Perceptions of unmet healthcare needs: what do Punjabi and Chinese-speaking immigrants think? A qualitative study

Marshall, Emily G.; Wong, Sabrina T.; Haggerty, Jeannie L.; Levesque, Jean-Fréderic
January 2010
BMC Health Services Research;2010, Vol. 10, p46
Academic Journal
Background: Unmet healthcare needs - the difference between healthcare services deemed necessary to deal with a particular health problem and the actual services received - is commonly measured by the question, "During the past 12 months, was there ever a time when you felt that you needed healthcare, but you didn't receive it?" In 2003, unmet needs were reported by 10% of immigrants in Canada, yet, little is known specifically about Chinese- or Punjabi-speaking immigrants' perceptions and reporting of unmet needs. Our study examined: 1) How are unmet healthcare needs conceptualized among Chinese- and Punjabi-speaking immigrants? 2) Are their primary healthcare experiences related to their unmet healthcare needs? Methods: Twelve focus groups (6 Chinese, 6 Punjabi; n = 78) were conducted in Chinese or Punjabi and sociodemographic and health data were collected. Thematic analysis of focus group data examined the perceptions of unmet needs and any relationship to primary healthcare experiences. Results: Our analysis revealed two overarching themes: 1) defining an unmet healthcare need and 2) identifying an unmet need. Participants had unmet healthcare needs in relation to barriers to accessing care, their lack of health system literacy, and when the health system was less responsive than their expectations. Conclusions: Asking whether someone ever had a time when they needed healthcare but did not receive it can either underestimate or overestimate unmet need. Measuring unmet need using single items is likely insufficient since more detail in a revised set of questions could begin to clarify whether the reporting of an unmet need was based on an expectation or a clinical need. Who defines what an unmet healthcare need is depends on the context (insured versus uninsured health services, experience in two or more healthcare systems versus experience in one healthcare system) and who is defining it (provider, patient, insurer).


Related Articles

  • Reaching Out to America's Immigrants: Community Health Advisors and Health Communication. Elder, John P. // American Journal of Health Behavior;Nov/Dec2003 Supplement 3, Vol. 27, pS196 

    Purpose: To describe clinical services and health communication needs for recent immigrants. Methods: A review of relevant health behavior and policy research published in the past 20 years was conducted. Results. Health coverage for primary care, prenatal and safety net services needs to be...

  • Patient participation: A qualitative study of immigrant women and their experiences. Björk Brämberg, Elisabeth; Nyström, Maria; Dahlberg, Karin // International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health & Well-Be;Mar2010, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p1 

    Patient participation in healthcare is a neglected area of interest in the rather extensive amount of research on immigrant so-called Selma patients in Swedish health care as well as worldwide. The aim is to explore the phenomenon "patient participation" in the context of the Swedish health care...

  • Trevino talks to Congress on PH in reform, immigrant populations.  // Nation's Health;Feb94, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p4 

    Features excerpts from American Public Health Association executive director Fernando M. Trevino's various speeches at Congress. Briefing for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on caring for immigrant populations; Testimonial on public health and health care reform; Comment on the Public Health...

  • Drug utilization patterns and reported health status in ethnic German migrants (Aussiedler) in Germany: a cross-sectional study. Volodina, Anna; Bertsche, Thilo; Kostev, Karel; Winkler, Volker; Haefeli, Walter Emil; Becher, Heiko // BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p509 

    Background: Inadequate utilization of healthcare services by migrant populations is an important public health concern. Inadequate drug consumption and poor compliance to the therapeutic regimen are common manifestations of low health-care seeking behavior present in migrants even in the...

  • Health care for immigrants in Europe: Is there still consensus among country experts about principles of good practice? A Delphi study.  // BMC Public Health;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p699 

    The article offers information on a study conducted by the authors in which they assessed views of health care workers on health care for immigrants in Europe. It states that 134 experts participated in the study and they represented four fields including non-governmental organizations, health...

  • The Third Leg of APHSA's Stool. Friedman, Jerry W. // Policy & Practice (19426828);Oct2008, Vol. 66 Issue 4, p3 

    The author relates the historical development of Pennsylvania Services Integration Consortium (PSIC) and the challenges of the organization as it fulfills its societal objectives. He also shares his learning when he was part of the organization, highlighting on the importance of good management,...

  • Consortium Building Among Local Health Departments in Northwest Illinois. Orthoefer, Joseph; Bain, Daniel; Empereur, Raymond; Nesbit, Toma A. // Public Health Reports;Sep/Oct88, Vol. 103 Issue 5, p500 

    The 1947 report by Haven Emerson envisioned the widespread delivery of local public health services through organizational patterns that substituted multi-county or regional agencies for locally controlled departments. The 1971 study by Vlado Getting supported the Emerson report and suggested...

  • Early Detection of Disease Outbreaks.  // Journal of Environmental Health;Oct2005, Vol. 68 Issue 3, p46 

    The article reports that researchers Martin Kulldorff and colleagues have developed a flexible approach for prospective infectious-disease outbreak surveillance. Their method is an extension of a method called scan statistics. All previously developed scan statistics require either a uniform...

  • Bridging the gap between cup and lips. Powell, Ian // New Zealand Doctor;6/29/2005, p40 

    Focuses on challenges faced by health service in New Zealand. Factors that contributed to the challenges; Findings of an evaluation of metropolitan health service development by a New South Wales taskforce in 2004; Measures which should be taken by the government to address health needs of the...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics