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Quality of Health Care for Asian Americans

The Commonwealth Fund has just released its findings from the 2001 Health Care Quality Survey. The survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates from April through November 2001, consisted of 25-minute telephone interviews in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese with a random, national sample of 6,722 adults age 18 and older living in the continental U.S. The study oversampled adults living in areas with disproportionately large numbers of African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans. The survey sample included 3488 white, 1153 Hispanics, 1037 African Americans, and 669 Asian Americans. The final data were weighted to the parameters of the adult population using the U.S. Census Bureau's March 2001 Current Population Survey.

Highlights on Quality of Health Care for Asian Americans

  • 1 in 5 Asian American adults ages 18-64 is uninsured or has been uninsured at some point in the past year, with especially high rates for Korean and Vietnamese Americans.
  • 68% of Asian Americans have a regular doctor, though only 46% of Korean and 59% of Vietnamese respondents said they had one.
  • Only 1/3 of all Asian subpopulations reported having a "great deal" of choice in their source of care, significantly less than the 50% reported for the US population overall.
  • 49% of Asian Americans rated their health status as "excellent" or "very good." But only 25% of Koreans and 20% of Vietnamese rated their health status that high.
  • Asian Americans were les likely than the overall population to rate their care highly, less likely to be confident about their care, and more likely to indicate having a communication problems with their doctor.
  • Asian Americans, particular Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipinos, are more likely to "strongly agree" that it is better to take care of one's own health and that staying healthy is a matter of luck.
  • Many Asian Americans believe their doctor does not understand their background and values.
  • Asian Americans are less likely to receive physician counseling about smoking cessation, healthy diet and weight, exercise and mental health.

You can download the full report from www.cmwf.org. A special report on the Asian sample will be completed by May.

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