BARRIERS TO HEALTHCARE ACCESS FOR A NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBE IN THE GULF COAST REGION OF THE UNITED STATES

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Native American (NA) women’s health needs in general are underresearched, and use of holistic, community-informed, and resilience-based approaches are rare. Despite extensive documentation of the continuing health inequalities between NA women and the general US population, little research examines what healthcare infrastructure and healthcare provider factors most impact, and exacerbate, these health disparities. The purpose of the study was to provide insight into the healthcare experiences of NA women. A qualitative descriptive research methodology with “hues” of an ethnographic life-history approach was used. Data were collected through qualitative semi-structured life-history interviews with 31 NA women from the Gulf Coast region of the United States. All women identified healthcare obstacles and barriers. These barriers were predominately comprised of Healthcare Infrastructure Barriers, which entailed: (1) Cost and Insurance Barriers; (2) Concerns about Western Medication; (3) Language Barriers; (4) Distance to Medical Facilities or Specialists; and (5) Long-wait Times, and Negative Provider Relationships, which included: (1) Rushed or Rude Provider Interactions; (2) Providers not Listening, or Ignoring Patient Concerns; (3) Poor, Inaccurate, or Inadequate Care or Diagnosis; (4) Discrimination in Healthcare; and (5) The need for Personal Relationships with Providers. These findings suggest that healthcare infrastructure issues and poor health-care provider relationships are important structural issues that contribute to health disparities. The findings from this study have important implications for the type of training those working in healthcare services receive to be more sensitive to the needs of NA women and suggest that NA women may need unique support when accessing healthcare.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in the Sociology of Health Care
PublisherEmerald Group Holdings Ltd.
Pages73-94
Number of pages22
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Health Care
Volume38
ISSN (Print)0275-4959

Keywords

  • American Indian
  • health disparities
  • Healthcare access
  • indigenous
  • Native American
  • patient–provider interaction
  • qualitative research

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