Factors associated with hispanic underutilization of the Indiana Poison Center

Robert M. Saywell, Terrell W. Zollinger, Komal Kochhar, Calvin Roberson, Barbara L. Cole, James B. Mowry, Javier F.Sevilla Martir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The estimated annual incidence of poisoning in the United States is 5.3 million. Disparities exist among racial/ethnic groups seeking health care for poisoning. This study was conducted to understand why Hispanics in the Midwest may choose not to use the services of a poison center. Focus groups and informant interviews were conducted with Hispanic participants who resided in the 6 Indiana counties with the highest concentration of Hispanics. Focus group participants knew that poisoning is serious and recited many of the signs and symptoms associated with poisoning. Few were aware of poison centers. Key informants reported that language and communication, lack of knowledge about poison centers, a lack of provider understanding of the Hispanic culture, and low levels of education were major barriers affecting use of poison centers. The Hispanic participants and community leaders were generally unaware of poison centers and provided insight and useful information to better publicize poison center activities among the Hispanic population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalHispanic Health Care International
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Hispanic
  • Poison center
  • Poison knowledge
  • Poison treatment
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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    Saywell, R. M., Zollinger, T. W., Kochhar, K., Roberson, C., Cole, B. L., Mowry, J. B., & Martir, J. F. S. (2009). Factors associated with hispanic underutilization of the Indiana Poison Center. Hispanic Health Care International, 7(1), 30-34. https://doi.org/10.1891/1540-4153.7.1.30