Assessing the Likelihood of Having a Regular Health Care Provider among African American and African Immigrant Women.
ABSTRACT: Objective:Immigrants, especially refugees, face unique barriers to accessing health care relative to native born Americans. In this study, we examined how immigration status, health, barriers to access, and knowledge of the health care system relate to the likelihood of having a regular health care provider. Methods:Using logistic regression and data from a community-based participatory study, we estimated the relative likelihood that an African immigrant woman would have a regular health care provider compared with an African American woman. Results:Immigrant status remains a powerful predictor of whether a woman had a regular health care provider after controlling for covariates. African immigrants were 73% less likely to have a regular health care provider than were otherwise similar African American women. Conclusion:Expanding health care educational efforts for immigrants may be warranted. Future research should examine how cultural beliefs and time in residence influence health care utilization among US immigrants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Africans immigrants in the United States are the least-studied immigrant group, despite the research and policy efforts to address health disparities within immigrant communities. Although their healthcare experiences and needs are unique, they are often included in the "black" category, along with other phenotypically-similar groups. This process makes utilizing research data to make critical healthcare decisions specifically targeting African immigrants, difficult. The purpose of this Scoping Review was to examine extant information about African immigrant health in the U.S., in order to develop lines of inquiry using the identified knowledge-gaps. METHODS:Literature published in the English language between 1980 and 2016 were reviewed in five stages: (1) identification of the question and (b) relevant studies, (c) screening, (d) data extraction and synthesis, and (e) results. Databases used included EBSCO, ProQuest, PubMed, and Google Scholar (hand-search). The articles were reviewed according to title and abstract, and studies deemed relevant were reviewed as full-text articles. Data was extracted from the selected articles using the inductive approach, which was based on the comprehensive reading and interpretive analysis of the organically emerging themes. Finally, the results from the selected articles were presented in a narrative format. RESULTS:Culture, religion, and spirituality were identified as intertwined key contributors to the healthcare experiences of African immigrants. In addition, lack of culturally-competent healthcare, distrust, and complexity, of the U.S. health system, and the exorbitant cost of care, were identified as major healthcare access barriers. CONCLUSION:Knowledge about African immigrant health in the U.S. is scarce, with available literature mainly focusing on databases, which make it difficult to identify African immigrants. To our knowledge, this is the first Scoping Review pertaining to the healthcare experiences and needs of African immigrants in the U.S.
Project description:The healthy immigrant effect is a phrase that has been used for decades to describe better cardiometabolic health in African immigrants than African Americans. The recent global increase in cardiometabolic diseases raises the possibility that immigrant health may be changing. Therefore, a new assessment of cardiometabolic health in African immigrants is warranted.Glucose tolerance status, blood pressure, and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) volume were compared in 214 self-identified healthy men comprised of 138 African immigrants, 76 African Americans, mean age 36±9 years [mean±standard deviation (SD); range 20-64 years]. Insulin resistance was defined by the lowest quartile of the insulin sensitivity index (SI?2.28?mU/L(-1)·min(-1)). The waist circumference (WC) which predicts insulin resistance was determined using receiver operating characteristic curves and the Youden index.Body mass index (BMI) and WC were lower in African immigrants than African Americans (BMI, 27.4±3.8 vs. 29.3±5.5 kg/m(2), P<0.01; WC, 91±11 vs. 97±16?cm, P<0.01). However, blood pressure, fasting glucose, and 2-hr glucose were higher in the African immigrants (all P<0.01). In addition, African immigrants had a higher prevalence of previously undiagnosed diabetes (8% vs. 0%, P<0.01) and prediabetes (35% vs. 22%, P<0.01). After adjusting for WC, African immigrants had more visceral adipose tissue (VAT) than African Americans (P<0.01). Consequently, the WC that predicted insulin resistance was 92?cm in African immigrants but 102?cm in African Americans.African immigrants were less obese than African Americans but had worse cardiometabolic health, specifically higher glucose levels, more hypertension, and greater visceral adiposity. Overall, the healthy immigrant effect may no longer be valid.
Project description:The geographic dispersion of the U.S. immigrant population has occurred alongside a dramatic increase in state-level immigration laws that has unfolded unevenly across states, creating markedly different state immigrant policy climates. Although not all such laws are health-related, they have potential implications for immigrants' health care utilization. Using data from the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation, we leverage the geographic variation in the restrictiveness of state immigrant policy climates to examine the association between state-level immigrant policies and health provider visits-a fundamental indicator of health care utilization-among immigrant adults. Results indicate that restrictive immigrant policy climates exacerbate nativity gaps in health provider visits among working-age adults and, to a lesser extent, among older adults. Our findings suggest that even immigrant policies not directly related to health have consequences for immigrants' health care utilization.
Project description:Immigrants' utilization of primary health care (PHC) services differs from that of the host populations. However, immigrants are often classified in broad groups by continent of origin, and the heterogeneity within the same continent may hide variation in use among immigrant groups at a national level. Differences in utilization of PHC between sub-Saharan African immigrants have not received much attention.Registry-based study using merged data from the National Population Register and the Norwegian Health Economics Administration. African immigrants and their descendants registered in Norway in 2008 (36,366 persons) where included in this study. Using ?2 test and logistic regression models, we assessed the differences in the use of PHC, including general practitioner (GP) and emergency room (ER) services, and the distribution of morbidity burden for immigrants from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Gambia. For the analyses, we used the number of visits and medical diagnoses from each consultation registered by the physician.Among the total studied population, 66.1% visited PHC within 1 year. The diagnoses registered were similar for all four immigrants groups, regardless of country of origin. Compared to immigrants from Somalia, the age and sex adjusted odds ratios (OR) for use of GP were significantly lower for Ethiopians (OR 0.91; 0.86-0.97), Eritreans (OR 0.85; 0.79-0.91), and Gambians (OR 0.88; 0.80-0.97). Similarly, we also observed lower use of ER among Ethiopians (OR 0.88; 0.81-0.95), Eritreans (OR 0.56; 0.51-0.62) and Gambians (OR 0.81; 0.71-0.92). However, immigrants from Somalia reduced their use of PHC with longer duration of stay in Norway. Differences between groups persisted after further adjustment for employment status.Despite the similarities in diagnoses among the sub-Saharan African immigrant groups in Norway, their use of PHC services differs by country of origin and length of stay. It is important to assess the reasons for the differences in these groups to identify barriers and facilitators to access to healthcare for future interventions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Immigrants from China and Africa have high rates of hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, primary care physician (PCP) adherence to screening guidelines in at-risk communities is not well understood. METHODS:The New York City (NYC) neighborhood tabulation areas with the 25 greatest Chinese and African immigrant populations were determined based on US census data. The American Medical Association database was used to identify PCPs practicing in these neighborhoods. A Web-based survey designed to assess HBV and HCC knowledge and screening practices was distributed via e-mail to PCPs in these target areas. RESULTS:A total of 2072 physicians were contacted, and 109 responded to the survey, for a response rate of 5.3 %. Among responding physicians, 73 % report routinely testing immigrant patients for HBV. However, if a patient tests positive for HBV, only 68 % of providers recommend screening for HCC. Over a quarter of PCPs (27 %), failed to correctly state that antiviral therapy can lower the risk of developing HCC, and only 56 % correctly replied that screening for liver cancer improves survival. Of responders, only 54 % answered correctly that a 25-year-old patient from Africa with HBV should be screened for HCC, whereas 53 % answered incorrectly that a 25-year-old patient from China with HBV should be screened, demonstrating a lack of awareness of the different age of onset of liver cancer in the two groups. The most commonly reported barrier to offering both HBV testing and HCC screening was a "lack of clear guidelines." Neither HBV nor HCC was among the top 3 health concerns of patients, as perceived by their physicians. There were no significant differences between provider responses in Chinese and African immigrant neighborhoods. CONCLUSIONS:Providers serving Chinese and African immigrants in NYC often fail to recommend appropriate HBV and HCC screening. This appears to be due to significant gaps in provider knowledge and a lack of awareness of established screening guidelines. This study suggests the need for better distribution of existing guidelines to physicians serving immigrant-rich communities in order to improve HBV and HCC screening in high-risk individuals.
Project description:Recruitment in research can be challenging, particularly for racial/ethnic minorities and immigrants. There remains a dearth of research identifying the health and sociocultural needs of these populations related to recruitment. To describe our experiences and lessons learned in recruiting African immigrant (AI) women for the AfroPap study, a community-based study examining correlates of cervical cancer screening behaviors. We developed several recruitment strategies in collaboration with key informants and considered published recruitment methods proven effective in immigrant populations. We also evaluated the various recruitment strategies using recruitment records and study team meeting logs. We enrolled 167 AI women in the AfroPap study. We used the following recruitment strategies: (1) mobilizing African churches; (2) utilizing word of mouth through family and friends; (3) maximizing research team's cultural competence and gender concordance; (4) promoting altruism through health education; (5) ensuring confidentiality through the consenting and data collection processes; and (6) providing options for data collection. Online recruitment via WhatsApp was an effective recruitment strategy because it built on existing information sharing norms within the community. Fear of confidentiality breaches and time constraints were the most common barriers to recruitment. We were successful in recruiting a "hard-to-reach" immigrant population in a study to understand the correlates of cervical cancer screening behaviors among AI women by using a variety of recruitment strategies. For future research involving African immigrants, using the internet and social media to recruit participants is a promising strategy to consider.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Over half of malaria cases reported in the USA occur among people travelling to visit friends and relatives (VFRs), predominantly to West Africa. Few studies have queried VFR travellers directly on barriers to seeking pre-travel care. We aim to describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices of VFRs travelling to malaria-endemic countries from the USA. With these findings, we aim to design interventions to encourage preventive behaviours before and during travel. METHODS:Sixteen focus groups were held in two US metropolitan areas with West African immigrant populations: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, and New York City, NY. A total of 172 people from 13 African countries participated. Focus group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed, and modified grounded theory analysis was performed. Participants reviewed themes to verify intent of statements. RESULTS:Participants described the high cost of provider visits and chemoprophylaxis, challenges in advocating for themselves in healthcare settings and concerns about offending or inconveniencing hosts as barriers to malaria prevention. Cultural barriers to accessing pre-travel care included competing priorities when trip planning, such as purchasing gifts for family, travel logistics and safety concerns. When participants sought pre-travel care, most consulted their primary care provider. Participants expressed low confidence in US providers' knowledge and training about malaria and other tropical diseases. CONCLUSION:Barriers to pre-travel care for VFR travellers are multifaceted and extend beyond their perception of disease risk. Only some barriers previously reported in anecdotal and qualitative literature were supported in our findings. Future interventions should be aimed at barriers identified by individual communities and involve primary and travel specialist healthcare providers. Additional work is needed to address systems-level barriers to accessing care and establishing community-based programs to support West African VFR traveller health.
Project description:Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among Black men who present with higher incidence, mortality, and survival compared to other racial groups. African immigrant men, however, are underrepresented in PCa research and thus this research sought to address that gap. This study applied a social determinants of health framework to understand the knowledge, perceptions, and behavioral tendencies regarding PCa in African immigrants. African immigrant men and women residing in different parts of the country (California, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Florida) from various faith-based organizations, African community groups, and social groups were recruited to participate in key informant interviews (n = 10) and two focus groups (n = 23). Four themes were identified in this study: (a) PCa knowledge and attitudes-while knowledge is very limited, perceptions about prostate health are very strong; (b) culture and gender identity strongly influence African health beliefs; (c) preservation of manhood; and (d) psychosocial stressors (e.g., financial, racial, immigration, lack of community, and negative perceptions of invasiveness of screening) are factors that play a major role in the overall health of African immigrant men. The results of this qualitative study unveiled perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge of PCa among African immigrants that should inform the planning, development, and implementation of preventive programs to promote men's health and PCa awareness.
Project description:Chronic hepatitis B infection (HBV) disproportionately affects African Immigrant (AI) communities in the U.S., with a reported infection rate of 15%. HBV screening rates within these communities are low. This study sought to better understand the socio-cultural determinants associated with low HBV screening among AI communities and identify potential strategies to help inform the development of effective HBV education and screening interventions. Seventeen in-depth interviews were conducted with community health experts working in AI communities throughout the U.S. Interviews explored the potential impact of culture, perception of health, awareness of HBV, religious practices, current screening practice, provider relationship, and behaviors towards general prevention. Interview data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Religious preferences and cultural norms affect health care access, perceptions towards prevention, awareness of HBV, and contribute to myths and stigma within this population. Participants reported a lack of HBV knowledge and awareness and barriers to health care access including, cost, language, racism, understanding of Western Medicine, and usage of traditional medicine. This study elucidates the role of religious and cultural beliefs as barriers to HBV screening and care. Results can contribute to public health efforts to increase awareness, screening and vaccination efforts within AI communities.
Project description:Immigrant women face greater barriers to health care, especially mental health care, than non-immigrant women. However, immigrants are a heterogeneous group and bring with them a range of different personal, social, cultural and economic factors, which impact both mental health and access to care. In this study, we explored factors that influence Filipina immigrants' perceptions of help seeking from a general practitioner for mental health problems in Norway.Using data from semi-structured interviews, we applied a post-colonial feminist perspective to identify factors that affect perceptions of help seeking.Findings indicated that a combination of the women's beliefs and values, stigma, experiences with healthcare services in Norway and familiarity with mental health services influence perceptions of help seeking. Some factors represented structural barriers to healthcare seeking in general, while others related to mental healthcare seeking in particular. The significance of each factor varied depending on the women's backgrounds.Socioeconomic status, educational background, familiarity with health services and experience of mental health can influence immigrant women's perceptions of, and barriers for, help seeking for mental health problems. There are a number of barriers to address at a structural level to improve both the propensity to seek healthcare in general, as well as mental healthcare in particular. Efforts to increase awareness of primary mental healthcare services may also help change the perception that professional help is only appropriate for serious mental health disorders.