142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

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Perceptions of community characteristics and health among a population of Latino male immigrants in North Carolina

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Paul J. Fleming, MPH , Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Laura Villa Torres, MSPH , Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Arianna Taboada, MSW, MSPH , Schools of Social Work and Public Health, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Chelly Richards, MS, MPH , Farmworker Justice, Washington, DC
Clare Barrington, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Individuals’ communities have profound effects on their health outcomes. We aimed to understand how Latino immigrant men in North Carolina, a new settlement area, perceive their community and their ability to meet their health care needs within available community resources. We conducted three focus groups with 30 Latino male immigrants and conducted a photovoice project with five men from the same population.  We analyzed transcript data from focus groups and discussions of photos from the photovoice project.  Data were analyzed using thematic coding and analytic summaries to identify key themes.  We found that men describe both discrimination and assistance from different non-Latino community members and institutions. Men perceived the broader community as divided along racial/class lines and perceived the Latino community as fragmented by country/region of origin. Significant barriers to Latino community cohesiveness were geographic dispersion, state/federal policies, and targeted immigration law enforcement. Additionally, men reported a lack of leadership and organization among Latino community members. These perceptions of discrimination and fragmentation affected their ability to utilize existing health services; they also perceived that most social services targeting Latinos are only for women/children. Men dealt with health problems by resorting to drinking, sex with sex workers, self-medicating, or visiting unlicensed doctors outside the formal health system.  Findings indicate that health promotion with Latino immigrants in new settlement areas could benefit from community-building activities, addressing discrimination, augmenting the reach of formal health care, and building upon the informal mechanisms that immigrants rely on to meet their health needs.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe Latino menís perspectives on their community as they relate to barriers to meeting their health care needs. Discuss implications of findings for other new settlement areas.

Keyword(s): Immigrant Health, Menís Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have co-directed the research project of which I am presenting on. I have worked in the area of immigrant health for 5 years with a focus on Latino men.
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.