Non-English speakers attend gastroenterology clinic appointments at higher rates than English speakers in a vulnerable patient population.

Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, Division of General Internal Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA.
Journal of clinical gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 3.19). 01/2009; 43(7):652-60. DOI: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181855077
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We sought to identify factors associated with gastroenterology clinic attendance in an urban safety net healthcare system.
Missed clinic appointments reduce the efficiency and availability of healthcare, but subspecialty clinic attendance among patients with established healthcare access has not been studied.
We performed an observational study using secondary data from administrative sources to study patients referred to, and scheduled for an appointment in, the adult gastroenterology clinic serving the safety net healthcare system of San Francisco, CA. Our dependent variable was whether subjects attended or missed a scheduled appointment. Analysis included multivariable logistic regression and classification tree analysis. A total of 1833 patients were referred and scheduled for an appointment between May 2005 and August 2006. Prisoners were excluded. All patients had a primary care provider.
Six hundred eighty-three patients (37.3%) missed their appointment; 1150 patients (62.7%) attended. Language was highly associated with attendance in the logistic regression; non-English speakers were less likely than English speakers to miss an appointment [adjusted odds ratio 0.42 (0.28, 0.63) for Spanish, 0.56 (0.38, 0.82) for Asian language, P<0.001]. Other factors were also associated with attendance, but classification tree analysis identified language to be the most highly associated variable.
In an urban safety net healthcare population, among patients with established healthcare access and a scheduled gastroenterology clinic appointment, not speaking English was most strongly associated with higher attendance rates. Patient-related factors associated with not speaking English likely influence subspecialty clinic attendance rates, and these factors may differ from those affecting general healthcare access.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasingly common among non-Caucasian populations, but interracial differences in disease characteristics and management are not well-characterized. We tested the hypothesis that disease characteristics and management vary by race among IBD patients in an ethnically diverse healthcare system. A retrospective study of the safety net healthcare system of San Francisco, CA, from 1996 to 2009 was undertaken. Patient records with International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision (ICD9) codes 555.xx, 556.xx, and 558.xx were reviewed. Adult patients with confirmed IBD diagnoses were included. Interracial variations in disease characteristics and management were assessed broadly; focused between-race comparisons identified specific differences. The 228 subjects included 77 (33.4%) with Crohn's disease (CD), 150 (65.8%) with ulcerative colitis, and 1 (0.4%) with IBD, type unclassified. The race distribution included 105 (46.1%) white, 34 (14.9%) black, 35 (15.4%) Hispanic, and 51 (22.4%) Asian subjects. Asians and Hispanics were diagnosed at older ages (41.0 and 37.1 years, respectively) and had shorter disease durations (5.4 and 5.2 years, respectively) than whites (30.5 years at diagnosis and 8.6 years duration, P < 0.05) and blacks (31.7 years at diagnosis and 12.1 years duration, P < 0.05). CD was more common among blacks (50% of subjects) than Asians (25.5% of subjects, P = 0.015). The Montreal classification of IBD was similar among races. Hispanics were less likely than others to be treated with 5-aminosalicylates (5-ASA), immunomodulators, and steroids. Medical and surgical management was otherwise similar among races. Modest race-based differences in IBD characteristics exist in this racially diverse healthcare system, but the management of IBD is similar among race groups.
    Digestive Diseases and Sciences 10/2010; 55(12):3479-87. DOI:10.1007/s10620-010-1442-8 · 2.55 Impact Factor


Available from