142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Access to Health Care for Canadians of African Descent

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Josephine Etowa, PhD , Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Background: Although African Nova Scotians have lived in Canada for centuries, they continue to face barriers to health care,. and they  are under-represented in the health research, and  health policy arenas.  This paper presents a key theme from the findings of a three year study that investigated the health status and health care experiences of Black women living in rural and remote regions of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Methods: Mixed method guided by the tenets of participatory action research (PAR). Data was collected through interviews, focus groups and demographic questionnaire. 237 women participated in the study. Qualitative data was transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. Atlas ti computer software facilitated data management and storage.

Results: Black women in rural communities face significant challenges in their  interactions with the health care system as evident  in wait-times, health care providers’ attitudes and the overall quality of care. Unlike their urban counterparts, these issues are further compounded by geographical isolation. Even when Black women have the financial resources to access health services, they may not find culturally responsive providers, programs, or facilities available within a reasonable distance. This mesh of corrosive conditions compromises the health of African Canadians. 

Conclusions: Despite Canada’s ethno-racially diverse population, health care policies including those that govern education of health professionals are still shaped by Eurocentric ideology. This has significant health implications for the care of African Canadians. These sub-populations need to be involved in the design and implementation of strategies for improving their health and health care.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss access to health care for African Canadians Analyze associations among race, racism and health Describe the corrosive conditions that impact of the health of African Canadians.

Keyword(s): Minority Health, Health Care Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr Etowa is an Associate Professor and Loyer-DaSilva Research Chair in Public Health Nursing at the University of Ottawa. Her research program is in the area of inequity in health and health care with a particular focus on the health of Canadians of African descent. Dr Etowa is co-founder and past president of the Health Association of African Canadians and currently serves on the Board of the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario.
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.