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Perceived Discrimination and Use of Health Care Services in a North Carolina Population of Latino Immigrants

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Relationships were investigated between perceived discrimination at the usual health care source and health care services use among Latinos. Three perceived discrimination variables were explored–based on race/ethnicity, based on insurance status, or based on either. Participants ( = 281) were Latino immigrants enrolled in a care management program. Perceived discrimination was not associated with having well-visits. However, perceived discrimination based on insurance status and any perceived discrimination were both associated with increased likelihood of going without needed health care (OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.4–5.3, < .05; and OR = 3.0, 95% CI: 1.4–6.2, < .05; respectively). Perceived discrimination based on insurance status was also inversely associated with emergency department visits (OR = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.23–0.79, < .05). Addressing sources of perceived discrimination could improve health care access in this population.

Spanish
Se investigaron las relaciones entre la utilización de servicios de salud y la percepción de discriminación en la fuente primaria de atención médica por una población Latina. Tres variables que midieron la percepción de discriminación fueron investigadas—la discriminación por causa de la raza/etnicidad de uno, la discriminación por causa de su situación en cuanto al seguro de salud, y la discriminación por causa de cualquiera de los dos. Los participantes (N = 281) fueron inmigrantes Latinos inscritos en un programa de manejo del cuidado de salud. La percepción de discriminación no fue asociada con la probibilidad de tener citas para chequeos. Sin embargo, la percepción de discriminación por causa del seguro de salud y por cualquiera de las dos motivos fueron asociadas con una probibilidad mayor de necesitar atención médica y no obtenerla (OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.4–5.3, p < .05; and OR = 3.0, 95% CI: 1.4–6.2, p < .05; respectivamente). La percepción de discriminación por causa del seguro tambien fue asociada inversamente con la probabilidad de ir a la sala de emergencias (OR = 0.42, 95% CI: 0.23–0.79, p < .05). La atencion a las fuentes de la percepción de discriminación podria mejorar el acceso a los servicios de salud por esta población.
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Keywords: DISCRIMINATION; ETHNICITY; HEALTH CARE SERVICES; INSURANCE STATUS; LATINOS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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