SEEKING HEALTHCARE? PERCEPTIONS AND BELIEFS AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS
Multiple studies have documented health and healthcare disparities between African Americans and whites in the United States. Many studies have traced these disparities to socioeconomic barriers such as age, income, and level of education. However, it has been found that when variables such as income, access, and insurance are controlled for, health and healthcare disparities remain. A growing body of literature suggests African Americans possess certain health beliefs and perceptions regarding concepts of health, illness, and the healthcare system that influence health and health seeking behaviors. Using empirical generalizations and theory from medical anthropology, this study expands on this growing body of literature by investigating health seeking behavior among African American adults in rural eastern North Carolina, as well as exploring African Americans’ perceptions and health beliefs to see how they relate to health seeking behavior. Interviews were conducted with 20 African Americans in two rural eastern counties in North Carolina (Halifax County and Northampton County). Through data analysis, I identified a pattern of health seeking behavior. In addition, thematic analysis revealed that African Americans possess certain health beliefs (e.g. The Body Will Heal Itself) and negative perceptions of the healthcare system (e.g. African Americans do not receive equal treatment), which also influences health seeking behavior. These perceptions and beliefs influenced the timing and decision to seek care. Ultimately, this research sheds light on several factors influential in African Americans’ health behaviors that may exacerbate racial disparities in health and healthcare. Consequently, health professionals and policy makers should develop and apply individually appropriate and culturally sensitive policies and interventions.
High, Jazmin. (June 2020). SEEKING HEALTHCARE? PERCEPTIONS AND BELIEFS AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/8571.)
High, Jazmin. SEEKING HEALTHCARE? PERCEPTIONS AND BELIEFS AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, June 2020. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/8571. October 24, 2020.
High, Jazmin, “SEEKING HEALTHCARE? PERCEPTIONS AND BELIEFS AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, June 2020).
High, Jazmin. SEEKING HEALTHCARE? PERCEPTIONS AND BELIEFS AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; June 2020.
East Carolina University