Free Publication Helps Older Hispanics Improve Doctor Patient Communication Free Publication Helps Older Hispanics Improve Doctor Patient Communication
National Institute on Aging

How well patients and doctors talk to each other is one of the most important parts of getting good health care. As we get older, it becomes even more important to talk often and comfortably with the doctor. Unfortunately, talking to the doctor isn’t always easy. It takes time and effort. A new publication from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) can help older adults learn to communicate more effectively with their doctors.

Conversando con su médico is a 38-page Spanish-language publication that includes information on:

Choosing a doctor,

Communicating effectively with the doctor and other health care providers,

Working with an interpreter,

Discussing sensitive issues such as incontinence or sexuality, and

Finding additional health information in Spanish.
Older Hispanic consumers worked with the NIA to develop this book. They cited a hesitancy to approach their personal doctors with their health concerns due to communication barriers and a fear of worrying their doctors and/or their families. They felt that this book would help them prepare for a visit with their physicians. According to one participant, “After reading this book, I feel more confident that I will be able to talk with my doctor.”

Although they felt their physicians were a good resource, participants acknowledged difficulty in sharing information with their doctors because of time limitations on their visits. They agreed that patients should have questions ready to ask their doctors and that such questions would help make their time with the doctor more productive.

To order a free copy of Conversando con su médico, please call the NIA Information Center toll free at 1-800-222-2225 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Information specialists are available to respond to inquiries in both English and Spanish. You also may order this and other Spanish-language materials on the NIA Web site at