Race/Ethnic Discrimination and Preventive Service Utilization in a Sample of Whites, Blacks, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans

Maureen R. Benjamins
2012 Medical Care  
Race/ethnic discrimination is associated with poorer mental and physical health, worse health behaviors, and increased mortality, in addition to overall race/ethnic disparities in health. More specifically, it has been suggested as a possible determinant of the significant race/ethnic differences in the quantity and quality of medical care received by individuals in the U.S. Objectives: The current study examines the association between three measures of racial/ethnic discrimination
more » ... ination (Experiences of Discrimination, Everyday Discrimination Scale, and discrimination in health care) and six types of preventive services (mammogram, clinical breast exam, Pap smear, colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy, blood pressure screening, and diabetes screening). Research Design: Frequencies and correlations are run within a population-based sample of 1,699 respondents from Chicago that includes Whites, African Americans, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans. Adjusted logistic regression models are run separately by race/ethnicity. Results: Findings show that levels of perceived discrimination vary between all race/ethnic groups, with Blacks consistently reporting the highest levels and Whites the lowest. Discrimination is only inconsistently related to obtaining screenings for cancer, hypertension, and diabetes. The few significant relationships found differed both by measure of discrimination and the respondents' race and ethnicity. Conclusions: Given the growing diversity in the U.S. and the prevalence of discrimination, more research regarding its impact on health care utilization is needed. Only when all the factors influencing patient behaviors are better understood will policies and interventions designed to improve them be successful. These are important steps if we want to attain our national goals of eliminating race/ethnic disparities in health.
doi:10.1097/mlr.0b013e31825a8c63 pmid:22643195 fatcat:336ebtl7fbbonlwlzzyifxvo2m