Individuals with non-English language preferences (NELP) represent a growing proportion of the USA population. Prior studies demonstrate disparate health outcomes related to NELP status; however, this patient population is often excluded from medical research. There is a paucity of literature describing the impact of NELP status on trauma, specifically injury and outcomes related to vehicle occupants injured during motor vehicle collisions (MVCs). The goal of this study was to evaluate the representation of patients with NELP in both emergency medicine and trauma literature.
We conducted a systematic search of US-based publications from 2010 to 2021. Titles, abstracts and full texts of eligible articles were evaluated. Data were extracted using an a priori determined standardised reporting tool to evaluate language as study inclusion/exclusion criteria, manuscript reporting of language, assessment of language as a primary variable and consideration of language in study methodology.
A total of 82 studies met inclusion criteria. Twenty-three studies (28%) excluded NELP populations and only one study explicitly included the NELP population. None of the studies evaluated language as a primary outcome of the study or included language as a variable in the analysis. Over half of the studies (53.6%) used a public data set or registry.
NELP populations are routinely excluded from and are difficult to identify in MVC trauma research. Without appropriate inclusion and identification, it will be difficult to understand the prevalence and outcomes of traumatic injury in NELP patients and to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions.