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Title page for ETD etd-11242014-115540

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author León-Pérez, Gabriela
Author's Email Address g.leonperez@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-11242014-115540
Title Crossing to Mexico for Health Care: An Alternative for Border Residents
Degree Master of Arts
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Katharine M. Donato Committee Chair
  • Hispanic health
  • health insurance
  • binational health
  • U.S.-Mexico border
Date of Defense 2014-11-24
Availability unrestricted
This research examines the cross-border utilization of Mexican health care services by Hispanic border residents. Using data from a community survey conducted in Webb County, Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border, this study seeks to identify the strongest predictors explaining of the use of medical, dental, and pharmaceutical services in Mexico. Overall, results suggest that lack of health insurance and cultural factors are the most significant predictors of cross-border patient mobility. Specifically, having any type of health insurance coverage, living in an English-dominant household, and residing longer in Webb County significantly reduce the odds of crossing to Mexico for health purposes. Other significant variables were having only a high school diploma and having children between the ages of 6 and 18 living in the household, both of which increase the likelihood of seeking health services in Mexico. Surprisingly, household income was not significant in any of the models, a finding that suggests that cross-border patient mobility is not dependent on the individuals’ financial capabilities. In all, this study suggests that seeking health care in Mexico is a more affordable and culturally acceptable alternative for many Hispanic border residents who face barriers accessing health care domestically.
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