This research is organized into three integrated studies that explored differences in screening and treatment services across the cancer care continuum by race and ethnicity. The Andersen Behavioral Model of Health Services Use and the Five Dimensions of Access were used as conceptual frameworks. In the first study (Chapter 2), data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey were used to examine breast and cervical cancer screening rates before and during the Great Recession (2007-2009). The interaction terms of recession and race and ethnicity were controlled to examine whether minorities exhibited different utilization patterns under economic shock compared to Whites.
In Chapter 3, data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2006-2010 were used to identify adult cancer survivors and adults without a history of cancer. Multivariate logistic regressions were applied to examine the prevalence of cost, organizational and transportation barriers between survivors and the general population. The likelihood of experiencing barriers was explored by race and ethnicity.
In Chapter 4, differences in the likelihood of experiencing access barriers among survivors by race and ethnicity was explored. Data were merged from the 2000-2011 (NHIS) to identify adult cancer survivors who reported cost, organizational and transportation barriers. Logistic regressions were applied to determine the likelihood of reporting each type of barrier, while controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables. The Fairlie decomposition technique was applied to identify contributing factors that explained differences in accessing care based by race and ethnicity.
Overall, results of the investigations demonstrate that: (1) breast and cervical screening rates declined most among White women during the recession period, while rates increased among Hispanic women during the same period; (2) minority cancer survivors were significantly more likely to experience access-to-care barriers than Whites; and (3) insurance, comorbidity, perceived health and nativity were leading factors that contributed to racial and ethnic differences in timely receipt of cancer screening and treatment services. As provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect, findings provide insight into practices, policies, and future research that will help achieve Healthy People 2020 screening objectives and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in accessing timely cancer care.