Spanish-Speaking Caregivers' Experience with an Emergency Department Pediatric Asthma-Care Bundle Quality Initiative

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2019 Aug;6(4):660-667. doi: 10.1007/s40615-019-00564-1. Epub 2019 Feb 6.


Most pediatric emergency departments' (ED) quality improvement (QI) initiatives for asthma aim to standardize care based on the priorities of healthcare providers. Perceptions and priorities of the caregiver rarely are addressed, especially in families with limited English-language proficiency. We explored Spanish-speaking caregivers' perceptions, understandings, and barriers with the care they received for asthma, after exposure to an ED asthma-care bundle. This qualitative study was part of a larger QI initiative on Spanish-speaking caregivers of patients presenting to a children's hospital ED with an asthma exacerbation. Patients were exposed to an asthma-care bundle, which included timely administration of medication, home dose of medications, an educational intervention, asthma action plans (AAPs), and discharge instructions. Through semi-structured interviews and qualitative analyses, we assessed the perceptions, understandings, and barriers caregivers reported during their ED experience. From January 2015 to October 2016, 492 patients received AAPs in the ED. Of 128 families that preferred Spanish, 88 (69%) received a Spanish AAP, 41 (32%) received Spanish discharge instructions, and 34 (27%) received discharge materials in both languages. Thirteen families were interviewed. Three themes emerged regarding the caregivers' perceived barriers: (1) need for improved accessibility to medication, primary care, and insurance; (2) communication barriers, such as timeliness, availability of interpreters, and need for resources in their preferred language; and (3) uncertainty about the child's diagnosis and acuity. Incorporating the caregivers' perspectives into QI projects may yield valuable information when developing new interventions. In the ED, improving accessibility to interpreters and providing discharge materials in their preferred language, as well as addressing misconceptions about asthma, may enhance caregivers' satisfaction.

Keywords: Asthma; Education; Limited English proficiency; Qualitative analysis; Quality initiative.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Caregivers*
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Hospitals, Pediatric / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Patient Care Bundles / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration