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Enhancing Language Access: A Pilot Study to Examine the Importance of Understanding the Language Preference and Acculturalization Level in the Provision of Healthcare for Hispanics Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury.
Molina-Vicenty IL, Borrás-Fernandez IC, Pope C, Davis B, Alemán-Del Toro M, Maldonado-Sánchez I, Arroyo L, Jovet-Toledo G, Dismuke CE, Roque A, Díaz Y, Resto M, Rincones A, Soler-Llompart C, Acevedo ND, Betances-Arroyo GS. Enhancing Language Access: A Pilot Study to Examine the Importance of Understanding the Language Preference and Acculturalization Level in the Provision of Healthcare for Hispanics Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury. Military medicine. 2021 Jan 25; 186(Suppl 1):572-578.
The purpose of this pilot study was to obtain preliminary data to culturally adapt the Veteran Health Administration Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) assessment instruments for the Hispanic Veteran population. A qualitative analysis explored the cognitive processes used by Hispanic Veterans whose preferred language was Spanish to understand a specific set of screening questions within the Initial TBI Screening, the Comprehensive TBI Evaluation, the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory (NSI), and the La Trobe Communication Questionnaire (LTCQ).
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A certified translator completed translation of the TBI instruments, an expert panel resolved inadequate expressions of the translations, and translated instruments were back translated. Male and female Hispanic Veterans with a positive TBI screening underwent a recorded administration of the TBI instruments, including LTCQ, followed by systematic debriefing using semi-structured cognitive interviews which then underwent qualitative analysis. The Marin''s Short Acculturation Scale for Hispanics, the Tropp''s Psychological Acculturation Scale, the English-Language Proficiency Test Series, and the TBI Demographic and Language Preference interview were administered to the subjects.
Fifteen subjects were enrolled for the TBI instruments intervention; 11 of them completed all the additional procedures. The TBI instruments intervention seemed to produce very few variations, indicating adequate cultural equivalence. However, the LTCQ instrument showed suggested cultural variations, but did not suggest a lack of understanding or misinterpretation. The population studied displayed preferential connectedness to the Hispanic/Latino culture and to the Spanish language. The LTCQ indicated that subjects perceived themselves as having a worse execution in terms of communication skills than historical control and TBI groups. English-Language Proficiency Test Series found that most of the subject population did not demonstrate mastery of grade-appropriate basic social and academic vocabulary in English.
Current findings highlight the importance of using linguistically and culturally appropriate materials upon evaluating Hispanic Veterans with a suspected TBI who have Spanish as their primary or preferred language.