211529 Health Across the Life Course: A Qualitative Study of Routine Care Use in South Asians

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rani Pallegadda , School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Harleysville, PA
Christopher J. Koenig, PhD , Health Policy Research, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA
Namratha R. Kandula, MD, MPH , Division of General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Jessica Shin , Health Policy Research, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA
Latha Palaniappan , Health Policy Research, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA
Background: South Asians in Northern California make up 10% of the population, and represent a racial/ethnic minority group at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Culture largely shapes the development of individuals, yet few studies have explored cultural factors that inform lifestyle and health maintenance in this at-risk population. In particular, little has been done to study and characterize their utilization of routine care in the US.

Purpose: Characterize cultural reluctance to routine care and its effects on cardiovascular health. Identify a heterogeneous cohort of South Asian patients of Palo Alto Medical Foundation who opt not to have routine care. Examine cultural influences on utilization of care in the young and aged, across sexes, and in the newly immigrated through well-acculturated. Elucidate the need to address barriers by measuring differences in CVD risk between patients who see physicians for routine visits and those who do not.

Hypothesis: South Asians will indicate barriers based on cultural tendencies that are dynamic throughout the life course and alter perceptions of an individual's health. South Asians have an incomplete understanding of their health, particularly regarding cardiovascular risk, that inappropriately reduces their impetus to seek care.

Methods: Interviews will collect responses to a number of questions elucidating lifestyle priorities, motivations to seek care, perceptions of the healthcare system, and other factors affecting utilization through varied stages of life and experiences.

Significance: Understand how culture shapes perceptions of health and utilization of care in an effort to eliminate health disparities, as highlighted by Healthy People 2010.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the session, the audience will be able to: 1. Identify cultural factors that lead to use of routine (preventive) care in South Asians. 2. Characterize the effects of routine care on cardiovascular risk factors across the life course.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Health Care Utilization

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Author is Co-Investigator for "Identifying barriers to routine physician visits within a South Asian cohort in Northern California: Applied to cardiovascular health intervention" study at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, funded by Arnold P. Gold Foundation June 1, 2009 -- August 15, 2009.
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.