Online Program

Health of the Filipino American community: What do Filipino doctors and nurses think are the issues and challenges?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Luceli Cuasay, DrPH, MPH, Research For Health, Sugar Land, TX
Beverly Gor, EdD, RD, LD, Dorothy I. Height Center for Health Equity and Evaluation Research, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Donna Canlas, MD, PA, Suite 1180, Private Medical Practice, Houston, TX
Cherry Sloan, RN, CCM, BC, OCN, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Riza Mauricio, PhD, RN, CPNP-AC, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Gayle Balmaceda, RN, ANP, GNP, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Lovell Jones, PhD, Dorothy I. Height Center for Health Equity and Evaluation Research, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Background: Filipinos represent the second largest immigrant population (2.6M) and second largest Asian subgroup in the U.S., but are rarely studied, especially those in Texas, the 3rd largest Filipino population (1.1M, 72% increase from 2000). Filipinos in Texas have a favorable socioeconomic profile—54% have management, professional or related occupations and 45% are in educational, health and social services industries, compared to 42% and 34% respectively, nationwide. Despite this and being English proficient—characteristics associated with improved health access and health status—major health disparities in CVD, diabetes, and cancer persist. Objective: To examine cultural values, health beliefs, practices, and concerns of Filipinos in Greater Houston and determine culturally appropriate interventions that address their unique characteristics and health concerns. Methods: To reflect their distinctive occupational profile, two focus groups (FGs) of physicians and nurses were conducted. Sixteen physicians (10 males and 6 females, ages 34-79) and 17 nurses (all females, ages 43-69) participated and completed a survey including demographics, specialties, and clinical practices. Results: All participants were Philippine-born and -trained (except two). The survey revealed their patient populations and health screening recommendations. Major topics discussed were: awareness of health issues, risk factors, motivators and barriers to lifestyle changes, cultural beliefs and practices impacting health, prevention and control strategies, and health care options and access. CVD, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension were top health concerns. Common themes were: abundance of social events and food indulgence, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, excessive drinking and smoking, stress from work and family, and lack of health education. Conclusions: The focus group discussions provided useful information for developing culturally-sensitive health education that addresses dietary habits, physical activity, blood pressure and cholesterol control, tobacco and alcohol use, and stress. Filipino health professionals can work together with community-based organizations and the Filipino community in reducing health disparities.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the cultural beliefs, practices, and health concerns of a Filipino American community. Discuss the role and strategies of Filipino American physicians and nurses to help improve the health of the community and reduce the disease burden.

Keyword(s): Health Disparities, Asian and Pacific Islander

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist/biostatistician with wide-ranging experience in cardiovascular medicine, diabetes, oncology, HIV/AIDS, and health disparities research. I conducted the first type 2 diabetes survey among Filipino Americans; presented sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of FA with/without diabetes, and obesity and metabolic syndrome among FA”. I am co-investigator of the Filipino Health Needs Assessment of the Center for Health Equity and Evaluation Research. I am guest lecturer on API health at annual CHEER health disparities workshops.
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.