270373 Using zipcodes to analyze community health needs: Implications for Asian American and other immigrant populations

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tony Sinay, PhD , Department of Health Care Administration, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Veronica Acosta-Deprez, PhD , Health Science Department, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
A well-written HNA recognizes that economic, environmental and social situations contribute to overall health status and quality of life within the population. Health needs assessment efforts often use methodologies such as surveys, focus groups, population based studies or statewide data where descriptive statistics are computed and confidence intervals are revealed. Results often represent the central tendency (average) of the population studied, and when there are significant economic and demographic differences amongst communities which may result in health disparities, descriptive statistics tend to be insignificant due to high variance. Generally, results showing insignificant confidence intervals may actually be a sign of health disparities, but it does not pinpoint specific concerns and needs of communities, such as Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and most importantly, where the most communities are in the boundaries of the studied population. This study identifies the most and less vulnerable neighborhoods by zip code, and analyzes the data sample by these two categories. Results are consistent with the expectations that significant differences in these areas exist. For example, vulnerable neighborhoods have more health problems and uninsured people, lack of insurance coupled with affordability. A number of health and health-related issues is surfaced such as depression, dental care, high blood pressure and lack of affordable health care for Most Vulnerable and Less Vulnerable zip codes. The results of this study pose important implications for Asian-American and other immigrant populations, whose health needs have been consistently marred by research results that are not representative of the particular communities.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe the results of a community health needs assessment using zip code analysis 2. To discuss the implications of the use of zipcode analysis in reporting the health needs of Asian American and other immigrant communities.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I earned a BS and MS in Management Engineering, and MS in Finance and PhD in Economics. My research interests include hospital mergers and closures, rural health, access to care and healthy communities. I have conducted health needs assessments for the last six years and have been program evaluator in several community health programs. I have had several publications in the area or rural and immigrant health as well as healthcare management and healthcare finance.
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.