The role of medical interpretation on breast and cervical cancer screening among Asian American and Pacific Islander women

J Cancer Educ. 2010 Jun;25(2):253-62. doi: 10.1007/s13187-010-0074-1.

Abstract

We examined whether the impact of medical interpretation services was associated with the receipt of a mammogram, clinical breast exam, and Pap smear. We conducted a large cross-sectional study involving four Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities with high proportions of individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP). Participants were recruited from community clinics, churches and temples, supermarkets, and other community gathering sites in Northern and Southern California. Among those that responded, 98% completed the survey rendering a total of 1,708 AAPI women. In a series of multivariate logistic regression models, it was found that women who typically used a medical interpreter had a greater odds of having received a mammogram (odds ratio [OR] = 1.85; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.21, 2.83), clinical breast exam (OR = 3.03; 95% CI = 1.82, 5.03), and a Pap smear (OR = 2.34; 95% CI = 1.38, 3.97) than those who did not usually use an interpreter. The study provides support for increasing language access in healthcare settings. In particular, medical interpreters may help increase the utilization of breast and cervical cancer screening among LEP AAPI women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Americans
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • California
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cultural Competency
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilingualism*
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaginal Smears*