Immunization Disparities by Hispanic Ethnicity and Language Preference

ArticleinArchives of internal medicine 171(2):158-65 · January 2011with16 Reads
DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.499 · Source: PubMed
Seasonal influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates are substantially lower for older Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites. Beneficiary-reported past-year influenza and lifetime pneumococcal immunization for English- and Spanish-preferring Hispanic beneficiaries were compared with those for non-Hispanic whites in cross-sectional bilingual survey data using data from 244 618 randomly sampled community-dwelling respondents (age ≥65 years) with the 2008 Medicare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey (a 62% response rate). Weighted logistic regression estimated immunization disparities with and without adjustment for health status, sociodemographic variables related to access, and location. Hierarchical models examined the role of specific geographic factors in immunization disparities. Pneumococcal immunization rates for Spanish- and English-speaking Hispanics were substantially lower than those for non-Hispanic whites (40% and 56% vs 74%; P < .001 for both comparisons). Influenza immunization rates for Spanish- and English-speaking Hispanics were also lower than for non-Hispanic whites (64% and 68% vs 76%; P < .001 for both comparisons). Health status-adjusted differences were similar; additional adjustment for sociodemographics reduced pneumococcal disparities by approximately one-third and influenza disparities by approximately half, but all disparities remained significant. Pneumococcal disparities were consistently smaller for patients in managed care plans. Influenza disparities were greater both in linguistically isolated areas and in "new destination" areas without long-standing Hispanic populations. Hispanic seniors, especially when Spanish-preferring and in linguistically isolated "new destinations," such as the Southeast, continue to be immunized at markedly lower rates than non-Hispanic whites, even after adjustment for health and sociodemographics. Individual physicians and policymakers may be able to assist this vulnerable group by addressing cultural and linguistic barriers to immunization.
    • "Yet, this decline is not necessarily similar among different populations living in one country. Some potential reasons for these findings are different baseline pneumococcal disease rates [3] , differences on the population level (e.g., young age, overcrowding , poverty, co-morbidities, etc.) [2], vaccine uptake, level of surveillance [4], and differences in serotype distribution [3,4]. While pneumococcal disease rates differ between popula- tions [2], data are scarce regarding potential disparities in PCV impact on pneumococcal disease rates between different populations. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and pneumonia are major causes of morbidity, especially in developing countries. While pneumococcal disease rates differences between various populations are well known, data are scarce regarding disparities in PCV impact on pneumococcal disease rates between populations living in the same country.
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  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the healthcare experiences of Medicare beneficiaries in Puerto Rico. We compare the experiences of elderly Medicare beneficiaries in Puerto Rico with their English-preferring and Spanish-preferring Medicare counterparts in the U.S. mainland. Linear regression models compared mean Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores for these groups, using cross-sectional data from the 2008 Medicare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and older (6733 in Puerto Rico, 282,654 in the U.S. mainland) who completed the 2008 Medicare Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. Six composite measures of beneficiary reports and two measures of beneficiary-reported immunization. Beneficiaries in Puerto Rico reported less positive experiences than both English-preferring and Spanish-preferring U.S. mainland beneficiaries for getting needed care, getting care quickly, and immunization (P<0.05 in all cases). Beneficiaries in Puerto Rico reported better customer service than Spanish-preferring U.S. mainland beneficiaries and better doctor communication experiences than English-preferring U.S. mainland beneficiaries. Additional analyses find little variation in care experiences within Puerto Rico by region, plan type, or specific plan. Medicare beneficiaries in Puerto Rico report generally worse healthcare experiences than beneficiaries in the U.S. mainland for several Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems outcomes and lower immunization rates. Lower funding of healthcare services in Puerto Rico relative to the U.S. mainland may affect healthcare. Strategies such as patient and provider education, provider financial incentives, and increased use of information technologies may improve adherence to the recommended preventive care practices.
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