Abstract: Source of Health Information and Unmet Healthcare Needs in Asian Americans (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

274P Source of Health Information and Unmet Healthcare Needs in Asian Americans

Friday, January 18, 2019
Continental Parlors 1-3, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Yuri Jang, PHD, Professor, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
JungWon Yoon, Associate Professor, University of South Florida, FL
Nan Sook Park, PhD, Associate Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Background and Purpose: Responding to the disparities in accessing and obtaining health information and health services among immigrant populations, the present study explored the typologies of health information source and their predictability to unmet healthcare needs in a sample of Asian Americans. The aims of the present study were: (1) to identify the typologies of the source of health information, (2) to contrast the characteristics of the identified groups, and (3) to examine how the identified typologies were associated with the unmet healthcare needs.
Methods: Data were drawn from 2,592 participants (age range = 18−98) in the 2015 Asian American Quality of Life (AAQoL) Survey. In order to reach out to diverse groups of Asian Americans, culturally and linguistically sensitive approaches (e.g., survey questionnaire in Asian languages, bilingual/bicultural recruiters and survey assistants, and partnerships with Key individuals and organizations within ethnic communities) were employed, resulting in a sample almost half of which were surveyed in their native languages. Latent profile analysis was performed on nine sources of health information across interpersonal networks (family members, close friends, acquaintances, and health professionals) and Internet-based communication technologies (mobile apps, email listservs, social networking sites, online communities, and health websites). Logistic regression analysis was performed to examine how the identified health information typologies were associated with unmet healthcare needs.
Results: Latent class analysis identified six classes: ‘resource-heavy,’ ‘human-oriented,’ ‘expertise-focused,’ ‘family-dominant,’ ‘resource-scarce,’ and ‘health professional-dominant.’ Compared to the resource-heavy group, the odds of having an unmet healthcare need were 2.94 times greater in the family-dominant group and 4.13 times greater in the resource-scarce group.
Conclusions and Implications: Findings provide implications for interventions with respect to subgroups to be prioritized and areas to be targeted in efforts to promote access and acquisition of health information and health services in Asian Americans. Given the vulnerability of the resource-scarce and family-oriented groups, their membership characteristics shed light on whom to be prioritized in intervention efforts. Attention is needed for individuals who lack personal resources in terms of education, acculturation, and health insurance. Efforts may include offering health education programs tailored to education and acculturation levels. It is recommended to use simple content that is understandable by persons with low literacy, evaluate cultural relevance of the materials, and translate the information into the several Asian languages. Promotion of the access and utilization of online health information would be another strategy. With the advancement of communication technologies, online sources are anticipated to serve as an important means of obtaining health information, and such resource and benefit should be shared across diverse populations.