Perceptions of the Osteopathic Profession in New York City's Korean Communities
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess knowledge of and barriers to osteopathic medicine in Korean communities in New York City.
Design: A cross-sectional study was designed in which a culturally appropriate survey in Korean and English versions was administered anonymously to measure community perceptions and knowledge of osteopathic medicine.
Setting: Data collection occurred in the municipal delineations for the Bayside neighborhood within the New York, New York borough of Queens.
Participants: Community members were selected using convenience sampling from high-density areas to participate. The survey included demographics, education level, health care habits and knowledge of the osteopathic profession.
Results: 105 surveys were conducted with 47 males and 58 females, with an average age = 66. Only 14% (n=15) indicated knowledge about osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and 9% (n=9) indicated knowledge of osteopathic physicians (DOs), with the primary language spoken at home (Korean) as the sole statistically significant factor in recognition of OMM and DOs among the study variables.
Conclusion: Compared to research on the general U.S. population, a general lack of knowledge of osteopathic medicine exists within New York City's Korean community. Although this difference may be ascribed to linguistics and ethnosociological factors, greater outreach and education is needed in urban minority communities to make immigrants aware of all health care resources available during the current shortage of primary care physicians in the U.S.