It Isn't All About Language: Communication Barriers for Latinas Using Contraceptives
Purpose: Little is known about barriers that Latinas in the United States face in preventing unintended pregnancies beyond those of language and cost. This study examined factors inhibiting contraceptive use among 18- to 30-year-old Latinas in the Midwest. Method: Individual interviews (N = 31) were conducted in Spanish with Latinas residing across the state. The interview protocol included questions about contraceptives and unintended pregnancies. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, translated, and coded for themes related to barriers. Results: The majority of the barriers were related to communication but not English proficiency. Respondents talked about specific situations and experiences in which communication presented obstacles to using contraceptives. Discussion: While language and cost are important barriers, attention needs to be paid to the other communication issues that women face related to culture, religion, partners, family, and spontaneity. Implications: Health care providers need to address the range of communication barriers that affect Latinas’ contraceptive use.