To provide national prevalence estimates of usual source of healthcare (USHC), and examine the relationship between USHC and diabetes awareness and knowledge among Latinos using a modified Andersen model of healthcare access.
Three thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine Latino (18-years or older) participants of the Pew Hispanic Center/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Hispanic/Latino Health survey from the 48 contiguous United States.
Cross-sectional, stratified, random sample telephone interviews.
Self-reported healthcare service use was examined in regression models that included a past-year USHC as the main predictor of diabetes awareness and knowledge. Anderson model predisposing and enabling factors were included in additional statistical models.
Significant differences in USHC between Latino groups were found with Mexican Americans having the lowest rates (59.7%). USHC was associated with significantly higher diabetes awareness and knowledge (OR=1.24; 95%CI=1.05-1.46) after accounting for important healthcare access factors. Men were significantly (OR=0.64; 95%CI=0.52-0.75) less informed about diabetes than women.
We found important and previously unreported differences between Latinos with a current USHC provider, where the predominant group, Mexican Americans, are the least likely to have access to a USHC. USHC was associated with Latinos being better informed about diabetes; however, socioeconomic barriers limit the availability of this potentially valuable tool for reducing the risks and burden of diabetes, which is a major public health problem facing Latinos.