199510 Access to Health Care among a Cohort of Hispanic Migrant Workers in South Florida

Monday, November 9, 2009

Claudia Serna, DDS , Robert Stempel School of Public Health, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Jesus Sanchez, PhD , Robert Stempel School of Public Health, Florida International University, Miami, FL
OBJECTIVE: Obtaining health data on highly mobile populations such as migrant workers is difficult. This study adds to the limited body of research regarding access to health and health status among a cohort of Hispanic migrant farm workers in South Florida.

METHODS: This is a longitudinal study that started data collection in 2008. Participants were eligible if they had a “farm card,” were 18 years of age or older, were of Hispanic origin, and self-reported as least one episode of unprotected sex and consumption of alcohol and/or other drugs in the past 3 months. Participants were administered a structured questionnaire that included basic sociodemographic information, general health, sexual behaviors, alcohol and other drugs use history, behavioral intentions, and acculturation.

RESULTS: Among the 109 respondents already enrolled in the study, 88% reported not having any type of health insurance. Almost 40% of them reported having thought about going to the doctor in the last 3 months but never did. Among those who did not go to the doctor, more than 90% cited lack of insurance as one of the reasons why they did not go. More than 70% of study participants have reported ever being diagnosed with diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, hepatitis B & C, cancer, asthma, and bronchitis.

CONCLUSIONS: Survey data shows that Hispanic migrant farm workers have very limited access to health care services despite reporting significant need for health care, history of disease, and engaging in risk behaviors such as exposure to pesticides, unprotected sex, and alcoholism.

Learning Objectives:
Describe access to health care among a cohort of Hispanic migrant workers. Explain barriers to access among this population.

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Hispanic

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an active participant in this ongoing research project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.