Culture and Language Discordance in the Workplace: Evidence from the National Home Health Aide Survey

Suzie Weng, Scott Landes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of the study:
Home health aides (HHAs) provide valuable resources to address existing and predicted needs for taking care of the aging population. Both the older adult and healthcare provider populations in the United States are becoming increasingly diverse. The study examined the effect of culture and language discordance between HHAs and their patients or coworkers on worker outcomes.
Design and methods:
Data from this study were from the 2007 National Home Health Aide Survey. T Tests and ordinary least squares regression were used to analyze the relationships between cultural discordance and worker outcomes.
Results:
Cultural discordance with patients was associated with lower levels of job satisfaction among HHAs. Cultural discordance with coworkers was associated with lower levels of job satisfaction and, increased intent to leave one’s job.
Implications:
The current study suggests that cultural discordance does affect worker outcomes. However, home healthcare workers appear to differentiate between cultural discordance with patients and with coworkers. This article concludes with strategies for all involved in the care of older adults to improve the experience of HHAs and to ensure patients receive the best possible care.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-909
JournalThe Gerontologist
Volume57
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Cultural concordance
  • Language concordance
  • Long-term care
  • Worker outcomes

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