252557 Healthcare Services Use among Chinese College Students in Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lu Xing, Master of Arts , Department of Communication Disorders, Emerson College, Boston, MA
Xin Lu, Master of Science , Environment and Health Group, Inc, Environment and Health Group, Inc, Cambridge, MA
Background: Little is known about Chinese students' health and healthcare-seeking behaviors. Literature shows Chinese students underused healthcare services. This project aimed to investigate health status and perceived barriers towards using health services among this population.

Methods: An online survey was designed to collect demographic information, health information seeking behaviors, health status, health insurance knowledge, and the utilization of on-campus healthcare services among this population. A conveniences sample was used. Data was analyzed in SPSS.

Results: 112 Chinese students took the survey while 97 completed. Preliminary findings include: A majority did not know medical visit procedure in the US or understand basic health insurance terms; Many did not know their insurance covers off-campus healthcare services; 76.28% of the respondents wanted to learn more about the health insurance policy in Massachusetts, and 80.41% wanted to learn more about how to see a doctor; Among the 62 who have school-sponsored health insurance and have on-campus health services available, 54.83% indicated they would not consider seeing a doctor in the US until seriously ill, and 62.90% relied on medications brought from China; Respondents did not perceive cost as a barrier towards the use of health services; instead, they perceived unfamiliarity of the healthcare system, a lack of trust in American healthcare providers, and an uncomfortable feeling with non-Chinese speaking doctors as major barriers.

Discussion Chinese students would not use health services in the US unless seriously ill. Interventions should focus on educating the population to lower their barriers towards utilizing health services.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Understand the fact Chinese students under-used health services Describe perceived barriers towards using health services

Keywords: Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I designed the survey and oversee the data analysis and educational materials creation
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.