Latinas' perspectives and experiences on health and access to health care in the U.S.-Mexico border region
Scant research has examined the influence of socio-economic and political contexts on constrained choices and pathways to health care for Mexican women living in the border region. Additionally,current evidence lacks sufficient knowledge about the intersecting factors affecting a woman's choices (or lack of) and her abilities to express her power and confidence in being an agent of change for her health, her family's health and her community's health. To address this gap, our binational research examined the perspectives and experiences of Mexican women (ages 18-65) living in two adjacent colonias in the border region, one rural (Doña Ana County, New Mexico) and the other urban (Ciudad Juárez, Mexico). Using a socio-ecological and gender equity model, we examined the choices and processes by which women negotiate the range of factors (work and family, migration and community context and social policy). We collected and analyzed data from nine focus groups. Barriers to accessing health care included long waiting times to see a provider, lack of transporation, language and race discrimination, limited supply of vaccines and lack of information on reproductive health and chronic disease management. Inhibitors to seeking care included increased border violence and limited mobility due to immigration restrictions. Women living in both communities also experienced enabling assets for health including linkages with other women and ability to find work. Given the complex border context, policy solutions need to involve intersectoral collaborators at the regional and binational levels.
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Identify at least 2 social-contextual barriers to accessing health care for Mexican women living in the border region.
List at least 2 social policy and systems interventions for improving access to care for Mexican immigrant women living in colonias (medically underserved communities).
Keyword(s): Access to Care, Immigration
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator on the study and developed the design, collected the data, analyzed the data and wrote up the findings.
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.