There are increasing numbers of medically uninsured populations in the United States today. Despite rising concerns with the health status of the uninsured, a dearth of information exists about their health seeking and health communication behaviors. Because Hispanics experience elevated risks of being medically uninsured, and have less access to health care services and health information resources, it is imperative that health communicators understand ways to reach this population. This study investigates Hispanics' connections to various media and interpersonal resources for health information and explores the extent to which the uninsured and the insured differ in terms of their health communication choices, and health seeking behaviors. Results from a survey of 737 Hispanics in Los Angeles show that ethnically targeted television and interpersonal communication networks were the preferred sources of health information. The uninsured and insured populations differed significantly in the ways that they access health care and seek health information, including the use of online health information. Implications of the findings are discussed for understanding health knowledge gaps and the design of mediated health communication campaigns to reach the medically vulnerable and Hispanic populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)