Are Family Conditions and Individual Factors an Obstacle for Aboriginal Students' Health?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013: 3:50 PM

Rea-Jeng Yang, PhD
Deparment of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science, Taipei, Taiwan
Wen-Jou Chin, BS
Health center, Taitung County Bausun Junior High School, Taitung, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to share of research experience about minority issues.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to share the point of the effect of culture on health problems.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine whether the health events in the campus are best understood as effects of race, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was used. The data set was from the school-based health recording at the isolated, high minority junior high school in Taiwan. Our sample size was the entire 202 students in the school that have completed three academic-years, ranging from the 7th - 9th grade.

Results:  Out of the 202 students studied, 57.4 % were boys and 33.2% aboriginal and 66.8% non-aboriginals. A total of 24.9% of the students lived without parents and 19.6% of students reported their families economic status was within the poor or poverty line. The total number of health problems was 887, that is, the average frequency of health problem was 4.4±5.4 per student. The health problems were ranked as follows: physical illness (416, 46.9%), injury (372, 41.9%), and emotional distress (99, 11.2%). 51% of the students, had experienced both physical and emotional health problems during their three-years learning period. Physical illness, injury, and emotional problems recurrence accounted for 22.2%, 29.2% and 4.5%, respectively. However, the amounts of health problems among the subjects decreased across the grades (404, 304, and 179, respectively). Aboriginal students were found to have more significant morbidity of health problems than non-aboriginal students (p < .05). Variables such as aboriginal, male students living without parents, and difficulty in family finance were significantly related to the students’ health problems in the campus.

Conclusion: The aboriginal students in families with poor economical status remained at a disadvantaged situation, despite having the Nation Health Insurance coverage system. Furthermore, added efforts are needed to ensure that more eligible students are enrolled in high-touch health programs. Equally, non-financial barriers to health care must be addressed in order to reduce health inequities.