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J Gen Intern Med. 2009 Nov;24 Suppl 3:508-13. doi: 10.1007/s11606-009-1098-2.

Perceived quality of care, receipt of preventive care, and usual source of health care among undocumented and other Latinos.

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  • 1UCLA Department of Family Medicine, 10880 Wilshire Blvd #1800, Los Angeles, CA, 90024, USA.



Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and experience persistent disparities in access to and quality of health care.


(1) To determine the relationship between nativity/immigration status and self-reported quality of care and preventive care. (2) To assess the impact of a usual source of health care on receipt of preventive care among Latinos.


Using cross-sectional data from the 2007 Pew Hispanic Center/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Hispanic Healthcare Survey, a nationally representative telephone survey of 4,013 Latino adults, we compared US-born Latinos with foreign-born Latino citizens, foreign-born Latino permanent residents and undocumented Latinos. We estimated odds ratios using separate multivariate ordered logistic models for five outcomes: blood pressure checked in the past 2 years, cholesterol checked in the past 5 years, perceived quality of medical care in the past year, perceived receipt of no health/health-care information from a doctor in the past year, and language concordance.


Undocumented Latinos had the lowest percentages of insurance coverage (37% vs 77% US-born, P < 0.001), usual source of care (58% vs 79% US-born, P < 0.001), blood pressure checked (67% vs 87% US-born, P < 0.001), cholesterol checked (56% vs 83% US-born, P < 0.001), and reported excellent/good care in the past year (76% vs 80% US-born, P < 0.05). Undocumented Latinos also reported the highest percentage receiving no health/health-care information from their doctor (40% vs 20% US-born, P < 0.001) in the past year. Adjusted results showed that undocumented status was associated with lower likelihood of blood pressure checked in the previous 2 years (OR = 0.60; 95% CI, 0.43-0.84), cholesterol checked in the past 5 years (OR = 0.62; 95% CI, 0.39-0.99), and perceived receipt of excellent/good care in the past year (OR = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.39-0.77). Having a usual source of care increased the likelihood of a blood pressure check in the past 2 years and a cholesterol check in the past 5 years.


In this national sample, undocumented Latinos were less likely to report receiving blood pressure and cholesterol level checks, less likely to report having received excellent/good quality of care, and more likely to receive no health/health-care information from doctors, even after adjusting for potential confounders. Our study shows that differences in nativity/immigration status should be taken into consideration when we discuss perceived quality of care among Latinos.

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