Recipes Run in Our Families Not Illnesses: Older Black Women on Race, Health Disparities and the Health Care System
AuthorSims, Colette Marie
Committee ChairNichter, Mimi
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractReducing racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare are ongoing concerns. A paucity of data on healthcare seeking behavior among older Black women has hampered efforts to make culturally responsive healthcare services available to this population. Little is known about how older Black women's expectations and perceptions of care affect their patterns of health behavior.This study explored sociocultural contexts of health behavior with fifty Black women, aged 40 and older, in Tucson, Arizona by examining what prompts these women to seek services, identifying key factors affecting their access to and utilization of healthcare, documenting their experiences in healthcare settings and how these interactions influence their healthcare-seeking behavior. If effective healthcare service access and utilization are to be encouraged among older Black women, an informed understanding of the role cultural difference plays is essential.This research has three purposes: to provide a forum for discussion of culturally relevant strategies and models for prevention of disease and promotion of wellness in Black communities; to provide perspectives on older Black women's health issues for policymakers and administrators in public health sciences; and to gain insight and document reasons for selected health behaviors among this population. Research funding from the NIH/ NIA has helped to establish this small multi-disciplinary data set on a specific race, gender and age sub-population group for future research and development of community resource partnerships; including public health education and effective healthcare service delivery with intervention / promotion efforts targeting older Black women.Findings: Older Black women's poorer health status reflects the cumulative effects of inadequate health care due to various discriminatory experiences and their mistrust of the health care system. Mistrust, expectations of racial bias, perceived cultural insensitivity, and lack of effective communication within healthcare settings were found to be barriers to their healthcare-seeking behavior. Neither healthcare providers nor older Black women can address these issues alone. Working towards more trusting relationships within healthcare settings is critical in beginning to address avoidable inequities in health status experienced by older Black women.This research is applicable to such disciplines as Sociocultural/Medical Anthropology, Health Education, Public Health, and Africana/Ethnic Studies.