US hospital patients with poor English have more serious adverse events than proficient speakers

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 15 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:335
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    Hospital patients in the United States who have limited English proficiency are more likely to be harmed by adverse events than other patients, a new study shows.

    Nearly half of the adverse events looked at in the study that occurred in patients with limited English involved physical harm to these patients, whereas only 30% of adverse events recorded as having occurred in proficient English speakers resulted in harm, says the study, which was published online on 2 February in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care (, doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzl069).

    The authors, who say that the absence …

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