Online Program

Hmong adults' healthcare seeking behavior

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Felicia Schanche Hodge, DrPH, School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Suzanne Kotzin-Jaszi, DrPH, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA
Mohammad Rahman, PhD, Department of Public Health, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA
Fernando Martinez, School of Nursing, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Prescription medication use, in conjunction with or instead of traditional medicine, is an area of interest among researchers. Complementary medicine, over the counter and prescription medication use among a community of Hmong in central California is reported in this paper. A survey was administered to 107 adult Hmong residents in Central California. Fifty-four percent were males, 54% married, 49% unemployed, and 26% reported no formal education. Although 61.7% seek the help of healthcare providers for their illness, 51.4% had problems paying for their prescription medication and 48.6% needed an interpreter to assist them in their conversation with providers. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs were used frequently (30.8% used less than 6 months ago) for pain; 67.2% felt OTC drugs are helpful; however, 21.5% felt it was “necessary but evil.” Prescription drug usage was reported for pain (chest, neck and back) stomach or intestinal illness and for hypertension. A large percentage felt going to a shaman (spiritual healer) is positive (75.7%), and the treatments were helpful (20.6%), very helpful (34.6%) or helps a lot (38.3%). Only 10.3% felt going to a shaman was “necessary but evil.” The study showed that while seeking care from health care providers is the preferred choice of Hmong residents in Central California, a significant number continued to use complimentary medicine to treat illness. Programs targeting Hmong patients should be aware of the high usage of complementary medicine and should use culturally appropriate education to improve communication and healthcare interactions.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify the use of OTC and prescription drug use among Hmong patients. Discuss strategies for developing a culturally appropriate health education for Hmong patients visiting healthcare providers.

Keyword(s): Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the PI of multiple federally funded funded grants that focus on prevention, symptom management and cultural constructs of chronic illness and have conducted research for 40 years.
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.