This is the first known study to use the Gelberg-Andersen Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations to predict African American women's use of three types of health services (alternative, hospitalization, and ambulatory) in the 18 months after release from prison. In the multivariate models, the most robust predictors of all three types of service utilization were in the vulnerable theoretical domains. Alternative health services were predicted by ethnic community membership, higher religiosity, and HIV/HCV. Hospitalizations were predicted by the lack of barriers to health care and disability. Ambulatory office visits were predicted by more experiences of gendered racism, a greater number of physical health problems, and HIV/HCV. Findings highlight the importance of cultural factors and HIV/HCV in obtaining both alternative and formal health care during community re-entry. Clinicians and policymakers should consider the salient role that the vulnerable domain plays in offender's accessing health services.

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Published in Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, v. 27, no. 2 supplement, p. 120-148.

Copyright © 2015 Meharry Medical College

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This research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01-DA022967, PI: Oser; K02-DA035116, PI: Oser; and K08-DA032296, PI: Stevens-Watkins).