Original Research Article| Volume 225, ISSUE 4, P769-774, April 2023

Trauma patients with limited English proficiency: Outcomes from two level one trauma centers

Published:October 18, 2022DOI:


      • Patients with limited English less likely to be discharged to post-acute care.
      • Limited English proficiency was not associated with longer length of stay.
      • Limited English proficiency was not correlated with 30-day readmission.
      • Patients with limited English proficiency may have less access to rehabilitation.



      Outcomes for surgical patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) may be worse compared to patients with English proficiency. We sought to evaluate the association of LEP with outcomes for trauma patients.


      Admitted adult patients on trauma service at two Level One trauma centers from 2015 to 2019 were identified.


      12,562 patients were included in total; 7.3% had LEP. On multivariable analyses, patients with LEP had lower odds of discharge to post-acute care versus home compared to patients with English proficiency (OR 0.69; 95% CI 0.58–0.83; p < 0.001) but had similar length of stay (Beta coefficient 1.16; 95% CI 0.00–2.32; p = 0.05), and 30-day readmission (OR 1.08; 95% CI 0.87–1.35; p = 0.46).


      Trauma patients with LEP had comparable short-term outcomes to English proficient patients but were less likely to be discharged to post-acute care facilities. The role of structural barriers, family preferences, and other factors merit future investigation.


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