Contributing Factors to Delays in COVID-19-Related Hospitalization Among Latinx and Spanish-Speaking Patients/Factores Que Contribuyen a Retrasos en Hospitalizaciones Relacionadas con COVID-19 Entre Pacientes Latinos e Hispano-Hablantes

Type: Journal Article
Date: October 2023

Citation

Sofia Alejandra LadnerCarolyn F. FisherCeylon Auguste-NelsonRaquel Sofia SandovalKatherine McDanielNeha Sandeep, and Yamini Saravanan. “Contributing Factors to Delays in COVID-19- Related Hospitalization Among Latinx and Spanish-Speaking Patients/ Factores Que Contribuyen a Retrasos en Hospitalizaciones Relacionadas con COVID-19 Entre Pacientes Latinos e Hispano-Hablantes”. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (October 2023). 

Abstract

Background: Latinx populations have been more heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic than the general population of the US, including higher rates of hospitalization due to COVID-19 in eastern Massachusetts. We conducted a qualitative study to better understand the experiences of Latinx and Spanish-speaking patients who had clinically significant COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic.

Methods: Thirteen qualitative, semistructured, phone interviews were conducted between December 2020 and April 2021 with Latinx and Spanish-speaking patients who had experienced clinically significant COVID-19 in the metro-north Boston area. Interviews were recorded and transcribed in their original languages. An a priori code tree was developed which was later iteratively revised based on emerging themes. Transcripts were thematically analyzed.

Results: Participants discussed their overall experiences contracting the COVID-19 infection, as well as their experiences with the disease and with being hospitalized and the months after in recovery. Family and social networks were a common support, both emotional and financial. Although they survived the disease, hospitalization had serious impacts on the mental and physical health of participants, including the remnants of trauma from hospitalization itself.

Implications: Latinx and Spanish-speaking patients in eastern Massachusetts had specific experiences in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic that were shaped by their living conditions and culture. It is important for health care professionals to understand these experiences so that they can design appropriate medical interventions as well as target outreach efforts that are culturally appropriate. Finally, serious attention should be paid to the mental health-related consequences of hospitalization and policies that can alleviate them.

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