Date of Conferral





Health Services


Magdeline Aagard


More than half of the population of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands had not visited their primary care provider for a year in 2016. The Chamorro people are less willing to seek or access care than other ethnic groups. This qualitative study aimed to understand the Chamorro people's access and utilization of Saipan's health care services to improve their access and, ultimately, their health. The theoretical frameworks included Penchansky and Thomas's theory of access to explore the Chamorro people of Saipan's lived experiences with availability, accessibility, accommodation, affordability, and acceptability of health care services, as well as Spector's cultural diversity in health and illness to explore the lived experiences of the Chamorro people of Saipan with the environmental control, biological variations, social organization, communication, space, and time orientation. A purposeful sample of 12 Chamorro adults over age 18 who live on Saipan were interviewed using phenomenological heuristic inquiry. Findings from 2-cycle coding indicated that many services were only accessible by going off-island, which has a significant impact on family and financial situations. This study can be considered preliminary research on how the Chamorro people on Saipan access and utilize health care services. One recommendation for further research is to conduct similar research on a more specific group within this population. The Chamorro people can benefit from this study when health service professionals and administrators ensure a more appropriate health delivery system for this population.