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Huiching Ko

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Thesis Committee Chairperson

Virginia Hart, DNP, RN, ANP-BC

Second Reader

Wen Can Lu, FNP


Primary care is recognized as the foundation of the health services that treat and prevent disease, and promote health well-being. Generally, health beliefs and attitudes have great impact on people’s health seeking behaviors, especially among immigrants. Studies had found that the foreign-born population demonstrated a lower rate of utilizing primary care services in the United States. The purpose of this study was to discover Chinese immigrants’ perspectives on utilizing primary care and preventive screenings in the U.S. Forty-six Chinese immigrants were recruited from New York State for this study and their perspectives were measured by questions derived from the Primary Care Assessment Tool. Leininger’s Transcultural Nursing Theory was utilized as the theoretical framework to guide this study, and descriptive statistics were applied to explore the correlation between Chinese Immigrants’ health beliefs and health seeking behaviors and their use of primary care services. Overall, participants would contact their primary care office for illnesses; they believed in Western medicine more than traditional herbs; they expressed satisfaction with their primary care providers’ performance; they were also willing to obtain preventive screenings. The results indicated Chinese immigrants’ health seeking behaviors were not only influenced by their cultural beliefs, but also were impacted by the length of residency in the U.S., educational background, and the level of acculturation. Future research should include a large sample size of Chinese immigrants and target different age groups to compare the similarities and differences regarding the facts identified in this study. In addition, this study summarized some new perspectives on Chinese immigrants’ health beliefs to support healthcare providers unfamiliar with Chinese culture and to enhance their cultural competence.