Health insurance coverage & compliance with breast and cervical cancer screening guidelines among immigrant women in Harris County, Texas and Orange County, California

Isabelle Soraya Kusters, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Although immigrants comprise a large and growing population in the United States, gaps still exist in their access to health insurance and preventive care. Many factors contribute to these disparities, including immigration status, years of residence in the US, English proficiency, region of birth, socioeconomic status, and usual source of health care. The purpose of this study was to understand the role of geographic location of residence in predicting health insurance type and realized access to breast and cervical cancer screening, through a study of adult immigrant women residing in Harris County, Texas and Orange County, California.^ This study examined factors that may affect the type of health insurance held and whether or not the participants were in compliance with US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for breast and cervical cancer screening. Logistic regression was used to identify the role of predictors for health insurance and screening compliance for the combined samples, and to see which factors differed between the two counties.^ Results of the study indicate Orange County residents were more likely than those in Harris County to have public insurance than no insurance, yet a similar significant relationship was not seen for the private insurance model. Having a usual source of care was found to indicate a likelihood of being more recently screened for both types of cancer, and more county effects were identified for cervical cancer screening than for breast cancer. Of the population that did not have health insurance or were not recently screened, cost and insurance issues were the most-identified reasons, followed by knowledge about screening.^ This study was the first to examine how geographic location of residence may affect access to health insurance and breast and cervical cancer screening rates for immigrant women in Harris County, Texas and Orange County, California. The results of the county comparison can assist local public health organizations in targeting specific immigrant populations to which they can tailor outreach programs. More broadly, the results of this study can provide support for increased funding and focus on community health centers, and have the potential to impact local and state-wide policy changes regarding access to insurance and screening services for this vulnerable population.^

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Kusters, Isabelle Soraya, "Health insurance coverage & compliance with breast and cervical cancer screening guidelines among immigrant women in Harris County, Texas and Orange County, California" (2015). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3721381.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI3721381

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