Validity of using surname to define Chinese ethnicity

ArticleinCanadian journal of public health. Revue canadienne de santé publique 95(4):314 · July 2004with10 Reads
Source: PubMed
    • "To overcome the lack of ethnicity information in many databases, researchers have recently proposed the use of patient surnames as a proxy for defining ethnicity (Quan et al. 2004; Lauderdale and Kestenbaum 2000). Paradoxically, however, this amounts to using names, arguably the most sensitive personal variable in health databases, as a proxy for the perhaps less sensitive variable of ethnicity. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A telephone survey was conducted in Calgary, Alberta to assess public opinion on collection of ethnicity information in hospitals. Of the 2,799 respondents, 84.8% felt comfortable about recording their ethnicity in hospital charts. This rate held across respondents' age, marital status and ethnic origin. These findings suggest that Canadian health systems should explore the feasibility and ethical suitability of collecting ethnicity data, as this information could contribute to the evaluation and subsequent reduction of ethnic disparities in health and health services access.
    Article · Apr 2006
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surnames have the potential to accurately identify ancestral origins as they are passed on from generation to generation. In this study, we developed and validated a Chinese surname list to define Chinese ethnicity. We conducted a literature review, a panel review, and a telephone survey in a randomly selected sample from a Canadian city in 2003 to develop a Chinese surname list. The list was then validated to data from the Canadian Community Health Survey. Both surveys collected information on self-reported ethnicity and surname. Of the 112,452 people analyzed in the Canadian Community Health Survey, 1.6% were self-reported as Chinese. This was similar to the 1.5% identified by the surname list. Compared with self-reported Chinese ethnicity (reference standard), the surname list had 77.7% sensitivity, 80.5% positive predictive value, 99.7% specificity, and 99.6% negative predictive value. When stratifying by sex and marital status, the positive predictive value was 78.9% for married women and 83.6% for never married women. The Chinese surname list appears to be valid in identifying Chinese ethnicity. The validity may depend on the geographic origins and Chinese dialects in given populations.
    Article · May 2006
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research is needed about the usage of complementary and alternative medicines within culturally diverse groups because of a growing number of people who use these remedies. To understand the prevalence and predictors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) use by older Chinese immigrants in Canada. This is based on the data collected from a representative sample of 2167 elderly Chinese immigrants aged 55 years and above in seven Canadian cities. Logistic regression was used to estimate the probability of using TCM in combination with Western health services (WHS). Use of Chinese herbs, herbal formulas, and TCM practitioners (herbalists) was predicted, based upon the effects of predisposing, enabling and need factors. The response rate was 77%. Over two-thirds of the older Chinese immigrants reported using TCM in combination with WHS. About half (50.3%) of the older Chinese immigrants used Chinese herbs, 48.7% used Chinese herbal formulas, and 23.8% consulted a Chinese herbalist. Although separate analysis was conducted, similar predictors were identified. Country of origin, Chinese health beliefs, social support, city of residency, and health variables were the common predictors of using a form of TCM. The combined use of TCM and WHS is common among elderly Chinese immigrants. Culture-related variables are important in determining use of TCM. The predictors identified should help physicians to recognize who among the elderly Chinese immigrants are more likely to use TCM so that a more in-depth understanding toward their health practices and needs can be achieved.
    Article · Mar 2007
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