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Types and Factor Structure of Barriers to Utilization of Health Services among Aging South Asians in Calgary, Canada*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2010

Daniel W.L. Lai
Faculty of Social Work, The University of Calgary
Shireen Surood
Alberta Health Services
E-mail address:


Elderly people from ethnic minority groups often experience different barriers in accessing health services. Studies have typically focused on combined groups of elderly immigrants or on large ethno-cultural minorities such as the Chinese in Canada, or African-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. This study aimed to examine the types and factor structure of barriers to using health services experienced by aging South Asian immigrants in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. A telephone survey was used to collect data from a random sample of South Asian immigrants aged 55 years and older. Principal component analysis revealed four major types of barriers: cultural incompatibility, personal attitudes, administrative problems in delivery, and circumstantial challenges.


Souvent, les personnes aînés de groupes ethniques minoritaires éprouvent obstacles différents à l’access aux services de santé. Généralement, les études ont porté sur les groupes combinés d’immigrants âgés ou sur minorités ethno-culturels importantes, tels que les Chinois au Canada ou les Afro-américains et Latino-Américains aux États-Unis. Cette étude visait à examiner les types des facteurs qui constituent des obstacles à l’utilization des services de santé rencontrés à Calgary, Alberta, Canada, par les immigrés vieillissants d’Asie du Sud. Un sondage téléphonique a été utilisé pour rassembler des données d’un échantillon aléatoire d’immigrants d’Asie du Sud âgés de 55 ans et plus. L’analyse des éléments principaux a révélé quatre types principaux d’obstacles: l’incompatibilité culturelle; les attitudes personnelles; les problèmes administratifs dans la livraison et les défis posés par les circonstances.

Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2010

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This research received funding support from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.


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