Using the socioecological model to explore factors affecting health-seeking behaviours of older Korean immigrants. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to explore multilevel factors affecting older Korean immigrants' health-seeking behaviours.Although studies have documented significant issues related to healthcare access and utilisation issues among older immigrants, a noted limitation of current research is its failure to explore multiple factors related to their health-seeking behaviours.A qualitative study using interview data from two previous studies.We performed a qualitative analysis of focus groups and individual interviews using inductive coding methods. The socioecological model provided a useful framework to guide this study. The sample included 17 community-dwelling older Korean immigrants aged ≥65 years living in the metropolitan area of Seattle, WA, USA.Findings revealed various factors at the individual (e.g., perception of health and illness, mistrust, cultural values and norms, length of residency in the United States, language barriers and ageing experiences), interpersonal (e.g., peers, family and primary care physicians), community (e.g., ethnic community centres and organisations, home care helpers and interpretation services) and policy (e.g., lack of affordability and health benefits coverage) levels. Each of these factors played a role as either a barrier to or facilitator of older Korean immigrants' health-seeking behaviours. Several factors, such as language barriers and lack of available information, were intertwined.Findings indicate the importance of considering four major areas when designing culturally appropriate, community-based interventions for older immigrants. Also, utilising peers or trusted human resources in the community is critical to the design and implementation of health promotion interventions for older immigrants.Examining intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, and policy level factors that affect older immigrants' health-seeking behaviours informs the design of community-based health promotion interventions for older immigrants.© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

publication date

  • June 2018