Resources in Spanish for patients

The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (a group of which I am a fan) has released Spanish language guides for patients. I am happy about this for a few reasons. Selfishly, I need to learn more Spanish, especially medical Spanish. I am hoping I can read over these guides and learn how to discuss these conditions more effectively. Of course, that doesn’t help me when a patient asks me a question outside my very limited scope of Spanish proficiency. But, it’s a start.

I was also happy because I thought these guides could be a good resource for the attending physicians at my rotation site. For example, one is A guide to breast biopsies (PDF) (non PDF versions are available at the first link). I just finished a surgery rotation with a team of surgeons who do a lot of breast biopsies, many of which are on women who only speak Spanish. However, it’s 12 pages long. I think it may be nice to put a copy out in the waiting room instead of a magazine, but it is too long to pass out to all the patients.

The are also a few guides specific to pregnancy:
Induction of labor
Gestational Diabetes

I haven’t read them, and my understanding of Spanish isn’t great, so I may not be able to offer a decent critique of their quality. However, this quote from the induction of labor guide troubled me:

Las investigaciones no determinan si la probabilidad de que una mujer tenga una cesárea es diferente si ella elije la inducción en lugar de esperar a que el parto comience espontáneamente.

Unless I am mistaken, it says studies have not determined whether the probability of having a cesarean is higher if one has an induction, rather than a spontaneous labor. That has been researched, and the ACOG Practice Bulletin #107 states that there is a twofold risk of cesarean in a nulliparous (first time birthing) patient than one who has a spontaneous delivery. Also, the chance of vaginal delivery with induction is strongly association with the patient’s Bishop’s score. A Bishop score is easy for a health care practitioner to determine in an office visit, and is not that difficult to explain, at least in general terms, to a pregnant person. I am disappointed in how few people who are induced even know what the Bishop score is, or what theirs was. Of course, if it is a medically indicated induction, it will most likely be attempted even with a low Bishop’s score. But, it is an elective induction, and the pregnancy is only 39 weeks gestation, and the Bishop’s score is low, especially in a nulliparous mom, an induction is very likely to be protracted, and end in a cesarean.

(Hat tip Women’s Health News, Catching Up Edition, which, ironically, I was catching up on)


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3 responses to “Resources in Spanish for patients

  1. The English-language version of that AHRQ Induction patient education piece leaves a lot to be desired as does the AHRQ systematic review that underpinned it (see critique here:

    BTW, Lamaze has patient ed materials in Spanish including the Healthy Birth Practice Papers (you have to click on each title to get the link to the Spanish translation) and their magazine.

  2. I learned recently that before a full AHRQ systematic/comparative effectiveness review is conducted (but after a topic has been nominated, triaged, and refined), some information about the proposed review is posted for public comment. I’m in a position to know about some of these relevant to maternal health, so I’ll be sure to let you all know about public comment periods as they happen when I know about them.

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