Online Program

On the Threshold: Understanding Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services for Latinas in Emerging Communities

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lucia Guerra-Reyes, PhD, MPH, MA, Department of Applied Health Science, School of Public Health-Bloomington, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Amanda Ferstead, MPH Student, Applied Health Sciece, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Stacey A. Giroux, PhD, Center for Survey Research, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
K. C. Vick, MPH, Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Available data for Latinos in Indiana show large health disparities, especially among Latinas. They lack access to SRH services; have the highest cervical cancer rates in the state; and are twice more likely than other minority women to be uninsured. Due to their status as an emerging community, their patterns of access to health services are little understood. This hinders the ability of health care systems to reach this population, and increases the detrimental effects of health disparities.

Methods: This exploratory study uses semi-structured interviews, collected using referral sampling, to evaluate the sexual and reproductive health resources and services available to Latinas in one county in South-Central Indiana, and analyzes providers’ perception of the needs of this population.

Results: The patchwork of services leaves large segments of this population uncovered. Available services center on women who represented risk for pregnancy or STIs. No SRH preventive or treatment services were available for older women, or those that could not reproduce. Providers had problems reaching Latinas in the area, and with individual communication once they were able to engage. Perceptions of Latinas focused on their risk for workplace injuries and as victims of domestic violence, not on their SRH needs.

Conclusions: In this emerging community availability and access to SRH services are limited. Contact with the health system is viewed through their embodiment of risk, or victimhood. There is no overt talk of SRH needs, beyond the reproductive or STI risk. We uncover issues faced in emerging communities and make recommendations.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify how perceptions of Latinas, among health care providers influence the level and scope of sexual and reproductive health services in emerging communities.

Keyword(s): Underserved Populations, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am conducting the related research to understand sexual and reproductive health access among Latinas in Indiana. It is part of my overall research agenda, of exploring the policy and programs aimed at reducing disparities among marginalized populations.
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.

Back to: 5013.0: Poster: Health disparities