“What I wish my doctor knew about my life”: Using photovoice with immigrant Latino adolescents to explore barriers to healthcare

Academic Article


  • Background: Latinos in the USA have reported more frequent discriminatory treatment in healthcare settings when compared to their White counterparts. In particular, foreign-born Latinos report discrimination more than Latinos born in the USA. Such patient-reported racial/ethnic discrimination appears to contribute to specific health consequences, including treatment seeking delays, interruptions in care, and medical mistrust. Immigrant Latino adolescents in the USA experience a variety of health disparities, yet little is known about their views of the healthcare experience, their perceptions of discriminatory treatment, or ways in which they would like their relationships with healthcare providers to be different. Methods: This work, based in a larger interdisciplinary social work-led initiative, used photovoice with two groups of immigrant Latino adolescents to explore the topic “what I wish the doctor knew about my life.” The findings were used to engage healthcare stakeholders as part of a pilot intervention aimed at decreasing provider bias toward immigrant Latino youth. Results/Discussion: Findings illuminated ways that the immigrant experience affects the lives and health of Latino adolescents in North Carolina. To improve their health, it is critical to understand, from their perspectives, the ways their lives can be complicated by experiences of migration, stereotypes, and cross-cultural communication challenges and how their interactions with authority figures in one sector, such as education, influence interactions in health care. Understanding the healthcare barriers faced by immigrant Latino youth is critical to any effort to improve the system of care for immigrant Latino populations.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lightfoot AF; Thatcher K; Simán FM; Eng E; Merino Y; Thomas T; Coyne-Beasley T; Chapman MV
  • Start Page

  • 60
  • End Page

  • 80
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 1