Healthcare access and utilization among women 40 and older at the U.S.-Mexico border: Predictors of a routine check-up

Jennifer B. Hunter, Jill Guernsey De Zapien, Catalina A. Denman, Eva Moncada, Mary Papenfuss, Danelle Wallace, Anna R. Giuliano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Mexican Americans are more likely to experience barriers to access and utilization of healthcare services than any other U.S. Hispanic group. In Mexico, where the majority of the population has access to care, the pressing issue is the underutilization of preventive services among adults. This study was conducted to assess access and utilization barriers among a U.S.-Mexico border population. A cross-sectional, population-based survey was conducted during 1999-2000 in a pair of contiguous U.S.-Mexico border communities. Household surveys were administered to U.S. and Mexican women, 40 years of age and older, to assess healthcare access and utilization, participation in chronic disease screenings, orientation toward prevention and personal history of chronic disease. Analysis indicates few statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) among access and utilization variables by country. Mexican participants were more likely to have a regular source of care and to have had a blood sugar test within the past 12 months. U.S. participants more often reported having had a Pap smear and mammogram during the previous year. Factors independently positively associated with having had a routine check-up during the past 12 months included age and having a regular provider or place to go when sick. Only going to the doctor when ill was independently inversely associated with routine check-ups in the past 12 months. Findings suggest that U.S. and Mexican border populations are similar with regard to healthcare access and utilization characteristics. Efforts to increase utilization of preventive health screenings among women are needed at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-333
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Healthcare access and utilization
  • Routine check-up
  • U.S.-Mexico border

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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