Factors affecting family planning service utilization in Asian sub-populations in California
Awarded 2021
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Katrina Heyrana, MD, PhD
University of Southern California

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) research commonly combines Asians into one entity. However, subgroup-specific interactions between cultural/religious values, health beliefs, and acculturation lead to different SRH utilization patterns and outcomes. For example, Filipinos experience some of the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy and severe maternal morbidity among Asian subgroups. Disaggregating Asian health data is therefore vital for understanding these intersections, identifying at-risk communities, and providing culturally appropriate care.

We will conduct a secondary database analysis followed by a qualitative community-based participatory research (CBPR) study with Filipinos in Los Angeles (LA) to identify differences in family planning service (FPS) utilization in Asian subgroups and interrogate the hypothesis that acculturation increases FPS utilization for Asians in general and Filipinos specifically. The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) collects ethnically disaggregated data on contraceptive decision-making, healthcare access, and acculturation measures, permitting our exploration of the intersections between ethnicity, acculturation, and FPS practices. Findings from this analysis will guide a subsequent LA-based qualitative study with Filipino adults, exploring whether community-level experiences are concordant with CHIS data.

This will be the first large study to examine sexual activity and contraceptive selection in disaggregated US Asian populations, and to provide supporting qualitative data from one subgroup with the highest rates of adverse SRH outcomes. We anticipate that our secondary database analysis will highlight disparities in contraceptive selection among Asian subgroups for further characterization, and hope to build a long-term partnership with the LA Filipino community with the goal of improving adverse SRH outcomes in this group.