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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16770

Title: Supporting Recent Immigrants in their Effort to Access Information on Health and Health-related Services: The Case Of 211 Toronto
Authors: Cortinois, Andrea Angelo Maria
Advisor: Jadad, Alejandro R.
Department: Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Keywords: Access to health services
Health information
Issue Date: 20-Jan-2009
Abstract: The objectives of this thesis are to: 1) obtain a snapshot of callers of 211 Toronto, a free information and referral service, understanding how representative they are of Toronto’s general population; 2) understand how 211 Toronto callers seeking health-related information use the information they obtain when contacting the service and their overall level of satisfaction, and; 3) better understand the experience and information needs of recent immigrants struggling to navigate an unfamiliar health care system. The study had three phases: 1) a cross-sectional phone interview with 211 Toronto callers; 2) a follow-up phone interview of 211 Toronto callers who had asked health-related questions; and, 3) qualitative interviews with callers who were Spanish speakers from Latin American countries. Participants were randomly selected adult callers living within the boundaries of Toronto’s Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Respondents were compared with the general adult population living in Toronto’s CMA, using 2001 Census data, to identify under- or overrepresented population groups. A sub-set of callers who had asked health-related questions was followed up to understand how they had used the information received and their level of satisfaction with the service. Qualitative interviews were conducted with callers who were recent immigrants and native Spanish speakers from Latin America to explore their post-migration experiences. Recent immigrants experience significant information challenges. Health-related questions reflect the multifaceted nature of the concept of health in the experience of users. Negative experiences with the health care system are common. Recent immigrants have access to disorganized, confusing, often poor quality information. 211 Toronto represents an efficient and effective way to gain access to information but does not achieve its full potential. Newcomers should receive timely, appropriate, and reliable information on existing health and health-related services as soon as possible after they relocate to Canada. Appropriate information should also be made available to potential immigrants in their countries of origin. Information and communication technologies should be used to support newcomers, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of services such as 211 Toronto.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16770
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
The Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation - Doctoral theses

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