Journal of health care for the poor and underserved | 2021
Investigating the Association between English Proficiency and General Health among Marshallese Adults in the United States.
Prior studies have not examined the association between English proficiency and health among Marshallese adults. Cross-sectional data from 378 Marshallese adults enrolled in a Diabetes Prevention Program study in Arkansas and Oklahoma were used to document English proficiency, assess the relationship between sociodemographic health-related characteristics and English proficiency, and examine the association between English proficiency and general health. Approximately one-fifth of participants reported limited English proficiency (LEP). One-fifth of participants reported being in fair or poor health. General health, age group, education, household food insufficiency, inability to afford necessities, and comorbidities were significantly associated with LEP. Participants with LEP were 78% less likely to report better general health compared with those who reported speaking English very well. Limited English proficiency was high among this sample of Marshallese adults. Findings highlight the need for additional Marshallese clinical interpretation and translation services.