Fear of Deportation is not Associated with Medical or Dental Care Use Among Mexican-Origin Farmworkers Served by a Federally-Qualified Health Center—Faith-Based Partnership: An Exploratory Study
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Migrant and seasonal farmworkers face many health risks with limited access to health care and promotion services. This study explored whether fear of deportation (as a barrier), and church attendance (as an enabling factor), were associated with medical and dental care use among Mexican-origin farmworkers. Interviews were conducted with 179 farmworkers who attended mobile services provided by a local federally-qualified health center (FQHC) in partnership with area churches, during the 2007 agricultural season. The majority of respondents (87 %) were afraid of being deported, and many (74 %) attended church. Although about half of participants reported poor/fair physical (49 %) and dental (58 %) health, only 37 % of farmworkers used medical care and 20 % used dental care during the previous year. Fear of deportation was not associated with use of medical or dental care; while church attendance was associated with use of dental care. Findings suggest that despite high prevalence of fear of deportation, support by FQHCs and churches may enable farmworkers to access health care services.
KeywordsFear of deportation Church attendance Health care use Health centers Faith-based organizations Farmworkers
We thank the farmworkers who participated in this study for taking time from work to help us; and the support of Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center and local churches. This research was supported by a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation. The content does not necessarily represent the views or policies of this organization.
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