Access to health care for low-income african american women: Lived experiences and expectations

O. N. Okoro, A. Cernasev, L. A. Hillman, N. M. Kamau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background. Women of color and people of low socioeconomic status continue to have poorer health outcomes than their counterparts. This study explored patient-satisfaction and perceptions of low-income African American women regarding access to care. Methods. The study took a mixed-methods approach. Ninety-five women were surveyed using the Short-form Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (PSQ-18). Two sub-scales assessed satisfaction with access to care. Qualitative data were collected using one-on-one interviews (n=22) and two focus groups of community leaders. A thematic analysis was then conducted. Results. On a 5-point scale, patient-satisfaction with access was moderate (accessibility and convenience –2.99; financial aspects –3.35). Emerging themes included obtaining insurance, dynamics of insurance eligibility, adequacy and scope of insurance coverage, scheduling appointments, and transportation. Conclusion. Providing insurance coverage for people with low incomes is not sufficient to close the racial/ethnic disparities gap in access to care. Understanding the challenges from patients’ perspectives can help to make health care resources and services more accessible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-957
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Meharry Medical College.


  • African American women
  • Health care access
  • Health care services accessibility
  • Insurance coverage
  • Transportation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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