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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Health behavior, primary care access, and unmet health needs in Chinese young adults Ou, Christine Hui-Kuan


Background and Purpose: According to the Canadian Community Health Survey conducted in 2000-1, 12% of Canadians reported experiencing an unmet health need compared to four percent in 1994-5. There is growing reason to investigate the increasing number of Canadians reporting unmet health needs, particularly among young adults (between 18 and 30 years of age) who access health services less frequently than any other age group. In particular, the growing population of Chinese living in Canada present unanswered questions regarding the health needs of Chinese young adults. The purpose of this study was to examine: 1) if Chinese young adults who primarily speak Chinese experience more unmet health needs when compared to English-speaking Chinese young adults and, if there are, 2) the reasons why Chinese young adults have unmet health needs. Methods: A mixed methods approach was taken; in-depth interviews (n=8) with Chinese young adults were used to complement and explain findings from a secondary analysis of a larger cross-sectional survey of the primary health care seeking behaviours of Chinese-, English-, and Punjabi-speaking Canadians. Findings: Fifty-eight Chinese young adults participated in the primary health care survey; ten percent (n=6) reported having an unmet health need related to the availability and accessibility of health care. Language preference was not found to be associated with unmet health needs. Close to two out of three young adults reported seeing a physician in the past year. Twenty-four percent reported accessing health care outside of Canada. In-depth interviews revealed that Chinese young adults had unmet needs due to the lack of a primary care provider and not accessing preventive care. Acculturation and health behaviour was found to be more predictive of unmet health care needs than language.

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