Research points towards the use of audio-recorded content supplementing existing materials for patients/customers with limited English proficiency.



Parents with limited English proficiency (LEP) demonstrate lower comprehension of discharge instructions. A study was conducted to (1) determine the feasibility of providing a greeting card with language-specific, audio-recorded discharge instructions to LEP parents; (2) describe use of and satisfaction with the cards; and (3) evaluate card effect on instruction comfort with home care and comprehension.


LEP parents of children undergoing day surgery from April to September 2016 were eligible. Participants were randomized to usual discharge instructions, or usual instructions plus a three-minute card with language-specific audio instructions that could be replayed repeatedly. Parents were surveyed by telephone two to seven days postdischarge to assess card use and satisfaction, comfort with home care, and discharge instruction recall (medications, home care, follow-up, and return precautions). Parent-reported instructions were compared to instructions in the medical record; concordance was determined by two blinded reviewers. Due to difficulty achieving recruitment goals, analysis focused on feasibility and acceptability.


Of  83 parents enrolled, 66 (79.5%) completed the follow-up survey. Most had not completed high school (61.0%) and spoke Spanish (89.2%). Parents reported high satisfaction with the card (4.5/5 for ease of use, helpfulness, and understandability). Ninety-four percent shared the card with others, and 45.2% reported listening > 5 times. Besides reviewing the care instructions generally, parents reported using the card to review medications and engage others in the child’s care.


Providing language-concordant, audio-recorded discharge instructions was feasible, and parents reported high satisfaction with and frequent use of the cards with multiple caregivers.


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