(HealthDay News) — Minority racial and ethnic groups are more likely to perceive the importance of seeing a health care provider who shares or understands their culture, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Emily P. Terlizzi, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey to examine estimates of the importance and frequency of seeing health care providers who shared or understood respondents’ culture by race and Hispanic ethnicity.

The researchers found that the percentage of non-Hispanic white adults who though it was very important to have a health care provider who shared or understood their culture was significantly lower than that among all other race and Hispanic-ethnicity groups in adults who had seen a health care professional in the previous 12 months. Minority groups were generally more likely than non-Hispanic whites to report never being able to see a culturally similar health care provider, among those who thought it was at least slightly important to have a health care provider who shared or understood their culture; this pattern persisted irrespective of sex, age, or urbanicity.

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“In this report, the data show that racial and ethnic minorities were more likely to find it important that their provider share or understand their culture, but were less likely to be able to see a provider who met these criteria,” the authors write.

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