Modeling a Multi-level Intervention to Improve Oral Health for Chinese Americans

Authors: Qiuyi Zhang*, University at Buffalo, SUNY
Topics: Geography and Urban Health
Keywords: Chinese Americans, Health geography, Agent-based modeling, GIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download



Chinese Americans experience certain barriers (e.g., low incomes, diverse languages other than English, lack of insurance, cultural preferences, discrimination) when they seek healthcare services. These barriers may contribute to health disparities by causing reduced utilization of preventive and treatment services. To date, evidence to test hypotheses about these dynamics has been missing or hard to measure. This research takes a modeling approach to develop theory that accounts for dynamic relationships operating at multiple levels: from individuals to families to communities. A multi-level modeling approach allows for the interaction of factors at different levels of aggregation. This research applies methods of spatial statistics and spatially explicit agent-based modeling (ABM) to examine how demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic factors shape access to oral healthcare for low-income Chinese Americans in New York City. The model developed in this research will be used to test different intervention scenarios involving community health workers who facilitate care coordination and health promotion activities. Besides demographic characteristics and socioeconomic factors, this study also considers geographic factors and spatial behavior, such as distance and activity space. The overarching contribution of the research is to provide a complex systems science framework by which to understand access to oral healthcare for urban Chinese Americans and by extension other minority groups, integrating health-seeking behaviors at the individual level, barriers to care at multiple levels, and opportunities for health promotion at the community level.

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