Korean Immigrants Health and Healthcare Practices in Rural America: A Systematic Review

Abstract

Purpose:  A systematic review of the literature was conducted to determine Korean Immigrants’ health and healthcare practices.

Method:  A systematic review of relevant studies was conducted between 2005 and 2013 using CINAHL Complete and Science Direct within the EBSCOhost Discovery Service and the Cochran Library as outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.  Original research articles discussing the health and healthcare among Korean immigrants in the United States were reviewed.  Key terms included Korean immigrants, rural, Texas, healthcare, research, and Koreans.   

Findings:  Using various combinations of the key terms, the search produced 243 potential relevant records with only 25 being eligible for review.  No studies represented rural regions.  Furthermore, only one study was conducted in Texas.  Twenty-five records described the state of health and healthcare among Korean immigrants.  Topics included socialization, healthcare utilization, cancer screening practices, a prevalence of depression, knowledge of hypertension and stroke, and level of physical activity. 

Conclusions:  Despite the review, Korean immigrant’s health and healthcare are still largely unknown, especially when taking rurality into context.  Health disparities are more likely to occur in rural medically underserved areas than in urban areas.  The presence of such health disparities is even more probable among Korean immigrants.  An increased knowledge of the Korean culture is needed among healthcare practitioners to promote health and healthcare among these vulnerable populations.

Keywords:  Korean, Texas, Rural, Health, Healthcare

DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.14574/ojrnhc.v16i1.368  

Method:  A systematic review of relevant studies was conducted between 2005 and 2013 using CINAHL Complete and Science Direct within the EBSCOhost Discovery Service and the Cochran Library as outlined by the Preferred Reporting items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses.  Original research articles discussing the health and healthcare among Korean immigrants in the United States were reviewed.  Key terms included Korean immigrants, rural, Texas, healthcare, research, and Koreans.   

Findings:  Using various combinations of the key terms, the search produced 243 potential relevant records with only 25 being eligible for review.  No studies represented rural regions.  Furthermore, only one study was conducted in Texas.  Twenty-five records described the state of health and healthcare among Korean immigrants.  Topics included socialization, healthcare utilization, cancer screening practices, prevalence of depression, knowledge of hypertension and stroke, and level of physical activity. 

Conclusions:  Despite the review, Korean immigrant’s health and healthcare are still largely unknown, especially when taking rurality into context.  Health disparities are more likely to occur in rural medically underserved areas than in urban areas.  The presence of such health disparities is even more probable among Korean immigrants.  An increased knowledge of the Korean culture is needed among healthcare practitioners to promote health and healthcare among these vulnerable populations.

Key words:  Korean, Texas, Rural, Health, Healthcare

https://doi.org/10.14574/ojrnhc.v16i1.368
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