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An investigation of older Korean immigrants' perspectives on accessing primary health care Lim, Yu Jin

Abstract

Accessibility is a key tenet of the Canadian health care system. As many older persons, age 60 years and older, are managing ongoing chronic health conditions as part of their everyday lives, issues of access to health services are particularly important. Vancouver has a substantial number of older Korean immigrants, yet little is known about their experience and perceptions about accessing Primary Health Care (PHC) services. This study explored issues related to PHC access by older (aged 60 years and older) Korean immigrants. This qualitative study employed purposive sampling and interpretive description methodology. Open-ended interview data and field notes were gathered from 10 older Korean immigrants (five male and five female) recruited in Vancouver from mid-October 2006 to April 2007. The findings revealed that older Korean immigrants have had difficulty gaining access to appropriate PHC services because of the shifts in their social positioning and other barriers which contributed to an inappropriate use of PHC services, delays in care and lack of continuity in PHC. Also, the data revealed a number of ways the PHC system is unresponsive to the health care needs of older Korean immigrants. This study offers insights that may assist health care professionals to understand the nature of the challenges older Korean immigrants face when seeking health care and how they seek to resolve them. The analysis proposes a number of interventions that respect the older Korean immigrants’ values and interventions that may improve their access to PHC.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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