Health care access of Hispanic immigrants in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area

by Jocelyn M Betts

Institution: University of Missouri – Kansas City
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2125888
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10355/50840


The purpose of this study is to discover what factors affect health care access for Hispanics in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The Hispanic population is the largest and fastest growing immigrant groups in the US and warrants special attention because Hispanics are less likely to complete high school and more likely to live in poverty, be unemployed, and have no health insurance than non-Hispanic whites. Traditional and segmented assimilation theory were used to inform health care access for Hispanics. The factors that affect access to health care derived from these theories included immigrant generation, income, education, language spoken, and residency in an ethnic enclave. Previous research has shown that residing in an ethnic enclave provided better access to health care for Hispanic immigrants. The demographics of age and gender were also included in this analysis because they affect any individual’s likelihood to access health care in the United States. Data for this project was taken from the 2012 Hispanic Needs Assessment Community Survey, conducted for the Kansas City Metropolitan Area in 2012. Three measures were used to define access to health care. These included access to a doctor in the previous 12 months when needed, access to a dentist in the previous 12 months when needed, and access to prescription medication in the previous 12 months when needed. Bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis were used. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the main factor that affected the ability to access health care for Hispanic immigrants in Kansas City was income. For accessing a doctor and dentist in the past 12 months, residing in ethnic enclave was also statistically significant. For Hispanics in Kansas City, however, residing in an ethnic enclave led to worse access to health care. For accessing a dentist in the previous 12 months only, first generation immigrants had significantly less access to a dentist when needed. Advisors/Committee Members: Smith, Deborah B (advisor).