Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-19-2021


Lounsbery, M 2021. Spoken Barriers: The Effects of Spanish-English Interpretation Within the United States Health System. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln.


Copyright Michelle Lounsbery 2021.


In recent times the prevalence of the Spanish language in the United States has been on a steady incline, and the language barrier created between patients and providers is only growing. Studies display a direct relationship between communication barriers formed by insufficient interpretation methods and negative patient outcomes due to a lack of understanding. This study will evaluate of the effects of Spanish-English interpretation in the United States health system as well as review the significance of direct patient-provider communication and how to improve these methods. Research methods will involve the use of other accredited academic literature and studies, as well as pulling demographic data from both local and national sources. The aim of the study is not to formulate a new study, but to build off of previous research to raise awareness and provide analytical recommendations. Based upon the findings of this study, it can be inferred that interpretive services, when offered and effective, have the ability to improve patient satisfaction while minimizing language barriers and other affiliated disparities in the U.S. health system.