Parents' English Proficiency Linked to Length of Hospital Stay for Pediatric Patients

Among children whose parents and other primary caregivers have limited English proficiency, there is an associated increased length of hospital stay and decreased number of home healthcare referrals for pediatric inpatients with infections requiring long-term antibiotics, according to a CMH news release.

Researchers from Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., evaluated 1,257 pediatric inpatients to examine the relationship between limited English proficiency and length of hospital stay and home health care referral status.

Among the parents or primary caregivers of the 1,257 pediatric patients, 39 (3.1 percent) had limited English proficiency and 1,218 (96.9 percent) were proficient in English. Patients with limited English proficiency were more likely to be Latino and either uninsured or insured by Medicaid. The median length of hospital stay for all patients was 4.1 days. However, the median length of stay for patients with limited English proficiency was 6.1 days.

Patients with limited English proficiency were also less likely to receive a home healthcare referral, which occurred for 32.6 percent of English-proficient patients and 6.9 percent of patients with limited English proficiency. Having Medicaid insurance was also associated with a decreased number of home healthcare referrals.

Read the news release about limited English proficiency and pediatric hospital stays.

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