The Impact of Verbal Communication on Limited English Proficiency Hispanic Adults: A Systematic Review [paper]




Garcia Rosales, Dailen

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Introduction: Limited English Proficiency is defined as difficulty reading, writing, understanding, and speaking English. Patients with limited English proficiency experience longer and more frequent hospital stays than patients with language proficiency. A growing body of research is exploring how language concordant providers and interpreter services as methods of verbal communication can affect health outcomes in this population. Methods: This paper utilized Medline Complete, CINAHL, PubMed, and Web of Science to conduct a literature review. Inclusion criteria included primary research studies, published within the last five to six years, peer-reviewed, published in English, performed within the United States, pertaining to limited English proficiency adults, pertaining to verbal communication, pertaining to health outcomes. The initial search produced 4,996 articles, from which nine were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: Clinical outcomes in patients with language-concordant providers had mixed results. Two articles found improvement in clinical outcomes, one article found that language concordant providers are more thorough in history taking, and two articles found no significant differences in language concordant and language discordant care. Patients who received interpreter services received higher quality of care compared to those that did not, although all outcomes did not improve uniformly. Hispanic adults regardless of English proficiency generally have poorer control of chronic conditions. Discussion: Patients with language concordant providers generally have positive health outcomes. Language discordant providers should always utilize professional medical interpreters and should advocate for bilingual staff.


An EBP Capstone Project submitted to the St. David’s School of Nursing at Texas State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nursing.


limited English proficiency, communication barriers, patient outcomes, interpreter services, language concordance


Garcia Rosales, D. (2023). The impact of verbal communication on limited English proficiency Hispanic adults: A systematic review [paper]. St. David's School of Nursing, Texas State University.


Rights Holder

Rights License

Rights URI