Metlife and University of the Pacific Introduce Health History Forms in 21 Languages

Oct. 14, 2003
New Forms Help Dentist/Patient Communication Regardless of Language Barriers.

MetLife and the University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry, today announced the translation of a health history form in 21 languages to address the diverse communication needs of patients and dentists. The translations represent 87.7% of those languages spoken in the United States, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, which revealed that 32 million people in the United States speak a language other than English in their homes. An additional 11 translations are planned to be released over the remainder of the year. The Multi-Language Health History forms can be downloaded at no cost as a PDF file from MetLife at and from the University of the Pacific at under Dental Professionals.

"Diversity in ethnicity, culture and language enriches our lives, but also adds a challenge to communicating important health information that is vital to the safe delivery of dental care. The Multi-Language Health History forms will enhance the quality of oral health care by helping patients, regardless of their native language, communicate more effectively with their dentists," said Dr. James Kennedy, Chair of the MetLife Dental Advisory Council and Dean Emeritus of the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. The MetLife Dental Advisory Council, formed in 1995, is comprised of practicing and academic dentists who oversee MetLife's Quality Initiatives Program.

The Multi-Language Health History forms are simple to use. The forms are divided into sections related to medical signs and symptoms, diagnosed diseases, specific medical treatments and medications that may influence the diagnosis of oral diseases and/or modify dental therapy. When the English form was translated into other languages, the sequence of questions remained the same. Patients answer the questions by circling a "yes" or "no" response. A dentist can then compare a health history form in his or her native language to the language form the patient has used.


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"In order to accommodate the growing diversity of society, we recognized there was a vital need to have patient medical health information readily available in multiple languages and collaborated with the California Dental Association and MetLife to fulfill this need. Because of the uniform questioning sequence, these health history translations can actually be used by patients and doctors all around the world," said Peter L. Jacobsen PhD, DDS, Director of Oral Medicine, University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry.

The translations are currently available in Arabic, Chinese, Creole, English, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, one of the nation's premier dental schools, has served the San Francisco Bay Area community for 107 years. Pacific is committed to excellence in student-centered education, patient care and research. The school's clinics, located in San Francisco, Union City and Stockton, offer quality, low-cost dental services to children and adults throughout Northern California.

MetLife is the largest commercial dental carrier in the United States, administering dental benefits for over 19.8 million people.

MetLife, a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), is a leading provider of insurance and other financial services to individual and institutional customers. The MetLife companies serve approximately 12 million individuals in the U.S. and provide benefits to 37 million employees and family members through their plan sponsors. Outside the U.S., the MetLife companies have insurance operations in 12 countries serving approximately 8 million customers. For more information about MetLife, please visit the company's Web site at