Effects of length of stay and language proficiency on health care experiences among Immigrants in Canada and the United States
This study sought to examine the influence of length of stay and language proficiency on immigrants’ access to and utilization of care in Canada and the United States (US). Data came from the 2007–2008 Canadian Community Health Survey and the National Health Interview Survey. Analyses were limited to foreign-born, non-elderly adults in each country (n = 12,870 in Canada and n = 7440 in the US). Health care indicators included having a usual source of care; annual consultation with a health professional, dentist, and eye doctor; flu shot in the past year; and Pap test in the past 3 years. Logistic regression models were employed to estimate the relative odds of access or use of care, adjusting for need, demographic factors, socioeconomic status, and insurance coverage. In general, rates of health care access and utilization were higher in Canada than the US among all immigrant groups. In both countries, adjusted analyses indicated that immigrants with shorter length of stay (less than 10 years) and limited language proficiency generally had lower rates of access/use compared with those with longer length of stay (10 years or more) and proficiency in each country’s official language(s), respectively. There was one exception to this pattern in the US: immigrants with limited English had higher odds of having a recent Pap test relative to English-proficient immigrants. The persistence of disparities in health care experiences based on length of stay and language proficiency in Canada suggests that universal health insurance coverage may not be sufficient for ensuring access to and utilization of primary and preventive care for this population.
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Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
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