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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


VERAS, Mirella et al. A province-wide survey on self-reported language proficiency and its influence in global health education. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.4, pp.533-541. ISSN 0124-0064.


Literature has reported that language is the most common barrier in a health care setting and a risk factor associated with negative outcomes. The present study reports the differences between nursing students who speak one language and nursing students who speak two or more languages (self-reported language proficiency) and their skills and learning needs in global health.


An observational cross-sectional study was performed among nursing students from five Ontario universities. A survey was designed to measure knowledge, skills and learning needs in global health.


Students who speak more than two languages are more likely to have more interest in learning global health issues, such as health risks and their association with travel and migration (p=0.44), and social determinants of health (p=0.042).


Language training is needed for nursing students to be able to face language barriers in health care settings and improve global health, locally and internationally.

Keywords : Global health; health education; language; cultural competency; nursing; (source: MeSH, NLM).

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