This descriptive study explores the health beliefs of an underserved elderly group to gain insight regarding their self-perceived health needs. Focus groups were conducted with 112 elderly Mexicans living on the U.S.-México border. Participants were asked questions regarding positive aspects of aging, self-perception of health status, and health care service needs. Discussions were tape recorded, transcribed, and translated from Spanish into English. Several themes were identified: Many felt having knowledge gained from life experience and raising a family was positive; participants indicated their overall health status was poor; and they believed it was difficult to access quality health care services. Many participants self-reported that health status depended on socioeconomic status, family support, chronic diseases, and previous lifestyle. These findings can help develop culturally appropriate interventions designed to improve the overall health of the elderly living on the U.S.-México border.
- focus group analysis
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