Differential Patterns of Healthcare Service Use Among Chinese and Korean Immigrant Eldersedit
Previous studies of healthcare service use among Asian immigrant elders have been conducted in major metropolitan areas with established ethnic enclaves. The factors that affect levels of utilization by Asian immigrant elders who live in places where systematic support from an ethnic community is not readily available are unknown. This study employed the Andersen–Newman healthcare service utilization model to examine unique correlates of healthcare service use among Chinese and Korean immigrant elders. Between 2005 and 2007, we used a snowball sampling method to collect data from Chinese (n = 116) and Korean (n = 101) immigrant elders living in Arizona. We then performed two negative binomial regressions based on ethnic background to identify factors associated with the number of annual physician visits. The results indicated that the number of medical conditions they experienced was positively associated with an increased likelihood of healthcare service utilization for both subgroups. However, the results indicated that each ethnic group had distinctive predisposing (sex and length of US stay for Chinese; marital status for Korean), enabling (English proficiency and cultural gap; insurance status), and need factors (depressive symptoms; self-reported health status) for predicting healthcare service utilization. Asian immigrant elders in this study experienced unique barriers and facilitators based on their ethnic backgrounds. Communicating with these two different groups in their native languages and better understanding their cultural backgrounds are imperative to understanding the factors related to their healthcare service utilization. Thus, rather than viewing Asians as a homogeneous population, the differences found in heterogeneous ethnic groups, such as language and cultural variations, should be taken into account when planning and implementing approaches to intervention.