Emily P. Terlizzi, M.P.H., Eric M. Connor, Carla E. Zelaya, Ph.D., Alissa M. Ji, National Center for Health Statistics; and Alexis D. Bakos, Ph.D.
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Minority Health
Objective—This report examines racial and ethnic differences in the reported importance and frequency of seeing culturally competent health care providers among U.S. adults.
Methods—Using the 2017 National Health Interview Survey, estimates of the importance and frequency of seeing health care providers who shared or understood respondents’ culture were examined by race and Hispanic ethnicity, and stratified by other demographic characteristics.
Results—Among adults who had seen a health care professional in the past 12 months, the percentage of non-Hispanic white adults who thought it was very important to have a health care provider who shared or understood their culture was significantly lower than that among all other race and Hispanic-ethnicity groups. Among those who thought it was at least slightly important to have a health care provider who shared or understood their culture, minority groups were generally more likely to report never being able to see a culturally similar health care provider compared with non-Hispanic white adults, and this pattern persisted regardless of sex, age group, or urbanicity.