Study Looks at Barriers to Health Care Among Arab Americans; Group Calls for Increased Efforts To Address HIV, Hepatitis in U.S. Hispanic Community
"Arab American Immigrants in New York: Health Care and Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs," Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health: The study looked at health care and cancer knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of Arab-American immigrants living in New York City. For the study, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine and Tamkeen: Center for Arab American Empowerment conducted five single-gendered focus groups with 36 Arab immigrants who discussed barriers to general health care services, as well as their experiences with cancer prevention, treatment and support services. Researchers found that language and economic barriers, spirituality, discrimination and mental health had "varying, but significant effects" on participants' use of health care services. Language was the most significant obstacle to care, and financial barriers did not appear to have any significant influence, as most participants were covered under Medicaid. The study concluded, "Despite the lack of financial barriers to care experienced by this sample, tremendous barriers to accessing culturally responsive general health and cancer services still exist" and health care providers "need to be sensitized to the perspectives of the Arab-American community and need to provide" cultural and linguistic support for health care. Researchers suggested further studies on the group's access to care (Shah et al., Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, October 2008).
"¡Adelante! Strengthening the Response to HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis in Latino Communities," National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors: NASTAD released the call to action on Wednesday to mark National Latino AIDS Awareness Day. It aims to encourage local, state and federal agencies and organizations to address HIV/AIDS and hepatitis in Hispanic communities. The call to action takes into account the factors that contribute to the spread of HIV and hepatitis among Hispanics and calls for renewed efforts among health departments and other organizations serving the community to reduce the viruses. It also includes recommendations and emphasizes a need for tailored responses to HIV/AIDS and hepatitis among specific groups in the Hispanic community (NASTAD release, 10/14).