Study Looks at U.S.-Born, Foreign-Born Adults’ Use of Medical Services
"Does Being an Immigrant Make a Difference in Seeking Physician Services?" Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved: The study looked at how immigration status, acculturation and health care beliefs affect U.S-born and foreign-born adults' use of medical services. The study was conducted by Ke Tom Xu, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and Tyrone Borders, an associate professor of health policy and management, and epidemiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. U.S.-born adults overall had more preventive and nonpreventive care medical visits than foreign-born adults, according to the study. Characteristics such as education, having a usual source of care and having public insurance were stronger predictors of preventive care visits by immigrants rather than among U.S.-born adults. Health confidence and the belief that health insurance is needed largely predicted U.S.-born adults' visits, though those characteristics were not predictors of foreign-born residents' medical visits. The "lower utilization of both preventive and nonpreventive care among immigrants may be associated with a combination of better health and more limited enabling resources," according to the study (Xu/Borders, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, May 2008).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.