Qualitative data was collected from Mexican-American (MA) and Puerto Rican (PR) breast cancer survivors to gain their perspectives on the relevant issues surrounding breast cancer survivorship and exercise. Six focus groups, a total of 31 participants were convened (three in Puerto Rico and three in Texas). Responses were analyzed and compared between the Mexican-American and Puerto Rican groups. Follow-up sessions were conducted at the sites to review the initial results and to validate a culturally adapted exercise intervention trial. A total of 900 responses were catalogued into 27 codes. Both groups had similar descriptions of exercise and barriers to exercise. Both groups expressed lack of information regarding their exercise capabilities. The groups differed in their responses to perceived safety in their community and how to deliver a culturally adapted exercise intervention in their community. We found important cultural differences and similarities in relevant factors of exercise and breast cancer survivorship.
Hispanic; breast cancer; cultural adaptation; exercise; survivorship
The family and home environment are important in shaping the dietary patterns of children, yet research among low-income, minority groups is limited. We examined ethnic differences in the home food environment and parental practices among 706 low-income, African-American and Hispanic families of preschoolers. Questionnaires measured the access and availability of various foods in the home, parental practices, and meal consumption behaviors. Mixed model logistic regression and ANCOVA were used to assess ethnic differences. Unhealthy foods were available for both groups. Hispanic families were more likely to have fresh vegetables (AOR = 2.9, P = 0.001), fruit (AOR = 2.0, P = 0.004), and soda available (AOR = 1.40, P = 0.001) compared to African-Americans. African-Americans families were more likely to restrict (AOR = 0.63, P = 0.001) and reward with dessert (AOR = 0.69, P = 0.001). Hispanic families consumed more family meals together (P = 0.003) and less meals in front of the television (P = 0.006). Health promotion interventions should consider the behavioral differences between ethnicities.
Early childhood; family health; nutrition; obesity; minority populations
Little research exists on the need for, barriers to, and acceptability and effectiveness of psychosocial support services among Latinas with breast cancer, despite their increased risks of psychosocial distress. This formative research study identifies barriers to and benefits and components of an effective peer support counselor intervention for Spanish-speaking Latinas recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Analysis was based on interviews of 89 Latino cancer patients referred to psychosocial services; 29 Spanish-speaking survivors of breast cancer; and 17 culturally competent advocates for Latinos with cancer. Results indicate that interventions should begin close to diagnosis; build self-care skills; be culturally competent and emotionally supportive; provide language appropriate cancer information; encourage self-expression; and address lack of access to and knowledge of services. Creating such psychosocial programs with input from survivors and advocates who have similar self-identities to patients would improve quality of life in diverse and underserved populations.
Breast cancer; Latinos; peer counselors; psychosocial support; mixed methods
This study aims to describe the utilization of curative and preventive care among Mexican immigrant women in the country of origin versus the US, and to identify factors associated with preventive and curative care utilization. A cross-sectional sample of 185 Mexican immigrant women living in Birmingham, AL between 2004 and 2005 were included in this study. Fisher’s Exact tests showed that there was a statistically significant difference between seeking curative care (p < 0.0001) and preventive care (p < 0.0001) in country of origin versus the US. Differences in the reasons for lack of utilization of both curative and preventive care were also observed in the US and the country of origin. These findings suggest that difference in healthcare-seeking behaviors and utilization among Mexican immigrant women between the US and their country of origin may be useful in the development of interventions aimed at increasing the use of preventive and curative care services to this immigrant population in the US.
Mexican Immigrants; Latina; Health care utilization; Health care seeking behaviors
This study used focus group methodology to examine perceptions of obesity and weight management among Latina immigrant women in Alabama.
Four focus groups (N=25) were conducted in Spanish as part of a participatory intervention development process. Participants were obese/overweight Latina immigrant women (BMI >25) primarily recruited from a community hospital.
The majority of participants were from Mexico. Participants described obesity in the context of short-term effects such as physical symptoms and aesthetics. Perceived weight gain was related to lifestyle changes since moving to the U.S. Social isolation, depression, and stress were reported to contribute to weight gain. Participants expressed interest in weight loss but emphasized a desire for programs that preserve traditional foods and include family.
Weight-management programs designed for Latina immigrants should address their perceptions of obesity. This data also suggests that those interventions that preserve culture and incorporate family may have increased community buy-in.
obesity; focus groups; weight loss; women; Latino; Hispanic; knowledge; beliefs
Recent studies revealed a negative association between acculturation and sun-safe behaviors, possibly mediated by education level, health status, and social networks. We sought to elucidate this relationship by exploring the moderating effects of gender and health insurance on each mediated path. We used data from 496 Latino respondents to the 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey. Acculturation, assessed by a four-item index, was the primary predictor; use of sunscreen and protective clothing were the primary outcomes, assessed by frequency scales. Moderated mediation was tested with an established causal moderation method. The mediated association between acculturation, education level and sunscreen use might be stronger among women than men (P < 0.08). We found no evidence of moderated mediation for use of protective clothing. The findings suggest ways of refining the theoretical and empirical rationale for sun safety research and interventions with Latinos. Studies should replicate these models with longitudinal data.
Acculturation; Sun-safe behaviors; Latinos; Moderated mediation; Sociodemographic factors
Prevalence of hepatitis B among Asian Americans is higher than for any other ethnic group in the United States. Since more than 50% of liver cancer is hepatitis B related, the burden of morbidity and mortality is extremely high among Asian Americans, highlighting the need for culturally appropriate interventions. We conducted focus groups (n = 8) with a total of 58 Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese immigrants in Maryland to explore knowledge, awareness and perceived barriers toward hepatitis B screening and vaccinations. Thematic analysis uncovered generally low levels of knowledge and awareness of hepatitis B risks, screening, and vaccination; inter-generational differences; and barriers to prevention. Some differences arose across ethnic groups, particularly toward perceived orientation to preventive activities and the role of religious groups. High rates of hepatitis B infection among Asian Americans highlight the need for tailored interventions. These findings may assist policy strategists in implementing interventions that will facilitate the integration and scale-up of hepatitis B education, screening, and vaccination campaigns.
Hepatitis B risk; HBV screening and vaccinations; Asian Americans; Qualitative; Immigrant health
This analysis assessed the prevalence of excess body weight, physical inactivity and alcohol and tobacco use in Asian American subgroups. Using 2005 California Health Interview Survey data, we estimated the prevalence of body mass index (BMI) categories using both standard and World Health Organization-proposed Asian-specific categories, physical inactivity, and alcohol and tobacco use for Chinese (n=1285), Japanese (n=421), Korean (n=620), Filipino (n=659) and Vietnamese (n=480) Americans in California. About 80% of Japanese and Filipino American men and 70% of Korean American men were “increased/high risk” by Asian-specific BMI categories. Most Asian American subgroups were more likely to walk for transportation than non-Hispanic whites, but less likely to report other physical activities. Highest smoking and binge drinking prevalences were among Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino American men and Japanese and Korean American women. These results suggest risk profiles for each Asian American subgroup to consider when setting priorities for health promotion programs.
Asian American subgroups; California Health Interview Survey; Body Mass Index; Health risk behaviors
We distinguish between selection and true migration effects on weight and body fat for Vietnamese immigrants; and examine the role of acculturation on these outcomes.
Data (n=703) were collected among three population-based samples of working-age Vietnamese immigrants, repatriated emigrants and never-migrated Vietnamese nationals. This allows for a decomposition exercise to separate the effects of migration effects from selection effects on body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio (WHR).
Immigrants are more likely to be overweight and to have high WHR, relative to both never-leavers and returnees, a pattern reflecting the importance of migration over selection. Among immigrants, coming to the US at a younger age is associated with higher BMI and WHR levels. And longer length of residence in the US is related to higher BMI. While higher Vietnamese language proficiency is related to a lower BMI level, being bilingual (proficient in both English and Vietnamese) is associated with lower risks for being overweight.
The distinct pattern of results suggests that more problematic weight status and fat distribution among Vietnamese immigrants relative to Vietnamese nationals are not artifacts of the types of persons choosing to emigrate, but rather are due to acculturation to American diet and lifestyles. While efforts to promote and maintain traditional patterns of diet and lifestyle are likely to help Vietnamese and other immigrants avoid the perils of American patterns, facilitating a bi-cultural orientation is perhaps the most realistic approach for preserving protective features of the culture of origin with regard to body weight and fat distribution.
immigrant health; obesity; selection effect; migration; acculturation; Vietnamese Americans
To examine the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for weight loss among Mexican-American women.
Cross-sectional survey of different CAM modalities, including traditional Mexican medicine therapies.
The sample was drawn from women participating in a weight-loss program in Portland, Oregon.
Sample consisted of 31 adult Mexican-American women.
Most respondents reported using some form of CAM for weight loss, with most reporting using herbs and teas (70%), home remedies (61%) and massage (55%).
Mexican-American women report using a wide range of CAM therapies for weight loss. Understanding their patterns of use will enhance cultural competence of health care professionals and help address their medical needs.
Obesity; Hispanics; Traditional Medicine; Women; Complementary Alternative Medicine
The “Latina epidemiologic paradox” refers to the observation that despite socioeconomic disadvantages, Latina mothers in the United States (US) have a similar or lower risk for delivering an infant with low birth weight (LBW) compared to non-Latina White mothers. An analogous paradox may exist between foreign-born (FB) and US-born (USB) Latinas. Our goal was to assess differences in LBW in USB Latinas, FB Latinas, and non-Latina Whites in Los Angeles County in 2003 using birth records and survey data. Using logistic regression, we estimated associations between LBW and birthplace/ethnicity in a birth cohort and nested survey responder group and between LBW and acculturation in responders to a follow-up survey. USB Latinas and FB Latinas had a higher prevalence of LBW infants compared to Whites (odds ratio [OR] = 1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] = (1.17, 1.53) and OR = 1.32, 95% CI = (1.18, 1.49), respectively); when we adjusted for additional maternal risk factors these point estimates were attenuated, and interval estimates were consistent with a modest positive or inverse association. Among Latinas only, LBW was more common for high-acculturated FB and USB Latinas compared to low-acculturated FB Latinas, and there was limited evidence that environmental or behavior risk factors had less impact in low-acculturated Latinas. In summary, adjusting only for demographics, Latinas in our study were more likely to have LBW infants compared to Whites, in contrast to the Latina paradox hypothesis. Furthermore, adjusting for environmental or behavioral factors attenuated the positive association, but there was little evidence that Latinas had a lower prevalence of LBW regardless of the variables included in the models. Finally, among Latinas, there was limited evidence that associations between known risk factors and LBW were modified by acculturation.
Low birth weight; Latina; Hispanic; US-born; foreign-born; Acculturation; Two-phase analysis
Theories of acculturation predict that discrepancies in cultural orientation between adolescents and their parents will increase the adolescents’ risk for behavior problems such as substance use. This study evaluated this hypothesis in a sample of 1772 Hispanic 9th grade students in Southern California. Parent–child discrepancy in U.S. orientation (defined as the difference between the child’s U.S. orientation and the child’s perception of the parents’ U.S. orientation) was a risk factor for past-month smoking, lifetime and past-month alcohol use, and lifetime and past-month marijuana use. Parent–child discrepancy in Hispanic orientation (defined as the difference between the child’s Hispanic orientation and the child’s perception of the parents’ Hispanic orientation) was a risk factor for lifetime and past-month alcohol and marijuana use. The adolescents’ own Hispanic orientation was protective against lifetime and past-month smoking and marijuana use, but not alcohol use. In an analysis of mediation, U.S. acculturation discrepancy was associated with lower levels of family cohesion, which in turn was associated with higher levels of substance use. Results suggest that family-based interventions for acculturating and bicultural Hispanic families may be useful in decreasing the likelihood of substance use among Hispanic adolescents.
Acculturation; Hispanic; Adolescence; Tobacco; Alcohol; Drugs
Racial/ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by barriers to health care access and utilization. The primary objective was to test for an independent association between household food insecurity and health care access/utilization. In this cross-sectional survey, 211 Latinos (predominantly, Puerto-Ricans) with type 2 diabetes (T2D) were interviewed at their homes. Factor analyses identified four barriers for health care access/utilization: enabling factor, doctor access, medication access and forgetfulness. Multivariate logistic regression models examined the association between each of the barrier factors and food insecurity controlling for sociodemographic, cultural, psychosocial, and diabetes self-care variables. Higher food insecurity score was a risk factor for experiencing enabling factor (OR = 1.46; 95% CI = 1.17–1.82), medication access (OR = 1.26; 95 CI% = 1.06–1.50), and forgetfulness (OR = 1.22; 95 CI% = 1.04–1.43) barriers. Higher diabetes management self-efficacy was protective against all four barriers. Other variables associated with one or more barriers were health insurance, perceived health, depression, blood glucose, age and education. Findings suggest that addressing barriers such as food insecurity, low self-efficacy, lack of health insurance, and depression could potentially result in better health care access and utilization among low income Puerto-Ricans with T2D.
Puerto-Ricans; Type 2 diabetes; Health care access barriers; Food insecurity; Self-efficacy
In the US, HIV disproportionately affects Latinos who often present late in the disease. Baltimore has seen a recent rapid growth in its Latino population paralleled by an increasing impact of HIV/AIDS among Latinos. From 2009 to 2010, we performed a cross-sectional survey of Latinos accessing the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) Latino Outreach services to assess self-report of previous HIV testing, with particular attention to migration history and risk behaviors. Of 247 Latinos (46% male) accessing BCHD outreach services, 96% were foreign-born. Self-perceived HIV risk was not associated with actual risk behaviors or HIV testing. In multivariate models, previous HIV testing was correlated with knowledge of HIV transmission modes and knowing that a person with HIV can appear healthy. Consistent with CDC recommendations, HIV screening among Latino immigrants should not be limited to individuals with self-perceived risk for HIV. Promoting key pieces of HIV knowledge may improve HIV testing behaviors.
HIV/AIDS; Prevention; Hispanic; Latino; Condom; HIV knowledge; HIV testing
The number of African-born residents living in the United States (US) increased by more than 750 % between 1980 and 2009. HIV diagnosis rates in this population are six times higher than estimated incidence in the general US population. African-immigrants with HIV are also diagnosed at later stages of infection than US-born residents, but they paradoxically have lower mortality after diagnosis. There are higher rates of HIV among women, higher rates of heterosexual transmission, and lower rates of injection-drug-use-associated transmission among African-born residents in the US relative to the general US population. Despite this distinct epidemiologic profile, surveillance reports often group African-born residents with US-born Blacks. The high rates of HIV among African-born residents in the US combined with increasing immigration and incomplete surveillance data highlight the need for more accurate epidemiologic data along with appropriate HIV service programs.
HIV; AIDS; African; Immigrants
This study assessed the feasibility of a culturally-appropriate weight-loss intervention targeting obese Spanish-speaking Mexican women.
This 12-month weight-loss program was based on behavioral interventions previously used successfully with English-speaking participants. Cultural adaptations included: female interventionists, minimal written materials, emphasis on group activities, focus on Mexican traditions and beliefs, and skill-building approach to food measurement. All sessions were conducted in Spanish. The study had few exclusionary criteria, which allowed participation of women with a wide range of literacy levels.
Recruitment exceeded expectations, with 47 participants enrolling in the program. Not counting participants who became pregnant during the study, attendance at 6 and 12 months was 62% and 50% respectively. Mean weight loss at 6 and 12 months was 5.3 kg and 7.2 kg, respectively, with a mean reduction in BMI of 4.0 kg/m2 and 5.5 kg/m2 from baseline to 6 and 12 months, respectively.
This pilot study shows that it is feasible to develop and implement culturally-appropriate behavioral lifestyle interventions for obesity treatment in Mexican-American women.
Obesity; Hispanics; Women; Weight-loss Intervention; Cultural Adaptation
To better document the health status of Cambodian refugees, the physical health functioning, disability, and general health status of Cambodian refugees was compared to that of non-refugee Asian immigrants with similar demographic characteristics.
Data were collected between October 2003 and February 2005, from 490 face- to-face interviews conducted with a stratified probability sample of households from the Cambodian community in Long Beach, California. Data on the health status of the general adult population (n=56,270) was taken from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), a telephone interview of a representative sample California residents.
Cambodian refugees reported exceedingly poor health when compared to both the general population to the Asian participants. This disparity was only slightly reduced when Cambodian refugees were compared to the subsample of Asian immigrants who were matched on gender, age, income, and urbanicity.
Although Cambodians refugees are older and poorer than the general population, their poor health cannot be fully attributed to these risk factors. Research is needed to guide health policy and practices aimed at eliminating this health disparity.
Refugees; Health; Disability; Cambodian; Asian
Pediatric obesity continues to be an epidemic and affects Hispanic children disproportionately. Recent recommendations outline a step-wise approach to the treatment of overweight and obese children, culminating in tertiary-care, multidisciplinary programs. We detail here how our tertiary-care, family-based, pediatric weight management clinic addressed the problem of few Spanish-speaking families enrolling in treatment after referral by adding a Bilingual Case Manager. Utilizing a family-centered, high-contact, personal approach, our program increased the number of Hispanic families enrolling over ten-fold. Further, outcomes in Hispanic families were equal to or better than other racial/ethnic groups. Lessons learned from this experience may benefit other obesity treatment programs trying to improve care of Spanish-speaking families.
The study was conducted to examine the relative effectiveness of two psychosocial treatments (cognitive behavior therapy with cultural tailoring intervention versus brief medication management).
The study used a two-arm randomized controlled trial of individual therapy in which participant assignment was stratified by gender. Data were collected at baseline and at four follow-up points: one and four weeks and three and six months from the quit date. The intervention condition received eight 40-minute weekly sessions of individualized counseling using cognitive behavior therapy and cultural tailoring intervention, while the control condition received eight 10-minute weekly sessions of individualized counseling focusing on medication management. Both conditions received 8-week nicotine patches.
Thirty Korean immigrants participated in the study. By intention-to-treat analysis, 57.1% of participants in the intervention and 18.8% of participants in the control had 7-day point prevalence abstinence at the 6-month follow-up (odds ratio = 5.8, 95% confidence interval = 1.12–26.04, p = 0.04). Participants’ self-reported abstinence was biochemically validated with breath carbon monoxide and salivary cotinine tests.
The combination of cognitive behavior therapy and cultural tailoring intervention had a better treatment outcome compared to brief medication management. The promising result suggests the need to further test the intervention in a larger sample and longer follow-ups before it can be adapted in clinical settings.
smoking; smoking cessation; theory of planned behavior; cultural tailoring; Asian Americans
Little is known about the relationship among acculturation, literacy, and health skills in Latino caregivers of young children. Latino caregivers of children <30 months seeking primary care at four medical centers were administered measures of acculturation (SASH), functional health literacy (STOFHLA), numeracy (WRAT-3) and health-related skills (PHLAT Spanish). Child anthropomorphics and immunization status were ascertained by chart review. Caregivers (N = 184) with a median age of 27 years (IQR: 23–32) participated; 89.1 % were mothers, and 97.1 % had low acculturation. Lower SASH scores were significantly correlated (P < 0.01) with lower STOFHLA (ρ = 0.21), WRAT-3 (ρ = 0.25), and PHLAT Spanish scores (ρ = 0.34). SASH scores predicted PHLAT Spanish scores in a multivariable linear regression model that adjusted for the age of child, the age and gender of the caregiver, number of children in the family, the type of health insurance of the caregiver, and study site (adjusted β: 0.84, 95 % CI 0.26–1.42, P = 0.005). This association was attenuated by the addition of literacy (adjusted β: 0.66, 95 % CI 0.11–1.21, P = 0.02) or numeracy (adjusted β: 0.50, 95 % CI −0.04–1.04, P = 0.07) into the model. There was no significant association between acculturation and up-to-date child immunizations or a weight status of overweight/obese. Lower acculturation was associated with worse health literacy and diminished ability to perform child health-related skills. Literacy and numeracy skills attenuated the association between acculturation and child health skills. These associations may help to explain some child health disparities in Latino communities.
Acculturation; Literacy; Numeracy; Infants
Depression represents a growing concern among Asian Americans. This study examined whether discrimination and family dynamics are associated with depression in this population.
Weighted logistic regressions using nationally representative data on Asian American adults (N = 2095) examining associations between discrimination, negative interactions with relatives, family support, and 12-month major depressive disorder (MDD).
Discrimination (odds ratio [OR] = 2.13, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.67, 2.71) and negative interactions with relatives (OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.03, 1.58) were positively associated with MDD. Family support was associated with lower MDD (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.59, 0.89), and buffered lower levels of discrimination.
Results suggest that discrimination may have negative mental health implications, and also point to the importance of family relationships for depression among Asian Americans. Findings suggest that providers may consider stress experienced at multiple ecological levels to address Asian American mental health needs.
Asian Americans; major depressive disorder; discrimination; family relationships
The present study examined the relationship between Berry’s acculturation typology and HIV risk behaviors and whether family functioning mediated any such effects. A total of 235 high risk Hispanic adolescents were categorized into one of Berry’s four acculturation typologies through the use of cut-off scores on measures of Hispanicism and Americanism. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the effects of acculturation typology on HIV risk behaviors and the indirect effects of acculturation typology on HIV risk behaviors through family functioning. Acculturation typology was related to HIV risk behaviors. Family functioning partially mediated the effects of acculturation typology on the HIV risk behavior outcomes. These findings suggest that both Americanism and Hispanicism play an important role in the etiology of HIV risk behaviors among Hispanic youth and that both, along with family functioning, are important to consider when designing preventive interventions for this population.
HIV; Substance use; Hispanic; Family; Acculturation