Surveying linguistically challenged Southeast Asian American populations: use of a community-partnered methodology

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2011 Aug;22(3):1101-14. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2011.0080.


Southeast (SE) Asians suffer from health disparities often caused by lack of preventive care, exacerbated by linguistic barriers which exclude many from surveys that fail to include minorities. This survey of linguistically-challenged SE Asians captured health status indicators, behaviors and access. Items were based upon Public Health Management Corporation's Household Health Survey. Participants were recruited by a community-based organization serving SE Asians; interviews were conducted in nine languages. Data were weighted to match age-sex distributions of Asians in Philadelphia. Of 527 interviews completed, 57% were U.S. citizens, 48% uninsured, 23% had gone without care due to cost. English was the main language at home for 3%, yet 53% reported their primary health care site did not have an interpreter. Nearly half reported health as fair/poor, and 22% had a chronic health condition. This community survey illuminates the need to profile the health care needs of these immigrant populations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asia, Southeastern / ethnology
  • Asian Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Health Surveys / methods*
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Multilingualism
  • Philadelphia
  • Qualitative Research