Barriers to Healthcare Access for a Native American Tribe in the Gulf Coast Region of the United States

Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Other Social Characteristics as Factors in Health and Health Care Disparities

ISBN: 978-1-83982-799-0, eISBN: 978-1-83982-798-3

ISSN: 0275-4959

Publication date: 28 September 2020

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 healthcare 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.

Keywords

Citation

Liddell, J.L. (2020), "Barriers to Healthcare Access for a Native American Tribe in the Gulf Coast Region of the United States", Kronenfeld, J.J. (Ed.) Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Other Social Characteristics as Factors in Health and Health Care Disparities (Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 38), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 73-94. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0275-495920200000038009

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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