Barriers to health care access faced by black immigrants in the US: theoretical considerations and recommendations

J Immigr Minor Health. 2014 Aug;16(4):689-98. doi: 10.1007/s10903-013-9898-1.


Although 54 % of the total black immigrant population is from the Caribbean and 34 % is from Africa, we know relatively little about barriers to healthcare access faced by black immigrants. This paper reviews literature on the barriers that black immigrants face as they traverse the healthcare system and develops a conceptual framework to address barriers to healthcare access experienced by this population. Our contribution is twofold: (1) we synthesize the literature on barriers that may lead to inequitable healthcare access for black immigrants, and (2) we offer a theoretical perspective on how to address these barriers. Overall, the literature indicates that structural barriers can be overcome by providing interpreters, cultural competency training for healthcare professionals, and community-based care. Our model reflects individual and structural factors that may promote these initiatives.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa / ethnology
  • Black People*
  • Caribbean Region / ethnology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • United States