The effect of cultural and linguistic diversity on pregnancy outcome

Authors


Dr Penelope E. Thomas/Dr Michael Beckmann, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Mater Mothers Hospital, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia. Email: michael.beckmann@mater.org.au

Abstract

Background:  Cultural and linguistic diversity in Australia is increasing rapidly. Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women include those born outside Australia/New Zealand, non-English speaking, non-Caucasian and refugees. Individually, each of these factors has the potential to influence health and pregnancy outcomes.

Aims:  The aim of this study was to determine whether CALD parameters, including country of birth, race, primary language spoken, need for an interpreter and refugee status are independent predictors of obstetric or neonatal outcomes.

Methods:  A retrospective analysis of 4751 women (including 461 women using an interpreter; 1046 non-Caucasian and 117 women identifying as refugees) was performed.

Results:  Generalized ordered logistic modelling found no significant relationship between adverse outcomes and refugee status (P = 0.863). Use of interpreter services (P = 0.015) and country of birth (P < 0.001 when at least one adverse outcome has occurred) were significant indicating that using an interpreter and/or being born outside Australia/New Zealand reduced the likelihood of an adverse outcome.

Conclusions:  These findings are relevant to planning appropriate models of care and guiding effective use of resources.

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