Enhancing and Improving Treatment Engagement with Hispanic Patients
Hispanics use health and mental health care services at lower rates and receive lower quality care than do non-Hispanics. However, successful engagement in treatment leads to comparable outcomes for Hispanics and other ethnic or racial groups. Therefore, an important way to reduce health disparities is to increase Hispanics’ engagement in health-related treatment services. In this chapter, we delineate the challenges integrated care providers face when looking to serve their Hispanic patients in a more culturally competent manner. We make recommendations for how primary care clinics can better respond to the specific cultural needs of their Hispanic patients so as to enhance treatment engagement, from systemic changes to the specific activities of members of the primary care team. We suggest modifications to screenings and referrals, assessment, interventions, and the formation of collaborative partnerships with other agencies that weave in cultural considerations and address how language and cultural values may shift the specific practices of providers. We turn finally to the focus of integrated care services—improving the overall health of a population—and what this means for reducing health disparities in Hispanic patients. We conclude integrated services reduce many of the internal and external barriers Hispanics face when seeking care, and have the potential to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of diverse patients.
KeywordsCompliance Utilization Engagement Barriers Hispanic/Latino/a
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