Use of Internet for general and dental health along acculturation features in a sample of Mexican Americans

Odette Aguirre, Rodrigo Mariño, Carlo Medina-Solís, Gerardo Maupomé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The objectives of this study were to explore self-reported Internet and electronic platforms used to search for and store medical and dental information among people of Mexican origin. A sample of adults self-identified as European American (250) and as Mexican American (255), residing in Central Indiana, answered a one-time survey that included technology use questions and measured acculturation via the Psychological-Behavioral Acculturation Scale. Overall use of information technologies was estimated through an Information and Communication Technology score. Overall, participants with higher scores searched online for general and oral health information at higher rates than those with lower scores. Younger Mexican Americans and those with higher use scores were more likely to search online for general health information, as were those more psychologically and behaviorally acculturated. Interestingly, Mexican Americans were more likely than European Americans to search online for dental health information. All participants demonstrated high interest in accessing and storing their own health information especially on paper format; storage in other places, such as personal computers, smartphones, or USB flash drives, was less endorsed. Most participants would allow spouses access to their health records; however, there were significant differences between both population groups regarding access given to physicians, dentists and other family members, with Mexican Americans reporting more restrictions. Our findings provide initial information on differential use pattern of electronic health resources among Mexican Americans and suggest that new information technologies reach population groups traditionally underserved; such features may help address disparities in general and dental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-452
Number of pages10
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Acculturation
  • Electronic health records
  • Health behaviors
  • Internet use
  • Mexican American
  • Oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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