A comparison of psychosocial health in North American and Chinese Canadian cardiac outpatients, and ethnocultural correlates of quality of life.

Ethnicity & disease

PubMedID: 25065071

Tang C, Shanmugasegaram S, Chow CM, Cho N, Tan Y, Grace SL. A comparison of psychosocial health in North American and Chinese Canadian cardiac outpatients, and ethnocultural correlates of quality of life. Ethn Dis. 2014;24(3):302-9.
OBJECTIVES
To: 1) compare sociodemographic, clinical and psychosocial characteristics of Chinese Canadian and North American cardiac outpatients, 2) describe the ethnocultural characteristics of Chinese Canadian cardiac outpatients, and 3) investigate ethnocultural correlates of quality of life among Chinese Canadian cardiac outpatients.

DESIGN
Cross-sectional.

SETTING
11 hospitals and two outpatient clinics of a Chinese Canadian cardiologist in Ontario, Canada.

PARTICIPANTS
1404 (n = 96; 6.8% Chinese Canadian) cardiac outpatients.

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES
Participants completed a survey assessing sociodemographic, ethnocultural and psychosocial characteristics. Quality of life was assessed with the MacNew instrument, which was translated to traditional Chinese character.

RESULTS
Chinese Canadian cardiac outpatients were of significantly lower socioeconomic status, and were less likely to be working, had lower activity status, body mass index, were less likely to smoke, had better left ventricular function, and were less likely to have undergone bypass surgery than their North American counterparts. Chinese Canadians reported significantly lower quality of life and social support than North Americans. Of the Chinese Canadian participants, 13 (26.5%) felt they needed an interpreter during a cardiac medical visit but did not receive this service. Correlates of greater quality of life in Chinese Canadian cardiac outpatients were greater proficiency in both English and Chinese languages, as well as perceived ability to communicate with Canadians, to fit into social situations, and understand English jokes.

CONCLUSION
Some characteristics of Chinese Canadian cardiac outpatients may put their health at a disadvantage when compared to their North American counterparts, however some protective factors were also observed. Language proficiency was a key correlate of quality of life.