Hispanic cultural norms for health-seeking behaviors in the face of symptoms

Linda Kathryn Larkey, Michael L. Hecht, Katherine Miller, Carlos Alatorre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


This study examines factors that contribute to the delayed use of medical care among Hispanics when chronic disease-related symptoms (warning signs) occur. As an adjunct to a larger project funded by the National Cancer Institute, this study accessed a population of primarily Hispanic, mostly male employees at public work sites in two Arizona counties. Through focus groups and a survey of employees, a model describing the factors underlying health care use was tested. Seriousness of symptoms has the most effect on visits to doctor, with more serious symptoms leading to prompter visits. Faith in God and seriousness of symptoms both are related to the search for a doctor one can trust. Also, a cluster of variables describing past bad experiences, practical barriers, and emotional avoidance are related to the desire to get advice or medical help from someone who is close; these influence the search for a trusted doctor, which in turn leads to prompter visits to doctor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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