Transitions from hospital to community care: The role of patient-provider language concordance

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Background: Cultural and language discordance between patients and providers constitutes a significant challenge to provision of quality healthcare. This study aims to evaluate minority patients' discharge from hospital to community care, specifically examining the relationship between patient-provider language concordance and the quality of transitional care.Methods: This was a multi-method prospective study of care transitions of 92 patients: native Hebrew, Russian or Arabic speakers, with a pre-discharge questionnaire and structured observations examining discharge preparation from a large Israeli teaching hospital. Two weeks post-discharge patients were surveyed by phone, on the transition from hospital to community care (the Care Transition Measure (CTM-15, 0-100 scale)) and on the primary-care post-discharge visit.Results: Overall, ratings on the CTM indicated fair quality of the transition process (scores of 51.8 to 58.8). Patient-provider language concordance was present in 49% of minority patients' discharge briefings. Language concordance was associated with higher CTM scores among minority groups (64.1 in language-concordant versus 49.8 in non-language-concordant discharges, P <0.001). Other aspects significantly associated with CTM scores: extent of discharge explanations (P <0.05), quality of discharge briefing (P <0.001), and post-discharge explanations by the primary care physician (P <0.01).Conclusion: Language-concordant care, coupled with extensive discharge briefings and post-discharge explanations for ongoing care, are important contributors to the quality of care transitions of ethnic minority patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 22 Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Rayan et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


  • Cultural differences
  • Language concordance
  • Minority patients
  • Quality of care
  • Transitional care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


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