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1.  Testing a Spanish-language colorectal cancer screening decision aid in Latinos with limited English proficiency: Results from a pre-post trial and four month follow-up survey 
Background
Compared with non-Latinos, Latinos in the US have low rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and low rates of knowledge regarding CRC screening tests and guidelines. Spanish speaking Latinos have particularly low CRC screening rates and screening knowledge. Our purpose was twofold: (1) to evaluate the effect of a computer-based, Spanish-language CRC screening decision aid on screening knowledge, intent to obtain screening, and screening self-efficacy in a community sample of Latinos with limited English proficiency (LEP); and (2) to survey these decision aid viewers at four months to determine their rates of CRC discussions with a health care provider as well as their rates of screening test completion.
Methods
We recruited 50-75 year old Latinos with LEP who were not current with CRC. Participants screening viewed a 14 minute multimedia decision aid that addresses CRC screening rationale, recommendations, and options. We conducted an uncontrolled (pre-post) study in which we assessed screening knowledge, self-efficacy, and intent at baseline and immediately after decision aid viewing. We also conducted a follow-up telephone survey of participants at four months to examine rates of patient-provider screening discussions and test completion.
Results
Among n = 80 participants, knowledge scores increased from 20% (before) to 72% (after) decision aid viewing (absolute difference [95%CI]: 52% [46, 59]). The proportion with high screening self-efficacy increased from 67% to 92% (25% [13, 37]); the proportion with high screening intent increased from 63% to 95% (32% [21, 44]). We reached 68 (85%) of 80 participants eligible for the follow-up survey. Of these 36 (53%) reported discussing screening with a provider and 13 (19%) completed a test.
Conclusion
Viewing a Spanish-language decision aid increased CRC screening knowledge, self-efficacy, and intent among Latinos with LEP. Decision aid viewing appeared to promote both CRC screening discussions with health care providers and test completion. The decision aid may be an effective tool for promoting CRC screening and reducing screening disparities in this population.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-53
PMCID: PMC3483183  PMID: 22691191
Decision aid; Latinos; Limited English proficiency; Colorectal cancer screening
2.  Colorectal Cancer Test Use among Californians of Mexican Origin: Influence of Language Barriers 
Ethnicity & disease  2009;19(3):315-322.
Objectives
Striking decreases in colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence have been seen recently in non-Latino Whites but not in Latinos. The purpose of our study was to examine the influence of limited English proficiency (LEP) on differences in CRC test use rates between Mexican American and non-Latino White adults in California and reported reasons for not getting a CRC exam.
Design
Cross-sectional analysis of the 2005 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).
Setting
Representative sample of non-institutionalized adults living in California.
Participants
Mexican American (n=1,529) and non-Latino White men and women aged 50 and older (n=16,775) who had not been diagnosed with CRC.
Analysis
Logistic regression analyzed the effect of ethnicity and limited English proficiency (LEP) on CRC test use after adjusting for sociodemographics, healthcare access, health status, and other health behaviors.
Main Outcome Measures
Respondents' likelihood of not receiving the CRC exam was examined as a function of ethnicity and LEP status; differences in reasons for not receiving CRC testing between ethnic groups were also examined.
Results
More than 40% of Californian Mexican American adults aged 50 and older have never had either fecal occult blood test or lower endoscopy CRC tests. Mexican Americans were more likely to have difficulty understanding their doctor due to language barriers (P<.01). Mexican Americans more often reported provider barriers in getting an endoscopy (ie, test was not recommended by their medical provider) than non-Latino Whites (P=.01). After adjustment for covariates, Mexican Americans were 1.32 times and those with LEP were 1.68 times more likely to have never had either CRC test.
Conclusions
Limited English proficiency significantly decreased the likelihood of getting tested for CRC (P<.01). Eliminating language barriers should result in improvements in CRC test use among limited English proficiency Mexican Americans.
PMCID: PMC2757758  PMID: 19769015
Mexican Americans; Colonoscopy; Colorectal Cancer; Screening
3.  Are Latinos Less Satisfied with Communication by Health Care Providers? 
OBJECTIVE
To examine associations of patient ratings of communication by health care providers with patient language (English vs Spanish) and ethnicity (Latino vs white).
METHODS
A random sample of patients receiving medical care from a physician group association concentrated on the West Coast was studied. A total of 7,093 English and Spanish language questionnaires were returned for an overall response rate of 59%. Five questions asking patients to rate communication by their health care providers were examined in this study. All five questions were administered with a 7-point response scale.
MAIN RESULTS
We estimated the associations of satisfaction ratings with language (English vs Spanish) and ethnicity (white vs Latino) using ordinal logistic models, controlling for age and gender. Latinos responding in Spanish (Latino/Spanish) were significantly more dissatisfied compared with Latinos responding in English (Latino/English) and non-Latino whites responding in English (white) when asked about: (1) the medical staff listened to what they say (29% vs 17% vs 13% rated this “very poor,”“poor,” or “fair”; p < .01); (2) answers to their questions (27% vs 16% vs 12%; p < .01); (3) explanations about prescribed medications (22% vs 19% vs 14%; p < .01); (4) explanations about medical procedures and test results (36% vs 21% vs 17%; p < .01); and (5) reassurance and support from their doctors and the office staff (37% vs 23% vs 18%; p < .01).
CONCLUSION
This study documents that Latino/Spanish respondents are significantly more dissatisfied with provider communication than Latino/English and white respondents. These results suggest Spanish-speaking Latinos may be at increased risk of lower quality of care and poor health outcomes. Efforts to improve the quality of communication with Spanish-speaking Latino patients in outpatient health care settings are needed.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.06198.x
PMCID: PMC1496614  PMID: 10417598
Hispanic; Latino, satisfaction, communication; quality of care
4.  Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening in Latino and Vietnamese Americans 
OBJECTIVE
To identify current colorectal cancer (CRC) screening practices and barriers to screening in the Latino, Vietnamese, and non-Latino white populations.
METHODS
We conducted a telephone survey of Latino, non-Latino white, and Vietnamese individuals living in San Jose, California. We asked about demographics, CRC screening practices, intentions to be screened, and barriers and facilitators to screening.
RESULTS
Seven hundred and seventy-five individuals (40% white, 29.2% Latino, and 30.8% Vietnamese) completed the survey (Response Rate 50%). Overall, 23% of respondents reported receipt of fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the past year, 28% reported sigmoidoscopy (SIG) in the past 5 years, and 27% reported colonoscopy (COL) in the past 10 years. Screening rates were generally lower in Latinos and Vietnamese. Vietnamese were less likely than whites to have had SIG in the past 5 years (odds ratio [OR], 0.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.09 to 0.72), but ethnicity was not an independent predictor of FOBT or COL. Only 22% of Vietnamese would find endoscopic tests uncomfortable compared with 79% of whites (P < .05). While 21% of Latinos would find performing an FOBT embarrassing, only 8% of whites and 3% of Vietnamese felt this way (P < .05). Vietnamese were more likely than whites to plan to have SIG in the next 5 years (OR, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.15 to 4.38), but ethnicity was not associated with planning to have FOBT or COL.
CONCLUSIONS
Rates of CRC screening are lower in ethnic minority populations than in whites. Differences in attitudes and perceived barriers suggest that culturally tailored interventions to increase CRC screening will be useful in these populations
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30263.x
PMCID: PMC1492137  PMID: 15009795
colorectal cancer; screening; prevention
5.  Health-related characteristics and preferred methods of receiving health education according to dominant language among Latinos Aged 25 to 64 in a large Northern California health plan 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:305.
Background
Latinos are a fast growing segment of the U.S. health care population. Acculturation factors, including English fluency, result in an ethnic group heterogeneous with regard to SES, health practices, and health education needs. This study examined how demographic and health-related characteristics of Spanish-dominant (SD), Bilingual (BIL), and English-dominant (ED) Latino men and women aged 25–64 differed among members of a large Northern California health plan.
Methods
This observational study was based on data from cohorts of 171 SD (requiring an interpreter), 181 BIL, and 734 ED Latinos aged 25–64 who responded to random sample health plan member surveys conducted 2005–2006. Language groups were compared separately by gender on education, income, behavioral health risks (smoking, obesity, exercise frequency, dietary practices, health beliefs), health status (overall health and emotional health, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heartburn/acid reflux, back pain, depression), computer and Internet access, and health education modality preferences.
Results
Compared with ED Latinos, higher percentages of the SD and BIL groups had very low educational attainment and low income. While groups were similar in prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, SD were less likely than ED Latinos to rate overall health and emotional well-being as good, very good, or excellent and more likely to report heartburn and back pain (women only). The groups were similar with regard to smoking and obesity, but among women, SD were more likely to be physically inactive than ED, and BIL were less likely than SD and ED groups to eat <3 servings of fruit/vegetables per day. SD and BIL of both genders were significantly less likely than ED Latinos to believe that health practices had a large impact on health. Compared to ED men and women, SD and BIL Latinos had significantly lower Internet and computer access. As a result, SD Latinos had a greater preference for lower technology health education modalities such as videos and taped phone messages.
Conclusion
There are important differences among Latinos of different English language proficiency with regard to education, income, health status, health behaviors, IT access, and health education modality preferences that ought to be considered when planning and implementing health programs for this growing segment of the U.S. population.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-305
PMCID: PMC2556675  PMID: 18782454
6.  Using colorectal trends in the U.S. to identify unmet primary care needs of vulnerable populations 
Preventive medicine  2012;55(2):131-136.
Background
Colorectal cancer screening (CRC) disparities have worsened in recent years.
Objective
To examine progress toward Healthy People 2010 goals for CRC screening among ethnic/racial groups, including disaggregated Latino groups.
Methods
Multivariate logistic regressions examined associations between ethnicity/race and primary outcomes of self-reported guideline-concordant CRC screenings considering time trends for 65,947 respondents of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2000–2007 age 50-years and older from six groups (non-Latino White, non-Latino Black, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Mexican, and Other Latino). We also tested for modification effects by education, income, and health insurance.
Results
Most groups approached Healthy People 2010 CRC screening rate goals, including non-Latino Whites (47%), non-Latino Blacks (42%) and Puerto Ricans (40%), while Mexicans remained disparately lower (28%). Higher education, income and insurance coverage, partially attenuated this lower likelihood, but Mexican rates remained significantly lower than non-Latino Whites for receiving endoscopy in the past 5 years {OR(95% CI) =0.68(0.59–0.77)} and having received any CRC screening {0.70(0.62–0.79)}.
Conclusions
Among ethnic/racial groups examined, only Mexicans met healthcare disparity criteria in CRC screening. Findings suggest that healthcare equity goals can be attained if resources affecting continuity of care or ability to pay for preventive services are available, and targeted populations are adequately identified.
doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.05.016
PMCID: PMC3786063  PMID: 22659226
7.  Perceived Quality of Care, Receipt of Preventive Care, and Usual Source of Health Care Among Undocumented and Other Latinos 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2009;24(Suppl 3):508-513.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and experience persistent disparities in access to and quality of health care.
OBJECTIVES
(1) To determine the relationship between nativity/immigration status and self-reported quality of care and preventive care. (2) To assess the impact of a usual source of health care on receipt of preventive care among Latinos.
DESIGN
Using cross-sectional data from the 2007 Pew Hispanic Center/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Hispanic Healthcare Survey, a nationally representative telephone survey of 4,013 Latino adults, we compared US-born Latinos with foreign-born Latino citizens, foreign-born Latino permanent residents and undocumented Latinos. We estimated odds ratios using separate multivariate ordered logistic models for five outcomes: blood pressure checked in the past 2 years, cholesterol checked in the past 5 years, perceived quality of medical care in the past year, perceived receipt of no health/health-care information from a doctor in the past year, and language concordance.
RESULTS
Undocumented Latinos had the lowest percentages of insurance coverage (37% vs 77% US-born, P < 0.001), usual source of care (58% vs 79% US-born, P < 0.001), blood pressure checked (67% vs 87% US-born, P < 0.001), cholesterol checked (56% vs 83% US-born, P < 0.001), and reported excellent/good care in the past year (76% vs 80% US-born, P < 0.05). Undocumented Latinos also reported the highest percentage receiving no health/health-care information from their doctor (40% vs 20% US-born, P < 0.001) in the past year. Adjusted results showed that undocumented status was associated with lower likelihood of blood pressure checked in the previous 2 years (OR = 0.60; 95% CI, 0.43–0.84), cholesterol checked in the past 5 years (OR = 0.62; 95% CI, 0.39–0.99), and perceived receipt of excellent/good care in the past year (OR = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.39–0.77). Having a usual source of care increased the likelihood of a blood pressure check in the past 2 years and a cholesterol check in the past 5 years.
CONCLUSION
In this national sample, undocumented Latinos were less likely to report receiving blood pressure and cholesterol level checks, less likely to report having received excellent/good quality of care, and more likely to receive no health/health-care information from doctors, even after adjusting for potential confounders. Our study shows that differences in nativity/immigration status should be taken into consideration when we discuss perceived quality of care among Latinos.
doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1098-2
PMCID: PMC2764043  PMID: 19841999
Latinos; quality of care; immigrants; preventive care
8.  Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates among Asian Americans and Non-Latino Whites 
Cancer  2005;104(12 Suppl):2940-2947.
Among Asian Americans, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer, and it is the third highest cause of cancer-related mortality. The 2001 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2001) was used to examine 1) CRC screening rates between different Asian-American ethnic groups compared with non-Latino whites and 2) factors related to CRC screening. The CHIS 2001 was a population-based telephone survey that was conducted in California. Responses about CRC screening were analyzed from 1771 Asian Americans age 50 years and older (Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese). The authors examined two CRC screening outcomes: individuals who ever had CRC screening and individuals who were up to date for CRC screening. For CRC screening, fecal occult blood test (FOBT), sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy, and any other form of screening were examined. CRC screening of any kind was low in all populations, and Koreans had the lowest rate (49%). Multivariate analysis revealed that, compared with non-Latino whites, Koreans were less likely to undergo FOBT (odds ratio [OR], 0.40; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.25–0.62), and Filipinos were the least likely to undergo sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy (OR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.44–0.88) or to be up to date with screening (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.48–0.97). Asian Americans were less likely to undergo screening if they were older, male, less educated, recent immigrants, living with ≥ 3 individuals, poor, or uninsured. Asian-American populations, especially Koreans and Filipinos, are under-screened for CRC. Outreach efforts could be more focused on helping Asian Americans to understand the importance of CRC screening, providing accurate information in different Asian languages. Other strategies for increasing CRC screening may include using a more family-centered approach and using qualified translators.
doi:10.1002/cncr.21521
PMCID: PMC1810896  PMID: 16276538
Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, and Training; cancer; Chinese; Vietnamese; Korean; Filipino; South Asian; Japanese; fecal occult blood test; sigmoidoscopy; colonoscopy
9.  Recruiting Ethnically Diverse General Internal Medicine Patients for a Telephone Survey on Physician-Patient Communication 
BACKGROUND
Limited evidence exists on the effectiveness of recruitment methods among diverse populations.
OBKECTIVE
Describe response rates by recruitment stage, ethnic-language group, and type of initial contact letter (for African-American and Latino patients).
DESIGN
Tracking of response status by recruitment stage and ethnic-language group and a randomized trial of ethnically tailored initial letters nested within a cross-sectional telephone survey on physician-patient communication.
PARTICIPANTS
Adult general medicine patients with ≥1 visit during the preceding year, stratified by 4 categories: African-American (N= 1,400), English-speaking Latino (N= 894), Spanish-speaking Latino (N= 965), and non-Latino white (N= 1,400).
MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS
Ethnically tailored initial letters referred to shortages of African-American (or Latino) physicians and the need to learn about the experiences of African-American (or Latino) patients communicating with physicians. Of 2,482 patients contacted, eligible, and able to participate (identified eligibles), 69.9% completed the survey. Thirty-nine percent of the sampling frame was unable to be contacted, with losses higher among non-Latino whites (46.5%) and African Americans (44.2%) than among English-speaking (32.3%) and Spanish-speaking Latinos (25.1%). For identified eligibles, response rates were highest among Spanish-speaking Latinos (75.2%), lowest for non-Latino whites (66.4%), and intermediate for African Americans (69.7%) and English-speaking Latinos (68.1%). There were no differences in overall response rates between patients receiving ethnically tailored letters (72.2%) and those receiving general letters (70.0%).
CONCLUSIONS
Household contact and individual response rates differed by ethnic-language group, highlighting the importance of tracking losses by stage and subpopulation. Careful attention to recruitment yielded acceptable response rates among all groups.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.0078.x
PMCID: PMC1490122  PMID: 15963168
recruitment; telephone survey; African Americans; Latinos; physician-patient communication
10.  The effect of system-level access factors on receipt of reconstruction among Latina and white women with DCIS 
Treatment decisions associated with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), including the decision to undergo breast reconstruction, may be more problematic for Latinas due to access and language issues. To help understand the factors that influence patients’ receipt of reconstruction following mastectomy for DCIS, we conducted a population- based study of English- and Spanish-speaking Latina and non-Latina white women from 35 California counties. The objectives of this study were to identify the role of ethnicity and language in the receipt of reconstruction, the relationship between system-level factors and the receipt of reconstruction, and women’s reasons for not undergoing reconstruction. Women aged 18 and older, who self-identified as Latina or non-Latino white and were diagnosed with DCIS between 2002 and 2005 were selected from eight California Cancer Registry (CCR) regions encompassing 35 counties. Approximately 24 months after diagnosis, they were surveyed about their DCIS treatment decisions. Survey data were merged with CCR records to obtain tumor and treatment data. The survey was successfully completed by 745 women, 239 of whom had a mastectomy and represent the sample included in this study. Whites had a higher completion rate than Latinas (67 and 55%, respectively). Analysis included descriptive statistics and logistic regression modeling. Mean age was 54 years. A greater proportion of whites had reconstruction (72%) compared to English-speaking Latinas (69%) and Spanish-speaking Latinas (40%).Multivariate analysis showed thatwomenwho were aged 65 and older, unemployed, and had a lower ratio of plastic surgeons in their county were less likely to have reconstructive surgery after mastectomy. The most frequent reasonsmentioned not to receive reconstruction included lack of importance and desire to avoid additional surgery. Although ethnic/language differences in treatment selection were observed, multivariable analysis suggests that these differences could be explained by differential employment levels and geographic availability of plastic surgeons.
doi:10.1007/s10549-011-1524-0
PMCID: PMC3684692  PMID: 21533531
Ductal carcinoma in situ; Latinas; Reconstruction; Treatment decisions
11.  Acculturation and Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Older Latino Adults: Differential Associations by National Origin 
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
Although modest improvements in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening utilization have occurred, rates remain low among Latinos. It is unclear whether acculturation plays a role in the utilization of CRC screening.
OBJECTIVE
This study aimed to examine the relationships between acculturation and CRC screening among older Mexican, Puerto-Rican and Cuban adults.
DESIGN
Cross-sectional observational study.
SUBJECTS
Latinos 50 years and older, never diagnosed with CRC, and who were surveyed in the 2000, 2003 and 2005 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
MEASURES
We measured acculturation with US nativity and language of interview, and examined three different CRC screening outcomes: fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the past year, up-to-date endoscopy and any up-to-date CRC screening. Logistic regression models were adjusted for predisposing, enabling and health-care need factors consistent with the behavioral model of health-care utilization.
MAIN RESULTS
In adjusted analyses, US nativity was positively associated with up-to-date endoscopy among Mexicans (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.1, 2.2), but negatively associated with FOBT in the past year among Puerto Ricans (OR: 0.3; 95% CI: 0.2, 0.7). In contrast to this latter finding among Puerto Ricans, English language interview was positively associated with FOBT in the past year (OR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.1, 5.4).
CONCLUSION
Results underscore the importance of stratification by national origin in studies of acculturation and cancer screening and of targeting less acculturated adults to promote CRC screening. Clinicians, however, should consider the complexity of acculturation and treat US nativity and language preference as independent dimensions among their Latino patients.
doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1022-9
PMCID: PMC2710471  PMID: 19472016
colorectal cancer screening; Latinos; aculturation
12.  Heterogeneity in Health Insurance Coverage Among US Latino Adults 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2009;24(Suppl 3):561-566.
Objective
We sought to determine the differences in observed and unobserved factors affecting rates of health insurance coverage between US Latino adults and US Latino adults of Mexican ancestry. Our hypothesis was that Latinos of Mexican ancestry have worse health insurance coverage than their non-Mexican Latino counterparts.
Methods
The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) database from 1999–2007 consists of 33,847 Latinos. We compared Latinos of Mexican ancestry to non-Mexican Latinos in the initial descriptive analysis of health insurance coverage. Disparities in health insurance coverage across Latino categories were later analyzed in a multivariable logistic regression framework, which adjusts for confounding variables. The Blinder-Oaxaca technique was applied to parse out differences in health insurance coverage into observed and unobserved components.
Results
US Latinos of Mexican ancestry consistently had lower rates of health insurance coverage than did US non-Mexican Latinos. Approximately 65% of these disparities can be attributed to differences in observed characteristics of the Mexican ancestry population in the US (e.g., age, sex, income, employment status, education, citizenship, language and health condition). The remaining disparities may be attributed to unobserved heterogeneity that may include unobserved employment-related information (e.g., type of employment and firm size) and behavioral and idiosyncratic factors (e.g., risk aversion and cultural differences).
Conclusions
This study confirmed that Latinos of Mexican ancestry were less likely to have health insurance than were non-Mexican Latinos. Moreover, while differences in observed socioeconomic and demographic factors accounted for most of these disparities, the share of unobserved heterogeneity accounted for 35% of these differences.
doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1069-7
PMCID: PMC2764037  PMID: 19842007
health insurance coverage; health-care disparities; access to health care; Hispanic Americans; Latinos
13.  Do healthy behaviors decline with greater acculturation?: Implications for the Latino mortality paradox 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2005;61(6):1243-1255.
Relative to non-Latino whites, Latinos in the United States have a lower socioeconomic status (SES) profile, but a lower all-cause mortality rate. Because lower SES is associated with poorer overall health, a great deal of controversy surrounds the Latino mortality paradox. We employed a secondary data analysis of the 1991 National Health Interview Survey to test the health behavior and acculturation hypotheses, which have been proposed to explain this paradox. These hypotheses posit that: (1) Latinos have more favorable health behaviors and risk factor profiles than non-Latino whites, and (2) Health behaviors and risk factors become more unfavorable with greater acculturation. Specific health behaviors and risk factors studied were: smoking, alcohol use, leisure-time exercise activity, and body mass index (BMI). Consistent with the health behaviors hypothesis, Latinos relative to non-Latino whites were less likely to smoke and drink alcohol, controlling for sociodemographic factors. Latinos, however, were less likely to engage in any exercise activity, and were more likely to have a high BMI compared with non-Latino whites, after controlling for age and SES. Results provided partial support for the acculturation hypothesis. After adjusting for age and SES, higher acculturation was associated with three unhealthy behaviors (a greater likelihood of high alcohol intake, current smoking, a high BMI), but improvement in a fourth (greater likelihood of recent exercise). Gender-specific analyses indicated that the observed differences between Latinos and non-Latino whites, as well as the effects of acculturation on health behaviors, varied across men and women. Results suggest that the health behaviors and acculturation hypotheses may help to at least partially explain the Latino mortality paradox. The mechanisms accounting for the relationship between acculturation and risky behaviors have yet to be identified.
doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.01.016
PMCID: PMC3587355  PMID: 15970234
Latino mortality paradox; Smoking; Alcohol use; Exercise; Body mass index; USA
14.  Correlates of depressive symptoms among Latino and Non-Latino White adolescents: Findings from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey 
BMC Public Health  2007;7:21.
Background
The prevalence of depression is increasing not only among adults, but also among adolescents. Several risk factors for depression in youth have been identified, including female gender, increasing age, lower socio-economic status, and Latino ethnic background. The literature is divided regarding the role of acculturation as risk factor among Latino youth. We analyzed the correlates of depressive symptoms among Latino and Non-Latino White adolescents residing in California with a special focus on acculturation.
Methods
We performed an analysis of the adolescent sample of the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, which included 3,196 telephone-interviews with Latino and Non-Latino White adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. Depressive symptomatology was measured with a reduced version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Acculturation was measured by a score based on language in which the interview was conducted, language(s) spoken at home, place of birth, number of years lived in the United States, and citizenship status of the adolescent and both of his/her parents, using canonical principal component analysis. Other variables used in the analysis were: support provided by adults at school and at home, age of the adolescent, gender, socio-economic status, and household type (two parent or one parent household).
Results
Unadjusted analysis suggested that the risk of depressive symptoms was twice as high among Latinos as compared to Non-Latino Whites (10.5% versus 5.5 %, p < 0.001). The risk was slightly higher in the low acculturation group than in the high acculturation group (13.1% versus 9.7%, p = 0.12). Similarly, low acculturation was associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms in multivariate analysis within the Latino subsample (OR 1.54, CI 0.97–2.44, p = 0.07). Latino ethnicity emerged as risk factor for depressive symptoms among the strata with higher income and high support at home and at school. In the disadvantaged subgroups (higher poverty, low support at home and at school) Non-Latino Whites and Latinos had a similar risk of depressive symptoms.
Conclusion
Our findings suggest that the differences in depressive symptoms between Non-Latino Whites and Latino adolescents disappear at least in some strata after adjusting for socio-demographic and social support variables.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-21
PMCID: PMC1805430  PMID: 17313675
15.  Community-based Preferences for Stool Cards versus Colonoscopy in Colorectal Cancer Screening 
Summary
Background
In the United States, compliance with colorectal cancer (CRC) screening recommendations remains suboptimal. Professional organizations advocate use of shared decision making in screening test discussions, but strategies to facilitate informed choice in CRC screening have not been well elucidated.
Objective
The objectives of the study were to determine screening test preference among colonoscopy-naïve adults after considering a detailed, written presentation of fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and colonoscopy and to assess whether their preferences are associated with demographic characteristics, attitudes, and knowledge.
Design
The design of the study was a cross-sectional survey.
Participants
Colonoscopy-naïve supermarket shoppers age 40–79 in low- and middle-income, multiethnic neighborhoods in Denver, CO, reviewed a detailed, side-by-side description of FOBT and colonoscopy and answered questions about test preference, strength of preference, influence of physician recommendation, basic knowledge of CRC, and demographic characteristics.
Measurements and Main Results
Descriptive statistics characterized the sample, and bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses identified correlates of screening test preference. In a diverse sample of 323 colonoscopy-naïve adults, 53% preferred FOBT, and 47% preferred colonoscopy for CRC screening. Individuals of Latino ethnicity and those with lower educational attainment were more likely to prefer FOBT than non-Latino whites and those with at least some college. Almost half of the respondents felt “very strongly” about their preferences, and one third said they would adhere to their choice regardless of physician recommendation.
Conclusion
After considering a detailed, side-by-side comparison of the FOBT and colonoscopy, a large proportion of community-dwelling, colonoscopy-naïve adults prefer FOBT over colonoscopy for CRC screening. In light of professional guidelines and time-limited primary care visits, it is important to develop improved ways of facilitating informed patient decision making for CRC screening.
doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0480-1
PMCID: PMC2359177  PMID: 18157581
colorectal cancer screening; colonoscopy; fecal occult blood testing; patient preferences; informed decision-making
16.  Access to Mental Health Treatment by English Language Proficiency and Race/Ethnicity 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2007;22(Suppl 2):289-293.
Background
Limited English proficiency (LEP) may contribute to mental health care disparities, yet empirical data are limited.
Objective
To quantify the language barriers to mental health care by race/ethnicity using a direct measure of LEP is the objective of the study.
Design
Cross-sectional analysis of the 2001 California Health Interview Survey is the study’s design.
Participants
Adults aged 18 to 64 who provided language data (n = 41,984) were the participants of the study.
Measurement
Participants were categorized into three groups by self-reported English proficiency and language spoken at home: (1) English-speaking only, (2) Bilingual, and (3) Non-English speaking. Mental health treatment was measured by self-reported use of mental health services by those reporting a mental health need.
Results
Non-English speaking individuals had lower odds of receiving needed services (OR: 0.28; 95% CI: 0.17–0.48) than those who only spoke English, when other factors were controlled. The relationship was even more dramatic within racial/ethnic groups: non-English speaking Asian/PIs (OR = 0.15; 95% CI: 0.30–0.81) and non-English speaking Latinos (OR: 0.19; 95% CI: 0.09–0.39) had significantly lower odds of receiving services compared to Asian/PIs and Latinos who spoke only English.
Conclusions
LEP is associated with lower use of mental health care. Since LEP is concentrated among Asian/PIs and Latinos, it appears to contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in mental health care. Heightened attention to LEP is warranted in both mental health practice and policy.
doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0345-7
PMCID: PMC2150610  PMID: 17957413
limited English proficiency; health disparities; mental health
17.  Access to Mental Health Treatment by English Language Proficiency and Race/Ethnicity 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2007;22(Suppl 2):289-293.
Background
Limited English proficiency (LEP) may contribute to mental health care disparities, yet empirical data are limited.
Objective
To quantify the language barriers to mental health care by race/ethnicity using a direct measure of LEP is the objective of the study.
Design
Cross-sectional analysis of the 2001 California Health Interview Survey is the study’s design.
Participants
Adults aged 18 to 64 who provided language data (n = 41,984) were the participants of the study.
Measurement
Participants were categorized into three groups by self-reported English proficiency and language spoken at home: (1) English-speaking only, (2) Bilingual, and (3) Non-English speaking. Mental health treatment was measured by self-reported use of mental health services by those reporting a mental health need.
Results
Non-English speaking individuals had lower odds of receiving needed services (OR: 0.28; 95% CI: 0.17–0.48) than those who only spoke English, when other factors were controlled. The relationship was even more dramatic within racial/ethnic groups: non-English speaking Asian/PIs (OR = 0.15; 95% CI: 0.30–0.81) and non-English speaking Latinos (OR: 0.19; 95% CI: 0.09–0.39) had significantly lower odds of receiving services compared to Asian/PIs and Latinos who spoke only English.
Conclusions
LEP is associated with lower use of mental health care. Since LEP is concentrated among Asian/PIs and Latinos, it appears to contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in mental health care. Heightened attention to LEP is warranted in both mental health practice and policy.
doi:10.1007/s11606-007-0345-7
PMCID: PMC2150610  PMID: 17957413
limited English proficiency; health disparities; mental health
18.  Barriers to Screening Colonoscopy for Low-income Latino and White Patients in an Urban Community Health Center 
Summary
Background
Colonoscopy is a screening modality for the early detection of colonic polyps and cancers but is underutilized, particularly among minorities.
Objective
To identify potential barriers to screening colonoscopy among low income Latino and white non-Latino patients in an urban community health center.
Design, participants, and approach
We conducted semistructured interviews with a convenience sample of patients 53 to 70 years old, eligible for colorectal cancer screening that spoke English or Spanish. Open-ended questions explored knowledge, beliefs, and experience with or reasons for not having screening colonoscopy. We performed content analysis of transcripts using established qualitative techniques.
Results
Of 40 participants recruited, 57% were women, 55% Latino, 20% had private health insurance, and 40% had a prior colonoscopy. Participants described a wide range of barriers categorized into 5 major themes: (1) System barriers including scheduling, financial, transportation, and language difficulties; (2) Fear of pain or complications of colonoscopy and fear of diagnosis (cancer); (3) Lack of desire or motivation, including “laziness” and “procrastination”; (4) Dissuasion by others influencing participants’ decision regarding colonoscopy; and (5) Lack of provider recommendation including not hearing about colonoscopy or not understanding the preparation instructions.
Conclusions
Understanding of the range of barriers to colorectal cancer screening can help develop multimodal interventions to increase colonoscopy rates for all patients including low-income Latinos. Interventions including systems improvements and navigator programs could address barriers by assisting patients with scheduling, insurance issues, and transportation and providing interpretation, education, emotional support, and motivational interviewing.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0572-6
PMCID: PMC2517890  PMID: 18350339
colon cancer; screening; colonoscopy; Latino; barriers; patient navigation; cultural competency; qualitative
19.  Healthy Colon, Healthy Life (Colon Sano, Vida Sana): Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Latinos in Santa Clara, California 
Journal of Cancer Education  2010;25(1):36-42.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates are low among Latinos. To identify factors associated with CRC screening, we conducted a telephone survey of Latino primary care patients aged 50–79 years. Among 1,013 participants, 38% were up-to-date (UTD) with fecal occult blood test (FOBT); 66% were UTD with any CRC screening (FOBT, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy). Individuals less than 65, females, those less acculturated, and patients of female physicians were more likely to be UTD with FOBT. CRC screening among Latinos is low. Younger patients, women, and patients of female physicians receive more screening.
doi:10.1007/s13187-009-0007-z
PMCID: PMC2848346  PMID: 20094827
Colorectal cancer; Fecal occult blood test; Latinos; Sigmoidoscopy
20.  Health service access across racial/ethnic groups of children in the child welfare system✩ 
Child abuse & neglect  2009;33(5):282-292.
Objective
This study examined health service access among children of different racial/ethnic groups in the child welfare system in an attempt to identify and explain disparities.
Methods
Data were from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW). N for descriptive statistics = 2,505. N for multiple regression model = 537. Measures reflected child health services need, access, and enabling factors. Chi-square and t tests were used to compare across racial/ethnic groups. A logistic regression model further explored the greatest disparity identified, that between non-Latino/a Black and White children in caseworker-reported access to counseling.
Results
In general, caseworker reports of health care service receipt did not differ across racial/ethnic groups. However, Latino/a children had better reported access to vision services than non-Latino/a White children, and counseling access was lower for non-Latino/a Black children than non-Latino/a White children. Caseworkers' self-reported efforts to facilitate service access did not vary by race/ethnicity for any type of health care. In the multiple regression model, both private health insurance and a lack of insurance were negatively associated with counseling access, while a history of sexual abuse, adolescence, and greater caseworker effort to secure services were positively associated with access. Race was just barely nonsignificant after controlling for other factors expected to affect access.
Conclusions
One possible reason why Black children are less likely to be identified as needing counseling is the fact that they are less likely than White children to have reports of sexual abuse, which strongly predicts counseling access.
Practice implications
First, child welfare practice may be more equitable than many believe, with generally comparable health service access reported across children's racial/ethnic groups. Second, caseworkers may be under-identifying need for counseling services among Black children, although this might reflect less frequent reports of sexual abuse for Black children. Third, both privately insured and uninsured children were less likely to receive needed mental health counseling than those with public insurance. This suggests that policy makers should focus on increasing the numbers of children enrolled in public health insurance programs such as Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.11.003
PMCID: PMC2789595  PMID: 19481260
Disparities; Access; Mental health; Child welfare
21.  Disparities in Cancer Screening in Individuals with a Family History of Breast or Colorectal Cancers 
Cancer  2011;118(6):1656-1663.
Background
Understanding racial/ethnic disparities in cancer screening by family history risk could identify critical opportunities for patient and provider interventions tailored to specific racial/ethnic groups. We evaluated whether breast cancer (BC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) disparities varied by family history risk using a large, multiethnic population-based survey.
Methods
Using the 2005 California Health Interview Survey, BC and CRC screening were evaluated separately with weighted multivariate regression analyses, and stratified by family history risk. Screening was defined for BC as mammogram within the past 2 years for women aged 40 to 64 years; for CRC, as annual fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy within the past 5 years, or colonoscopy within the past 10 years for adults aged 50 to 64 years.
Results
We found no significant BC screening disparities by race/ethnicity or income in both the family history risk groups. Racial/ethnic disparities were more evident in CRC screening, and the Latino-white gap widened among individuals with family history risk. Among adults with a family history for CRC, magnitude of the Latino-white difference in CRC screening (OR 0.28; 95%CI: 0.11 -0.60) was more substantial than that for individuals with no family history (OR 0.74; 95%CI: 0.59 -0.92).
Conclusions
Knowledge of their family history widened the Latino-white gap in CRC screening among adults. More aggressive interventions that enhance the communication between Latinos and their doctors about family history and cancer risk could reduce the substantial Latino-white screening disparity in Latinos most susceptible to CRC.
doi:10.1002/cncr.26480
PMCID: PMC3262934  PMID: 22009719
family history; cancer screening; cancer disparities; breast cancer; colorectal cancer
22.  Prevalence and Correlates of Lifetime Suicidal Ideation and Attempts among Latino Subgroups in the United States 
Objective
Limited data is available to understand the prevalence and correlates of suicidal behavior among U.S. Latino subgroups. This paper compares the prevalence of lifetime suicide ideation and suicide attempts among major U.S. Latino ethnic subgroups and identifies psycho-sociocultural factors associated with suicidal behaviors.
Method
The National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS) includes Spanish and English speaking Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans and other Latinos. Descriptive statistics and logistic models were used to determine demographic, clinical, cultural and social correlates of lifetime suicide ideation and attempts.
Results
The lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempts among Latinos was 10.2% and 4.4%, respectively. Puerto Ricans were more likely to report ideation as compared to other Latino subgroups but this difference was eliminated after adjustments for psychiatric and sociocultural factors. Most lifetime suicidal attempts described by Latinos were reported as occurring when they were under the age of 18 years. Any lifetime DSM-IV diagnoses, including dual diagnoses, were associated with an increased risk of lifetime suicidal ideation and attempts among Latinos. In addition, female gender, acculturation (born in U.S. and English speaking) and high levels of family conflict were independently and positively correlated with suicide attempts among Latinos, even among those without any psychiatric disorder.
Conclusions
These findings reinforce the importance of understanding the process of acculturation, the role of family and sociocultural context for suicide risk among Latinos. These should be considered in addition to psychiatric diagnoses and symptoms in Latino suicide research, treatment and prevention, especially among young individuals.
PMCID: PMC2774123  PMID: 17474813
23.  Prevalence of mental illness in immigrant and non-immigrant U.S. Latino groups 
The American journal of psychiatry  2008;165(3):359-369.
Objective
Although widely reported among Latinos, contradictory evidence exists regarding the generalizability of the immigrant paradox; that foreign nativity is protective against psychiatric disorders. We examine whether this paradox applies to all Latino groups by contrasting estimates of lifetime psychiatric disorders among Latino immigrants, Latino U.S-born, and non-Latino whites.
Method
Data from the National Latino and Asian American Study and the National Comorbidity Survey Replication represent some of the largest nationally-representative samples with psychiatric information.
Results
In aggregate, Latinos are at lower risk of most psychiatric disorders compared to non-Latinos whites and, consistent with the immigrant paradox, U.S.-born Latinos report higher rates for most psychiatric disorders than Latino immigrants. However, rates vary when data are stratified by nativity and disorder and adjusted by demographic and socioeconomic differences across groups. Among Mexicans, the immigrant paradox consistently holds across mood, anxiety and substance disorders while it is only evident among Cubans and Other Latinos for substance disorders. No differences were found in lifetime prevalence rates between migrant and U.S.-born Puerto Ricans.
Conclusions
Caution should be exercised in generalizing the immigrant paradox to all Latinos and for all psychiatric disorders. Aggregating Latinos into a single group masks great variability in lifetime risk for psychiatric disorders, with some subgroups, like Puerto Ricans, suffering from psychiatric disorders at rates comparable to non-Latino whites. Our findings thus suggest that the protective context in which immigrants lived in their country of origin possibly inoculated them against risk for substance disorders, particularly if they immigrated as adults.
doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07040704
PMCID: PMC2712949  PMID: 18245178
24.  Patient-Provider Language Concordance and Colorectal Cancer Screening 
ABSTRACT
Background and Objective
Patient-provider language barriers may play a role in health-care disparities, including obtaining colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. Professional interpreters and language-concordant providers may mitigate these disparities.
Design, Subjects, and Main Measures
We performed a retrospective cohort study of individuals age 50 years and older who were categorized as English-Concordant (spoke English at home, n = 21,594); Other Language-Concordant (did not speak English at home but someone at their provider’s office spoke their language, n = 1,463); or Other Language-Discordant (did not speak English at home and no one at their provider’s spoke their language, n = 240). Multivariate logistic regression assessed the association of language concordance with colorectal cancer screening.
Key Results
Compared to English speakers, non-English speakers had lower use of colorectal cancer screening (30.7% vs 50.8%; OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.51–0.76). Compared to the English-Concordant group, the Language-Discordant group had similar screening (adjusted OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.58–1.21), while the Language-Concordant group had lower screening (adjusted OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.46–0.71).
Conclusions
Rates of CRC screening are lower in individuals who do not speak English at home compared to those who do. However, the Language-Discordant cohort had similar rates to those with English concordance, while the Language-Concordant cohort had lower rates of CRC screening. This may be due to unmeasured differences among the cohorts in patient, provider, and health care system characteristics. These results suggest that providers should especially promote the importance of CRC screening to non-English speaking patients, but that language barriers do not fully account for CRC screening rate disparities in these populations.
doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1512-9
PMCID: PMC3019323  PMID: 20857340
language concordance; cancer screening; disparities
25.  Access to medical care for documented and undocumented Latinos in a southern California county. 
Western Journal of Medicine  1991;154(4):414-417.
To determine local access to medical care among Latinos, we conducted telephone interviews with residents of Orange County, California. The survey replicated on a local level the national access surveys sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We compared access among Latino citizens of the United States (including permanent legal residents), undocumented Latinos, and Anglos, and analyzed predictors of access. Among the sample of 958 respondents were 137 Latino citizens, 54 undocumented Latinos, and 680 Anglos. Compared with Anglos, Latino citizens and undocumented immigrants had less access to medical care by all measures used in the survey. Although undocumented Latinos were less likely than Latino citizens to have health insurance, by most other measures their access did not differ significantly. By multivariate analysis, health insurance status and not ethnicity was the most important predictor of access. Because access to medical care is limited for both Latino citizens and undocumented immigrants, policy proposals to improve access for Latinos should consider current barriers faced by these groups and local differences in access to medical care.
PMCID: PMC1002788  PMID: 1877182

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