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Background: In the United States, the majority of patient educational material is written in English, thereby limiting the available resources for the growing Spanish-speaking population. Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) commonly affects Hispanic patients and patient education is integral to the successful management of this condition. This study aims to analyze the readability and availability of Spanish and English patient education on DDH provided by the top 50 pediatric orthopedic hospitals and the major professional societies.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis by determining the proportion of top 50 pediatric orthopedic hospitals and major professional societies providing English and Spanish resources. We also assessed the readability of the information provided via three measures of readability. Descriptive, univariate, and multivariate analyses were performed.
Results: Of the top 50 hospitals ranked by US News, 84% (42/50) provided English language patient education on DDH. In contrast, only 36% (18/50) of the hospitals provided a Spanish language patient education. All of the major orthopedic professional societies provided English resources, but only 2 out of 3 professional societies provided Spanish resources. There were no significant differences in the rates of Spanish language resources and their readability scores between states that had greater or less than 20% Spanish-speaking population (p > 0.05). However, English language materials consistently ranked higher in grade level (9th grade vs 7-8th grade, p<0.01) and readability measures (11.70 vs 10.18, p<0.01) than Spanish materials on DDH.
Conclusion: The availability of Spanish patient education resources is limited, despite the growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States. In states with more than 20% of patients that are Spanish speaking, there was no significant increase in the available Spanish language resources, indicating a discordance between educational materials and patient populations. The readability of written materials continues to be above the recommended level for patient education.