Immigrant perceptions of discrimination in health care: the California Health Interview Survey 2003.

Department of Health Studies University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
Medical Care (Impact Factor: 2.94). 11/2006; 44(10):914-20. DOI: 10.1097/01.mlr.0000220829.87073.f7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT U.S. healthcare disparities may be in part the result of differential experiences of discrimination in health care. Previous research about discrimination has focused on race/ethnicity. Because immigrants are clustered in certain racial and ethnic groups, failure to consider immigration status could distort race/ethnicity effects.
We examined whether foreign-born persons are more likely to report discrimination in healthcare than U.S.-born persons in the same race/ethnic group, whether the immigration effect varies by race/ethnicity, and whether the immigration effect is "explained" by sociodemographic factors.
The authors conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the 2003 California Health Interview Survey consisting of 42,044 adult respondents. Logistic regression models use replicate weights to adjust for nonresponse and complex survey design.
The outcome measure of this study was respondent reports that there was a time when they would have gotten better medical care if they had belonged to a different race or ethnic group.
Seven percent of blacks and Latinos and 4% of Asians reported healthcare discrimination within the past 5 years. Immigrants were more likely to report discrimination than U.S.-born persons adjusting for race/ethnicity. For Asians, only the foreign-born were more likely than whites to report discrimination. For Latinos, increased perceptions of discrimination were attributable to sociodemographic factors for the U.S.-born but not for the foreign-born. Speaking a language other than English at home increased discrimination reports regardless of birthplace; private insurance was protective for the U.S.-born only.
Immigration status should be included in studies of healthcare disparities because nativity is a key determinant of discrimination experiences for Asians and Latinos.

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