Toward an Understanding of Health Care Delay Among Minorities: Examining Health Care Behaviors Among Military Young-Adult Males
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD BETHESDA United States
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The importance of eliminating health disparities in the United States has become a top priority in public health efforts. Ethnic minorities have historically different experiences and access to health care services that may influence their current attitudes and health behaviors. The military provides a unique opportunity to address these important questions. Military personnel are a racially diverse sample that has universal access to quality health care thereby removing access as one of the major barriers to utilization and controlling for SES. The purpose of this study was to compare delay in treatment seeking behaviors as related to knowledge of disease among African American, Hispanic American, and Caucasian active duty enlisted personnel. Two hundred ninety five enlisted males personnel X22.86 years SD 4.14 from a command within the continental U.S. completed the Illness Attitudes Scale IAS Kellner, 1986 to measure the participant s overall health-related worries and concerns, the Knowledge of Cancer Warning Signs inventory KCWSI Berman and Wanders man, 1991, and a number of questions developed to evaluate diabetes knowledge. Health care rules and behaviorswere also examined by a series of health care vignettes that described a pattern ofsymptoms for acute as well as chronic problems and the respondent indicated their typical response. Results indicated that there were no differences in knowledge of cancerF 2, 258.29, p .29 and diabetes F 2, 272 .19, p .83 symptoms among theracial groups. Also, there were no differences in treatment experience in the medicalsetting among the racial groups F 3, 283 .22, p .88. However, differences inconcern about bodily symptoms were found between minorities and Caucasians, withethnic minorities showing higher concern about bodily symptoms, worry about illnesses,and concern about disease all p s .05.