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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004 Jun;25(3):156-65.

Cultural influences on health care use: differences in perceived unmet needs and expectations of providers by Latino and Euro-American parents of children with special health care needs.

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  • 1Global Health Division, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


This study compares service use, perceived unmet needs, and expectations of providers of Latino and Euro-American families of children with disabilities enrolled in a Title V Program. Eighty-four families and 20 providers participated in open-ended, semistructured, and structured interviews. Latino families underused Title V services (p <.001). The Latino families were more likely to cite unmet needs in the following areas: an unresolved health problem (p <.05), rehabilitation therapy programs (p <.001), or need for more information or a support group (p <.001). The Euro-American families cited unmet needs in the following areas: lack of day care (p <.001), respite services (p <.001), recreational programs (p <.001), and home health aides (p <.007). Textual analysis of open interviews revealed that the two groups of families had different expectations of providers. Latino cultural values play a role in these differences, creating barriers for effectively communicating with providers and for meeting children's needs.

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