Disparities in Health Care Utilization Between Asian Immigrant Women and Non-Hispanic White Women in the United States

Seo, J.Young.; Kuerban, A.; Bae, S-Heui.; Strauss, S.M.

Journal of Women's Health 28(10): 1368-1377


ISSN/ISBN: 1931-843X
PMID: 31264933
DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2018.7532
Document Number: 325962
Background: Asians accounted for 30% of all U.S. immigrants in 2014, of which 53% were women. Foreign-born Asian immigrant (FBAI) women experience difficulties in obtaining timely and needed health care due to multifaceted barriers. This study examined factors influencing health service utilization among FBAI women compared with native-born (non-Hispanic) White American (NBWA) women. Materials and Methods: A secondary data analysis was conducted using the 2014-2015 California Health Interview Survey. Guided by a modified version of Andersen's behavioral model of health service utilization, FBAI women aged 18 to 64 (n = 1,021) were compared with NBWA women of the same ages (n = 7,086). Outcome variables included having at least one doctor's visit in the past year and having an emergency room (ER) visit in the past year. Analyses included descriptive statistics, t-tests, chi-square tests, and multivariate logistic regressions. Results: FBAI women were significantly less likely to have at least one doctor's visit in the past year and were less likely to have a usual source of care than NBWA women. Significant predictors of having at least one doctor's visit for FBAI women were having high school education, having a usual source of care, having medical insurance, and having a chronic disease. The only significant predictor of having an ER visit for FBAI women was having a chronic disease. Conclusions: Health care providers must be aware of lower levels of health service utilization among FBAI women than NBWA women regardless of whether or not the FBAI women have chronic conditions. It is important to educate these women on the importance of regular health care visits.

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