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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 298787, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/298787
Research Article

An Analysis of Language as a Barrier to Receiving Influenza Vaccinations among an Elderly Hispanic Population in the United States

1Healthy Aging Program, Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA
2Emerging Investigations and Analytic Methodologies Branch, Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA

Received 18 May 2010; Accepted 27 July 2010

Academic Editor: Francisco M. Averhoff

Copyright © 2011 William S. Pearson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. The Hispanic population in the United States is growing, and disparities in the receipt of healthcare services as a result of limited English proficiency have been demonstrated. We set out to determine if Spanish language preference was a barrier to receiving influenza vaccinations among Hispanic persons 65 years and older in the USA. Methods. Differences in the receipt of vaccinations by language preference were tested with both Chi-square analyses and adjusted logistic regression analyses. Results. Findings suggest that elderly Hispanic persons, 65 years of age and older, who prefer to communicate in Spanish instead of English, are significantly less likely to have received influenza vaccinations when compared to their Hispanic counterparts who prefer to communicate in English. Conclusions. Influenza infections can more often be fatal in older persons and may disparately affect minority populations such as Hispanic persons. Therefore, understanding barriers to the receipt of effective preventive health measures is necessary.