Strategies to Improve Healthcare Communication with Non-Native English Speakers: An Evidence to Practice Review


  • Skylar B. Hudgens-Wallace Ochsner Sports Medicine Institute
  • Kaitlyn M. Pierce Life University
  • Madison P. Whitesell Moore Myoworx
  • Nancy A. Uriegas
  • Zachary K Winkelmann University of South Carolina



As the number of non-native English speakers in the United States rises, the degree to which some patients understand their healthcare communication is decreasing. It is essential to recognize the areas of limited health literacy to ensure proper patient communication and education are achieved. The guiding systematic review aimed to examine different communication interventions and the reported patient experiences from those interactions. The main forms of healthcare communication interventions used in the study included in-person, telephone, and video call interpreters. Patients have been shown to respond best to in-person interpreters, but using interpreters via telephone or video call was also effective and a suitable option. Athletic trainers could use interpreters via telephone or video call to provide patients with a better understanding of their injury while improving communication between the provider and patient. The clinical bottom line of the guiding systematic review was to provide multiple forms of communication interventions to ensure the best outcome of health literacy for the patient. Athletic trainers and other healthcare providers can advocate for non-native English speakers by creating a healthcare communication policy that includes on-demand interventions such as a translation application or a formal medical interpreter.






Evidence to Practice Reviews

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