Log in with your email address username.

×

Important notice

doctorportal Learning is on the move as we will be launching a new website very shortly. If you would like to sign up to dp Learning now to register for CPD learning or to use our CPD tracker, please email support@doctorportal.com.au so we can assist you. If you are already signed up to doctorportal Learning, your login will work in the new site so you can continue to enrol for learning, complete an online module, or access your CPD tracker report.

To access and/or sign up for other resources such as Jobs Board, Bookshop or InSight+, please go to www.mja.com.au, or click the relevant menu item and you will be redirected.

All other doctorportal services, such as Find A Doctor, are no longer available.

Improving health outcomes for linguistically diverse patients

- Featured Image

Cardiovascular health for all in Australia requires language-sensitive health systems

Every day, most Australian clinicians treat patients whose first language is not English. Nearly four million Australians speak 350 non-English languages, and 17% rate their spoken English as poor.1 To date, there has been little large scale Australian research into the health impacts of not speaking the country’s dominant language.

Studies on the relationship between linguistic diversity and health outcomes are methodologically challenging. Many have been criticised for their failure to adjust for socio-economic status, education, or English language proficiency, or for using country of birth as a proxy for language spoken at home.2 The prospective cohort study by Juergens and his colleagues, published in this issue of the MJA,3 adds to research on cardiovascular disease and language by analysing mortality 6 months after discharge from hospital. The authors found that mortality was higher in patients whose first language was not English.

Two broad sets of explanations are offered when interpreting differences in health outcomes associated with language: explanations related to socio-epidemiological determinants in the affected population, and explanations related to failures of health service responsiveness.

email