Determinants of Health Care Use among Puerto Rican Drug Users in Puerto Rico and New York City

Robles, Rafaela R.; Matos, Tomás D.; Colón, Héctor M.; Deren, Sherry; Reyes, Juan Carlos; Andía, Jonny; Marrero, C. Amalia; Sahai, Hardeo
December 2003
Clinical Infectious Diseases;12/15/2003 Supplement 5, Vol. 37, pS392
Academic Journal
This study was conducted to identify factors accounting for differences in health care and drug treatment utilization between Puerto Rican drug users residing in 2 separate locations. Survey findings from 334 drug users in Puerto Rico and 617 in New York City showed that those in Puerto Rico were 6 times less likely than their counterparts in New York to have used inpatient medical services and 13 to 14 times less likely to have used outpatient medical services or methadone. They also were less likely to have health insurance or past drug treatment. After site was controlled for, health insurance and previous use of physical or mental health services remained significant predictors of health care and drug treatment utilization during the study period. Although Puerto Rican drug users in Puerto Rico are not an ethnic minority, they reported significant disparities in health services use compared with Puerto Rican drug users in New York.


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