200797 Health care factors most likely to predict self-perceived health status among Central and South American immigrants

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:30 PM

Laura Ann Logie, PhD , Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Ruth E. Zambrana, PhD , Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Background: Studies that have examined Latino health indicators have generally excluded Central and South Americans (CSA's) or have grouped them together under “other” Latino.

The significance of this research emerges at a moment when growing racial/ethnic diversity and demographic changes, (especially the growing Latino immigrant population) that are occurring in the U.S. may have significant implications for health care services and health policy.

Methods: This quantitative/qualitative cross-sectional study used survey data collected on 132 CSA residents in Montgomery County, Maryland. Descriptive, univariate and bivariate analytic techniques; content analyses and regrouping of responses into thematic categories; and comparative analyses of sociodemographic indicators of study sample to national data were used.

Results: Two findings unique to this study were gender differences on perceived discrimination and depression, two factors that have not been fully explored in the CSA immigrant community. Sociodemographic factors that distinguish CSA's from Latinos subgroups include: self-perceived health status of fair/poor is higher among study sample than other Latino subgroups with CSA women respondents having higher rates than male respondents.

Conclusions: These data suggest that improvement efforts that rely on population data for Latinos as a single group could miss important opportunities for more targeted initiatives that met the needs of underserved and under researched communities, such as CSA men and women. Recognizing these significant intra- and interpopulation differences also allows healthcare policymakers at the local level to more appropriately target services at Latino subgroups at greater risk of healthcare disparities.

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify chronic conditions, and sources of health information used by Central and South American Immigrants by gender. 2) Assess differences by gender on health access, English language proficiency, literacy levels, health behaviors, perceived discrimination and depression, and 3) Define what sociodemographic factors distinguish Central and South Americans from other Latinos subgroups.

Keywords: Latino Health, Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for the research that was analyzed and the author for this study.
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.