the primary care setting may contribute to delayed ASD identification for Latinos. Promoting language-appropriate screening, disseminating culturally appropriate ASD materials to Latino families, improving the specialist workforce, and providing PCP support in screening and referral of Latino children may be important ways to reduce racial and ethnic differences in care.
PMCID: PMC3876760  PMID: 23958770
autism spectrum disorder; Hispanic Americans; pediatrics; health care disparities; child development; developmental disabilities; developmental screening
16.  The effect of system-level access factors on receipt of reconstruction among Latina and white women with DCIS 
Treatment decisions associated with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), including the decision to undergo breast reconstruction, may be more problematic for Latinas due to access and language issues. To help understand the factors that influence patients’ receipt of reconstruction following mastectomy for DCIS, we conducted a population- based study of English- and Spanish-speaking Latina and non-Latina white women from 35 California counties. The objectives of this study were to identify the role of ethnicity and language in the receipt of reconstruction, the relationship between system-level factors and the receipt of reconstruction, and women’s reasons for not undergoing reconstruction. Women aged 18 and older, who self-identified as Latina or non-Latino white and were diagnosed with DCIS between 2002 and 2005 were selected from eight California Cancer Registry (CCR) regions encompassing 35 counties. Approximately 24 months after diagnosis, they were surveyed about their DCIS treatment decisions. Survey data were merged with CCR records to obtain tumor and treatment data. The survey was successfully completed by 745 women, 239 of whom had a mastectomy and represent the sample included in this study. Whites had a higher completion rate than Latinas (67 and 55%, respectively). Analysis included descriptive statistics and logistic regression modeling. Mean age was 54 years. A greater proportion of whites had reconstruction (72%) compared to English-speaking Latinas (69%) and Spanish-speaking Latinas (40%).Multivariate analysis showed thatwomenwho were aged 65 and older, unemployed, and had a lower ratio of plastic surgeons in their county were less likely to have reconstructive surgery after mastectomy. The most frequent reasonsmentioned not to receive reconstruction included lack of importance and desire to avoid additional surgery. Although ethnic/language differences in treatment selection were observed, multivariable analysis suggests that these differences could be explained by differential employment levels and geographic availability of plastic surgeons.
PMCID: PMC3684692  PMID: 21533531
Ductal carcinoma in situ; Latinas; Reconstruction; Treatment decisions
17.  The Role of Patient Activation on Patient–Provider Communication and Quality of Care for US and Foreign Born Latino Patients 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2009;24(Suppl 3):534-541.
Previous research has shown positive effects of patient activation on healthcare outcomes, but there is practically no information on the generalization of these findings for Latino patients. Little data are available on whether patient activation is associated with healthcare outcomes for Latino patients and whether activation varies by language proficiency and nativity status.
We examined the levels of activation by characteristics of Latino patients (e.g. nativity, language, health status). We investigated whether patient activation relates to the quality of care received and enhanced doctor–patient communication for Latino patients.
We conducted analyses of 1,067 US born and foreign born Latinos who participated in the second wave of the PEW/RWJF Hispanic Healthcare Survey during 2008.
Participants were self-identified Latinos (18+) with a doctor visit, living in the contiguous United States who could be contacted by telephone.
US born Latinos had significantly (P < 0.001) greater patient activation scores than foreign born Latinos (75 versus 70). Latinos classified as bilingual and those reporting excellent health evidenced higher mean activation scores as compared to Spanish-speaking Latinos and those reporting fair or poor health. After adjusting for demographics, health status, other language and service use factors, patient activation was strongly associated with self-reported quality of care and better doctor–patient communication among both US and foreign born Latino respondents.
Interventions that augment patient activation could increase quality of care and improved patient–provider communication, potentially reducing health care disparities for Latinos.
PMCID: PMC2764038  PMID: 19842003
patient–provider communication; Latinos; activation; quality of care
18.  Availability of substance abuse treatment services in Spanish: A GIS analysis of Latino communities in Los Angeles County, California 
The percentage of Latino clients entering outpatient substance abuse treatment (OSAT) in the United States has increased significantly in the past 10 years. Evidence suggests that a lack of services in Spanish is a significant barrier to treatment access among Latinos.
Using a geographic information system (GIS) approach, data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) were analyzed to determine the geographic distance between OSAT facilities with services in Spanish and Latino communities throughout Los Angeles County, CA. Data from N-SSATS were also analyzed using logistic regression models to examine organizational characteristics and their association with offering services in Spanish. Our GIS methods are tested in their ability to provide baseline measures to inform future analysis comparing changes in demography and service infrastructure.
GIS analysis revealed cold spots representing high-density Latino communities with extensive travel distance to facilities offering services in Spanish. The average linear distance between Latino communities and facilities offering Spanish-language services ranged from 2 to 6 miles, while the location of the cold spots pointed to a need for services in Spanish in a particular subregion of the county. Further, secondary data analysis revealed that, on average, being privately owned (OR = .23, 95% CI = 0.06-0.90) was associated with a lower likelihood of providing services in Spanish compared to public facilities. Additionally, a facility with a state license (OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.12-3.88) or a higher number of Medicaid recipients (OR = 2.98, 95% CI = 1.76-5.05) was twice as likely to offer services in Spanish.
Despite the significant presence of Latinos in L.A. County in 2000, low capacity was found in discrete Latino communities in terms of offering OSAT services in Spanish. Funding and regulation play a significant role in facilities' capacity to offer these services. Future studies should build from our multi-method approach to compare changes in population demography and system infrastructure and inform health care policy that seeks to improve providers' capacity to provide linguistically competent care.
PMCID: PMC3162907  PMID: 21835041
19.  Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevalence and Behavioral Risk Factors among Latino and Non-Latino Patients Attending the Baltimore City STD Clinics 
Sexually transmitted diseases  2010;37(3):191-196.
Many studies have evaluated factors influencing STD/HIV disparities between African-American and white populations, but fewer have explicitly included Latinos for comparison.
We analyzed demographic and behavioral data captured in electronic medical records of patients first seen by a clinician in one of two Baltimore City public STD clinics between 2004 and 2007. Records from white, African-American, and Latino patients were included in the analysis.
There were significant differences between Latinos and other racial/ethnic groups for several behavioral risk factors studied, with Latino patients reporting fewer behavioral risk factors than other patients. Latinos were more likely to have syphilis, but less likely to have gonorrhea than other racial/ethnic groups. English-proficient Latina (female) patients reported higher rates of infection and behavioral risk factors than Spanish-speaking Latina patients. After adjustment for gender and behavioral risk factors, Spanish-speaking Latinas also had significantly less risk of sexually transmitted infections than did English-speaking Latinas.
These results are consistent with other studies showing that acculturation (as measured by language proficiency) is associated with increases in reported sexual risk behaviors among Latinos. Future studies on sexual risk behavior among specific Latino populations characterized by country of origin, level of acculturation, and years in the U.S. may identify further risk factors and protective factors to guide development of culturally appropriate STD/HIV interventions.
PMCID: PMC2828531  PMID: 19910863
Hispanic/Latino; sexually transmitted disease clinic; racial/ethnic disparities; acculturation; gonorrhea; chlamydia; syphilis; HIV
20.  Latino Access to the Patient-Centered Medical Home 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2009;24(Suppl 3):514-520.
Disparities can be caused by minorities receiving care in low-quality settings. The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) has been identified as a model of high-quality primary care that can eliminate disparities. However, Latinos are less likely to have PCMHs.
To identify Latino subgroup variations in having a PCMH, its impact on disparities, and to identify factors associated with Latinos having a PCMH.
Analysis of the 2005 MEPS Household Component, a nationally representative survey with an oversample of Latino adults. The total sample was 24,000 adults, including 6,200 Latinos.
The PCMH was defined as having a regular provider, who provides total care, fosters patient engagement in care, and offers easy access to care. Self reports of preventive care (cholesterol screening, blood pressure check, mammography, and prostate-specific antigen screening) and patient experiences were examined.
White (57.1%) and Puerto Rican (59.3%) adults were most likely to have a PCMH, while Mexican/Mexican Americans (35.4%) and Central and South Americans (34.2%) were least likely. Much of the disparity was caused by lack of access to a regular provider. Respondents with a PCMH had higher rates of preventive care and positive patient experiences. Disparities in care were eliminated or reduced for Latinos with PCMHs. The regression models showed private insurance, which is less common among all Latinos, was an important predictor of having a PCMH.
Eliminating health-care disparities will require assuring access to the PCMH. Addressing differences in health-care coverage that contribute to lower rates of Latino access to the PCMH will also reduce disparities.
PMCID: PMC2764044  PMID: 19842000
Latino subgroup; primary care; medical home; quality; patient experience; patient-centered medical home
21.  Community-based Preferences for Stool Cards versus Colonoscopy in Colorectal Cancer Screening 
In the United States, compliance with colorectal cancer (CRC) screening recommendations remains suboptimal. Professional organizations advocate use of shared decision making in screening test discussions, but strategies to facilitate informed choice in CRC screening have not been well elucidated.
The objectives of the study were to determine screening test preference among colonoscopy-naïve adults after considering a detailed, written presentation of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and colonoscopy and to assess whether their preferences are associated with demographic characteristics, attitudes, and knowledge.
The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey.
Colonoscopy-naïve supermarket shoppers age 40–79 in low- and middle-income, multiethnic neighborhoods in Denver, CO, reviewed a detailed, side-by-side description of FOBT and colonoscopy and answered questions about test preference, strength of preference, influence of physician recommendation, basic knowledge of CRC, and demographic characteristics.
Measurements and Main Results
Descriptive statistics characterized the sample, and bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses identified correlates of screening test preference. In a diverse sample of 323 colonoscopy-naïve adults, 53% preferred FOBT, and 47% preferred colonoscopy for CRC screening. Individuals of Latino ethnicity and those with lower educational attainment were more likely to prefer FOBT than non-Latino whites and those with at least some college. Almost half of the respondents felt “very strongly” about their preferences, and one third said they would adhere to their choice regardless of physician recommendation.
After considering a detailed, side-by-side comparison of the FOBT and colonoscopy, a large proportion of community-dwelling, colonoscopy-naïve adults prefer FOBT over colonoscopy for CRC screening. In light of professional guidelines and time-limited primary care visits, it is important to develop improved ways of facilitating informed patient decision making for CRC screening.
PMCID: PMC2359177  PMID: 18157581
colorectal cancer screening; colonoscopy; fecal occult blood testing; patient preferences; informed decision-making
22.  Heterogeneity in Health Insurance Coverage Among US Latino Adults 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2009;24(Suppl 3):561-566.
We sought to determine the differences in observed and unobserved factors affecting rates of health insurance coverage between US Latino adults and US Latino adults of Mexican ancestry. Our hypothesis was that Latinos of Mexican ancestry have worse health insurance coverage than their non-Mexican Latino counterparts.
The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) database from 1999–2007 consists of 33,847 Latinos. We compared Latinos of Mexican ancestry to non-Mexican Latinos in the initial descriptive analysis of health insurance coverage. Disparities in health insurance coverage across Latino categories were later analyzed in a multivariable logistic regression framework, which adjusts for confounding variables. The Blinder-Oaxaca technique was applied to parse out differences in health insurance coverage into observed and unobserved components.
US Latinos of Mexican ancestry consistently had lower rates of health insurance coverage than did US non-Mexican Latinos. Approximately 65% of these disparities can be attributed to differences in observed characteristics of the Mexican ancestry population in the US (e.g., age, sex, income, employment status, education, citizenship, language and health condition). The remaining disparities may be attributed to unobserved heterogeneity that may include unobserved employment-related information (e.g., type of employment and firm size) and behavioral and idiosyncratic factors (e.g., risk aversion and cultural differences).
This study confirmed that Latinos of Mexican ancestry were less likely to have health insurance than were non-Mexican Latinos. Moreover, while differences in observed socioeconomic and demographic factors accounted for most of these disparities, the share of unobserved heterogeneity accounted for 35% of these differences.
PMCID: PMC2764037  PMID: 19842007
health insurance coverage; health-care disparities; access to health care; Hispanic Americans; Latinos
23.  Barriers to Screening Colonoscopy for Low-income Latino and White Patients in an Urban Community Health Center 
Colonoscopy is a screening modality for the early detection of colonic polyps and cancers but is underutilized, particularly among minorities.
To identify potential barriers to screening colonoscopy among low income Latino and white non-Latino patients in an urban community health center.
Design, participants, and approach
We conducted semistructured interviews with a convenience sample of patients 53 to 70 years old, eligible for colorectal cancer screening that spoke English or Spanish. Open-ended questions explored knowledge, beliefs, and experience with or reasons for not having screening colonoscopy. We performed content analysis of transcripts using established qualitative techniques.
Of 40 participants recruited, 57% were women, 55% Latino, 20% had private health insurance, and 40% had a prior colonoscopy. Participants described a wide range of barriers categorized into 5 major themes: (1) System barriers including scheduling, financial, transportation, and language difficulties; (2) Fear of pain or complications of colonoscopy and fear of diagnosis (cancer); (3) Lack of desire or motivation, including “laziness” and “procrastination”; (4) Dissuasion by others influencing participants’ decision regarding colonoscopy; and (5) Lack of provider recommendation including not hearing about colonoscopy or not understanding the preparation instructions.
Understanding of the range of barriers to colorectal cancer screening can help develop multimodal interventions to increase colonoscopy rates for all patients including low-income Latinos. Interventions including systems improvements and navigator programs could address barriers by assisting patients with scheduling, insurance issues, and transportation and providing interpretation, education, emotional support, and motivational interviewing.
PMCID: PMC2517890  PMID: 18350339
colon cancer; screening; colonoscopy; Latino; barriers; patient navigation; cultural competency; qualitative
24.  Do healthy behaviors decline with greater acculturation?: Implications for the Latino mortality paradox 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2005;61(6):1243-1255.
Relative to non-Latino whites, Latinos in the United States have a lower socioeconomic status (SES) profile, but a lower all-cause mortality rate. Because lower SES is associated with poorer overall health, a great deal of controversy surrounds the Latino mortality paradox. We employed a secondary data analysis of the 1991 National Health Interview Survey to test the health behavior and acculturation hypotheses, which have been proposed to explain this paradox. These hypotheses posit that: (1) Latinos have more favorable health behaviors and risk factor profiles than non-Latino whites, and (2) Health behaviors and risk factors become more unfavorable with greater acculturation. Specific health behaviors and risk factors studied were: smoking, alcohol use, leisure-time exercise activity, and body mass index (BMI). Consistent with the health behaviors hypothesis, Latinos relative to non-Latino whites were less likely to smoke and drink alcohol, controlling for sociodemographic factors. Latinos, however, were less likely to engage in any exercise activity, and were more likely to have a high BMI compared with non-Latino whites, after controlling for age and SES. Results provided partial support for the acculturation hypothesis. After adjusting for age and SES, higher acculturation was associated with three unhealthy behaviors (a greater likelihood of high alcohol intake, current smoking, a high BMI), but improvement in a fourth (greater likelihood of recent exercise). Gender-specific analyses indicated that the observed differences between Latinos and non-Latino whites, as well as the effects of acculturation on health behaviors, varied across men and women. Results suggest that the health behaviors and acculturation hypotheses may help to at least partially explain the Latino mortality paradox. The mechanisms accounting for the relationship between acculturation and risky behaviors have yet to be identified.
PMCID: PMC3587355  PMID: 15970234
Latino mortality paradox; Smoking; Alcohol use; Exercise; Body mass index; USA
25.  Healthy Colon, Healthy Life (Colon Sano, Vida Sana): Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Latinos in Santa Clara, California 
Journal of Cancer Education  2010;25(1):36-42.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates are low among Latinos. To identify factors associated with CRC screening, we conducted a telephone survey of Latino primary care patients aged 50–79 years. Among 1,013 participants, 38% were up-to-date (UTD) with fecal occult blood test (FOBT); 66% were UTD with any CRC screening (FOBT, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy). Individuals less than 65, females, those less acculturated, and patients of female physicians were more likely to be UTD with FOBT. CRC screening among Latinos is low. Younger patients, women, and patients of female physicians receive more screening.
PMCID: PMC2848346  PMID: 20094827
Colorectal cancer; Fecal occult blood test; Latinos; Sigmoidoscopy

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