Diabetes Outcome and Process Measures Among Patients Who Require Language Interpreter Services in Minnesota Primary Care Practices

Jane W. Njeru, Deborah H. Boehm, Debra J. Jacobson, Laura M. Guzman-Corrales, Chun Fan, Scott Shimotsu, Mark L. Wieland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Immigrants and refugees are less likely to meet diabetes management goals than the general US population. Those with limited English proficiency (LEP) and who need interpreter services (IS) for health care encounters, maybe at higher risk for encountering barriers to optimal diabetes management, and while most receive diabetes care in primary care settings, little is known about the association between IS need and diabetes outcomes. This study aims to determine adherence with diabetes process and outcomes measures among LEP patients in primary care settings, and is a retrospective cohort study of patients with type II diabetes at two large primary care networks in Minnesota from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013. Diabetes outcome measure goals were defined as hemoglobin A1C <8%, LDL-C <100 mg/dL, and blood pressure <140/90 mmHg. Process measure goals were defined as hemoglobin A1C measured within the previous 6 months and LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) measured within the previous 12 months. Compared to non-IS patients (N = 11,970), IS patients (N = 1486) were more likely to meet guideline outcome recommendations for blood pressure (Adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.02; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.70, 2.40), hemoglobin A1C (OR 1.23; 95% CI 1.08, 1.40), and LDL-C (OR 1.40; 95% CI 1.2, 1.62). Older IS patients and male IS patients were less likely to meet recommendations for hemoglobin A1C (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.48, 1.02; OR 0.66; CI 0.54, 0.79; respectively) and LDL-C (OR 0.81; 95% CI 0.55, 1.17; OR 0.47; CI 0.39, 0.57; respectively). Healthcare system solutions need to bridge gaps from process to outcomes among LEP patients who require IS in primary care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-825
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Diabetes
  • Disparities
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Minority health
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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