In response to the limited health data of local AAPI subgroups, the Chicago Asian Community Surveys (CACS) project conducted a comprehensive assessment of the health needs, determinants of morbidity and mortality, and health care access patterns of three AAPI communities in Chicago: Chinese, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. Utilizing a community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework, which was designed to be culturally specific and sensitive, CACS consisted of face-to-face interviews aimed at increasing the understanding of each community’s particular health needs and priorities. The three objectives of the project were:
- to document community health statuses using scientifically accepted methods,
- to compare survey findings with other analogous local, state, and national health statistics, and
- to translate results into informed and targeted interventions and programs for the overall goal ofachieving improved health in each of the communities.
With random sampling of the Chinese community and Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) of the Vietnamese and Cambodian communities, 383 Chinese, 250 Vietnamese, and 150 Cambodian community members were interviewed using culture and language-specific survey guidelines.
Eight health topics were discussed: diabetes mellitus, access to health care and insurance coverage, HIV/ AIDS, colorectal cancer screening, breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, mental health, and Hepatitis B.
A key finding across the eight surveyed health topics was the pronounced deficiency in the provision of public health and medical services, especially those tailored to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of these AAPI communities. Furthermore, disaggregated data exposed important and marked differences in disease burdens and health care needs among the three communities.
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