Latino/Hispanic; healthcare experience; U.S.-Mexico border; qualitative; discrimination


Counseling Psychology


This study identifies factors associated with Latino/Hispanic adults’ healthcare experiences in a county along the U.S.-Mexico Border designated by the government as a geographic primary care, mental health, and dental health professional shortage area. An interpretative phenomenological approach was applied to analyze qualitative data collected through focus group interviews with ten Latino/Hispanic healthcare patients. Factors associated with positive healthcare experiences included short wait times, availability of same-day appointments, team-based care, and good interpersonal communication. Factors associated with negative healthcare experiences included long wait times, deficient communication (e.g., lack of provider-patient, provider-provider, and agency-patient communication), providers’ poor interpersonal skills, and perceived discrimination by healthcare professionals based on patient age, race/ethnicity, linguistic capability, and socioeconomic status. Latino/Hispanic patients negotiate challenging barriers related to receiving effective healthcare services. Healthcare providers and administrators may improve the quality of care for Latinos/Hispanics by attending to these factors.