Title: How does culture influence preventive service utilisation among Asian Indians living in the USA? A qualitative study

Authors: Rani R. Pallegadda; Elsie J. Wang; Latha P. Palaniappan; Puja K. Gupta; Christopher J. Koenig

Addresses: Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA ' 795 El Camino Real, Ames Building Palo Alto, CA 94301-2302, USA ' Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, USA ' Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA ' Department of Medicine, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, USA; Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, 3333 California Street, Suite 265, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

Abstract: Asian Indians are one of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the USA and are at high risk for preventable chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We describe the cultural practices of Asian Indians living in the USA to build a theory of health seeking behaviour for preventive healthcare services. We conducted in-depth qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 21 Asian Indians seen at two outpatient clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area. Using the Constructionist Grounded Theory, we show that participants typically use primary healthcare services for urgent health problems and had been unfamiliar with routine care for disease prevention when immigrating to the USA. Participants deviated from this pattern during culturally significant life course events, such as marriage or childbirth and in response to the concerns of family members, local social network members, and primary care service providers during medical visits for urgent illnesses.

Keywords: Asian Indians; prevention; healthcare services; culture; diaspora; minority communities; constructionist grounded theory; USA; United States; cultural influence; preventive healthcare; service utilisation; immigrants; preventable chronic diseases; diabetes; cardiovascular disease; disease prevention.

DOI: 10.1504/IJQRS.2014.060667

International Journal of Qualitative Research in Services, 2014 Vol.1 No.3, pp.232 - 247

Received: 12 Jul 2013
Accepted: 05 Dec 2013

Published online: 17 Jun 2014 *

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