Assessment of barriers to utilization of poison centers by Hispanic/Latino populations

Zdravko Vassilev, Michele Shiel, M. Jane Lewis, Steven Marcus, Mark Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Previous research suggests that Spanish-speaking parents and residents of areas with large Hispanic and Latino populations are likely to underutilize the assistance that is available through poison control centers (PCCs). In order to examine any real and perceived barriers to utilization of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES), the only poison control center in the state, an intercept survey was conducted with self-identified Hispanics/Latinos at Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) centers and in nearby grocery stores, bus stops, and public laundromats. Only 38% of the study sample ( n = 206) had heard of NJPIES. Common ways to have heard of NJPIES included school or church bulletins, family members, and friends. Twenty-three percent knew the NJPIES's toll-free phone number; 23% knew it was available 24 h per day; and 22% knew that Spanish-speaking personnel were available for assistance. Potential barriers to utilization included not knowing the phone number of the poison center, not speaking English, and not knowing if the poison center could offer any help. Respondent-recommended strategies for increasing awareness of NJPIES among Hispanics/Latinos included advertising on TV, and distributing information through school and church bulletins. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1711-1718
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A: Current Issues
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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