UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Barriers to health care among Asian immigrants in the United States: a traditional review

UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | Insurance | Public Health | Race and Ethnicity


Asian immigrants in the U.S. are far less likely to have health insurance or use health care services than both U.S.-born Asians and non-Hispanic Whites. Furthermore, Asian immigrants who access the U.S. health care system are less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to receive high-quality services. This paper reviews four barriers faced by Asian immigrants to participating in the U.S. health care system fully: (1) linguistic discordance between providers and patients; (2) health-related beliefs and cultural incompetency of health systems; (3) issues related to accessing health services; and (4) discrimination in the health care system. Interventions to improve the health of Asian immigrants must address barriers experienced at multiple levels, including those that occur interpersonally and institutionally, as well as broader societal factors that affect health care access and quality.


Asian American, immigrant, health care access, health beliefs, discrimination, linguistic barriers

DOI of Published Version



Juliana Clough, Sunmin Lee, and David H. Chae. "Barriers to Health Care among Asian Immigrants in the United States: A Traditional Review." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 24.1 (2013): 384-403. Project MUSE. DOI 10.1353/hpu.2013.0019. Link to article on publisher's site


First author Juliana Clough is a medical student at UMass Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of health care for the poor and underserved

PubMed ID