Navigation Links
Researchers challenge myth of the well-adjusted Asian-American
Date:8/18/2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Two University at Buffalo researchers are challenging the "myth of the well-adjusted Asian American," detailing how members of one of the country's fastest-growing ethnic groups face crucial disadvantages preventing them from receiving quality health care taken for granted by other, more culturally assimilated Americans.

In their paper, "Barriers to Health Care Among Asian Americans," UB School of Social Work professors Wooksoo Kim and Robert H. Keefe write that Asian Americans cannot be carelessly lumped together with such easy stereotypes as "well adjusted" or "successful." In addition to the many Asian Americans who have assimilated well and become accomplished professionals, able to enjoy all the accompanying benefits, millions of Asian Americans still face daunting obstacles that stand in the way of quality health care, the UB researchers say.

Their conclusions are based on analysis of previous research into health care disparities among U.S. racial and ethnic groups, including Asian Americans, and upon U.S. Census data.

Four major barriers -- language and culture, health literacy, health insurance and immigrant status -- create vast differences between some Asian Americans with access to good health care and those who endure these barriers as best they can, the researchers conclude in their study, published this summer in Social Work in Public Health.

"Previous researchers (who studied selective nationalities or regional groups) may extrapolate from their findings to form a model they believe is representative of all Asian Americans," explain Kim and Keefe. "This limitation not only fails to flush out differences among the Asian-American groups not being studied, but the one group under study is unlikely to be representative of its own ethnic Asian-American population."

All these factors "perpetuate the myth of the well-adjusted Asian American," the researchers find.

"Asian Americans are considered a 'model minority,' which prevents many Asian Americans from getting help when they need it, and this study addresses that issue," Kim explains. "There is a dire need to expand our knowledge regarding better health care services for Asian Americans. I hope health care providers and policy makers become more cognizant of the needs of 12 million Asian Americans in this country."

"The mission of social work research lies in its utility. It has to contribute to the betterment of people's lives," she adds. "In this sense, I am studying Asian Americans in order to improve well-being of all Asian Americans through research.

Before making recommendations for health and social policy reforms, the UB researchers outline the barriers standing in the way of quality health care for an ethnic group that will constitute 8 percent of the American population by 2050:

Language/Culture: Kim and Keefe call language the most "formidable" barrier for Asian Americans looking for quality health care. It is particularly difficult for elderly Asian Americans, they say, who often need it the most and are least likely to be proficient in English.

Health Literacy: Besides having access to good health care, people need to understand the content and context of specific health situations, and use analytic and decision-making skills when they seek health care advice.

Health Insurance: "Despite the public's view of Asian Americans as the financially well-to-do 'model minority,' the poverty rate for Asian Americans as a group is actually higher than that of Caucasians," the researchers point out. As a result, Asian Americans may turn to less-costly but frequently ineffective treatments.

Immigrant Status: Immigrants who decide to undertake the "adventure of immigrating" may be healthier than the average person living in their host country. But the longer they live in their new country, the more the positive effects wear off. And illegal immigrants miss out on many health care benefits, most obviously the denial of jobs offering health insurance.

According to the researchers, attempts to address the issue of uneven health care among Asian Americans need to take these barriers into account.

"The presence of health care experts who are knowledgeable about Asian-American culture and social conditions can help remove, or mitigate, the effects of the barriers to health care for Asian Americans," the researchers write.

Improving access for Asian Americans also improves the chances other under-served groups will benefit from quality health care. In the long run, a country with healthy Asian Americans is a necessary condition for a stronger health-care system in the United States, the researchers say. "Health care for Asian Americans cannot be conceptualized without considering health care for all Americans," Kim says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Charles Anzalone
dellacon@buffalo.edu
716-645-4600
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Even modest weight gain can harm blood vessels, Mayo researchers find
2. Researchers identify breast cancer culprits
3. Gulf Oil Spill Still a Health Threat to Many, Researchers Report
4. Researchers identify potential new target for ovarian cancer
5. Amphetamine use increases risk of aortic tears in young adults, UT Southwestern researchers report
6. Researchers find function of proteins that can enhance the progression of viruses and cancer cells
7. In NIH-funded study, researchers uncover step in brain events leading up to addiction
8. Researchers develop magnetic molecular machines to deliver drugs to unhealthy cells
9. UCLA researchers discover protein that shuttles RNA into cell mitochondria
10. Help wanted: Highly cited researchers needed for high-ranking positions at research institutions
11. NIST researchers measure high infrared power levels from some green lasers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is ... vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds ... by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare ... scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare ... activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a ... episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS ... in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of ... Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of ... taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions ... Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... Halo Labs announces the European launch of their new ... at MIBio 2017 in Cambridge, U.K on ... in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented speed and sensitivity while using far ... Membrane Imaging. ... particle analysis system ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: ... data solutions, today announced that its MyDario product is expected to appear ... listings for when The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The ... ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) ... is now successfully helping those with the widespread pain ... Fibromyalgia diagnosed Amanda in Essex, England ... washing my hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous ... spasm… I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: