Canino, Glorisa; McQuaid, Elizabeth L.; Rand, Cynthia S.
Substantial research has documented pervasive disparities in the prevalence, severity, and morbidity of asthma among minority populations compared to non-Latino whites. The underlying causes of these disparities are not well understood, and as a result, the leverage points to address them remain unclear. A multilevel framework for integrating research in asthma health disparities is proposed in order to advance both future research and clinical practice. The components of the proposed model include health care policies and regulations, operation of the health care system, provider/clinician-level factors, social/environmental factors, and individual/family attitudes and behaviors. The body of research suggests that asthma disparities have multiple, complex and inter-related sources. Disparities occur when individual, environmental, health system, and provider factors interact with one another over time. Given that the causes of asthma disparities are complex and multilevel, clinical strategies to address these disparities must therefore be comparably multilevel and target many aspects of asthma care. Clinical Implications: Several strategies that could be applied in clinical settings to reduce asthma disparities are described including the need for routine assessment of the patient’s beliefs, financial barriers to disease management, and health literacy, and the provision of cultural competence training and communication skills to health care provider groups. PMID:19447484
Badr, Hoda; Krebs, Paul; Das, Irene Prabhu
To examine the impact of multilevel interventions (with three or more levels of influence) designed to reduce health disparities, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions for ethnic/racial minorities (all except non-Hispanic whites) that were published between January 2000 and July 2011. The primary aims were to synthesize the findings of studies evaluating multilevel interventions (three or more levels of influence) targeted at ethnic and racial minorities to reduce disparities in their health care and obtain a quantitative estimate of the effect of multilevel interventions on health outcomes among these subgroups. The electronic database PubMed was searched using Medical Subject Heading terms and key words. After initial review of abstracts, 26 published studies were systematically reviewed by at least two independent coders. Those with sufficient data (n = 12) were assessed by meta-analysis and examined for quality using a modified nine-item Physiotherapy Evidence Database coding scheme. The findings from this descriptive review suggest that multilevel interventions have positive effects on several health behavior outcomes, including cancer prevention and screening, as well improving the quality of health-care system processes. The weighted average effect size across studies for all health behavior outcomes reported at the individual participant level (k = 17) was odds ratio (OR) = 1.27 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11 to 1.44); for the outcomes reported by providers or organizations, the weighted average effect size (k = 3) was OR = 2.53 (95% CI = 0.82 to 7.81). Enhanced application of theories to multiple levels of change, novel design approaches, and use of cultural leveraging in intervention design and implementation are proposed for this nascent field. PMID:22623602
Nagler, Rebekah H.; Bigman, Cabral A.; Ramanadhan, Shoba; Ramamurthi, Divya; Viswanath, K.
Background Americans remain under-informed about cancer and other health disparities and the social determinants of health (SDH). The news media may be contributing to this knowledge deficit, whether by discussing these issues narrowly or ignoring them altogether. Because local media are particularly important in influencing public opinion and support for public policies, this study examines the prevalence and framing of disparities/SDH in local mainstream and ethnic print news. Methods We conducted a multi-method content analysis of local mainstream (English-language) and ethnic (Spanish-language) print news in two lower-income cities in New England with substantial racial/ethnic minority populations. After establishing inter-coder reliability (kappa=0.63–0.88), coders reviewed the primary English- and Spanish-language newspaper in each city, identifying both disparities and non-disparities health stories published between February 2010 and January 2011. Results Local print news coverage of cancer and other health disparities was rare. Of 650 health stories published across four newspapers during the one-year study period, only 21 (3.2%) discussed disparities/SDH. Although some stories identified causes of and solutions for disparities, these were often framed in individual (e.g., poor dietary habits) rather than social contextual terms (e.g., lack of food availability/affordability). Cancer and other health stories routinely missed opportunities to discuss disparities/SDH. Conclusion Local mainstream and ethnic media may be ideal targets for multilevel interventions designed to address cancer and other health inequalities. Impact By increasing media attention to and framing of health disparities, we may observe important downstream effects on public opinion and support for structural solutions to disparities, particularly at the local level. PMID:27196094
Addressing health disparities has been a national challenge for decades. The NIH-sponsored Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHDs) represent the first federal initiative to support transdisciplinary multilevel research on the determinants of health disparities. Using preliminar...
Chi, Donald L.
approaches to improve the oral and systemic health of Alaska Native children. Future investigators should evaluate the feasibility of implementing multilevel interventions and policies within Alaska Native communities as a way to reduce children's health disparities. PMID:24377091
... determined by a complex interplay of socio-economic, cultural, and environmental factors, NIMHD is spearheading NIH’s research into the social determinants of health, and the application of faith- ...
Prins, Esther; Mooney, Angela
This chapter explores the relationship between literacy and health disparities, focusing on the concept of health literacy. Recommendations are provided for ways to bridge the health literacy gap for learners in adult basic education and family literacy programs.
Golden, Sherita Hill; Ferketich, Amy; Boyington, Josephine; Dugan, Sheila; Garroutte, Eva; Kaufmann, Peter G; Krok, Jessica; Kuo, Alice; Ortega, Alexander N; Purnell, Tanjala; Srinivasan, Shobha
The Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities program promotes multilevel and multifactorial health equity research and the building of research teams that are transdisciplinary. We summarized 5 areas of scientific training for empowering the next generation of health disparities investigators with research methods and skills that are needed to solve disparities and inequalities in cancer and cardiovascular disease. These areas include social epidemiology, multilevel modeling, health care systems or health care delivery, community-based participatory research, and implementation science. We reviewed the acquisition of the skill sets described in the training components; these skill sets will position trainees to become leaders capable of effecting significant change because they provide tools that can be used to address the complexities of issues that promote health disparities.
Ramey, Sharon Landesman; Schafer, Peter; DeClerque, Julia L; Lanzi, Robin G; Hobel, Calvin; Shalowitz, Madeleine; Chinchilli, Vern; Raju, Tonse N K
Emerging evidence supports the theoretical and clinical importance of the preconception period in influencing pregnancy outcomes and child health. Collectively, this evidence affirms the need for a novel, integrative theoretical framework to design future investigations, integrate new findings, and identify promising, evidence-informed interventions to improve intergenerational health and reduce disparities. This article presents a transdisciplinary framework developed by the NIH Community Child Health Network (CCHN) through community-based participatory research processes. CCHN developed a Preconception Stress and Resiliency Pathways (PSRP) model by building local and multi-site community-academic participatory partnerships that established guidelines for research planning and decision-making; reviewed relevant findings diverse disciplinary and community perspectives; and identified the major themes of stress and resilience within the context of families and communities. The PSRP model focuses on inter-relating the multiple, complex, and dynamic biosocial influences theoretically linked to family health disparities. The PSRP model borrowed from and then added original constructs relating to developmental origins of lifelong health, epigenetics, and neighborhood and community influences on pregnancy outcome and family functioning (cf. MCHJ 2014). Novel elements include centrality of the preconception/inter-conception period, role of fathers and the parental relationship, maternal allostatic load (a composite biomarker index of cumulative wear-and-tear of stress), resilience resources of parents, and local neighborhood and community level influences (e.g., employment, housing, education, health care, and stability of basic necessities). CCHN's integrative framework embraces new ways of thinking about how to improve outcomes for future generations, by starting before conception, by including all family members, and by engaging the community vigorously at multiple
Fiscella, Kevin; Sanders, Mechelle R
The annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports document widespread and persistent racial and ethnic disparities. These disparities result from complex interactions between patient factors related to social disadvantage, clinicians, and organizational and health care system factors. Separate and unequal systems of health care between states, between health care systems, and between clinicians constrain the resources that are available to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups, contribute to unequal outcomes, and reinforce implicit bias. Recent data suggest slow progress in many areas but have documented a few notable successes in eliminating these disparities. To eliminate these disparities, continued progress will require a collective national will to ensure health care equity through expanded health insurance coverage, support for primary care, and public accountability based on progress toward defined, time-limited objectives using evidence-based, sufficiently resourced, multilevel quality improvement strategies that engage patients, clinicians, health care organizations, and communities.
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The physical infrastructure and housing make human interaction possible and provide shelter. How well that infrastructure performs and which groups it serves have important implications for social equity and health. Populations in inadequate housing are more likely to have environmental diseases and injuries. Substantial disparities in housing have remained largely unchanged. Approximately 2.6 million (7.5%) non-Hispanic Blacks and 5.9 million Whites (2.8%) live in substandard housing. Segregation, lack of housing mobility, and homelessness are all associated with adverse health outcomes. Yet the experience with childhood lead poisoning in the United States has shown that housing-related disparities can be reduced. Effective interventions should be implemented to reduce environmental health disparities related to housing. PMID:21551378
... highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of ...
Chornokur, Ganna; Amankwah, Ernest K.; Schildkraut, Joellen M.; Phelan, Catherine M.
Objective The objective of this article is to broadly review the scientific literature and summarize the most up-to-date findings on ovarian cancer health disparities worldwide and in the United States (U.S.). Methods The present literature on disparities in ovarian cancer was reviewed. Original research and relevant review articles were included. Results Ovarian cancer health disparities exist worldwide and in the U.S. Ovarian cancer disproportionately affect African American women at all stages of the disease, from presentation through treatment, and ultimately increased mortality and decreased survival, compared to non-Hispanic White women. Increased mortality is likely to be explained by unequal access to care and non-standard treatment regimens frequently administered to African American women, but may also be attributed to genetic susceptibility, acquired co-morbid conditions and increased frequency of modifiable risk factors, albeit to substantially lesser extent. Unequal access to care is, in turn, largely a consequence of lower socioeconomic status and lack of private health insurance coverage among the African American population. Conclusions Our findings suggest the need for policy changes aimed at facilitating equal access to quality medical care. At the same time, further research is necessary to fully resolve racial disparities in ovarian cancer. PMID:23266352
Wang, Qi; Jiao, Jie
China is one of the largest and most populated countries in the world. It has undergone rapid economic growth in recent years. However, the development is not equitable, and the distribution of wealth significantly varies among the regions in China. Geographical and socioeconomic inequalities, together with the lack of an equitable national social support system, cause the high variance of health outcomes among the regions. Furthermore, the fast growth of the economy has evoked many environmental challenges and puts much pressure on the population. The severe environmental deterioration, especially of the atmosphere and water bodies, has affected the health of the people living in China. As a result, cancer has become a major public health issue, and an alarming increase in incidence and mortality has been reported. However, cancer incidence and mortality vary in different areas in China. Cancer and cancer treatment disparities have existed for years. This article will discuss the existing health and cancer disparities associated with the risk factors and how these disparities are managed in China. PMID:28083550
Neff, Roni A.; Palmer, Anne M.; Mckenzie, Shawn E.; Lawrence, Robert S.
The United States has set a national goal to eliminate health disparities. This article emphasizes the importance of food systems in generating and exacerbating health disparities in the United States and suggests avenues for reducing them. It presents a conceptual model showing how broad food system conditions interplay with community food environments—and how these relationships are filtered and refracted through prisms of social disparities to generate and exacerbate health disparities. Interactions with demand factors in the social environment are described. The article also highlights the separate food systems pathway to health disparities via environmental and occupational health effects of agriculture. PMID:23173027
This article articulates the theoretical construct of empowerment and its importance for health-enhancing strategies to reduce health disparities. Powerlessness is explored as a risk factor in the context of social determinants, such as poverty, discrimination, workplace hazards, and income inequities. Empowerment is presented and compared with social capital and community capacity as strategies to strengthen social protective factors. A case study of a youth empowerment and policy project in New Mexico illustrates the usefulness of empowerment strategies in both targeting social determinants, such as public policies which are detrimental to youth, and improving community capacities of youth to be advocates for social change. Challenges for future practice and research are articulated.
Brondolo, Elizabeth; Gallo, Linda C; Myers, Hector F
The goals of this special section are to examine the state-of-the-science regarding race/ethnicity and racism as they contribute to health disparities and to articulate a research agenda to guide future research. In the first paper, Myers presents an integrative theoretical framework for understanding how racism, poverty, and other major stressors relate to health through inter-related psychosocial and bio-behavioral pathways. Williams and Mohammed review the evidence concerning associations between racism and health, addressing the multiple levels at which racism can operate and commenting on important methodological issues. Klonoff provides a review and update of the literature concerning ethnicity-related disparities in healthcare, and addresses factors that may contribute to these disparities. Brondolo and colleagues consider racism from a stress and coping perspective, and review the literature concerning racial identity, anger coping, and social support as potential moderators of the racism-health association. Finally, Castro and colleagues describe an ecodevelopmental model that can serve as an integrative framework to examine multi-level social-cultural influences on health and health behavior. In aggregate, the special section papers address theoretical and methodological issues central to understanding the determinants of health disparities, with the aim of providing direction for future research critical to developing effective interventions to reduce these disparities.
Jackson, Chandra L.; Redline, Susan; Emmons, Karen M.
Optimal sleep is integral to health but is commonly not obtained. Despite its wide ranging public health impact, sleep health is under-appreciated by the general public and is only rarely considered by policy makers, employers, schools, and others whose policies and structures can adversely affect sleep. Inadequate sleep duration and quality are prevalent in minority and low-income populations and may play a fundamental role in racial and socioeconomic status (SES) inequities for a wide range of health conditions including cardiovascular disease (CVD).The goal of this review is to examine the relationship between sleep and CVD health disparities. To this end, we describe the overall public health importance of sleep and the role of sleep duration as well as the two most common disorders (sleep apnea and insomnia) as risk factors for a number of chronic diseases. We then focus on the potential link between sleep and CVD disparities. A multilevel model developed for the analysis of population health and health disparities as a part of the National Cancer Institute’s Centers on Population Health and Health Disparities served as our conceptual framework. It is based on the notion that individual behaviors, like sleep, are influenced by complex and dynamic interrelations among the individual and his or her physical and social environments across the lifespan. Using this model, we describe modifiable factors that contribute to insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment, propose potential interventions in various sectors (e.g. neighborhoods, schools, workplaces) that address social structures that contribute to disparities, and conclude by recommending critical areas for future sleep research. We ultimately suggest that integrating sleep into public health research will identify novel approaches for closing the gap in health disparities, such as CVD. PMID:25785893
Jones, David S.
Disparities in health status between American Indians and other groups in the United States have persisted throughout the 500 years since Europeans arrived in the Americas. Colonists, traders, missionaries, soldiers, physicians, and government officials have struggled to explain these disparities, invoking a wide range of possible causes. American Indians joined these debates, often suggesting different explanations. Europeans and Americans also struggled to respond to the disparities, sometimes working to relieve them, sometimes taking advantage of the ill health of American Indians. Economic and political interests have always affected both explanations of health disparities and responses to them, influencing which explanations were emphasized and which interventions were pursued. Tensions also appear in ongoing debates about the contributions of genetic and socioeconomic forces to the pervasive health disparities. Understanding how these economic and political forces have operated historically can explain both the persistence of the health disparities and the controversies that surround them. PMID:17077399
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Cox, Raymond L
The United States spends more than the rest of the world on healthcare. In 2000, the U.S. health bill was 1.3 trillion dollars, 14.5% of its gross domestic product. Yet, according to the WHO World Health Report 2000, the United States ranked 37th of 191 member nations in overall health system performance. Racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes are the most obvious examples of an unbalanced healthcare system. This presentation will examine health disparities in the United States and reveal how health disparities among and within countries affect the health and well-being of the African Diaspora.
Kashyap, Meghana V; Nolan, Michael; Sprouse, Marc; Chakraborty, Ranajit; Cross, Deanna; Roby, Rhonda; Vishwanatha, Jamboor K
The Texas Center for Health Disparities, a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Center of Excellence, presents an annual conference to discuss prevention, awareness education, and ongoing research about health disparities both in Texas and among the national population. The 2014 Annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities brought together experts in research, patient care, and community outreach on the “Role of Genomics in Eliminating Health Disparities.” Rapid advances in genomics and pharmacogenomics are leading the field of medicine to use genetics and genetic risk to build personalized or individualized medicine strategies. We are at a critical juncture of ensuring such rapid advances benefit diverse populations. Relatively few forums have been organized around the theme of the role of genomics in eliminating health disparities. The conference consisted of three sessions addressing “Gene-Environment Interactions and Health Disparities,” “Personalized Medicine and Elimination of Health Disparities,” and “Ethics and Public Policy in the Genomic Era.” This article summarizes the basic science, clinical correlates, and public health data presented by the speakers. PMID:26435701
Baptiste-Roberts, Kesha; Oranuba, Ebele; Werts, Niya; Edwards, Lorece V
There is evidence of health disparities between sexual minority and heterosexual populations. Although the focus of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health research has been human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and sexually transmitted infection among men who have sex with men, there are health disparities among sexual minority women. Using the minority stress framework, these disparities may in part be caused by individual prejudice, social stigma, and discrimination. To ensure equitable health for all, there is urgent need for targeted culturally sensitive health promotion, cultural sensitivity training for health care providers, and intervention-focused research.
The author documents pervasive racial disparities in the health of American children and analyzes how and how much those disparities contribute to racial gaps in school readiness. She explores a broad sample of health problems common to U.S. children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, and lead poisoning, as well as maternal…
The National Cancer Institute has targeted the reduction of cancer-related health disparities, differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of cancer and related adverse health conditions, as an important challenge.
Kuo, Alice A; Sharif, Mienah Z; Prelip, Michael L; Glik, Deborah C; Albert, Stephanie L; Belin, Thomas; McCarthy, William J; Roberts, Christian K; Garcia, Rosa Elena; Ortega, Alexander N
Reducing health disparities is a national public health priority. Latinos represent the largest racial/ethnic minority group in the United States and suffer disproportionately from poor health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease risk. Academic training programs are an opportunity for reducing health disparities, in part by increasing the diversity of the public health workforce and by incorporating training designed to develop a skill set to address health disparities. This article describes the Training and Career Development Program at the UCLA Center for Population Health and Health Disparities: a multilevel, transdisciplinary training program that uses a community-engaged approach to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in two urban Mexican American communities. Results suggest that this program is effective in enhancing the skill sets of traditionally underrepresented students to become health disparities researchers and practitioners.
Edberg, Mark; Hayes, Barbara E.; Montgomery-Rice, Valerie; Tchounwou, Paul B.
Health disparities have been defined as a particular type of health difference closely linked with social, economic and/or environmental disadvantage. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health, has a comprehensive portfolio of grants that fund scientific research to improve racial/ethnic minority health and eliminate health disparities. The 2014 Minority Health and Health Disparities Grantees’ Conference highlighted excellence and innovation in biological, environmental, sociocultural, clinical and behavioral research supported by NIMHD. This special issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health includes peer-reviewed publications from investigators who participated in this conference.
Wheeler, Sarahn M; Bryant, Allison S
A health disparity is defined as an increased burden of an adverse health outcome or health determinant within a specific subset of the population. There are well-documented racial and ethnic disparities throughout health care at the patient, provider, and health care system levels. As the minority populations within the United States grow to record numbers, it is increasingly important to invest in efforts to characterize, understand, and end racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Inequities in health outcomes and care pose real threats to the entire nation's well-being. Eliminating health disparities is fundamental to the well-being, productivity, and viability of the entire nation.
Mawn, Barbara; Siqueira, Eduardo; Koren, Ainat; Slatin, Craig; Devereaux Melillo, Karen; Pearce, Carole; Hoff, Lee Ann
In this article we describe the process of an interdisciplinary case study that examined the social contexts of occupational and general health disparities among health care workers in two sets of New England hospitals and nursing homes. A political economy of the work environment framework guided the study, which incorporated dimensions related to market dynamics, technology, and political and economic power. The purpose of this article is to relate the challenges encountered in occupational health care settings and how these could have impacted the study results. An innovative data collection matrix that guided small-group analysis provided a firm foundation from which to make design modifications to address these challenges. Implications for policy and research include the use of a political and economic framework from which to frame future studies, and the need to maintain rigor while allowing flexibility in design to adapt to challenges in the field.
Knerr, Sarah; Fullerton, Stephanie M
The public health community's struggle to combat domestic health disparities has occurred in a context of increasing implementation of transdisciplinary research approaches. While conceptually appealing, the focus on the multilevel framing of the causes of ethnic health disparities by large-scale transdisciplinary initiatives has, to date, resulted in few tangible products. Moreover, intervention and community engagement outcomes have received less attention than more process-oriented research outcomes, namely assessing levels of transdisciplinarity achieved during the research process. We argue that a renewed focus on the ultimate products of transdisciplinary approaches, namely effective multilevel interventions, specific health outcome improvements, and greater community involvement, will aid this promising research paradigm in carrying out its philosophical commitment to ending population health disparities.
... Causes of Death Among American Indians and Alaska Natives African American Women and Mass Media Campaign Partners Related Links Stay Informed Cancer Home Basic Information About Health Disparities in Cancer Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend ...
Paasche-Orlow, Michael K; Wolf, Michael S
Limited health literacy has been linked to worse health outcomes for a range of medical conditions. In addition, limited health literacy is more prevalent among specific racial and ethnic minorities. Although these findings have been widely acknowledged, little systematic research has been conducted to elucidate the role of health literacy in the creation of health disparities or to evaluate the possibility that interventions relating to health literacy may help eliminate health disparities. This paper presents recommendations for a research agenda that is focused on advancing the science for how health literacy research can promote the effort to eliminate health disparities.
Growing socioeconomic disparity is a global concern, as it could affect population health. The author and colleagues have investigated the health impacts of socioeconomic disparities as well as the pathways that underlie those disparities. Our meta-analysis found that a large population has risks of mortality and poor self-rated health that are attributable to income inequality. The study results also suggested the existence of threshold effects (ie, a threshold of income inequality over which the adverse impacts on health increase), period effects (ie, the potential for larger impacts in later years, specifically after the 1990s), and lag effects between income inequality and health outcomes. Our other studies using Japanese national representative survey data and a large-scale cohort study of Japanese older adults (AGES cohort) support the relative deprivation hypothesis, namely, that invidious social comparisons arising from relative deprivation in an unequal society adversely affect health. A study with a natural experiment design found that the socioeconomic gradient in self-rated health might actually have become shallower after the 1997-98 economic crisis in Japan, due to smaller health improvements among middle-class white-collar workers and middle/upper-income workers. In conclusion, income inequality might have adverse impacts on individual health, and psychosocial stress due to relative deprivation may partially explain those impacts. Any study of the effects of macroeconomic fluctuations on health disparities should also consider multiple potential pathways, including expanding income inequality, changes in the labor market, and erosion of social capital. Further studies are needed to attain a better understanding of the social determinants of health in a rapidly changing society.
Green, Alexander R
In the last 20 years, the issue of disparities in health between racial/ethnic groups has moved from the realm of common sense and anecdote to the realm of science. Hard, cold data now force us to consider what many had long taken for granted. Not only does health differ by race/ethnicity, but our health care system itself is deeply biased. From lack of diversity in the leadership and workforce, to ethnocentric systems of care, to biased clinical decision-making, the American health care system is geared to treat the majority, while the minority suffers. The photos shown here are of patients and scenes that recall some of the important landmarks in research on racial/ethnic disparities in health. The purpose is to put faces and humanity onto the numbers. While we now have great bodies of evidence upon which to lobby for change, in the end, each statistic still represents a personal tragedy or an individual triumph.
Wetle, Terrie Fox; Scanlan, Karen
Health disparities are a public health concern in Rhode Island and around the world. Faculty members and students in the Brown University School of Public Health are working to understand, address, and ultimately eliminate disparities in health and health care affecting diverse populations. Our educational offerings and research efforts are directed toward understanding and addressing the social, cultural, and environmental factors that contribute to these health disparities. Research methods to carry out this work include implementing interdisciplinary, community-based, quantitative and qualitative research with the goal of preventing, reducing, and eliminating health disparities. This article focuses on some of the School's work with vulnerable communities confronting issues around the following: HIV/AIDS, obesity, nutrition, physical activity and delivery of health services.
... rates. More The Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities Research Walks Beside, Not In Front of, ... community partners. More NIMHD Insights Blog Addressing Mental Health in African Americans Through FAITH By Dr. Tiffany ...
The author documents pervasive racial disparities in the health of American children and analyzes how and how much those disparities contribute to racial gaps in school readiness. She explores a broad sample of health problems common to U.S. children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, asthma, and lead poisoning, as well as maternal health problems and health-related behaviors that affect children's behavioral and cognitive readiness for school. If a health problem is to affect the readiness gap, it must affect many children, it must be linked to academic performance or behavior problems, and it must show a racial disparity either in its prevalence or in its effects. The author focuses not only on the black-white gap in health status but also on the poor-nonpoor gap because black children tend to be poorer than white children. The health conditions Currie considers seriously impair cognitive skills and behavior in individual children. But most explain little of the overall racial gap in school readiness. Still, the cumulative effect of health differentials summed over all conditions is significant. Currie's rough calculation is that racial differences in health conditions and in maternal health and behaviors together may account for as much as a quarter of the racial gap in school readiness. Currie scrutinizes several policy steps to lessen racial and socioeconomic disparities in children's health and to begin to close the readiness gap. Increasing poor children's eligibility for Medicaid and state child health insurance is unlikely to be effective because most poor children are already eligible for public insurance. The problem is that many are not enrolled. Even increasing enrollment may not work: socioeconomic disparities in health persist in Canada and the United Kingdom despite universal public health insurance. The author finds more promise in strengthening early childhood programs with a built-in health component, like Head Start; family
Borysova, Meghan E; Mitchell, Ojmarrh; Sultan, Dawood H; Williams, Arthur R
Alarming disparities in population health and wellness in the United States have led to multidisciplinary research efforts to create health equity. Identifying disparities, elucidating the etiological bases of disparities, and implementing solutions to eliminate disparities are part of the U.S. national health agenda. Racial and ethnic disparities have been identified throughout the cancer control continuum, in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a multitude of other conditions. The causes of disparities are complex, condition specific, and conjectured to result from combinations of biological and socio-behavioral factors. Racial and ethnic health disparities within the vast incarcerated communities have been excluded from most studies, yet are of significant ethical and fiscal concern to inmates, governing bodies, and non-incarcerated communities into which inmates return. Importantly, research on racial and ethnic disparities in this unique population may shed light on the relative etiologies of health disparities and solutions for creating health equity throughout the general population in the United States.
Langston, Michael A.; Levine, Robert S.; Kilbourne, Barbara J.; Rogers, Gary L.; Kershenbaum, Anne D.; Baktash, Suzanne H.; Coughlin, Steven S.; Saxton, Arnold M.; Agboto, Vincent K.; Hood, Darryl B.; Litchveld, Maureen Y.; Oyana, Tonny J.; Matthews-Juarez, Patricia; Juarez, Paul D.
Despite staggering investments made in unraveling the human genome, current estimates suggest that as much as 90% of the variance in cancer and chronic diseases can be attributed to factors outside an individual’s genetic endowment, particularly to environmental exposures experienced across his or her life course. New analytical approaches are clearly required as investigators turn to complicated systems theory and ecological, place-based and life-history perspectives in order to understand more clearly the relationships between social determinants, environmental exposures and health disparities. While traditional data analysis techniques remain foundational to health disparities research, they are easily overwhelmed by the ever-increasing size and heterogeneity of available data needed to illuminate latent gene x environment interactions. This has prompted the adaptation and application of scalable combinatorial methods, many from genome science research, to the study of population health. Most of these powerful tools are algorithmically sophisticated, highly automated and mathematically abstract. Their utility motivates the main theme of this paper, which is to describe real applications of innovative transdisciplinary models and analyses in an effort to help move the research community closer toward identifying the causal mechanisms and associated environmental contexts underlying health disparities. The public health exposome is used as a contemporary focus for addressing the complex nature of this subject. PMID:25310540
Fleming, Erik S.; Perkins, James; Easa, David; Conde, José G.; Baker, Richard S.; Southerland, William M.; Dottin, Robert; Benabe, Julio E.; Ofili, Elizabeth O.; Bond, Vincent C.; McClure, Shelia A.; Sayre, Michael H.; Beanan, Maureen J.; Norris, Keith C.
The national research leadership has recently become aware of the tremendous potential of translational research as an approach to address health disparities. The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN) is a research network that supports multi-institutional, multidisciplinary collaboration with a focus on key diseases and conditions for which disproportionately adverse racial and ethnic health disparities exist. The RTRN is designed to facilitate the movement of scientific advances across the translational research spectrum by providing researchers at different institutions with the infrastructure and tools necessary to collaborate on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research projects relating to specific health outcomes for which major racial/ethnic disparities exist. In the past, the difficulty of overcoming the restrictions imposed by time and space have made it difficult to carry out this type of large-scale, multilevel collaboration efficiently. To address this formidable challenge, the RTRN will deploy a translational research cluster system that uses “cyber workspaces” to bring researchers with similar interests together by using online collaboratory technology. These virtual meeting environments will provide a number of tools, including videoconferences (seminars, works in progress, meetings); project management tools (WebCT, Microsoft Share Point); and posting areas for projects, concepts, and other research and educational activities. This technology will help enhance access to resources across institutions with a common mission, minimize many of the logistical hurdles that impede intellectual exchange, streamline the planning and implementation of innovative interdisciplinary research, and assess the use of protocols and practices to assist researchers in interacting across and within cyber workspaces. PMID:18646341
Reanalyzes H. Thomas's 1980s data, which used teaching group as the unit of analysis and illuminated some institutional disparities in provision of General Certificate of Education (GCE) A-levels. Uses multilevel analysis to focus on individual students in a hierarchical framework. Among the study institutions, school sixth forms appear less…
Amzel, Anouk; Ghosh, Chandak
OBJECTIVES: To assess American newspaper coverage regarding racial and ethnic minority health disparities (MHDs). METHODS: LexisNexis was queried with specific word combinations to elicit all MHD articles printed in 257 newspapers from 2000-2004. The full texts were read and articles categorized by racial/ethnic group and specific MHD topics mentioned. RESULTS: In the five years from 2000-2004, 1188 MHD articles were published, representing 0.09% of all articles about health. Newspapers gave much attention to MHD when discussed in conferences and meetings and speeches by senior health officials and politicians. Cancer, cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS were most frequent among disease-specific mentions. Articles about African Americans comprised 60.4% of all race/ethnicity-mentioning articles. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the release of major organizational reports and the publication of many studies confirming the prevalence of MHD, few newspaper articles have been published explaining MHD to the public. Because of the general public's low rate of health literacy, the health world should collaborate with the media to present a consistent, simple message concerning gaps in care experienced by all racial/ethnic minority groups. In a time of consumer-directed healthcare, if Americans understand that MHDs exist, they may galvanize to advocate for disparity elimination and quality improvement. PMID:17987915
Ramírez, Mildred; Ford, Marvella E; Stewart, Anita L; A Teresi, Jeanne
Background Racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care have been documented; the elimination of such disparities is currently part of a national agenda. In order to meet this national objective, it is necessary that measures identify accurately the true prevalence of the construct of interest across diverse groups. Measurement error might lead to biased results, e.g., estimates of prevalence, magnitude of risks, and differences in mean scores. Addressing measurement issues in the assessment of health status may contribute to a better understanding of health issues in cross-cultural research. Objective To provide a brief overview of issues regarding measurement in diverse populations. Findings Approaches used to assess the magnitude and nature of bias in measures when applied to diverse groups include qualitative analyses, classic psychometric studies, as well as more modern psychometric methods. These approaches should be applied sequentially, and/or iteratively during the development of measures. Conclusions Investigators performing comparative studies face the challenge of addressing measurement equivalence, crucial for obtaining accurate results in cross-cultural comparisons. PMID:16179000
Rivers, Brian M; Bernhardt, Jay M; Fleisher, Linda; Green, Bernard Lee
During a panel presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research Cancer Health Disparities Conference titled 'Opportunities and challenges of using technology to address health disparities', the latest scientific advances in the application and utilization of mobile technology and/or mobile-health (mHealth) interventions to address cancer health disparities were discussed. The session included: an examination of overall population trends in the uptake of technology and the potential of addressing health disparities through such media; an exploration of the conceptual issues and challenges in the construction of mHealth interventions to address disparate and underserved populations; and a presentation of pilot study findings on the acceptability and feasibility of using mHealth interventions to address prostate cancer disparities among African-American men.
Daley, Sandra P; Broyles, Shelia L; Rivera, Lourdes M; Reznik, Vivian M
In order to create a cohort of investigators who are engaged in health disparities research, scholarship, and practice, and to increase the amount of funding in the university that is invested in research focused on reducing health disparities, the San Diego EXPORT Center implemented 2 major initiatives: (1) the support of underrepresented minority (URM) junior faculty development and (2) the funding for pilot research grants in health disparities. This paper describes the activities employed by the center and summarizes the outcomes of these two initiatives. Ninety-five percent (18 of 19) URM junior faculty completed the faculty development program, and 83.3% (15 of 18) of the completers are advancing in their academic careers at University of California San Diego (UCSD) and are teaching, working with populations at risk and/or conducting research in health disparities. EXPORT awarded 7 investigators a total of $429186 to conduct pilot research, and 71.4% (5/7) have now obtained $4.7 million in independent extramural funding. The San Diego EXPORT Center has increased the research capacity, strengthened the infrastructure for health disparities research, and created a cohort of successful URM junior faculty who are advancing in their academic careers. These investigators are already changing the climate at UCSD by their leadership activities, research focus, peer-networking, and mentoring of students.
Background Racial disparities in blood pressure control have been well documented in the United States. Research suggests that many factors contribute to this disparity, including barriers to care at patient, clinician, healthcare system, and community levels. To date, few interventions aimed at reducing hypertension disparities have addressed factors at all of these levels. This paper describes the design of Project ReD CHiP (Reducing Disparities and Controlling Hypertension in Primary Care), a multi-level system quality improvement project. By intervening on multiple levels, this project aims to reduce disparities in blood pressure control and improve guideline concordant hypertension care. Methods Using a pragmatic trial design, we are implementing three complementary multi-level interventions designed to improve blood pressure measurement, provide patient care management services and offer expanded provider education resources in six primary care clinics in Baltimore, Maryland. We are staggering the introduction of the interventions and will use Statistical Process Control (SPC) charting to determine if there are changes in outcomes at each clinic after implementation of each intervention. The main hypothesis is that each intervention will have an additive effect on improvements in guideline concordant care and reductions in hypertension disparities, but the combination of all three interventions will result in the greatest impact, followed by blood pressure measurement with care management support, blood pressure measurement with provider education, and blood pressure measurement only. This study also examines how organizational functioning and cultural competence affect the success of the interventions. Discussion As a quality improvement project, Project ReD CHiP employs a novel study design that specifically targets multi-level factors known to contribute to hypertension disparities. To facilitate its implementation and improve its sustainability, we have
Jacobson, Jerry Owen; Robinson, Paul; Bluthenthal, Ricky N
Large racial disparities in completion rates from substance abuse treatment programs in urban settings remain largely unexplained, although evidence is accumulating that neighborhood conditions may influence individual substance abuse patterns and consequences. Understanding racial disparities in alcohol treatment completion, in particular, is crucial to resolving health disparities because racial/ethnic minorities bear a disproportionate burden of alcohol-related health consequences. Patient records for all non-homeless African American (N=1677), Hispanic (N=1635), and white (N=1216) alcohol outpatients, ages 18 or older, discharged during 1998-2000 from publicly funded treatment programs in Los Angeles County, the second largest system of publicly funded substance abuse treatment in the United States, were combined with census data. We tested the hypothesis that racial differences in treatment completion are related to differences in neighborhood context, particularly neighborhood-level disadvantage. Estimates from multilevel statistical models indicate that treatment neighborhood disadvantage is independently associated with treatment completion after controlling for patient characteristics and facility- and zip code-level random effects. Results of a Oaxaca decomposition of the regression estimates indicate that racial differences in treatment neighborhood disadvantage account for 32.3% of African American-white differences in treatment completion. Hispanic-white differences in completion, and the effect of home neighborhood disadvantage on completion, were non-significant. We conclude that the location of publicly funded alcohol treatment programs is related to racial disparities in treatment completion, but additional research is necessary to understand the mechanism behind this association.
Socioeconomic status fundamentally affects most health and disease outcomes, but black Americans are doubly disadvantaged by low status, discrimination, and residential segregation. Improving health and removing disparities are essential goals, but some efforts that improve the health of blacks in important ways also increase black-white disparity ratios. People with more information, influence, resources, and social networks may be better able to take advantage of new technologies and scientific developments, initially increasing disparities. Better health and reduced mortality should be the key policy criteria, but these criteria should be linked with consideration of careful targeting to level the playing field and close disparities.
Thomas, Stephen B; Quinn, Sandra Crouse
The aim of this article is to examine the intersection of race and poverty, two critical factors fueling persistent racial and ethnic health disparities among urban populations. From the morass of social determinants that shape the health of racial and ethnic communities in our urban centers, we will offer promising practices and potential solutions to eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.
... Disparities Special Emphasis Panel; NIMHD Social, Behavioral, Health Services, and Policy Research on Minority... Minority Health and Health ] Disparities, National Institutes of Health, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800... Institute on Minority Health, and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, 6707 Democracy...
Foynes, Melissa Ming; Shipherd, Jillian C.
Abstract Background Lesbian and bisexual (i.e., sexual minority) identity is more common among women veterans than among male veterans. Unique health issues have been identified among women veterans and among sexual minority women, but little is known about women who are both sexual minorities and veterans. This study aimed to compare demographic and health information from sexual minority women veterans with sexual minority women non-veterans and heterosexual women veterans. Methods Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey data were pooled from ten U.S. states that elected to ask sexual identity during 2010. The analytic sample was comprised of women who identified both their sexual identity and veteran status (n=1,908). Mental health indicators were frequent mental distress, sleep problems, low social/emotional support, and low satisfaction with life. Health risk indicators included current smoking, overweight, and obesity. Physical health status was defined by three components: disability requiring assistive equipment, >14 days of poor physical health in the past 30 days, and activity limitations. Results Compared with heterosexual women veterans, sexual minority women veterans had higher odds of mental distress (odds ratio [OR]=3.03, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.61–5.70) and smoking (OR=2.31, 95%CI: 1.19–4.48). After adjusting for demographic correlates, sexual minority women veterans had three times the odds of poor physical health (OR=3.01, 95%CI: 1.51–5.99) than their sexual minority non-veteran peers. Conclusions Results suggest sexual minority women veterans may experience unique health disparities relevant to provision of care in both Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA healthcare systems. Future research requires availability of data that include sexual minority status. PMID:23746281
Thompson, Beti; Molina, Yamile; Viswanath, Kasisomayajula; Warnecke, Richard; Prelip, Michael L
Community-based participatory research is a promising approach to reducing health disparities. It empowers individuals and communities to become the major players in solving their own health problems. We discuss the use of community-based participatory research and other strategies to enhance empowerment. We also discuss projects from the Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities that have empowered communities to achieve positive health outcomes aimed at reducing disparities. We offer recommendations to policy makers for involving residents in efforts to achieve health equity.
Brock, Malcolm; Alberg, Anthony J.; Glass, Thomas; LaVeist, Thomas A.; Baylin, Stephen; Levine, David; Fox, C. Earl
Disentangling the myriad determinants of disease, within the context of urban health or health disparities, requires a transdisciplinary approach. Transdisciplinary approaches draw on concepts from multiple scientific disciplines to develop a novel, integrated perspective from which to conduct scientific investigation. Most historic and contemporary conceptual models of health were derived either from the sociobehavioral sciences or the biomolecular sciences. Those models deriving from the sociobehavioral sciences generally lack detail on involved biological mechanisms whereas those derived from the biomolecular sciences largely do not consider socioenvironmental determinants. As such, advances in transdisciplinary characterizations of health in complex systems like the urban environment or health disparities may be impeded. This paper suggests a sociobiologic organizing model that encourages a multilevel, integrative perspective in the study of urban health and health disparities. PMID:17216571
Bell, Ronny A
Health disparities--differences in the provision and outcomes of health care in 2 distinct populations--are pervasive and long-standing in North Carolina. Although some strategies for closing these gaps have been effective, many disparities have resisted attempts to eliminate them. Future efforts should focus on policy implementation and the translation of research findings into effective interventions.
Buki, Lydia P.
This reaction to the Major Contribution presents a conceptualization of health disparities as another form of oppression of marginalized populations in our society. Consistent with this view, health disparities are then situated within a larger, national context, showing that counseling psychologists' involvement is an integral part of a…
Jay Carney, Timothy; Kong, Amanda Y
Informaticians are challenged to design health IT solutions for complex problems like health disparities but are only achieving mixed results in demonstrating a direct impact on health outcomes. This presentation of collective intelligence and the corresponding terms of smart health, knowledge ecosystem, enhanced health disparities informatics capacities, knowledge exchange, big-data, and situational awareness are means of demonstrating the complex challenges informatics professional face in trying to model, measure, and manage an intelligence and a smart systems response to health disparities. A critical piece in our understanding of collective intelligence for public and population health rests in our understanding of any public and population health as a living and evolving network of individuals, organizations, and resources. This discussion represents a step in advancing the conversation of what a smart response to health disparities should represent and how informatics can drive the design of intelligent systems to assist in eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity.
Thomas, Tami L.; DiClemente, Ralph; Snell, Samuel
Objective: To discuss how the effects of culture, economy, and geographical location intersect to form a gestalt triad determining health-related disparities in rural areas. Methods: We critically profile each component of the deterministic triad in shaping current health-related disparities in rural areas; evaluate the uniquely composed…
Diez Roux, Ana V.
Scientific and policy interest in health disparities, defined as systematic, plausibly avoidable health differences adversely affecting socially disadvantaged groups, has increased markedly over the past few decades. Like other research, research in health disparities is strongly influenced by the underlying conceptual model of the hypothetical causes of disparities. Conceptual models are important and a major source of debate because multiple types of factors and processes may be involved in generating disparities, because different disciplines emphasize different types of factors, and because the conceptual model often drives what is studied, how results are interpreted, and which interventions are identified as most promising. This article reviews common conceptual approaches to health disparities including the genetic model, the fundamental cause model, the pathways model, and the interaction model. Strengths and limitations of the approaches are highlighted. The article concludes by outlining key elements and implications of an integrative systems-based conceptual model. PMID:22224879
Lurie, Nicole; Somers, Stephen A; Fremont, Allen; Angeles, January; Murphy, Erin K; Hamblin, Allison
The authors consider the challenges to quantifying both the business case and the social case for addressing disparities, which is central to achieving equity in the U.S. health care system. They describe the practical and methodological challenges faced by health plans exploring the business and social cases for undertaking disparity-reducing interventions. Despite these challenges, sound business and quality improvement principles can guide health care organizations seeking to reduce disparities. Place-based interventions may help focus resources and engage health care and community partners who can share in the costs of-and gains from-such efforts.
Chin, Marshall H; Walters, Amy E; Cook, Scott C; Huang, Elbert S
In 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change, a program to identify, evaluate, and disseminate interventions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the care and outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease, depression, and diabetes. In this introductory paper, we present a conceptual model for interventions that aim to reduce disparities. With this model as a framework, we summarize the key findings from the six other papers in this supplement on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, breast cancer, interventions using cultural leverage, and pay-for-performance and public reporting of performance measures. Based on these findings, we present global conclusions regarding the current state of health disparities interventions and make recommendations for future interventions to reduce disparities. Multifactorial, culturally tailored interventions that target different causes of disparities hold the most promise, but much more research is needed to investigate potential solutions and their implementation.
Chen, Jie; Mullins, C Daniel; Novak, Priscilla; Thomas, Stephen B
Designing culturally sensitive personalized interventions is essential to sustain patients' involvement in their treatment and encourage patients to take an active role in their own health and health care. We consider patient activation and empowerment as a cyclical process defined through patient accumulation of knowledge, confidence, and self-determination for their own health and health care. We propose a patient-centered, multilevel activation and empowerment framework (individual-, health care professional-, community-, and health care delivery system-level) to inform the development of culturally informed personalized patient activation and empowerment (P-PAE) interventions to improve population health and reduce racial and ethnic disparities. We discuss relevant Affordable Care Act payment and delivery policy reforms and how they affect patient activation and empowerment. Such policies include Accountable Care Organizations and value-based purchasing, patient-centered medical homes, and the community health benefit. Challenges and possible solutions to implementing the P-PAE are discussed. Comprehensive and longitudinal data sets with consistent P-PAE measures are needed to conduct comparative effectiveness analyses to evaluate the optimal P-PAE model. We believe the P-PAE model is timely and sustainable and will be critical to engaging patients in their treatment, developing patients' abilities to manage their health, helping patients express concerns and preferences regarding treatment, empowering patients to ask questions about treatment options, and building up strategic patient-provider partnerships through shared decision making.
Chen, Jie; Mullins, C. Daniel; Novak, Priscilla; Thomas, Stephen B.
Designing culturally-sensitive personalized interventions is essential to sustain patients’ involvement in their treatment, and encourage patients to take an active role in their own health and health care. We consider patient activation and empowerment as a cyclical process defined through patient accumulation of knowledge, confidence, and self-determination for their own health and health care. We propose a patient-centered, multi-level activation and empowerment framework (individual-, health care professional-, community-, and health care delivery system-level) to inform the development of culturally informed personalized patient activation and empowerment (P-PAE) interventions to improve population health, and reduce racial and ethnic disparities. We discuss relevant Affordable Care Act payment and delivery policy reforms, and how they impact patient activation and empowerment. Such policies include Accountable Care Organizations and Value Based Purchasing, Patient Centered Medical Homes, and the Community Health Benefit. Challenges and possible solutions to implementing the P-PAE are discussed. Comprehensive and longitudinal data sets with consistent P-PAE measures are needed to conduct comparative effectiveness analyses to evaluate the optimal P-PAE model. We believe the P-PAE model is timely and sustainable, and will be critical to engaging patients in their treatment, developing patients’ abilities to manage their health, helping patients to express concerns and preferences regarding treatment, empowering patients to ask questions about treatment options, and building up strategic patient-provider partnerships through shared decision making. PMID:25845376
Emlet, Charles A.
LGBT older adults are a heterogeneous population with collective and unique strengths and challenges. Health, personal, and economic disparities exist in this group when compared to the general population of older adults, yet subgroups such as transgender and bisexual older adults and individuals living with HIV are at greater risk for disparities and poorer health outcomes. As this population grows, further research is needed on factors that contribute to promoting health equity, while decreasing discrimination and improving competent service delivery. PMID:28366981
Brown, Tyson; Hargrove, Taylor W.; Griffith, Derek M.
This study uses data from the Health and Retirement Study and an approach informed by the Biopsychosocial Model of Racism as a Stressor to examine the extent to which SES, stressors, discrimination and neighborhood conditions are mechanisms underlying racial/ethnic disparities in functional limitations among men. Results reveal that racial/ethnic differences in SES, stressors, discrimination and neighborhood conditions—individually and collectively—account for a substantial proportion of racial/ethnic disparities in functional limitations. Findings suggest that the social determinants of health for men of color need to be more seriously considered in investigations of and efforts to address health disparities. PMID:26291191
Gehlert, Sarah; Colditz, Graham A.
Background The first 20 years of publication of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention occurred during a period of increased attention to health disparities and advances in knowledge about their determinants. Yet, despite clear documentation of disparities and advanced understanding of determinants, we have made little headway in reducing disparities at the population level. Multilevel models, such as one produced by the Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD), hold promise for understanding the complex determinants of cancer disparities and their interactions as well as translating scientific discoveries into solutions. The CPHHD model maps across a range of scientific disciplines, from the biological to the social, each with its own disciplinary language and methods. The ability to work effectively across disciplinary boundaries is essential to framing comprehensive solutions. Methods After briefly characterizing the current state of knowledge about health disparities, we outline three major challenges faced by disparities researchers and practitioners and offer suggestions for addressing these challenges. Results These challenges are how to consider race and ethnicity in disparities research, how best to translate discoveries into public health solutions to cancer disparities, and how to create a research environment that supports the successful execution of multilevel research. Conclusions Attention to all three of the challenges outlined above is urgently needed to advance our efforts to eliminate cancer disparities. Impact Addressing the challenges outlined above will help to eliminate disparities in the future. PMID:21784956
collaborative effort that encourages basic, biological, clinical, epidemiological, behavioral, and/or social scientific investigations of disease conditions that are known to be a significant burden in low socioeconomic and health disparate populations
Evidence shows that both biological and nonbiological factors contribute to health disparities. Genetics, in particular, plays a part in how common diseases manifest themselves. Today, unprecedented advances in genetically based diagnoses and treatments provide opportunities for personalized medicin...
Lion, K Casey; Raphael, Jean L
Disparities in pediatric health care quality are well described in the literature, yet practical approaches to decreasing them remain elusive. Quality improvement (QI) approaches are appealing for addressing disparities because they offer a set of strategies by which to target modifiable aspects of care delivery and a method for tailoring or changing an intervention over time based on data monitoring. However, few examples in the literature exist of QI interventions successfully decreasing disparities, particularly in pediatrics, due to well-described challenges in developing, implementing, and studying QI with vulnerable populations or in underresourced settings. In addition, QI interventions aimed at improving quality overall may not improve disparities, and in some cases, may worsen them if there is greater uptake or effectiveness of the intervention among the population with better outcomes at baseline. In this article, the authors review some of the challenges faced by researchers and frontline clinicians seeking to use QI to address health disparities and propose an agenda for moving the field forward. Specifically, they propose that those designing and implementing disparities-focused QI interventions reconsider comparator groups, use more rigorous evaluation methods, carefully consider the evidence for particular interventions and the context in which they were developed, directly engage the social determinants of health, and leverage community resources to build collaborative networks and engage community members. Ultimately, new partnerships between communities, providers serving vulnerable populations, and QI researchers will be required for QI interventions to achieve their potential related to health care disparity reduction.
Lion, K. Casey
Disparities in pediatric health care quality are well described in the literature, yet practical approaches to decreasing them remain elusive. Quality improvement (QI) approaches are appealing for addressing disparities because they offer a set of strategies by which to target modifiable aspects of care delivery and a method for tailoring or changing an intervention over time based on data monitoring. However, few examples in the literature exist of QI interventions successfully decreasing disparities, particularly in pediatrics, due to well-described challenges in developing, implementing, and studying QI with vulnerable populations or in underresourced settings. In addition, QI interventions aimed at improving quality overall may not improve disparities, and in some cases, may worsen them if there is greater uptake or effectiveness of the intervention among the population with better outcomes at baseline. In this article, the authors review some of the challenges faced by researchers and frontline clinicians seeking to use QI to address health disparities and propose an agenda for moving the field forward. Specifically, they propose that those designing and implementing disparities-focused QI interventions reconsider comparator groups, use more rigorous evaluation methods, carefully consider the evidence for particular interventions and the context in which they were developed, directly engage the social determinants of health, and leverage community resources to build collaborative networks and engage community members. Ultimately, new partnerships between communities, providers serving vulnerable populations, and QI researchers will be required for QI interventions to achieve their potential related to health care disparity reduction. PMID:25560436
Collins, Yvonne; Holcomb, Kevin; Chapman-Davis, Eloise; Khabele, Dineo; Farley, John H.
Objectives To review the extent of health disparities in gynecologic cancer care and outcomes and to propose recommendations to help counteract the disparities. Methods We searched the electronic databases PubMed and the Cochrane Library. We included studies demonstrating quantifiable differences by race and ethnicity in the incidence, treatment, and survival of gynecologic cancers in the United States (US). Most studies relied on retrospective data. We focused on differences between Black and White women, because of the limited number of studies on non-Black women. Results White women have a higher incidence of ovarian cancer compared to Black women. However, the all-cause ovarian cancer mortality in Black women is 1.3 times higher than that of White women. Endometrial and cervical cancer mortality in Black women is twice that of White women. The etiology of these disparities is multifaceted. However, much of the evidence suggests that equal care leads to equal outcomes for Black women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers. Underlying molecular factors may play an additional role in aggressive tumor biology and endometrial cancer disparities. Conclusion Gynecologic cancer disparities exist between Black and White women. The literature is limited by the lack of large prospective trials and adequate numbers of non-Black racial and ethnic groups. We conclude with recommendations for continued research and a multifaceted approach to eliminate gynecologic cancer disparities. PMID:24406291
Meyer, Pamela A; Yoon, Paula W; Kaufmann, Rachel B
This supplement is the second CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report (CHDIR). The 2011 CHDIR was the first CDC report to assess disparities across a wide range of diseases, behavioral risk factors, environmental exposures, social determinants, and health-care access (CDC. CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report-United States, 2011. MMWR 2011;60[Suppl; January 14, 2011]). The 2013 CHDIR provides new data for 19 of the topics published in 2011 and 10 new topics. When data were available and suitable analyses were possible for the topic area, disparities were examined for population characteristics that included race and ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. The purpose of this supplement is to raise awareness of differences among groups regarding selected health outcomes and health determinants and to prompt actions to reduce disparities. The findings in this supplement can be used by practitioners in public health, academia and clinical medicine; the media; the general public; policymakers; program managers; and researchers to address disparities and help all persons in the United States live longer, healthier, and more productive lives.
... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Minority Health and Health... unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Name of Committee: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Special Emphasis Panel; NIMHD Technologies for Improving Minority Health and Eliminating...
Rogers, Jamie; Kelly, Ursula A
The principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice are well established ethical principles in health research. Of these principles, justice has received less attention by health researchers. The purpose of this article is to broaden the discussion of health research ethics, particularly the ethical principle of justice, to include societal considerations--who and what are studied and why?--and to critique current applications of ethical principles within this broader view. We will use a feminist intersectional approach in the context of health disparities research to firmly establish inseparable links between health research ethics, social action, and social justice. The aim is to provide an ethical approach to health disparities research that simultaneously describes and seeks to eliminate health disparities.
Nyarko, Kwame A.; Lopez-Camelo, Jorge; Castilla, Eduardo E.
Objectives. We sought to quantify how socioeconomic, health care, demographic, and geographic effects explain racial disparities in low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth (PTB) rates in Brazil. Methods. We employed a sample of 8949 infants born between 1995 and 2009 in 15 cities and 7 provinces in Brazil. We focused on disparities in LBW (< 2500 g) and PTB (< 37 gestational weeks) prevalence between infants of African ancestry alone or African mixed with other ancestries, and European ancestry alone. We used a decomposition model to quantify the contributions of conceptually relevant factors to these disparities. Results. The model explained 45% to 94% of LBW and 64% to 94% of PTB disparities between the African ancestry groups and European ancestry. Differences in prenatal care use and geographic location were the most important contributors, followed by socioeconomic differences. The model explained the majority of the disparities for mixed African ancestry and part of the disparity for African ancestry alone. Conclusions. Public policies to improve children’s health should target prenatal care and geographic location differences to reduce health disparities between infants of African and European ancestries in Brazil. PMID:26313046
Lee, J.Y.; Divaris, K.
Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged population groups. Reducing health disparities has been identified as an ethical imperative by the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health and numerous other national and international bodies. Significant progress has been made over the past years in identifying vulnerable groups, and ‘distal’ factors including political, economic, social, and community characteristics are now considered pivotal. It is thus unsurprising that the remarkable advances in the science and practice of dentistry have not led to notable reductions in oral health disparities. In this review, we summarize recent work and emphasize the need for a solid theoretical framing to guide oral health disparities research. We provide a theoretical framework outlining pathways that operate across the continuum of oral health determinants during the lifecourse and highlight potential areas for intervention. Because oral health disparities emanate from the unequal distribution of social, political, economic, and environmental resources, tangible progress is likely to be realized only by a global movement and concerted efforts by all stakeholders, including policymakers, the civil society, and academic, professional, and scientific bodies. PMID:24189268
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities... personal privacy. Name of Committee: National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities...
Holzemer, William L; Méndez, Marta Rivero; Portillo, Carmen; Padilla, Geraldine; Cuca, Yvette; Vargas-Molina, Ricardo L
This report describes the partnership between the schools of nursing at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Puerto Rico to address the need for nursing research on HIV/AIDS health disparities. The partnership led to the creation of the Nursing Research Center on HIV/AIDS Health Disparities with funding from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research. We provide background information on the disproportionate impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on racial and ethnic minorities, describe the major predictors of health disparities in persons at risk for or diagnosed with HIV/AIDS using the Outcomes Model for Health Care Research, and outline the major components of the Nursing Research Center. The center's goal is to improve health outcomes for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS by enhancing the knowledge base for HIV/AIDS care.
Braveman, Paula; Barclay, Colleen
In this article we argue for the utility of the life-course perspective as a tool for understanding and addressing health disparities across socioeconomic and racial or ethnic groups, particularly disparities that originate in childhood. Key concepts and terms used in life-course research are briefly defined; as resources, examples of existing literature and the outcomes covered are provided along with examples of longitudinal databases that have often been used for life-course research. The life-course perspective focuses on understanding how early-life experiences can shape health across an entire lifetime and potentially across generations; it systematically directs attention to the role of context, including social and physical context along with biological factors, over time. This approach is particularly relevant to understanding and addressing health disparities, because social and physical contextual factors underlie socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health. A major focus of life-course epidemiology has been to understand how early-life experiences (particularly experiences related to economic adversity and the social disadvantages that often accompany it) shape adult health, particularly adult chronic disease and its risk factors and consequences. The strong life-course influences on adult health could provide a powerful rationale for policies at all levels--federal, state, and local--to give more priority to investment in improving the living conditions of children as a strategy for improving health and reducing health disparities across the entire life course.
Flood, Ann B; Fennell, Mary L; Devers, Kelly J
To increase access and improve system quality and efficiency, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with sweeping changes to the nation's health-care system. Although not intended to be specific to cancer, the act's implementation will profoundly impact cancer care. Its components will influence multiple levels of the health-care environment including states, communities, health-care organizations, and individuals seeking care. To illustrate these influences, two reforms are considered: 1) accountable care organizations and 2) insurance-based reforms to gather evidence about effectiveness. We discuss these reforms using three facets of multilevel interventions: 1) their intended and unintended consequences, 2) the importance of timing, and 3) their implications for cancer. The success of complex health reforms requires understanding the scientific basis and evidence for carrying out such multilevel interventions. Conversely and equally important, successful implementation of multilevel interventions depends on understanding the political setting and goals of health-care reform.
Fennell, Mary L.; Devers, Kelly J.
To increase access and improve system quality and efficiency, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with sweeping changes to the nation’s health-care system. Although not intended to be specific to cancer, the act's implementation will profoundly impact cancer care. Its components will influence multiple levels of the health-care environment including states, communities, health-care organizations, and individuals seeking care. To illustrate these influences, two reforms are considered: 1) accountable care organizations and 2) insurance-based reforms to gather evidence about effectiveness. We discuss these reforms using three facets of multilevel interventions: 1) their intended and unintended consequences, 2) the importance of timing, and 3) their implications for cancer. The success of complex health reforms requires understanding the scientific basis and evidence for carrying out such multilevel interventions. Conversely and equally important, successful implementation of multilevel interventions depends on understanding the political setting and goals of health-care reform. PMID:22623600
Gudino, Omar G.; Lau, Anna S.; Yeh, May; McCabe, Kristen M.; Hough, Richard L.
The authors examined racial/ethnic disparities in mental health service use based on problem type (internalizing/externalizing). A diverse sample of youth in contact with public sectors of care and their families provided reports of youth's symptoms and functional impairment during an initial interview. Specialty and school-based mental health…
Browne, Teri; Pitner, Ronald; Freedman, Darcy A
The current study presents a critical discussion on community responses to health disparity research and the need for utilizing pedagogical strategies to prepare students to understand and address health disparities in racialized contexts. Qualitative research methods were used to examine community responses to media stories on two health disparity research projects, and four themes emerged: naming health disparities is a tool for dividing, structural racism does not exist, naming of health disparities is a political act, and health disparities exist because of individual-level deficiencies. The implications for teaching students about racial health disparities are presented and discussed.
Mantwill, Sarah; Monestel-Umaña, Silvia; Schulz, Peter J.
Objectives Health literacy is commonly associated with many of the antecedents of health disparities. Yet the precise nature of the relationship between health literacy and disparities remains unclear. A systematic review was conducted to better understand in how far the relationship between health literacy and health disparities has been systematically studied and which potential relationships and pathways have been identified. Methods Five databases, including PubMed/MEDLINE and CINAHL, were searched for peer-reviewed studies. Publications were included in the review when they (1) included a valid measure of health literacy, (2) explicitly conceived a health disparity as related to a social disparity, such as race/ethnicity or education and (3) when results were presented by comparing two or more groups afflicted by a social disparity investigating the effect of health literacy on health outcomes. Two reviewers evaluated each study for inclusion and abstracted relevant information. Findings were ordered according to the disparities identified and the role of health literacy in explaining them. Results 36 studies were included in the final synthesis. Most of the studies investigated racial/ethnic disparities, followed by some few studies that systematically investigated educational disparities. Some evidence was found on the mediating function of health literacy on self-rated health status across racial/ethnic and educational disparities, as well as on the potential effect of health literacy and numeracy on reducing racial/ethnic disparities in medication adherence and understanding of medication intake. Conclusion Overall the evidence on the relationship between health literacy and disparities is still mixed and fairly limited. Studies largely varied with regard to health(-related) outcomes under investigation and the health literacy assessments used. Further, many studies lacked a specific description of the nature of the disparity that was explored and a clear
Exceptional Parent, 2011
This article is the third of a 4-part series on "Health Promotion and Wellness" from the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD). It focuses on health disparities and people with disabilities. Health disparities are differences in health outcomes between groups that reflect social inequalities. Disability rates vary by ethnicity, age,…
INTRODUCTION. The disparity between black and white women's adverse birth outcomes has been subject to much investigation, yet the factors underlying its persistence remain elusive, which has encouraged research on neighborhood-level influences. This work considers two main que...
National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
This document details the strategic plan of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to address disparities in health and developmental outcomes among Americans, particularly between and among racial and ethnic groups. Following a description of the plan's development, scientific areas of interest, and important themes, the…
Awosogba, Temitope; Betancourt, Joseph R.; Conyers, F. Garrett; Estapé, Estela S.; Francois, Fritz; Gard, Sabrina J.; Kaufman, Arthur; Lunn, Mitchell R.; Nivet, Marc A.; Oppenheim, Joel D.; Pomeroy, Claire; Yeung, Howa
Despite yearly advances in life-saving and preventive medicine, as well as strategic approaches by governmental and social agencies and groups, significant disparities remain in health, health quality, and access to health care within the United States. The determinants of these disparities include baseline health status, race and ethnicity, culture, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, region or geography, sexual orientation, and age. In order to renew the commitment of the medical community to address health disparities, particularly at the medical school level, we must remind ourselves of the roles of doctors and medical schools as the gatekeepers and the value setters for medicine. Within those roles are responsibilities toward the social mission of working to eliminate health disparities. This effort will require partnerships with communities as well as with academic centers to actively develop and to implement diversity and inclusion strategies. Besides improving the diversity of trainees in the pipeline, access to health care can be improved, and awareness can be raised regarding population-based health inequalities. PMID:23659676
Copeland, Valire Carr
Despite remarkable improvements in the overall health of the nation during the past two decades, compelling evidence suggests that the nation's racial and ethnic minority Americans suffer increasing disparities in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and adverse health outcomes compared with white Americans. The 1998…
Higgins, Stephen T.
This Special Issue of Preventive Medicine (PM) focuses on behavior change, health, and health disparities, topics of fundamental importance to improving population health in the U.S. and other industrialized countries. While the U.S. health care system and those of other industrialized countries were developed to manage infectious disease and acute illnesses, it is chronic health conditions that most need to be understood and managed in the 21st century. The evidence is clear that personal behavior patterns like cigarette smoking and physical inactivity/obesity are critically important proximal causes of chronic disease (cardiovascular disease, site-specific cancers, type-2 diabetes) and as such behavior change will need to be a key component of their management. As the outstanding contributions to this Special Issue illustrate, substantial headway is being made in advancing knowledge including developing effective prevention and treatment strategies, with cigarette smoking being an excellent example that change is possible. That said, cigarette smoking continues to be responsible for approximately 480,000 premature deaths annually in the U.S. alone and 5 million globally. So more needs to be done, especially in economically disadvantaged populations. The same certainly applies to the challenges of the obesity epidemic, which of course is a more recent problem and understandably efforts to curtail it are in earlier stages of development. PMID:25456804
Zonderman, Alan B; Ejiogu, Ngozi; Norbeck, Jennifer; Evans, Michele K
Despite the advances in cancer medicine and the resultant 20% decline in cancer death rates for Americans since 1991, there remain distinct cancer health disparities among African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and the those living in poverty. Minorities and the poor continue to bear the disproportionate burden of cancer, especially in terms of stage at diagnosis, incidence, and mortality. Cancer health disparities are persistent reminders that state-of-the-art cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are not equally effective for and accessible to all Americans. The cancer prevention model must take into account the phenotype of accelerated aging associated with health disparities as well as the important interplay of biological and sociocultural factors that lead to disparate health outcomes. The building blocks of this prevention model will include interdisciplinary prevention modalities that encourage partnerships across medical and nonmedical entities, community-based participatory research, development of ethnically and racially diverse research cohorts, and full actualization of the prevention benefits outlined in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, the most essential facet should be a thoughtful integration of cancer prevention and screening into prevention, screening, and disease management activities for hypertension and diabetes mellitus because these chronic medical illnesses have a substantial prevalence in populations at risk for cancer disparities and cause considerable comorbidity and likely complicate effective treatment and contribute to disproportionate cancer death rates.
Gollust, Sarah E; Cappella, Joseph N
Advocates and policymakers strategically communicate about health disparities in an effort to raise public awareness, often by emphasizing the social and economic factors that influence these disparities. Previous research suggests that predisposing political orientation and values related to self-reliance and personal responsibility may produce resistance to such messages. In this study, the authors culled 4 messages about the causes of disparities in life expectancy from public discourse and randomly presented them to a nationally representative sample of 732 Americans. Three indicators of message resistance were measured: belief that messages are weak, elicitation of anger, and production of counterarguments. Expected political differences in message resistance were identified, with Republicans perceiving messages to be weaker, arousing less anger, and eliciting more counterarguing than for Democrats. Among 3 messages that described the social determinants of health disparities, a message that identified the role of personal choices (explicitly acknowledging personal responsibility) produced the least anger and counterarguing among Republicans. Political differences in anger arousal and counterarguing can be explained, in part, by predisposing values toward personal responsibility. These findings have relevance for policy advocates seeking to bridge public divides surrounding health disparities and for scholars advancing theories of reactance to policy-relevant health messaging.
Walker, Deborah Klein; Correa-De-Araujo, Rosaly
Disability is an emerging field within public health; people with significant disabilities account for more than 12% of the US population. Disparity status for this group would allow federal and state governments to actively work to reduce inequities. We summarize the evidence and recommend that observed differences are sufficient to meet the criteria for health disparities: population-level differences in health outcomes that are related to a history of wide-ranging disadvantages, which are avoidable and not primarily caused by the underlying disability. We recommend future research and policy directions to address health inequities for individuals with disabilities; these include improved access to health care and human services, increased data to support decision-making, strengthened health and human services workforce capacity, explicit inclusion of disability in public health programs, and increased emergency preparedness. PMID:25689212
Krahn, Gloria L; Walker, Deborah Klein; Correa-De-Araujo, Rosaly
Disability is an emerging field within public health; people with significant disabilities account for more than 12% of the US population. Disparity status for this group would allow federal and state governments to actively work to reduce inequities. We summarize the evidence and recommend that observed differences are sufficient to meet the criteria for health disparities: population-level differences in health outcomes that are related to a history of wide-ranging disadvantages, which are avoidable and not primarily caused by the underlying disability. We recommend future research and policy directions to address health inequities for individuals with disabilities; these include improved access to health care and human services, increased data to support decision-making, strengthened health and human services workforce capacity, explicit inclusion of disability in public health programs, and increased emergency preparedness.
Glover, Saundra H.; Xirasagar, Sudha; Jeon, Yunho; Elder, Keith T.; Piper, Crystal N.; Pastides, Harris
Objective To introduce a human capital approach to reduce health disparities in South Carolina by increasing the number and quality of trained minority professionals in public health practice and research. Methods The conceptual basis and elements of Project EXPORT in South Carolina are described. Project EXPORT is a community based participatory research (CBPR) translational project designed to build human capital in public health practice and research. This project involves Claflin University (CU), a Historically Black College University (HBCU) and the African American community of Orangeburg, South Carolina to reduce health disparities, utilizing resources from the University of South Carolina (USC), a level 1 research institution to build expertise at a minority serving institution. The elements of Project EXPORT were created to advance the science base of disparities reduction, increase trained minority researchers, and engage the African American community at all stages of research. Conclusion Building upon past collaborations between HBCU’s in South Carolina and USC, this project holds promise for a public health human capital approach to reduce health disparities. PMID:21814634
Hutson, Malo André; Kaplan, George A; Ranjit, Nalini; Mujahid, Mahasin S
Context This article explores the relationship between metropolitan fragmentation, as defined by the total number of governmental units within a metropolitan statistical area (local municipalities, special service districts, and school districts), and racial disparities in mortality among blacks and whites in the 1990s. The presence of numerous governmental jurisdictions in large metropolitan areas in the United States can shape the geography of opportunity, with adverse consequences for health. Methods We conducted a regression analysis using U.S. Census of Government data and Compressed Mortality File data for the country's largest 171 metropolitan statistical areas. Findings We found a link between increased metropolitan area fragmentation and greater racial differences in mortality between blacks and whites for both children and working-age adults. Although increasing fragmentation is associated with a higher mortality rate for blacks, it is not associated with a higher mortality rate for whites. These findings suggest that research is needed to understand how governance can positively or negatively influence a population's health and create conditions that generate or exacerbate health disparities. Conclusions We need to understand the extent to which metropolitan fragmentation contributes to racial segregation, whether racism contributes to both, and the role of poverty and antipoverty policies in reducing or exacerbating the consequences of metropolitan fragmentation. The exact pathways by which metropolitan fragmentation contributes to differences between blacks’ and whites’ mortality rates are unknown. Uncovering how institutions influence the social, economic, and environmental conditions, which in turn contribute to the current racial and ethnic health disparities in the largest metropolitan areas, is key. Understanding these “upstream” determinants of a population's health and the disparities in health between subgroups in the overall population
Harris, Lisa H.; Weitz, Tracy A.
Women of lower socioeconomic status and women of color in the United States have higher rates of abortion than women of higher socioeconomic status and White women. Opponents of abortion use these statistics to argue that abortion providers are exploiting women of color and low socioeconomic status, and thus, regulations are needed to protect women. This argument ignores the underlying causes of the disparities. As efforts to restrict abortion will have no effect on these underlying factors, and instead will only result in more women experiencing later abortions or having an unintended childbirth, they are likely to result in worsening health disparities. We provide a review of the causes of abortion disparities and argue for a multifaceted public health approach to address them. PMID:23948010
Artaza, Jorge N; Contreras, Sandra; Garcia, Leah A; Mehrotra, Rajnish; Gibbons, Gary; Shohet, Ralph; Martins, David; Norris, Keith C
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes coronary artery disease and stroke, is the leading cause of mortality in the nation. Excess CVD morbidity and premature mortality in the African American community is one of the most striking examples of racial/ ethnic disparities in health outcomes. African Americans also suffer from increased rates of hypovitaminosis D, which has emerged as an independent risk factor for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. This overview examines the potential role of hypovitaminosis D as a contributor to racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD). We review the epidemiology of vitamin D and CVD in African Americans and the emerging biological roles of vitamin D in key CVD signaling pathways that may contribute to the epidemiological findings and provide the foundation for future therapeutic strategies for reducing health disparities.
Artaza, Jorge N.; Contreras, Sandra; Garcia, Leah A.; Mehrotra, Rajnish; Gibbons, Gary; Shohet, Ralph; Martins, David; Norris, Keith C.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes coronary artery disease and stroke, is the leading cause of mortality in the nation. Excess CVD morbidity and premature mortality in the African American community is one of the most striking examples of racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes. African Americans also suffer from increased rates of hypovitaminosis D, which has emerged as an independent risk factor for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. This overview examines the potential role of hypovitaminosis D as a contributor to racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD). We review the epidemiology of vitamin D and CVD in African Americans and the emerging biological roles of vitamin D in key CVD signaling pathways that may contribute to the epidemiological findings and provide the foundation for future therapeutic strategies for reducing health disparities. PMID:22102304
Mau, Marjorie K; Sinclair, Ka'imi; Saito, Erin P; Baumhofer, Kau'i N; Kaholokula, Joseph Keawe'aimoku
Elimination of health disparities in the United States is a national health priority. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity are key features of what is now referred to as the "cardiometabolic syndrome," which disproportionately affects racial/ethnic minority populations, including Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI). Few studies have adequately characterized the cardiometabolic syndrome in high-risk populations such as NHOPI. The authors systematically assessed the existing literature on cardiometabolic disorders among NHOPI to understand the best approaches to eliminating cardiometabolic health disparities in this population. Articles were identified from database searches performed in PubMed and MEDLINE from January 1998 to December 2008; 43 studies were included in the review. There is growing confirmatory evidence that NHOPI are one of the highest-risk populations for cardiometabolic diseases in the United States. Most studies found increased prevalences of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular risk factors among NHOPI. The few experimental intervention studies found positive results. Methodological issues included small sample sizes, sample bias, inappropriate racial/ethnic aggregation of NHOPI with Asians, and a limited number of intervention studies. Significant gaps remain in the understanding of cardiometabolic health disparities among NHOPI in the United States. More experimental intervention studies are needed to examine promising approaches to reversing the rising tide of cardiometabolic health disparities in NHOPI.
Olshansky, Ellen; Sacco, Diane; Braxter, Betty; Dodge, Pamela; Hughes, Ebony; Ondeck, Michele; Stubbs, Margaret L; Upvall, Michele J
Participatory action research (PAR) is an excellent way to systematically learn about the conditions under which people experience health disparities, what it is like from the perspective of those experiencing such disparities and, even more importantly, how to ameliorate this major public health problem and create a more equitable and effective health care system. This article describes the method of PAR, supports the appropriateness of PAR to learn about and reduce health disparities, and then presents some specific examples of research projects that have employed or are planning to employ PAR. These examples are from the work of several authors of this article, who are members of an interdisciplinary working group that serves as a forum for discussion of issues related to qualitative research methods and facilitates the development of qualitative studies. All of the authors of this article are part of a task force of this working group that is focusing specifically on community outreach with the goal of reducing health disparities within specific communities.
Cheng, Tina L; Emmanuel, Mickey A; Levy, Daniel J; Jenkins, Renee R
Pediatric primary and specialty practice has changed, with more to do, more regulation, and more family needs than in the past. Similarly, the needs of patients have changed, with more demographic diversity, family stress, and continued health disparities by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. How can clinicians continue their dedicated service to children and ensure health equity in the face of these changes? This article outlines specific, practical, actionable, and evidence-based activities to help clinicians assess and address health disparities in practice. These tools may also support patient-centered medical home recognition, national and state cultural and linguistic competency standards, and quality benchmarks that are increasingly tied to payment. Clinicians can play a critical role in (1) diagnosing disparities in one's community and practice, (2) innovating new models to address social determinants of health, (3) addressing health literacy of families, (4) ensuring cultural competence and a culture of workplace equity, and (5) advocating for issues that address the root causes of health disparities. Culturally competent care that is sensitive to the needs, health literacy, and health beliefs of families can increase satisfaction, improve quality of care, and increase patient safety. Clinical care approaches to address social determinants of health and interrupting the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage include (1) screening for new health "vital signs" and connecting families to resources, (2) enhancing the comprehensiveness of services, (3) addressing family health in pediatric encounters, and (4) moving care outside the office into the community. Health system investment is required to support clinicians and practice innovation to ensure equity.
Emmanuel, Mickey A.; Levy, Daniel J.; Jenkins, Renee R.
Pediatric primary and specialty practice has changed, with more to do, more regulation, and more family needs than in the past. Similarly, the needs of patients have changed, with more demographic diversity, family stress, and continued health disparities by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. How can clinicians continue their dedicated service to children and ensure health equity in the face of these changes? This article outlines specific, practical, actionable, and evidence-based activities to help clinicians assess and address health disparities in practice. These tools may also support patient-centered medical home recognition, national and state cultural and linguistic competency standards, and quality benchmarks that are increasingly tied to payment. Clinicians can play a critical role in (1) diagnosing disparities in one’s community and practice, (2) innovating new models to address social determinants of health, (3) addressing health literacy of families, (4) ensuring cultural competence and a culture of workplace equity, and (5) advocating for issues that address the root causes of health disparities. Culturally competent care that is sensitive to the needs, health literacy, and health beliefs of families can increase satisfaction, improve quality of care, and increase patient safety. Clinical care approaches to address social determinants of health and interrupting the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage include (1) screening for new health “vital signs” and connecting families to resources, (2) enhancing the comprehensiveness of services, (3) addressing family health in pediatric encounters, and (4) moving care outside the office into the community. Health system investment is required to support clinicians and practice innovation to ensure equity. PMID:26459644
Modin, Bitte; Ostberg, Viveca
This study examined the importance of aspects of the school climate for adolescents' psychosomatic health using multilevel modelling. Analyses were based on 18,571 ninth-grade students distributed over 1,026 classes and 284 schools in the greater Stockholm area in 2004 and 2006. Both individual- and contextual-level associations between aspects of…
McGinnis, Kara; Montiel-Ishino, F Alejandro; Standifer, Maisha Kambon; Wathington, Deanna; Goldsmith, Johnetta; Baldwin, Julie A
Medically underserved and underrepresented communities have high rates of health disparities. In the greater Tampa Bay area, communities of color are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases such as cancer. In response to these concerns and as part of a lay health advisory program being implemented by the Center for Equal Health, a University of South Florida/H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute partnership, our group created a photonovel, an educational tool which explains topics using a graphic novel style. The photonovel was designed to educate community members about prostate cancer and was compared to standard cancer educational materials currently used for cancer outreach. We found that our photonovel served as an effective health education tool to address cancer health disparities in medically underserved and underrepresented populations in Tampa Bay.
Chin, Marshall H
Deep-rooted structural problems drive health care disparities. Compounding the difficulty of attaining health equity, solutions in clinics and hospitals require the cooperation of clinicians, administrators, patients, and the community. Recent protests over police brutality and racism on campuses across America have opened fresh wounds over how best to end racism, with lessons for achieving health equity. Movement advocacy, the mobilizing of the people to raise awareness of an injustice and to advocate for reform, can break down ingrained structural barriers and policies that impede health equity. However, simultaneously advocates, clinicians, and health care organizations must build trusting relationships and resolve conflict with mutual respect and honesty. Tension is inherent in discussions about racial and ethnic disparities. Yet, tension can be constructive if it forces self-examination and spurs systems change and personal growth. We must simultaneously advocate for policy reform, build personal relationships across diverse groups, and honestly examine our biases.
O’Keefe, Eileen B.; Meltzer, Jeremy P.; Bethea, Traci N.
Declining cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States (U.S.) have continued through the first decade of the twenty-first century. Reductions in tobacco use, greater uptake of prevention measures, adoption of early detection methods, and improved treatments have resulted in improved outcomes for both men and women. However, Black Americans continue to have the higher cancer mortality rates and shorter survival times. This review discusses and compares the cancer mortality rates and mortality trends for Blacks and Whites. The complex relationship between socioeconomic status and race and its contribution to racial cancer disparities is discussed. Based on current trends and the potential and limitations of the patient protection and affordable care act with its mandate to reduce health care inequities, future trends, and challenges in cancer mortality disparities in the U.S. are explored. PMID:25932459
Shavers, Vickie L.
Socioeconomic status (SES) is frequently implicated as a contributor to the disparate health observed among racial/ ethnic minorities, women and elderly populations. Findings from studies that examine the role of SES and health disparities, however, have provided inconsistent results. This is due in part to the: 1) lack of precision and reliability of measures; 2) difficulty with the collection of individual SES data; 3) the dynamic nature of SES over a lifetime; 4) the classification of women, children, retired and unemployed persons; 5) lack of or poor correlation between individual SES measures; and 6) and inaccurate or misleading interpretation of study results. Choosing the best variable or approach for measuring SES is dependent in part on its relevance to the population and outcomes under study. Many of the commonly used compositional and contextual SES measures are limited in terms of their usefulness for examining the effect of SES on outcomes in analyses of data that include population subgroups known to experience health disparities. This article describes SES measures, strengths and limitations of specific approaches and methodological issues related to the analysis and interpretation of studies that examine SES and health disparities. PMID:17913111
Grineski, Sara E; Collins, Timothy W; Chavez-Payan, Paola; Jimenez, Anthony M; Clark-Reyna, Stephanie; Gaines, Marie; Kim, Young-an
The objectives of this study were to assess prevalence of children's respiratory health conditions and to measure and describe social disparities in children's respiratory problems and access to health resources for asthma/wheezing management. Data were collected through a cross-sectional, observational mail survey of all primary caretakers of 4th and 5th grade children in El Paso Independent School District (El Paso, TX, USA). 6295 primary caretakers received surveys at their home address and 1904 surveys were completed and returned for a 30% response rate. El Paso children have high rates of asthma (17%) and allergies (51%). In terms of social disparities, children that are male, not poor, obese, Hispanic, born in El Paso, have a US-born caretaker, and have a caretaker who has lower levels Spanish proficiency have increased odds of respiratory problems. Among children with asthma and wheezing, disparities exist in access to care; those that are poor, with a Spanish-speaking caretaker, or with a foreign-born caretaker had increased odds of seeking care in urgent care center, emergency rooms and hospitals. Results have scholarly and practical implications for broader trends in terms of increasing prevalence of respiratory health problems across multiple scales (from El Paso to the US context to worldwide) and health disparities experienced within the rapidly growing US Hispanic population.
McGuire, Thomas G; Miranda, Jeanne
Minorities have, in general, equal or better mental health than white Americans, yet they suffer from disparities in mental health care. This paper reviews the evidence for mental health and mental health care disparities, comparing them to patterns in health. Strategies for addressing disparities in health care, such as improving access to and quality of care, should also work to eliminate mental health care disparities. In addition, a diverse mental health workforce, as well as provider and patient education, are important to eliminating mental health care disparities.
Smith, Caren E; Fullerton, Stephanie M; Dookeran, Keith A; Hampel, Heather; Tin, Adrienne; Maruthur, Nisa M; Schisler, Jonathan C; Henderson, Jeffrey A; Tucker, Katherine L; Ordovás, José M
Evidence shows that both biological and nonbiological factors contribute to health disparities. Genetics, in particular, plays a part in how common diseases manifest themselves. Today, unprecedented advances in genetically based diagnoses and treatments provide opportunities for personalized medicine. However, disadvantaged groups may lack access to these advances, and treatments based on research on non-Hispanic whites might not be generalizable to members of minority groups. Unless genetic technologies become universally accessible, existing disparities could be widened. Addressing this issue will require integrated strategies, including expanding genetic research, improving genetic literacy, and enhancing access to genetic technologies among minority populations in a way that avoids harms such as stigmatization.
Smith, Caren E.; Fullerton, Stephanie M.; Dookeran, Keith A.; Hampel, Heather; Tin, Adrienne; Maruthur, Nisa M.; Schisler, Jonathan C.; Henderson, Jeffrey A.; Tucker, Katherine L.; Ordovás, José M.
Evidence shows that both biological and nonbiological factors contribute to health disparities. Genetics, in particular, plays a part in how common diseases manifest themselves. Today, unprecedented advances in genetically based diagnoses and treatments provide opportunities for personalized medicine. However, disadvantaged groups may lack access to these advances, and treatments based on research on non-Hispanic whites might not be generalizable to members of minority groups. Unless genetic technologies become universally accessible, existing disparities could be widened. Addressing this issue will require integrated strategies, including expanding genetic research, improving genetic literacy, and enhancing access to genetic technologies among minority populations in a way that avoids harms such as stigmatization. PMID:27503959
Magaña, Sandra; Parish, Susan; Morales, Miguel A.; Li, Henan; Fujiura, Glenn
Racial and ethnic health disparities are a pervasive public health problem. Emerging research finds similar health disparities among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) compared to nondisabled adults. However, few studies have examined racial and ethnic health disparities among adults with IDD. Using national data, we…
Complex systems approaches have received increasing attention in public health because reductionist approaches yield limited insights in the context of dynamic systems. Most discussions have been highly abstract. There is a need to consider the application of complex systems approaches to specific research questions. I review the features of population health problems for which complex systems approaches are most likely to yield new insights, and discuss possible applications of complex systems to health disparities research. I provide illustrative examples of how complex systems approaches may help address unanswered and persistent questions regarding genetic factors, life course processes, place effects, and the impact of upstream policies. The concepts and methods of complex systems may help researchers move beyond current impasse points in health disparities research. PMID:21778505
Vanderbilt, Allison A; Dail, Michael D; Jaberi, Parham
Health disparities can negatively impact subsets of the population who have systematically experienced greater socioeconomic obstacles to health. Health disparities are pervasive across the United States and no single health care profession can tackle this national crisis alone. It is essential that all health care providers work collaboratively toward the overarching goal of systematically closing the health disparities gap. Interprofessional collaboration is the foundation needed for health care providers to support patient needs and reduce health disparities in public health. Let us reach across the silos we work within and collaborate with our colleagues. Stand up and begin thinking about our communities, our patients, and the future overall health status of the population for the United States. PMID:25960659
Fullerton, S.M.; Knerr, S.; Burke, W.
The existence of pronounced differences in health outcomes between US populations is a problem of moral significance and public health urgency. Pursuing research on genetic contributors to such disparities, despite striking data on the fundamental role of social factors, has been controversial. Still, advances in genomic science are providing an understanding of disease biology at a level of precision not previously possible. The potential for genomic strategies to help in addressing population-level disparities therefore needs to be carefully evaluated. Using 3 examples from current research, we argue that the best way to maximize the benefits of population-based genomic investigations, and mitigate potential harms, is to direct research away from the identification of genetic causes of disparities and instead focus on applying genomic methodologies to the development of clinical and public health tools with the potential to ameliorate healthcare inequities, direct population-level health interventions or inform public policy. Such a transformation will require close collaboration between transdisciplinary teams and community members as well as a reorientation of current research objectives to better align genomic discovery efforts with public health priorities and well-recognized barriers to fair health care delivery. PMID:22488458
Baquet, Claudia R; Mack, Kelly M; Bramble, Joy; DeShields, Mary; Datcher, Delores; Savoy, Mervin; Hummel, Kery; Mishra, Shiraz I; Brooks, Sandra E; Boykin-Brown, Stephanie
Cancer in Maryland is a serious health concern for minority and underserved populations in rural and urban areas. This report describes the National Cancer Institute (NCI) supported Maryland Special Populations Cancer Network (MSPN), a community-academic partnership. The MSPN's priority populations include African Americans, Native Americans, and other medically underserved residents of rural and urban areas. The MSPN has established a community infrastructure through formal collaborations with several community partners located in Baltimore City, the rural Eastern Shore, and Southern and Western Maryland, and among the Piscataway Conoy Tribe and the other 27 Native American Tribes in Maryland. Key partners also include the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the University of Maryland Statewide Health Network. The MSPN has implemented innovative and successful programs in cancer health disparities research, outreach, and training; clinical trials education, health disparities policy, and resource leveraging. The MSPN addresses the goal of the NCI and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to reduce and eventually eliminate cancer health disparities. Community-academic partnerships are the foundation of this successful network.
Krahn, Gloria L.; Fox, Michael H.
Background: Recent attention to health of people with intellectual disabilities has used a health disparities framework. Building on historical context, the paper summarizes what is known about health disparities from reports and research and provides direction on what to do to reduce these disparities among adults with intellectual disabilities.…
Mohammed, Selina A.
This paper provides a review and critique of empirical research on perceived discrimination and health. The patterns of racial disparities in health suggest that there are multiple ways by which racism can affect health. Perceived discrimination is one such pathway and the paper reviews the published research on discrimination and health that appeared in PubMed between 2005 and 2007. This recent research continues to document an inverse association between discrimination and health. This pattern is now evident in a wider range of contexts and for a broader array of outcomes. Advancing our understanding of the relationship between perceived discrimination and health will require more attention to situating discrimination within the context of other health-relevant aspects of racism, measuring it comprehensively and accurately, assessing its stressful dimensions, and identifying the mechanisms that link discrimination to health. PMID:19030981
Davis, Jennifer R.; Wilson, Sacoby; Brock-Martin, Amy; Glover, Saundra; Svendsen, Erik R.
Context A disaster is indiscriminate in whom it affects. Limited research has shown that the poor and medically underserved, especially in rural areas, bear an inequitable amount of the burden. Objective To review the literature on the combined effects of a disaster and living in an area with existing health or health care disparities on a community’s health, access to health resources, and quality of life. Methods We performed a systematic literature review using the following search terms: disaster, health disparities, health care disparities, medically underserved, and rural. Our inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed, US studies that discussed the delayed or persistent health effects of disasters in medically underserved areas. Results There has been extensive research published on disasters, health disparities, health care disparities, and medically underserved populations individually, but not collectively. Conclusions The current literature does not capture the strain of health and health care disparities before and after a disaster in medically underserved communities. Future disaster studies and policies should account for differences in health profiles and access to care before and after a disaster. PMID:20389193
... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.... App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and... personal privacy. Name of Committee: National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health...
Wallerstein, Nina B; Duran, Bonnie
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has emerged in the past decades as an alternative research paradigm, which integrates education and social action to improve health and reduce health disparities. More than a set of research methods, CBPR is an orientation to research that focuses on relationships between academic and community partners, with principles of colearning, mutual benefit, and long-term commitment and incorporates community theories, participation, and practices into the research efforts. As CBPR matures, tensions have become recognized that challenge the mutuality of the research relationship, including issues of power, privilege, participation, community consent, racial and/or ethnic discrimination, and the role of research in social change. This article focuses on these challenges as a dynamic and ever-changing context of the researcher-community relationship, provides examples of these paradoxes from work in tribal communities, discusses the evidence that CBPR reduces disparities, and recommends transforming the culture of academia to strengthen collaborative research relationships.
Srinivasan, Shobha; Williams, Shanita D
Health disparities are real. The evidence base is large and irrefutable. As such, the time is now to shift the research emphasis away from solely documenting the pervasiveness of the health disparities problem and begin focusing on health equity, the highest level of health possible. The focus on health equity research will require investigators to propose projects that develop and evaluate evidence-based solutions to health differences that are driven largely by social, economic, and environmental factors. This article highlights ongoing research and programmatic efforts underway at the National Institutes of Health that hold promise for advancing population health and improving health equity.
Harris, Jenine K; Beatty, Kate; Leider, J P; Knudson, Alana; Anderson, Britta L; Meit, Michael
Residents of rural jurisdictions face significant health challenges, including some of the highest rates of risky health behaviors and worst health outcomes of any group in the country. Rural communities are served by smaller local health departments (LHDs) that are more understaffed and underfunded than their suburban and urban peers. As a result of history and current need, rural LHDs are more likely than their urban peers to be providers of direct health services, leading to relatively lower levels of population-focused activities. This review examines the double disparity faced by rural LHDs and their constituents: pervasively poorer health behaviors and outcomes and a historical lack of investment by local, state, and federal public health entities.
Harbaugh, Mary; Han, MeiLan K.; Jourdan Le Saux, Claude; Van Winkle, Laura S.; Martin, William J.; Kosgei, Rose J.; Carter, E. Jane; Sitkin, Nicole; Smiley-Jewell, Suzette M.; George, Maureen
There is growing evidence that a number of pulmonary diseases affect women differently and with a greater degree of severity than men. The causes for such sex disparity is the focus of this Blue Conference Perspective review, which explores basic cellular and molecular mechanisms, life stages, and clinical outcomes based on environmental, sociocultural, occupational, and infectious scenarios, as well as medical health beliefs. Owing to the breadth of issues related to women and lung disease, we present examples of both basic and clinical concepts that may be the cause for pulmonary disease disparity in women. These examples include those diseases that predominantly affect women, as well as the rising incidence among women for diseases traditionally occurring in men, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Sociocultural implications of pulmonary disease attributable to biomass burning and infectious diseases among women in low- to middle-income countries are reviewed, as are disparities in respiratory health among sexual minority women in high-income countries. The implications of the use of complementary and alternative medicine by women to influence respiratory disease are examined, and future directions for research on women and respiratory health are provided. PMID:25945507
Johnson, Karen E; Goyal, Mohit; Simonton, Amanda J; Richardson, Rebecca; Morris, Marian; Rew, Lynn
Alternative high school (AHS) students are at-risk for school dropout and engage in high levels of health-risk behaviors that should be monitored over time. They are excluded from most public health surveillance efforts (e.g., Youth Risk Behavior Survey; YRBS), hindering our ability to monitor health disparities and allocate scarce resources to the areas of greatest need. Using active parental consent, we recruited 515 students from 14 AHSs in Texas to take a modified YRBS. We calculated three different participation rates, tracked participation by age of legal consent (≥18 and <18 years), and identified other considerations for obtaining quality data. Being required to use active consent resulted in a much lower cooperation rate among students <18 years (32%) versus those who were ≥18 years and could provide their own consent (57%). Because chronic truancy is prevalent in AHS students, cooperation rates may be more accurate than participation rates based off of enrollment or attendance. Requiring active consent and not having accurate participation rates may result in surveillance data that are of disparate quality. This threatens to mask the needs of AHS students and perpetuate disparities because we are likely missing the highest-risk students within a high-risk sample and cannot generalize findings.
Grandner, Michael A; Knutson, Kristen L; Troxel, Wendy; Hale, Lauren; Jean-Louis, Girardin; Miller, Kathleen E
The popularity of energy drinks has increased rapidly in the past decade. One of the main reasons people use energy drinks is to counteract effects of insufficient sleep or sleepiness. Risks associated with energy drink use, including those related to sleep loss, may be disproportionately borne by racial minorities and those of lower socioeconomic status. In this review, a brief introduction to the issue of health disparities is provided, population-level disparities and inequalities in sleep are described, and the social-ecological model of sleep and health is presented. Social and demographic patterns of energy drink use are then presented, followed by discussion of the potential ways in which energy drink use may contribute to health disparities, including the following: 1) effects of excessive caffeine in energy drinks, 2) effects of energy drinks as sugar-sweetened beverages, 3) association between energy drinks and risk-taking behaviors when mixed with alcohol, 4) association between energy drink use and short sleep duration, and 5) role of energy drinks in cardiometabolic disease. The review concludes with a research agenda of critical unanswered questions.
Pinkerton, Kent E; Harbaugh, Mary; Han, MeiLan K; Jourdan Le Saux, Claude; Van Winkle, Laura S; Martin, William J; Kosgei, Rose J; Carter, E Jane; Sitkin, Nicole; Smiley-Jewell, Suzette M; George, Maureen
There is growing evidence that a number of pulmonary diseases affect women differently and with a greater degree of severity than men. The causes for such sex disparity is the focus of this Blue Conference Perspective review, which explores basic cellular and molecular mechanisms, life stages, and clinical outcomes based on environmental, sociocultural, occupational, and infectious scenarios, as well as medical health beliefs. Owing to the breadth of issues related to women and lung disease, we present examples of both basic and clinical concepts that may be the cause for pulmonary disease disparity in women. These examples include those diseases that predominantly affect women, as well as the rising incidence among women for diseases traditionally occurring in men, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Sociocultural implications of pulmonary disease attributable to biomass burning and infectious diseases among women in low- to middle-income countries are reviewed, as are disparities in respiratory health among sexual minority women in high-income countries. The implications of the use of complementary and alternative medicine by women to influence respiratory disease are examined, and future directions for research on women and respiratory health are provided.
Patrick, Donald L; Lee, Rosanna Shuk Yin; Nucci, Michele; Grembowski, David; Jolles, Carol Zane; Milgrom, Peter
Oral health is essential to the general health and well-being of individuals and the population. Yet significant oral health disparities persist in the U.S. population because of a web of influences that include complex cultural and social processes that affect both oral health and access to effective dental health care. This paper introduces an organizing framework for addressing oral health disparities. We present and discuss how the multiple influences on oral health and oral health disparities operate using this framework. Interventions targeted at different causal pathways bring new directions and implications for research and policy in reducing oral health disparities. PMID:16934121
Kumanyika, Shiriki K; Morssink, Christiaan B
The concept of health disparities is a familiar one, but we must continually challenge our thinking on how disparities issues are framed. The 1985 Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Black and Minority Health established a disease-oriented focus on "excess deaths" as the primary targets of disparities initiatives. However, progress in reducing disparities has been limited. The disease focus, which emphasizes the individual-level and health care services, may be too narrow. A "population health" perspective can foster a more comprehensive and integrated approach. Both disease-oriented and population health perspectives have advantages and disadvantages, for both policy and practical purposes. The challenge is to effectively leverage both approaches to improve the health of ethnic minority and other disadvantaged populations. We need bridge builders who can articulate and hear diverse perspectives, work with systems, and maintain a long-term vision for affecting the social dynamics of society.
... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center on Minority and Health Disparities; Notice... personal privacy. Name of Committee: National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities Special...-Sharp, PhD, Scientific Review Officer, National Institute on Minority Health and Health...
Williams, David R.; Sternthal, Michelle
This paper provides an overview of the contribution of sociologists to the study of racial and ethnic inequalities in health in the U.S. It argues that sociologists have made four principal contributions. First, they have challenged and problematized the biological understanding of race. Second, they have emphasized the primacy of social structure and context as determinants of racial differences in disease. Third, they have contributed to our understanding of the multiple ways in which racism affects health. Finally, sociologists have enhanced our understanding of the ways in which migration history and status can affect health. Sociological insights on racial disparities in health have important implications for the development of effective approaches to improve health and reduce health inequities. PMID:20943580
LaVeist, Thomas A; Pierre, Geraldine
The established relationships among social determinants of health (SDH), health disparities, and race/ethnicity highlight the need for health-care professionals to adequately address SDH in their encounters with patients. The ethnic demographic transition slated to occur during the next several decades in the United States will have numerous effects on the health-care sector, particularly as it pertains to the need for a more diverse and culturally aware workforce. In recent years, a substantial body of literature has developed, exploring the extent to which diversity in the health-care workforce may be used as a tool to eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care in the U.S. We explore existing literature on this topic, propose a conceptual framework, and identify next steps in health-care policy for reducing and eliminating health disparities by addressing SDH and diversification of the health-care workforce.
Sullivan, Marianne; Levine, Jack
Introduction: Community health assessment (CHA) is a useful tool for identifying health status disparities at the community level. Developing the skills of master's level public health students to conduct CHA addresses a number of the Association of Schools of Public Health Core competencies for graduate public health education. Teaching…
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.... App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health...
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.... App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health...
... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Minority Health and Health... unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Name of Committee: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Special Emphasis Panel; NIMHD Research Center in Minority Institution Program (G12)....
Lau, May; Lin, Hua; Flores, Glenn
Objective To examine racial/ethnic disparities in medical and oral health status, access to care, and use of services in U.S. adolescents. Data Source Secondary data analysis of the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health. The survey focus was children 0–17 years old. Study Design Bivariate and multivariable analyses were conducted for white, African American, Latino, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and multiracial adolescents 10–17 years old (n = 48,742) to identify disparities in 40 measures of health and health care. Principal Findings Certain disparities were especially marked for specific racial/ethnic groups and multiracial youth. These disparities included suboptimal health status and lack of a personal doctor or nurse for Latinos; suboptimal oral health and not receiving all needed medications in the past year for African Americans; no physician visit or mental health care in the past year for Asian/Pacific Islanders; overweight/obesity, uninsurance, problems getting specialty care, and no routine preventive visit in the past year for American Indian/Alaska Natives; and not receiving all needed dental care in multiracial youth. Conclusions U.S. adolescents experience many racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. These findings indicate a need for ongoing identification and monitoring of and interventions for disparities for all five major racial/ethnic groups and multiracial adolescents. PMID:22417169
Moy, Ernest; Freeman, William
Health care is an important lever for moderating the effects of social determinants on health. We present a model that describes the relationships among social disadvantage, health-care disparities, and health disparities. Improving access to health care and enhancing patient-provider interaction are critical pathways for reducing disparities. Increasing the diversity of the public health and health-care workforces is an efficient strategy for reducing disparities because it impacts both access to care and patient-provider communication. Federal policy makers should continue interest in workforce diversity to optimize the health of all Americans.
WISDOM, JENNIFER P.; McGEE, MARJORIE G.; HORNER-JOHNSON, WILLI; MICHAEL, YVONNE L.; ADAMS, ELIZABETH; BERLIN, MICHELLE
As part of a women’s health center project, we reviewed 16 years of research to examine health disparities between women with and without disabilities. We reviewed MEDLINE-indexed articles between 1990 and 2005 with data on women with and without physical, sensory, intellectual, developmental, or psychiatric disabilities. Our review found few articles examining health disparities in chronic disease, cancer, mental health and substance abuse, preventive screening, health-promoting behaviors, and health services utilization. Results reflect apparent health disparities between women with and without disabilities. Challenges for the field exist in standardizing disability definitions and determining a future course for health disparity research and policy. PMID:20446182
Ayo-Yusuf, Imade J.; Ayo-Yusuf, Olalekan A.; Olutola, Bukola G.
This study sought to determine the contributions of socio-economic position and health insurance enrollment in explaining racial disparities in preventive dental visits (PDVs) among South Africans. Data on the dentate adult population participating in the last South African Demographic and Health Survey conducted during 2003–2004 (n = 6,312) was used. Main outcome measure: Reporting making routine yearly PDVs as a preventive measure. Education, material wealth index and nutritional status indicated socio-economic position. Multi-level logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the predictors of PDVs. A variant of Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis was also conducted. Health insurance coverage was most common among Whites (70%) and least common among black Africans (10.1%) in South Africa. Similarly, a yearly PDV was most frequently reported by Whites (27.8%) and least frequently reported among black Africans (3.1%). Lower education and lower material wealth were associated with lower odds of making PDVs. There was significant interaction between location (urban/rural) and education (p = 0.010). The racial and socio-economic differences in PDVs observed in urban areas were not observed in rural areas. In the general dentate population, having health insurance significantly increased the odds of making PDVs (OR = 4.32; 3.04–6.14) and accounted for 40.3% of the White/non-White gap in the probability of making PDVs. Overall, socio-economic position and health insurance enrollments together accounted for 55.9% (95% CI = 44.9–67.8) of the White/non-White gap in PDVs. Interventions directed at improving both socio-economic position and insurance coverage of non-White South Africans are likely to significantly reduce racial disparities in PDVs. PMID:23282482
Objectives. We explored the emergence and effectiveness of Venezuela's Misión Barrio Adentro, “Inside the Neighborhood Mission,” a program designed to improve access to health care among underserved residents of the country, hoping to draw lessons to apply to future attempts to address acute health disparities. Methods. We conducted our study in 3 capital-region neighborhoods, 2 small cities, and 2 rural areas, combining systematic observations with interviews of 221 residents, 41 health professionals, and 28 government officials. We surveyed 177 female and 91 male heads of household. Results. Interviews suggested that Misión Barrio Adentro emerged from creative interactions between policymakers, clinicians, community workers, and residents, adopting flexible, problem-solving strategies. In addition, data indicated that egalitarian physician–patient relationships and the direct involvement of local health committees overcame distrust and generated popular support for the program. Media and opposition antagonism complicated physicians’ lives and clinical practices but heightened the program's visibility. Conclusions. Top-down and bottom-up efforts are less effective than “horizontal” collaborations between professionals and residents in underserved communities. Direct, local involvement can generate creative and dynamic efforts to address acute health disparities in these areas. PMID:19150916
Worthman, Carol M.; Costello, E. Jane
Background Cultural factors and biomarkers are emerging emphases in social epidemiology that readily ally with human biology and anthropology. Persistent health challenges and disparities have established biocultural roots, and environment plays an integral role in physical development and function that form the bases of population health. Biomarkers have proven to be valuable tools for investigating biocultural bases of health disparities. Aims We apply recent insights from biology to consider how culture gets under the skin and evaluate the construct of embodiment. We analyze contrasting biomarker models and applications, and propose an integrated model for biomarkers. Three examples from the Great Smoky Mountains Study (GSMS) illustrate these points. Subjects and methods The longitudinal developmental epidemiological GSMS comprises a population-based sample of 1420 children with repeated measures including mental and physical health, life events, household conditions, and biomarkers for pubertal development and allostatic load. Results Analyses using biomarkers resolved competing explanations for links between puberty and depression, identified gender differences in stress at puberty, and revealed interactive effects of birthweight and postnatal adversity on risk for depression at puberty in girls. Conclusion An integrated biomarker model can both enrich epidemiology and illuminate biocultural pathways in population health. PMID:19381986
... HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Center on Minority and Health Disparities; Notice... personal privacy. Name of Committee: National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities Special...: Maryline Laude-Sharp, PhD, Scientific Review Officer, National Institute on Minority Health and...
Nesbitt, Shawna; Palomarez, Rigo Estevan
The focus of this review is to highlight health care disparities and trends in several common diseases in selected populations while offering evidence-based approaches to mitigating health care disparities. Health care disparities cross many barriers and affect multiple populations and diseases. Ethnic minorities, the elderly, and those of lower socioeconomic status (SES) are more at-risk than others. However, many low SES Whites and higher SES racial minorities have poorer health than their racial or SES peers. Also, recent immigrant groups and Hispanics, in particular, maintain high health ratings. The so-called Hispanic Paradox provides an example of how culture and social background can be used to improve health outcomes. These groups have unique determinants of disparity that are based on a wide range of cultural and societal factors. Providing improved access to care and reducing the social determinants of disparity is crucial to improving public health. At the same time, for providers, increasing an understanding of the social determinants promotes better models of individualized care to encourage more equitable care. These approaches include increasing provider education on disparities encountered by different populations, practicing active listening skills, and utilizing a patient’s cultural background to promote healthy behaviors PMID:27103768
Nesbitt, Shawna; Palomarez, Rigo Estevan
The focus of this review is to highlight health care disparities and trends in several common diseases in selected populations while offering evidence-based approaches to mitigating health care disparities. Health care disparities cross many barriers and affect multiple populations and diseases. Ethnic minorities, the elderly, and those of lower socioeconomic status (SES) are more at-risk than others. However, many low SES Whites and higher SES racial minorities have poorer health than their racial or SES peers. Also, recent immigrant groups and Hispanics, in particular, maintain high health ratings. The so-called Hispanic Paradox provides an example of how culture and social background can be used to improve health outcomes. These groups have unique determinants of disparity that are based on a wide range of cultural and societal factors. Providing improved access to care and reducing the social determinants of disparity is crucial to improving public health. At the same time, for providers, increasing an understanding of the social determinants promotes better models of individualized care to encourage more equitable care. These approaches include increasing provider education on disparities encountered by different populations, practicing active listening skills, and utilizing a patient's cultural background to promote healthy behaviors.
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Minority Health and Health; Disparities Notice of Meeting Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is ] hereby given of...
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health 42 CFR Part 52i RIN 0925-AA61 National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Endowments AGENCY: National Institutes of...
Brown, Arleen; Cauley, Jane A.; Chin, Marshall H.; Gary-Webb, Tiffany L.; Kim, Catherine; Sosa, Julie Ann; Sumner, Anne E.; Anton, Blair
Advocacy and Public Outreach Core Committee; and 2) suggestions offered by the Council and members of The Endocrine Society. Conclusions: Several themes emerged in the statement, including a need for basic science, population-based, translational and health services studies to explore underlying mechanisms contributing to endocrine health disparities. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks have worse outcomes and higher mortality from certain disorders despite having a lower (e.g. macrovascular complications of diabetes mellitus and osteoporotic fractures) or similar (e.g. thyroid cancer) incidence of these disorders. Obesity is an important contributor to diabetes risk in minority populations and to sex disparities in thyroid cancer, suggesting that population interventions targeting weight loss may favorably impact a number of endocrine disorders. There are important implications regarding the definition of obesity in different race/ethnic groups, including potential underestimation of disease risk in Asian-Americans and overestimation in non-Hispanic black women. Ethnic-specific cut-points for central obesity should be determined so that clinicians can adequately assess metabolic risk. There is little evidence that genetic differences contribute significantly to race/ethnic disparities in the endocrine disorders examined. Multilevel interventions have reduced disparities in diabetes care, and these successes can be modeled to design similar interventions for other endocrine diseases. PMID:22730516
Phillips, Janice M; Malone, Beverly
As nursing continues to advance health care in the 21st century, the current shift in demographics, coupled with the ongoing disparities in health care and health outcomes, will warrant our ongoing attention and action. As within all health professions, concerted efforts are needed to diversify the nation's health-care workforce. The nursing profession in particular will be challenged to recruit and retain a culturally diverse workforce that mirrors the nation's change in demographics. This increased need to enhance diversity in nursing is not new to the profession; however, the need to successfully address this issue has never been greater. This article discusses increasing the diversity in nursing and its importance in reducing health disparities. We highlight characteristics of successful recruitment and retention efforts targeting racial/ethnic minority nurses and conclude with recommendations to strengthen the development and evaluation of their contributions to eliminating health disparities.
As nursing continues to advance health care in the 21st century, the current shift in demographics, coupled with the ongoing disparities in health care and health outcomes, will warrant our ongoing attention and action. As within all health professions, concerted efforts are needed to diversify the nation's health-care workforce. The nursing profession in particular will be challenged to recruit and retain a culturally diverse workforce that mirrors the nation's change in demographics. This increased need to enhance diversity in nursing is not new to the profession; however, the need to successfully address this issue has never been greater. This article discusses increasing the diversity in nursing and its importance in reducing health disparities. We highlight characteristics of successful recruitment and retention efforts targeting racial/ethnic minority nurses and conclude with recommendations to strengthen the development and evaluation of their contributions to eliminating health disparities. PMID:24385664
Monitoring social disparities in health is not a straightforward project. Defining what constitutes a disparity is challenging, and multiple measures have been proposed to track changes in disparity over time. In this issue, Harper et al. (Am J Epidemiol 2008;167:889-899) present...
deShazo, Richard D; Parker, Sara Bolen
Many people see telemedicine as a solution to the nation's health disparities and in Mississippi as a solution to our last place in health. More than 13 years ago, the University of Mississippi Medical Center developed a successful TelEmergency program that saved rural Critical Access Hospitals and now provides telehealth services throughout the state. This occurred without acrimony because of partnerships that the University of Mississippi Medical Center developed with telecommunications companies, state government, health professions' licensure boards, and private donors. Today, the telemedicine market is exploding across the country with the entry of for-profit corporations into the medical market. These corporations often are more inclined to work with legislators rather than physicians, and some physician groups have attempted to limit their expansion. With the future of telemedicine now determined in part by the courts, rather than the providers, new pitfalls have arisen. The Mississippi experience may be helpful in navigating this new territory.
Benatar, S R
Widening disparities in health and human rights at a global level represent the dark side of progress associated with escalation of economic and military exploitation and exponential population growth in the 20th century. Even the most basic universal human rights cannot be achieved for all under these circumstances. The goal of improved population health will be similarly elusive while medical care is commodified and exploited for commercial gain in the marketplace. Recognition of the powerful forces that polarize our world and commitment to reversing them are essential for the achievement of human rights for all, for the improvement of public health, and for the peaceful progress required to protect the "rational self-interest" of the most privileged people on earth against the escalation of war, disease, and other destructive forces arising from widespread poverty and ecological degradation. PMID:9491027
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Misra-Hebert, Anita D; Isaacson, J Harry
Health care disparities have multiple causes; the dynamics of the physician-patient encounter is one of the causes that can be modified. Here, we discuss specific recommendations related to cross-cultural communication and health literacy as practical steps to providing more equitable health care to all patients.
Kegler, Michelle C.; Hall, Sarah M.; Kiser, Mimi
Interest in partnering with faith-based organizations (FBOs) to address health disparities has grown in recent years. Yet relatively little is known about these types of partnerships. As part of an evaluation of the Institute for Faith and Public Health Collaborations, representatives of 34 faith--health teams (n = 61) completed semi-structured…
Bodie, Graham D; Dutta, Mohan Jyoti
Even despite policy efforts aimed at reducing health-related disparities, evidence mounts that population-level gaps in literacy and healthcare quality are increasing. This widening of disparities in American culture is likely to worsen over the coming years due, in part, to our increasing reliance on Internet-based technologies to disseminate health information and services. The purpose of the current article is to incorporate health literacy into an Integrative Model of eHealth Use. We argue for this theoretical understanding of eHealth literacy and propose that macro-level disparities in social structures are connected to health disparities through the micro-level conduits of eHealth literacy, motivation, and ability. In other words, structural inequities reinforce themselves and continue to contribute to healthcare disparities through the differential distribution of technologies that simultaneously enhance and impede literacy, motivation, and ability of different groups (and individuals) in the population. We conclude the article by suggesting pragmatic implications of our analysis.
Burgard, Sarah A; Lin, Katherine Y
In this review, we touch on a broad array of ways that work is linked to health and health disparities for individuals and societies. First focusing on the health of individuals, we discuss the health differences between those who do and do not work for pay, and review key positive and negative exposures that can generate health disparities among the employed. These include both psychosocial factors like the benefits of a high status job or the burden of perceived job insecurity, as well as physical exposures to dangerous working conditions like asbestos or rotating shift work. We also provide a discussion of the ways differential exposure to these aspects of work contributes to social disparities in health within and across generations. Analytic complexities in assessing the link between work and health for individuals, such as health selection, are also discussed. We then touch on several contextual level associations between work and the health of populations, discussing the importance of the occupational structure in a given society, the policy environment that prevails there, and the oscillations of the macroeconomy for generating societal disparities in health. We close with a discussion of four areas and associated recommendations that draw on this corpus of knowledge but would push the research on work, health and inequality toward even greater scholarly and policy relevance.
Burgard, Sarah A.; Lin, Katherine Y.
In this review, we touch on a broad array of ways that work is linked to health and health disparities for individuals and societies. First focusing on the health of individuals, we discuss the health differences between those who do and do not work for pay, and review key positive and negative exposures that can generate health disparities among the employed. These include both psychosocial factors like the benefits of a high status job or the burden of perceived job insecurity, as well as physical exposures to dangerous working conditions like asbestos or rotating shift work. We also provide a discussion of the ways differential exposure to these aspects of work contributes to social disparities in health within and across generations. Analytic complexities in assessing the link between work and health for individuals, such as health selection, are also discussed. We then touch on several contextual level associations between work and the health of populations, discussing the importance of the occupational structure in a given society, the policy environment that prevails there, and the oscillations of the macroeconomy for generating societal disparities in health. We close with a discussion of four areas and associated recommendations that draw on this corpus of knowledge but would push the research on work, health and inequality toward even greater scholarly and policy relevance. PMID:24187340
Rock, Melanie J; McIntyre, Lynn; Persaud, Steven A; Thomas, Karen L
Media advocacy is a well-established strategy for transmitting health messages to the public. This paper discusses a media advocacy intervention that raised issues about how the public interprets messages about the negative effects of poverty on population health. In conjunction with the publication of a manuscript illustrating how income-related food insecurity leads to disparities related to the consumption of a popular food product across Canada (namely, Kraft Dinner®), we launched a media intervention intended to appeal to radio, television, print and Internet journalists. All the media coverage conveyed our intended message that food insecurity is a serious population health problem, confirming that message framing, personal narratives and visual imagery are important in persuading media outlets to carry stories about poverty as a determinant of population health. Among politicians and members of the public (through on-line discussions), the coverage provoked on-message as well as off-message reactions. Population health researchers and health promotion practitioners should anticipate mixed reactions to media advocacy interventions, particularly in light of new Internet technologies. Opposition to media stories regarding the socio-economic determinants of population health can provide new insights into how we might overcome challenges in translating evidence into preventive interventions.
Rock, Melanie J.; McIntyre, Lynn; Persaud, Steven A.; Thomas, Karen L.
Media advocacy is a well-established strategy for transmitting health messages to the public. This paper discusses a media advocacy intervention that raised issues about how the public interprets messages about the negative effects of poverty on population health. In conjunction with the publication of a manuscript illustrating how income-related food insecurity leads to disparities related to the consumption of a popular food product across Canada (namely, Kraft Dinner®), we launched a media intervention intended to appeal to radio, television, print and Internet journalists. All the media coverage conveyed our intended message that food insecurity is a serious population health problem, confirming that message framing, personal narratives and visual imagery are important in persuading media outlets to carry stories about poverty as a determinant of population health. Among politicians and members of the public (through on-line discussions), the coverage provoked on-message as well as off-message reactions. Population health researchers and health promotion practitioners should anticipate mixed reactions to media advocacy interventions, particularly in light of new Internet technologies. Opposition to media stories regarding the socio-economic determinants of population health can provide new insights into how we might overcome challenges in translating evidence into preventive interventions. PMID:21685402
Niederdeppe, Jeff; Bu, Q Lisa; Borah, Porismita; Kindig, David A; Robert, Stephanie A
Context Raising public awareness of the importance of social determinants of health (SDH) and health disparities presents formidable communication challenges. Methods This article reviews three message strategies that could be used to raise awareness of SDH and health disparities: message framing, narratives, and visual imagery. Findings Although few studies have directly tested message strategies for raising awareness of SDH and health disparities, the accumulated evidence from other domains suggests that population health advocates should frame messages to acknowledge a role for individual decisions about behavior but emphasize SDH. These messages might use narratives to provide examples of individuals facing structural barriers (unsafe working conditions, neighborhood safety concerns, lack of civic opportunities) in efforts to avoid poverty, unemployment, racial discrimination, and other social determinants. Evocative visual images that invite generalizations, suggest causal interpretations, highlight contrasts, and create analogies could accompany these narratives. These narratives and images should not distract attention from SDH and population health disparities, activate negative stereotypes, or provoke counterproductive emotional responses directed at the source of the message. Conclusions The field of communication science offers valuable insights into ways that population health advocates and researchers might develop better messages to shape public opinion and debate about the social conditions that shape the health and well-being of populations. The time has arrived to begin thinking systematically about issues in communicating about SDH and health disparities. This article offers a broad framework for these efforts and concludes with an agenda for future research to refine message strategies to raise awareness of SDH and health disparities. PMID:18798887
Burgess, Diana; Olayinka, Abimbola; Whembolua, Guy Lucien S.; Okuyemi, Kolawole S.
Introduction: Disparities in tobacco’s harm persist. Declines in smoking among the general population have not been experienced to the same extent by vulnerable populations. Innovative strategies are required to diminish disparities in tobacco’s harm. As novel tools, anthropological concepts and methods may be applied to improve the design and outcomes of tobacco cessation interventions. Methods: We reviewed over 60 articles published in peer-reviewed journals since 1995 for content on anthropology and smoking cessation. The specific questions framing the review were: (a) “How can lessons learned from anthropological studies of smoking improve the design and effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions?” (b) How can anthropology be applied to diminish disparities in smoking cessation? and (c) How can qualitative methods be used most effectively in smoking cessation intervention research? Results: Three specific disciplinary tools were identified and examined: (a) culture, (b) reflexivity, and (c) qualitative methods. Examining culture as a dynamic influence and understanding the utilities of smoking in a particular group is a precursor to promoting cessation. Reflexivity enables a deeper understanding of how smokers perceive quitting and smoking beyond addiction and individual health consequences. Qualitative methods may be used to elicit in-depth perspectives on quitting, insights to inform existing community-based strategies for making behavior changes, and detailed preferences for cessation treatment or programs. Conclusions: Anthropological tools can be used to improve the effectiveness of intervention research studies targeting individuals from vulnerable groups. Synthesized applications of anthropological concepts can be used to facilitate translation of findings into clinical practice for providers addressing tobacco cessation in vulnerable populations. PMID:22271609
Schroeder, Steven A
The gap in health status between the United States and other (OECD) developed countries not only persists but has widened over the past decade. This has occurred despite major declines in smoking prevalence. But as with other health problems, such as obesity, gun violence, and teenage pregnancy, progress against smoking has disproportionately benefitted the better off segments of the American population. Thus smoking, as well as other problems, is now concentrated among the vulnerable members of our society: the poor and less educated, as well as disadvantaged groups such as those with mental illness and substance use disorders, the homeless, those who are incarcerated, and the LGBT community. Although this is a national issue, these problems, as well as overall poverty, are especially concentrated in the Southeastern part of the country. Compared with the other OECD countries, the U.S. has much greater inequality of income and wealth. Furthermore, we are unique in leaving substantial portions of our population not covered by health insurance, again most prominently in the southeastern region. This national health disparity is not simply a factor of the multicultural nature of American society, because it persists when the health of the whites only is compared with the more racially homogeneous OECD nations. The complexity of our poor health performance rules out a single intervention. But it is clear that without focusing on the less fortunate members of our society, especially those in the Southeast, our performance will continue to lag, and possibly deteriorate further.
Hudson, Christopher G.
This article reviews recent theory and research on geographic disparities in mental health and their implications for social work. It focuses on work emerging from the fields of mental health geography, psychiatric epidemiology, and social work, arguing that a wide range of spatial disparities in mental health are important to understand but that…
Wright, Kynna N.
The American Indian tribal nations and communities have long experienced health status worse than that of other Americans. Although major gains in reducing health disparities were made during the last half of the 20th century, most gains stopped by the mid-1980s. Consequently, health disparities continue to exist with marked variation across…
Preston, Michael A.; Gonzales, Gilbert
Disparities in health care have been targeted for elimination by federal agencies and professional organizations, including the American Public Health Association. Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a valuable first step in reducing the disparities gap, progress is contingent upon whether opportunities in the ACA help or hinder populations at risk for impaired health and limited access to medical care. PMID:25879149
Toof, Robin; Silka, Linda; Liang, Sidney; Sou, Linda; Najarian, Lisa; Peou, Sonith; Och, Sheila
Cambodians in Lowell, Massachusetts, experience significant health disparities. Understanding the trauma they have experienced in Cambodia and as refugees has been the starting point for Lowell Community Health Center's whole community approach to developing community-based interventions. This approach places physical-psychosocial-spiritual needs at the center of focus and is attentive to individual and institutional barriers to care. Interventions are multilevel. The effect of the overall program comes from the results of each smaller program, the collaborations and coordination with the Cambodian community and community-based organizations, and the range and levels of services available through the health center. PMID:20864723
Gavaler, Judith S; Deal, Stephen R; Rosenblum, Elaine R
The Postmenopausal Health Disparities Study (PHD Study) is a model for unraveling the underlying factors that may play a role in the health status and life expectancy disparities among racial and ethnic groups, with particular attention to effects of alcoholic beverage consumption. The study is bioepidemiologic; underlying mechanisms, rather than end points per se, are evaluated. The design is cross-sectional with historical prospective elements. Data were collected from responses to three questionnaires and examination findings from a clinic visit. There were significant differences among racial and ethnic groups in patterns of alcoholic beverage consumption and selected demographic factors, body mass index, measures of physical activity and fitness, and nutritional factors. Predictors of body mass index included both moderate drinking and hormonal factors. To address the current controversy about risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) we examined the predictors of control-based categories of estradiol among treated women; predictors included drinking of alcohol, hormonal variables, and being Caucasian. In addition, a substantial proportion of the variables examined differed significantly between alcohol drinkers and abstainers. The significant differences between alcohol drinkers and abstainers, and among racial and ethnic groups, demonstrate the value of studying multiple racial and ethnic groups simultaneously. The PHD Study provides a unique and productive model that can be used in other populations.
Hovmand, Peter; Pfeiffer, Debbie J.; Fairchild, Maggie; Rath, Suchitra; Golla, Balaji; Casey, Chris
The prevailing approach to improving population health focuses on shifting population means through a few targeted and universal interventions. The success of this approach for eliminating health disparities depends on an assumption about the distribution of demand for such interventions. We explored whether long tail thinking from business might yield greater progress in eliminating disparities. We examined 2011 to 2013 data from 513 state and local health agency representatives in 47 states who used an online system to create 4351 small media and client reminder products promoting colorectal cancer screening. Products in the long tail were more likely to target minority groups with higher rates of colorectal cancer and lower rates of screening than Whites. Long tail thinking could help improve the public's health and eliminate disparities. PMID:25322308
Apostle, Elisa P; O'Connell, Marykate E; Vezeau, Toni M
This article investigates how the health disparities of Appalachian coal miners and coal mining communities could be decreased through a partnership with occupational health nurses. On-site health clinics managed by occupational health nurses working in the coal mining industry are proposed as a means to improve health care outcomes. Health effects, economic considerations, environmental impacts, and U.S. coal mining legislation and regulation are examined. An epidemiological approach is presented to the unique health effects experienced by Appalachian coal miners and coal mining communities within the context of existent socioeconomic disparities. The long-standing health crisis in Appalachian coal mining communities requires a multidisciplinary approach led by occupational health nurses.
Cannuscio, Carolyn C; Weiss, Eve E; Asch, David A
How do urban food environments produce health disparities? The literature currently emphasizes the etiologic relevance of urban food deserts and their nutritional shortcomings. This paper instead examines the health relevance of foodways--the social dynamics surrounding the production, purchase, and consumption of food. We report on data from 32 photo-elicitation interviews conducted with adult residents of Philadelphia, examining distinct foodways and health concerns that play out in the most commonly discussed retail establishments: corner stores, "Stop and Go's" (delis that also sell beer), and Chinese takeout restaurants. Corner store visits, described as a routinized element of children's school day, were implicated in early life patterning of unsound nutritional choices. Stop and Go's were described as a health threat because of their alcohol sales and tacit promotion of public drunkenness, coupled with accessibility to youth. Stop and Go's and Chinese takeouts both were perceived as generators of violence in part because of on-site sales of alcohol, drug paraphernalia, and illicit drugs. Chinese takeouts also were described as symbolic reminders of African Americans' economic exclusion and as places infused with race/ethnic tension and hostile merchant-customer interactions. Instead of viewing the food environment simply as a source of calories and nutrients, participants discussed the complex social dynamics that play out therein, raising a range of important considerations for (especially disadvantaged) urban residents' safety, physical well-being, and mental health.
Weiss, Eve E.; Asch, David A.
How do urban food environments produce health disparities? The literature currently emphasizes the etiologic relevance of urban food deserts and their nutritional shortcomings. This paper instead examines the health relevance of foodways—the social dynamics surrounding the production, purchase, and consumption of food. We report on data from 32 photo-elicitation interviews conducted with adult residents of Philadelphia, examining distinct foodways and health concerns that play out in the most commonly discussed retail establishments: corner stores, “Stop and Go’s” (delis that also sell beer), and Chinese takeout restaurants. Corner store visits, described as a routinized element of children’s school day, were implicated in early life patterning of unsound nutritional choices. Stop and Go’s were described as a health threat because of their alcohol sales and tacit promotion of public drunkenness, coupled with accessibility to youth. Stop and Go’s and Chinese takeouts both were perceived as generators of violence in part because of on-site sales of alcohol, drug paraphernalia, and illicit drugs. Chinese takeouts also were described as symbolic reminders of African Americans’ economic exclusion and as places infused with race/ethnic tension and hostile merchant–customer interactions. Instead of viewing the food environment simply as a source of calories and nutrients, participants discussed the complex social dynamics that play out therein, raising a range of important considerations for (especially disadvantaged) urban residents’ safety, physical well-being, and mental health. PMID:20354910
Pleasants, Roy A; Riley, Isaretta L; Mannino, David M
The global burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) continues to grow in part due to better outcomes in other major diseases and in part because a substantial portion of the worldwide population continues to be exposed to inhalant toxins. However, a disproportionate burden of COPD occurs in people of low socioeconomic status (SES) due to differences in health behaviors, sociopolitical factors, and social and structural environmental exposures. Tobacco use, occupations with exposure to inhalant toxins, and indoor biomass fuel (BF) exposure are more common in low SES populations. Not only does SES affect the risk of developing COPD and etiologies, it is also associated with worsened COPD health outcomes. Effective interventions in these people are needed to decrease these disparities. Efforts that may help lessen these health inequities in low SES include 1) better surveillance targeting diagnosed and undiagnosed COPD in disadvantaged people, 2) educating the public and those involved in health care provision about the disease, 3) improving access to cost-effective and affordable health care, and 4) markedly increasing the efforts to prevent disease through smoking cessation, minimizing use and exposure to BF, and decreasing occupational exposures. COPD is considered to be one the most preventable major causes of death from a chronic disease in the world; therefore, effective interventions could have a major impact on reducing the global burden of the disease, especially in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. PMID:27785005
Guerrero, Erick G.; Aarons, Gregory; Grella, Christine; Garner, Bryan R.; Cook, Benjamin; Vega, William A.
We evaluated program capacity factors associated with client outcomes in publicly funded substance abuse treatment organizations in one of the most populous and diverse regions of the United States. Using multilevel cross-sectional analyses of program data (n = 97) merged with client data from 2010–2011 for adults (n = 8,599), we examined the relationships between program capacity (leadership, readiness for change, and Medi-Cal payment acceptance) and client wait time and treatment duration. Acceptance of Medi-Cal was associated with shorter wait times, whereas organizational readiness for change was positively related to treatment duration. Staff attributes were negatively related to treatment duration. Overall, compared to low program capacity, high program capacity was negatively associated with wait time and positively related to treatment duration. In conclusion, program capacity, an organizational indicator of performance, plays a significant role in access to and duration of treatment. Implications for health care reform implementation in relation to expansion of public health insurance and capacity building to promote health equities are discussed. PMID:25450596
Davitt, Joan K.
Medicare home health care provides critical skilled nursing and therapy services to patients in their homes, generally after a period in an inpatient facility or nursing home. Disparities in access to, or outcomes of, home health care can result in patient deterioration and increased cost to the Medicare program if patient care needs intensify.…
Holden, Kisha; Charles, Lisa; King, Stephen; McGregor, Brian; Satcher, David; Belton, Allyson
St. Lucia is an island nation in the Eastern Caribbean, with a population of 179,000 people, where chronic health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, are significant. The purpose of this pilot study is to create a model for community health education, tracking, and monitoring of these health conditions, research training, and policy interventions in St. Lucia, which may apply to other Caribbean populations, including those in the U.S. This paper reports on phase one of the study, which utilized a mixed method analytic approach. Adult clients at risk for, or diagnosed with, diabetes (n = 157), and health care providers/clinic administrators (n = 42), were recruited from five healthcare facilities in St. Lucia to assess their views on health status, health services, and improving health equity. Preliminary content analyses indicated that patients and providers acknowledge the relatively high prevalence of diabetes and other chronic illnesses, recognize the impact that socioeconomic status has on health outcomes, and desire improved access to healthcare and improvements to healthcare infrastructures. These findings could inform strategies, such as community education and workforce development, which may help improve health outcomes among St. Lucians with chronic health conditions, and inform similar efforts among other selected populations.
Holden, Kisha; Charles, Lisa; King, Stephen; McGregor, Brian; Satcher, David; Belton, Allyson
St. Lucia is an island nation in the Eastern Caribbean, with a population of 179,000 people, where chronic health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, are significant. The purpose of this pilot study is to create a model for community health education, tracking, and monitoring of these health conditions, research training, and policy interventions in St. Lucia, which may apply to other Caribbean populations, including those in the U.S. This paper reports on phase one of the study, which utilized a mixed method analytic approach. Adult clients at risk for, or diagnosed with, diabetes (n = 157), and health care providers/clinic administrators (n = 42), were recruited from five healthcare facilities in St. Lucia to assess their views on health status, health services, and improving health equity. Preliminary content analyses indicated that patients and providers acknowledge the relatively high prevalence of diabetes and other chronic illnesses, recognize the impact that socioeconomic status has on health outcomes, and desire improved access to healthcare and improvements to healthcare infrastructures. These findings could inform strategies, such as community education and workforce development, which may help improve health outcomes among St. Lucians with chronic health conditions, and inform similar efforts among other selected populations. PMID:26703647
Salowe, Rebecca J.; Sankar, Prithvi; Miller-Ellis, Eydie; Pistilli, Maxwell; Ying, Gui-shuang; O'Brien, Joan M.
Ophthalmology departments can play a unique role in providing care for at-risk patients. This study analyzed the age, gender, and socioeconomic measures for 267,286 unique African American patients seen at University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). Patients seen by the Ophthalmology Department (n=33,801) were older and more likely to be from impoverished zip codes than those seen by other UPHS specialists. These results hint at several inherent advantages of ophthalmology departments in recruiting older, disadvantaged patients to their clinics. We found that supplementing this advantage with strong patient relationships, involvement of community leaders, and customized outreach efforts was key to overcoming access-to-care issues and to reaching these patients. This provides ophthalmologists with a unique opportunity to capture and refer systemic conditions with ocular manifestations and to possibly reduce disparities such as post-hospitalization readmission and mortality observed disproportionately in impoverished populations. PMID:26819970
Salowe, Rebecca J; Sankar, Prithvi; Miller-Ellis, Eydie; Pistilli, Maxwell; Ying, Gui-Shuang; O'Brien, Joan M
Ophthalmology departments can play a unique role in providing care for at-risk patients. This study analyzed the age, gender, and socioeconomic measures for 267,286 unique African American patients seen at University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). Patients seen by the Ophthalmology Department (n=33,801) were older and more likely to be from impoverished zip codes than those seen by other UPHS specialists. These results hint at several inherent advantages of ophthalmology departments in recruiting older, disadvantaged patients to their clinics. We found that supplementing this advantage with strong patient relationships, involvement of community leaders, and customized outreach efforts was key to overcoming access-to-care issues and to reaching these patients. This provides ophthalmologists with a unique opportunity to capture and refer systemic conditions with ocular manifestations and to possibly reduce disparities such as post-hospitalization readmission and mortality observed disproportionately in impoverished populations.
Frenn, Marilyn; Malin, Shelly; Bansal, Naveen; Delgado, Mary; Greer, Yvonne; Havice, Michael; Ho, Mary; Schweizer, Heidi
Those with low income, especially women of African American and Hispanic heritage have the greatest risk of inactivity and obesity. A 4-session (Internet and video) intervention with healthy snack and gym labs was tested in 2 (gym lab in 1) urban low-middle-income middle schools to improve low fat diet and moderate and vigorous physical activity.1 The gym lab was particularly beneficial (p =.002). Fat in diet decreased with each Internet session in which students participated. Percentage of fat in food was reduced significantly p =.018 for Black, White, and Black/Native American girls in the intervention group. Interventions delivered through Internet and video may enable reduction of health disparities in students by encouraging those most at risk to consume 30% or less calories from fat and to engage in moderate and vigorous physical activity.
Dilworth-Anderson, Peggye; Pierre, Geraldine; Hilliard, Tandrea S
Older minority Americans experience worse health outcomes than their white counterparts, exhibiting the need for social justice in all areas of their health care. Justice, fairness, and equity are crucial to minimizing conditions that adversely affect the health of individuals and communities. In this paper, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is used as an example of a health care disparity among elderly Americans that requires social justice interventions. Cultural factors play a crucial role in AD screening, diagnosis, and access to care, and are often a barrier to support and equality for minority communities. The "conundrum of health disparities" refers to the interplay between disparity, social justice, and cultural interpretation, and encourages researchers to understand both (1) disparity caused by economic and structural barriers to access, treatment, and diagnosis, and (2) disparity due to cultural interpretation of disease, in order to effectively address health care issues and concerns among elderly Americans.
Brown, David Richard; Hernández, Agueda; Saint-Jean, Gilbert; Evans, Siân; Tafari, Ida; Brewster, Luther G; Celestin, Michel J; Gómez-Estefan, Carlos; Regalado, Fernando; Akal, Siri; Nierenberg, Barry; Kauschinger, Elaine D; Schwartz, Robert; Page, J Bryan
Healthy People 2010 made it a priority to eliminate health disparities. We used a rapid assessment response and evaluation (RARE) to launch a program of participatory action research focused on health disparities in an urban, disadvantaged Black community serviced by a major south Florida health center. We formed partnerships with community members, identified local health disparities, and guided interventions targeting health disparities. We describe the RARE structure used to triangulate data sources and guide intervention plans as well as findings and conclusions drawn from scientific literature and epidemiological, historic, planning, clinical, and ethnographic data. Disenfranchisement and socioeconomic deprivation emerged as the principal determinants of local health disparities and the most appropriate targets for intervention.
Brown, David Richard; Hernández, Agueda; Saint-Jean, Gilbert; Evans, Siân; Tafari, Ida; Brewster, Luther G.; Celestin, Michel J.; Gómez-Estefan, Carlos; Regalado, Fernando; Akal, Siri; Nierenberg, Barry; Kauschinger, Elaine D.; Schwartz, Robert; Page, J. Bryan
Healthy People 2010 made it a priority to eliminate health disparities. We used a rapid assessment response and evaluation (RARE) to launch a program of participatory action research focused on health disparities in an urban, disadvantaged Black community serviced by a major south Florida health center. We formed partnerships with community members, identified local health disparities, and guided interventions targeting health disparities. We describe the RARE structure used to triangulate data sources and guide intervention plans as well as findings and conclusions drawn from scientific literature and epidemiological, historic, planning, clinical, and ethnographic data. Disenfranchisement and socioeconomic deprivation emerged as the principal determinants of local health disparities and the most appropriate targets for intervention. PMID:18048802
... American men. More NIH Launching Landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study NIH researchers are learning about child health and brain development through the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study. More Extramural Research Programs NIMHD Funding Opportunities ...
Background: There is an increasing interest in the notion of health disparities, inequities and inequalities in Canada and elsewhere. In Canada, individuals with disabilities represent one of six groups identified as particularly vulnerable to health disparities. Method: This paper combines the literature related to the concepts of inequity and…
Tsai, Wen-Chen; Kung, Pei-Tseng; Wang, Jong-Yi
Children with disabilities face more barriers accessing preventive health services. Prior research has documented disparities in the receipt of these services. However, most are limited to specific types of disability or care. This study investigates disparities in the use of preventive health care among children with disabilities in Taiwan. Three…
Kim, Giyeon; DeCoster, Jamie; Huang, Chao-Hui; Parmelee, Patricia
Purpose of the Study: The present study examined the characteristics of health disparities grants funded by National Institute on Aging (NIA) from 2000 to 2010. Objectives were (a) to examine longitudinal trends in health disparities-related grants funded by NIA and (b) to identify moderators of these trends. Design and Methods: Our primary data…
Stempski, Sarah; Liu, Lenna; Grow, H. Mollie; Pomietto, Maureen; Chung, Celeste; Shumann, Amy; Bennett, Elizabeth
Well-known disparities exist in rates of obesity and drowning, two public health priorities. Addressing these disparities by increasing access to safe swimming and water recreation may yield benefits for both obesity and injury prevention. "Everyone Swims," a community partnership, brought community health clinics and water recreation…
Shah, Gulzar H.; Sheahan, John P.
Context: Health disparities are among the critical public health challenges. Objectives: To analyze the extent to which local health departments (LHDs) perform activities for addressing health disparities, changes in proportion of LHDs’ performing those activities since 2005, and factors associated with variation in such engagement. Methods: We used the 2013 National Profile of LHDs Survey to perform Logistic Regression of activities LHDs performed to address health disparities. Results: About 20 percent of LHDs did not perform any activity to address health disparities. Significant decreases occurred since 2005 in the proportion of LHDs that performed health disparity reduction/elimination activities for four activities. LHD characteristics significantly associated (p≤0.05) with the increased likelihood of performing activities to address health disparities were: recent completion of community health assessment, community health improvement plan and agency wide strategic plan. Other significant positive impacts on such activities included per capita expenditures, local governance, having one or more local boards of health, larger population size and metropolitan status of the LHD jurisdiction. Conclusions: Reduced infrastructural capacity of LHDs has resulted in fewer LHDs addressing health disparities in their jurisdictions. LHD characteristics associated with higher performance of activities for health disparity reduction identified by this research have important policy implications. PMID:26703693
Spengler, Robert F.; Wagner, Robin M.; Melanson, Cindi; Skillen, Elizabeth L.; Mays, Robert A.; Heurtin-Roberts, Suzanne; Long, Judith A.
Despite efforts to the contrary, disparities in health and health care persist in the United States. To solve this problem, federal agencies representing different disciplines and perspectives are collaborating on a variety of transdisciplinary research initiatives. The most recent of these initiatives was launched in 2006 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office of Public Health Research and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health brought together federal partners representing a variety of disciplines to form the Federal Collaboration on Health Disparities Research (FCHDR). FCHDR collaborates with a wide variety of federal and nonfederal partners to support and disseminate research that aims to reduce or eliminate disparities in health and health care. Given the complexity involved in eliminating health disparities, there is a need for more transdisciplinary, collaborative research, and facilitating that research is FCHDR's mission. PMID:19762652
Fiscella, Kevin; Kitzman, Harriet
Recent data suggest that that the United States is failing to make significant progress toward the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating health disparities. One missing element from the US strategy for achieving this goal is a focus on gaps in child development and achievement. Academic achievement and education seem to be critical determinants of health across the life span and disparities in one contribute to disparities in the other. Despite these linkages, national policy treats child education and health as separate. Landmark education legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, is due for Congressional reauthorization. It seeks to eliminate gaps in academic child achievement by 2014. It does so by introducing accountability for states, school districts, and schools. In this special article, we review health disparities and contributors to child achievement gaps. We review changes in achievement gaps over time and potential contributors to the limited success of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, including its unfunded mandates and unfounded assumptions. We conclude with key reforms, which include addressing gaps in child school readiness through adequate investment in child health and early education and reductions in child poverty; closing the gap in child achievement by ensuring equity in school accountability standards; and, importantly, ensuring equity in school funding so that resources are allocated on the basis of the needs of the students. This will ensure that schools, particularly those serving large numbers of poor and minority children, have the resources necessary to promote optimal learning.
Within the analysis of the socio-economic context and the data from hospital discharges, the themes of social inequalities, health disparities, determinants of health care are discussed. Regular immigrants versus irregular, wealthy people versus those in poverty, they have access to and receive different health treatments, besides presenting risk conditions significantly different in relation to their social situation. Through the analysis of hospital discharge records as well as data from injuries at work, besides underestimations in foreign people and the greater risk of injuries for immigrants, it is evident how the aspects of inequalities connected to socioeconomic determinants and the different access to health services are pivotal for our health and welfare and that a profound change is required to tackle them properly, focusing on intervention on health care system, according to models which take into account not only evidence based medicine, but also narrative medicine, not only health protection, but also health promotion, so that equity and quality of health care is warranted for everyone.
Mercado, Jenny; Hill, Jana; Katz, Sarah C.
Introduction The Sonoma County Farmworker Health Survey (FHS) was conducted to describe the health and well-being of adult farmworkers in Sonoma County, California, and to identify preventable health disparities for this population. Methods From September 2013 through January 2014, venue-based and convenience sampling were used to survey 293 farmworkers aged 18 years or older. The questions included self-rated general health, diabetes and hypertension, and body mass index. To identify disparities between surveyed farmworkers and Sonoma County residents overall, age-adjusted prevalence estimates were developed by using indirect standardization to the adult (≥18 years) Sonoma County sample from the California Health Interview Survey for 2011–2012. Results Surveyed farmworkers were mostly male (91%) and Latino or Hispanic (95%), and 54% had an educational attainment of 8th grade or less. Most (81%) farmworkers reported their families earned less than $30,000 in 2012. After adjusting for age, 30% of farmworkers had US-based health insurance as compared with the 86% of Sonoma County adults in 2011–2012 (P < .001), and 15% of farmworkers reported ever being diagnosed with diabetes after adjusting for age as compared with 5% of Sonoma County adults (P = .002). After adjusting for age, 44% of farmworkers reported poor or fair health in general as compared with 13% of Sonoma County adults (P < .001). Conclusion We identified significant health disparities between Sonoma County farmworkers and Sonoma County adults overall. Additional research and new health policies are necessary to eliminate these health disparities and to facilitate farmworker access to the health care system. PMID:27032988
Knowledge of the sources of race-based health disparities could improve nursing practice and education in minority underserved communities. This purpose of this paper was to consider if Black-nonBlack health disparities were at least in part explained by Black-nonBlack disparities in access to Internet-based health information. With data on the U.S. adult population from the 2012 General Social Survey, the parameters of a health production function in which computer usage as an input was estimated. It was found that while there are Black-nonBlack disparities in health, once computer usage was accounted for, Black-nonBlack health disparities disappeared. This suggests nursing and health interventions that improve Internet access for Black patients in underserved communities could improve the health of Black Americans and close the racial health disparities gap. These findings complement recent nursing researchfindings that suggest closing Black-nonBlack disparities in computer access, the "digital divide," can render nursing practice more effective in providing care to minority and underserved communities.
House, James S
David Mechanic has been a principal founder of modern sociological and social science approaches to health, especially in relation to health policy. These approaches have since the 1950s and 1960s resurrected ideas that had currency in the mid-nineteenth century but seemed crucified, dead, and buried by the rise of modern biomedicine from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. Problems and lacunae in purely biomedical approaches to health in the later twentieth century, along with developments of new biopsychosocial approaches to health, have spawned a return toward ideas of Rudolf Virchow and mid-nineteenth-century social medicine that social determinants and disparities are major drivers of population health. Since individual health and population health constitute the major determinants of health care utilization and expenditures, social determinants and disparities in health are arguably the foundation of a new "demand-side" health policy that can resolve America's paradoxical health policy crisis of spending increasingly more than any nation on health care and insurance yet achieving increasingly worsening health outcomes relative to virtually all developed countries and some developing ones as well, something that current "supply-side" health policy, including Obamacare, cannot do, important as it is for expanding access to health insurance and care.
Kahn, Robert S.; Wilson, Kathryn; Wise, Paul H.
OBJECTIVE: Relatively little is known about the intergenerational mechanisms that lead to social disparities in child health. We examined whether the association between low socioeconomic status (SES) and child behavior problems is mediated by maternal health conditions and behavior. METHODS: Prospective cohort data (1979-1998) on 2,677 children and their mothers were obtained from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. SES, the Child Behavior Problems Index (BPI), and maternal smoking, depressive symptoms, and alcohol use before, during, and after pregnancy were examined. RESULTS: Lower income and lower maternal education were associated with increased child BPI scores. Adjustment for maternal smoking, depressive symptoms, and alcohol use attenuated the associations between SES and child BPI by 26% to 49%. These maternal health conditions often occurred together, persisted over time, and were associated with the mother's own childhood SES and pre-pregnancy health. CONCLUSIONS: Social disparities in women's health conditions may help shape the likelihood of behavior problems in the subsequent generation. Improved public health programs and services for disadvantaged women across the lifecourse may not only address their own urgent health needs, but reduce social disparities in the health and well-being of their children. PMID:16025720
Son, Esther; Parish, Susan L; Igdalsky, Leah
There is a dearth of information on the quality of health care for Asian American children and particularly Asian children with special health care needs (CSHCN). The goal of this article was to determine whether there were disparities in quality of health care for Asian CSHCN, whose experiences have not been studied. Data were derived from the 2009-2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (ns = 355 non-Hispanic Asian children and 4,343 non-Hispanic white CSHCN). Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between racial identity (that is, non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic Asian) and quality of health care. Racial disparities in quality of health care were substantial between Asian and white CSHCN in 2009-2010. Asian parents were significantly less likely than white parents to report that their health care provider provided the specific information they needed, helped them feel like a partner in their child's care, and was sensitive to the family's values and customs. The development and testing of specific, targeted policy and practice interventions to reduce disparities in health care quality for these children are urgently needed.
Higgins, Stephen T.
This Special Issue of Preventive Medicine (PM) is the 3rd that we have organized on behavior change, health, and health disparities. This is a topic of critical importance to improving U.S. population health. There is broad scientific consensus that personal behaviors such as cigarette smoking, other substance abuse, and physical inactivity/obesity are among the most important modifiable causes of chronic disease and its adverse impacts on population health. Hence, effectively promoting health-related behavior change needs to be a key component of health care research and policy. There is also broad recognition that while these problems extend throughout the population, they disproportionately impact economically disadvantaged populations and other vulnerable populations and represent a major contributor to health disparities. Thus, behavior change represents an essential step in curtailing health disparities, which receives special attention in this 3rd Special Issue. We also devote considerable space to the longstanding challenges of reducing cigarette smoking and use of other tobacco and nicotine delivery products in vulnerable populations, obesity, and for the first time food insecurity. Across each of these topics we include contributions from highly accomplished policymakers and scientists to acquaint readers with recent accomplishments as well as remaining knowledge gaps and challenges. PMID:27693562
Golden, Sherita Hill; Purnell, Tanjala; Halbert, Jennifer P; Matens, Richard; Miller, Edgar R Pete; Levine, David M; Nguyen, Tam H; Gudzune, Kimberly A; Crews, Deidra C; Mahlangu-Ngcobo, Mankekolo; Cooper, Lisa A
To overcome cardiovascular disease (CVD) disparities impacting high-risk populations, it is critical to train researchers and leaders in conducting community-engaged CVD disparities research. The authors summarize the key elements, implementation, and preliminary outcomes of the CVD Disparities Fellowship and Summer Internship Programs at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2010, program faculty and coordinators established a transdisciplinary CVD disparities training and career development fellowship program for scientific investigators who desire to conduct community-engaged clinical and translational disparities research. The program was developed to enhance mentorship support and research training for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and predoctoral students interested in conducting CVD disparities research. A CVD Disparities Summer Internship Program for undergraduate and preprofessional students was also created to provide a broad experience in public health and health disparities in Baltimore, Maryland, with a focus on CVD. Since 2010, 39 predoctoral, postdoctoral, and faculty fellows have completed the program. Participating fellows have published disparities-related research and given presentations both nationally and internationally. Five research grant awards have been received by faculty fellows. Eight undergraduates, one postbaccalaureate, and two medical professional students representing seven universities have participated in the summer undergraduate internship. Over half of the undergraduate students are applying to or have been accepted into medical or graduate school. The tailored CVD health disparities training curriculum has been successful at equipping varying levels of trainees (from undergraduate students to faculty) with clinical research and public health expertise to conducting community-engaged CVD disparities research.
Golden, Sherita Hill; Purnell, Tanjala; Halbert, Jennifer P.; Matens, Richard; Miller, Edgar R. “Pete”; Levine, David M.; Nguyen, Tam H.; Gudzune, Kimberly A.; Crews, Deidra C.; Mahlangu-Ngcobo, Mankekolo; Cooper, Lisa A.
To overcome cardiovascular disease (CVD) disparities impacting high-risk populations, it is critical to train researchers and leaders in conducting community-engaged CVD disparities research. The authors summarize the key elements, implementation, and preliminary outcomes of the CVD Disparities Fellowship and Summer Internship Programs at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Bloomberg School of Public Health. In 2010, program faculty and coordinators established a trans-disciplinary CVD disparities training and career development fellowship program for scientific investigators who desire to conduct community-engaged clinical and translational disparities research. The program was developed to enhance mentorship support and research training for faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and pre-doctoral students interested in conducting CVD disparities research. A CVD Disparities Summer Internship Program for undergraduate and pre-professional students was also created to provide a broad experience in public health and health disparities in Baltimore, Maryland, with a focus on CVD. Since 2010, 39 pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and faculty fellows have completed the program. Participating fellows have published disparities-related research and given presentations both nationally and internationally. Five research grant awards have been received by faculty fellows. Eight undergraduates, 1 post-baccalaureate, and 2 medical professional students representing seven universities have participated in the summer undergraduate internship. Over half of the undergraduate students are applying to or have been accepted into medical or graduate school. The tailored CVD health disparities training curriculum has been successful at equipping varying levels of trainees (from undergraduate students to faculty) with clinical research and public health expertise to conducting community-engaged CVD disparities research. PMID:25054421
Jackson, Chazeman S; Gracia, J Nadine
Despite major advances in medicine and public health during the past few decades, disparities in health and health care persist. Racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States are at disproportionate risk of being uninsured, lacking access to care, and experiencing worse health outcomes from preventable and treatable conditions. As reducing these disparities has become a national priority, insight into the social determinants of health has become increasingly important. This article offers a rationale for increasing the diversity and cultural competency of the health and health-care workforce, and describes key strategies led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health to promote cultural competency in the health-care system and strengthen community-level approaches to improving health and health care for all.
LaVeist, Thomas; Thorpe, Roland; Bowen-Reid, Terra; Jackson, John; Gary, Tiffany; Gaskin, Darrell; Browne, Dorothy
Progress in understanding the nature of health disparities requires data that are race-comparative while overcoming confounding between race, socioeconomic status, and segregation. The Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities (EHDIC) study is a multisite cohort study that will address these confounders by examining the nature of health disparities within racially integrated communities without racial disparities in socioeconomic status. Data consisted of a structured questionnaire and blood pressure measurements collected from a sample of the adult population (age 18 and older) of two racially integrated contiguous census tracts. This manuscript reports on baseline results from the first EHDIC site, a low-income urban community in southwest Baltimore, Maryland (EHDIC-SWB). In the adjusted models, African Americans had lower rates of smoking and fair or poor self-rated health than whites, but no race differences in obesity, drinking, or physical inactivity. Our findings indicate that accounting for race differences in exposure to social conditions reduces or eliminates some health-related disparities. Moreover, these findings suggest that solutions to the seemingly intractable health disparities problem that target social determinants may be effective, especially those factors that are confounded with racial segregation. Future research in the area of health disparities should seek ways to account for confounding from SES and segregation.
Gee, Gilbert C.; Payne-Sturges, Devon C.
Although it is often acknowledged that social and environmental factors interact to produce racial and ethnic environmental health disparities, it is still unclear how this occurs. Despite continued controversy, the environmental justice movement has provided some insight by suggesting that disadvantaged communities face greater likelihood of exposure to ambient hazards. The exposure–disease paradigm has long suggested that differential “vulnerability” may modify the effects of toxicants on biological systems. However, relatively little work has been done to specify whether racial and ethnic minorities may have greater vulnerability than do majority populations and, further, what these vulnerabilities may be. We suggest that psychosocial stress may be the vulnerability factor that links social conditions with environmental hazards. Psychosocial stress can lead to acute and chronic changes in the functioning of body systems (e.g., immune) and also lead directly to illness. In this article we present a multidisciplinary framework integrating these ideas. We also argue that residential segregation leads to differential experiences of community stress, exposure to pollutants, and access to community resources. When not counterbalanced by resources, stressors may lead to heightened vulnerability to environmental hazards. PMID:15579407
Braciszewski, Jordan M.; Colby, Suzanne M.
Youth aging out of foster care face a challenging road to independence. Following exposure to myriad risk factors such as abuse, neglect, parental substance use, and severe housing mobility, supportive services decrease upon exit from care, often increasing risk for substance use, homelessness, and unemployment. Although tobacco use is also highly prevalent, little attention has been paid to screening, assessment, and treatment of tobacco use in this vulnerable group. The current study (N = 116) reports on tobacco use prevalence, consequences, and co-occurrence with other substances in a sample of youth (ages 18 to 19) exiting the foster care system. In the face of an overall decrease in tobacco use among general population adolescents and young adults, results suggest disproportionate levels of lifetime, recent, and daily use among foster youth. Prevalence of recent tobacco use (46%) is nearly triple national rates, while daily smoking (32%) is almost four times that of general population young adults. Tobacco users were more likely than non-users to drink (70% vs. 40%) and to smoke marijuana (72% vs. 25%). We strongly encourage researchers and practitioners to increase attention to this tobacco-related health disparity. PMID:26478645
Gee, Gilbert C; Payne-Sturges, Devon C
Although it is often acknowledged that social and environmental factors interact to produce racial and ethnic environmental health disparities, it is still unclear how this occurs. Despite continued controversy, the environmental justice movement has provided some insight by suggesting that disadvantaged communities face greater likelihood of exposure to ambient hazards. The exposure-disease paradigm has long suggested that differential "vulnerability" may modify the effects of toxicants on biological systems. However, relatively little work has been done to specify whether racial and ethnic minorities may have greater vulnerability than do majority populations and, further, what these vulnerabilities may be. We suggest that psychosocial stress may be the vulnerability factor that links social conditions with environmental hazards. Psychosocial stress can lead to acute and chronic changes in the functioning of body systems (e.g., immune) and also lead directly to illness. In this article we present a multidisciplinary framework integrating these ideas. We also argue that residential segregation leads to differential experiences of community stress, exposure to pollutants, and access to community resources. When not counterbalanced by resources, stressors may lead to heightened vulnerability to environmental hazards.
Rhee, Kyu B.; Williams, Kester; Sanchez, Idalia; Sy, Francisco S.; Stinson, Nathaniel; Ruffin, John
In December 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsored the first NIH Summit showcasing its investment and contribution to health disparities research and unveiling a framework for moving this important field forward. The Summit, titled “The Science of Eliminating Health Disparities,” drew on extensive experience of experts leading health disparities research transformation in diverse fields. The Summit also provided a historic educational opportunity to contribute to health care reform. The theme, addressing disparities through integration of science, practice, and policy, introduced a paradigm for advancing research through transformational, translational, and transdisciplinary research. Engaging active participation throughout the Summit generated recommendations bridging science, practice, and policy, including action on social determinants of health, community engagement, broad partnerships, capacity-building, and media outreach. PMID:20147660
Hinnant, Amanda; Oh, Hyun Jee; Caburnay, Charlene A.; Kreuter, Matthew W.
News stories reporting race-specific health information commonly emphasize disparities between racial groups. But recent research suggests this focus on disparities has unintended effects on African American audiences, generating negative emotions and less interest in preventive behaviors (Nicholson RA, Kreuter MW, Lapka C "et al." Unintended…
Benabentos, Rocio; Ray, Payal; Kumar, Deepak
Disparities in health and healthcare are a major concern in the United States and worldwide. Approaches to alleviate these disparities must be multifaceted and should include initiatives that touch upon the diverse areas that influence the healthcare system. Developing a strong biomedical workforce with an awareness of the issues concerning health…
Johnson, Jerry C.; Smith, Nancy H.
The evidence of racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes is overwhelming. Excess rates of death, morbidity, and disability are prevalent among racial and ethnic minority elders. Effective collaboration with community organizations is a crucial component of efforts to reduce and eliminate disparities. (Contains 39 references.) (Author/JOW)
Juarez, Paul D.; Matthews-Juarez, Patricia; Hood, Darryl B.; Im, Wansoo; Levine, Robert S.; Kilbourne, Barbara J.; Langston, Michael A.; Al-Hamdan, Mohammad Z.; Crosson, William L.; Estes, Maurice G.; Estes, Sue M.; Agboto, Vincent K.; Robinson, Paul; Wilson, Sacoby; Lichtveld, Maureen Y.
The lack of progress in reducing health disparities suggests that new approaches are needed if we are to achieve meaningful, equitable, and lasting reductions. Current scientific paradigms do not adequately capture the complexity of the relationships between environment, personal health and population level disparities. The public health exposome is presented as a universal exposure tracking framework for integrating complex relationships between exogenous and endogenous exposures across the lifespan from conception to death. It uses a social-ecological framework that builds on the exposome paradigm for conceptualizing how exogenous exposures “get under the skin”. The public health exposome approach has led our team to develop a taxonomy and bioinformatics infrastructure to integrate health outcomes data with thousands of sources of exogenous exposure, organized in four broad domains: natural, built, social, and policy environments. With the input of a transdisciplinary team, we have borrowed and applied the methods, tools and terms from various disciplines to measure the effects of environmental exposures on personal and population health outcomes and disparities, many of which may not manifest until many years later. As is customary with a paradigm shift, this approach has far reaching implications for research methods and design, analytics, community engagement strategies, and research training. PMID:25514145
Juarez, Paul D; Matthews-Juarez, Patricia; Hood, Darryl B; Im, Wansoo; Levine, Robert S; Kilbourne, Barbara J; Langston, Michael A; Al-Hamdan, Mohammad Z; Crosson, William L; Estes, Maurice G; Estes, Sue M; Agboto, Vincent K; Robinson, Paul; Wilson, Sacoby; Lichtveld, Maureen Y
The lack of progress in reducing health disparities suggests that new approaches are needed if we are to achieve meaningful, equitable, and lasting reductions. Current scientific paradigms do not adequately capture the complexity of the relationships between environment, personal health and population level disparities. The public health exposome is presented as a universal exposure tracking framework for integrating complex relationships between exogenous and endogenous exposures across the lifespan from conception to death. It uses a social-ecological framework that builds on the exposome paradigm for conceptualizing how exogenous exposures "get under the skin". The public health exposome approach has led our team to develop a taxonomy and bioinformatics infrastructure to integrate health outcomes data with thousands of sources of exogenous exposure, organized in four broad domains: natural, built, social, and policy environments. With the input of a transdisciplinary team, we have borrowed and applied the methods, tools and terms from various disciplines to measure the effects of environmental exposures on personal and population health outcomes and disparities, many of which may not manifest until many years later. As is customary with a paradigm shift, this approach has far reaching implications for research methods and design, analytics, community engagement strategies, and research training.
Wallington, Sherrie Flynt; Blake, Kelly D; Taylor-Clark, Kalahn; Viswanath, K
News coverage of health topics influences knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors at the individual level, and agendas and actions at the institutional and policy levels. Because disparities in health often are the result of social inequalities that require community-level or policy-level solutions, news stories employing a health disparities news frame may contribute to agenda-setting among opinion leaders and policymakers and lead to policy efforts aimed at reducing health disparities. This study objective was to conduct an exploratory analysis to qualitatively describe barriers that health journalists face when covering health disparities in local media. Between June and October 2007, 18 journalists from television, print, and radio in Boston, Lawrence, and Worcester, Massachusetts, were recruited using a purposive sampling technique. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted by telephone, and the crystallization/immersion method was used to conduct a qualitative analysis of interview transcripts. Our results revealed that journalists said that they consider several angles when developing health stories, including public impact and personal behavior change. Challenges to employing a health disparities frame included inability to translate how research findings may impact different socioeconomic groups, and difficulty understanding how findings may translate across racial/ethnic groups. Several journalists reported that disparities-focused stories are "less palatable" for some audiences. This exploratory study offers insights into the challenges that local news media face in using health disparities news frames in their routine coverage of health news. Public health practitioners may use these findings to inform communication efforts with local media in order to advance the public dialogue about health disparities.
So, Winnie K. W.; Chan, Raymond Javan; Truant, Tracy; Trevatt, Paul; Bialous, Stella Aguinaga; Barton-Burke, Margaret
This paper examines cancer health disparities and contributing factors at national, regional, and international levels. The authors all live in different countries and regions with different health-care systems and practices. Despite the shared cancer nursing perspective, each country or global region approaches cancer disparities differently. With globalization the world is becoming smaller, and in turn becoming interconnected and interdependent. This article focuses on cancer health disparities and global cancer nursing, exemplifying these concepts about the impact and implications of person-centered care. PMID:28083548
Alegría, Margarita; Pérez, Debra Joy; Williams, Sandra
Ethnic and racial disparities in mental health are driven by social factors such as housing, education, and income. Many of these social factors are different for minorities than they are for whites. Policies that address gaps in these social factors therefore can address mental health status disparities. We analyze three policies and their impact on minorities: the Individuals with Disability Education Act, Section 8 housing vouchers, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Two of the three policies appear to have been effective in reducing social inequalities between whites and minorities. Expansion of public policies can be the mechanism to eliminate mental health status disparities for minorities.
Ketcham, Jonathan D; Lutfey, Karen E; Gerstenberger, Eric; Link, Carol L; McKinlay, John B
The authors develop a conceptual framework regarding how information technology (IT) can alter within-physician disparities, and they empirically test some of its implications in the context of coronary heart disease. Using a random experiment on 256 primary care physicians, the authors analyze the relationships between three IT functions (feedback and two types of clinical decision support) and five process-of-care measures. Endogeneity is addressed by eliminating unobserved patient characteristics with vignettes and by proxying for omitted physician characteristics. The results indicate that IT has no effects on physicians' diagnostic certainty and treatment of vignette patients overall. The authors find that treatment and certainty differ by patient age, gender, and race. Consistent with the framework, IT's effects on these disparities are complex. Feedback eliminated the gender disparities, but the relationships differed for other IT functions and process measures. Current policies to reduce disparities and increase IT adoption may be in discord.
Lopez, Steven R.; Barrio, Concepcion; Kopelowicz, Alex; Vega, William A.
The U.S. Surgeon General's report "Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity--A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001) identified significant disparities in mental health care for Latinos and recommended directions for future research and mental health services. We update…
Nguyen, Duy H.; Shimasaki, Suzuho; Stafford, Helen Shi
The USA seeks to eliminate health disparities by stimulating the rapid uptake of health-promoting behaviors within disadvantaged communities. A health journalism internship incorporates social marketing strategies to increase communities' access to cancer information, while helping the interns who are recruited from underrepresented communities gain admission to top graduate schools. Interns are taught basic health journalism skills that enable them to create immediate streams of cancer-related press releases for submission to community newspapers. Interns are charged with the social responsibility of continuing this dissemination process throughout their careers. Intermediate outcomes are measured as mediators of distal behavioral change goals. PMID:20186519
Nguyen, Duy H; Shimasaki, Suzuho; Stafford, Helen Shi; Sadler, Georgia Robins
The USA seeks to eliminate health disparities by stimulating the rapid uptake of health-promoting behaviors within disadvantaged communities. A health journalism internship incorporates social marketing strategies to increase communities' access to cancer information, while helping the interns who are recruited from underrepresented communities gain admission to top graduate schools. Interns are taught basic health journalism skills that enable them to create immediate streams of cancer-related press releases for submission to community newspapers. Interns are charged with the social responsibility of continuing this dissemination process throughout their careers. Intermediate outcomes are measured as mediators of distal behavioral change goals.
Diette, Gregory B; Rand, Cynthia
Asthma is a common, chronic illness with substantial morbidity, especially for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. The care of the patient with asthma is complex and depends ideally on excellent communication between patients and health-care providers. Communication is essential for the patient to communicate the severity of his or her illness, as well as for the health-care provider to instruct patients on pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic care. This article describes evidence for poor provider/patient communication as a contributor to health-care disparities for minority patients with asthma. Communication problems stem from issues with patients, health-care providers, and health-care systems. It is likely that asthma disparities can be improved, in part, by improving patient/provider communication. While much is known presently about the problem of patient/provider communication in asthma, there is a need to improve and extend the evidence base on the role of effective communication of asthma care and the links to outcomes for minorities. Additional studies are needed that document the extent to which problems with doctor/patient communication lead to inadequate care and poor outcomes for minorities with asthma, as well as mechanisms by which these disparities occur.
Thomas, Stephen B.; Quinn, Sandra Crouse; Butler, James; Fryer, Craig S.; Garza, Mary A.
Achieving health equity, driven by the elimination of health disparities, is a goal of Healthy People 2020. In recent decades, the improvement in health status has been remarkable for the U.S. population as a whole. However, racial and ethnic minority populations continue to lag behind whites with a quality of life diminished by illness from preventable chronic diseases and a life span cut short by premature death. We examine a conceptual framework of three generations of health disparities research to understand (a) data trends, (b) factors driving disparities, and (c) solutions for closing the gap. We propose a new, fourth generation of research grounded in public health critical race praxis, utilizing comprehensive interventions to address race, racism, and structural inequalities and advancing evaluation methods to foster our ability to eliminate disparities. This new generation demands that we address the researcher’s own biases as part of the research process. PMID:21219164
Pollack, Keshia; Rutkow, Lainie
We conducted a legal mapping study of state bills related to racial/ethnic health disparities in all 50 states between 2002 and 2011. Forty-five states introduced at least 1 bill that specifically targeted racial/ethnic health disparities; we analyzed 607 total bills. Of these 607 bills, 330 were passed into law (54.4%). These bills approached eliminating racial/ethnic health disparities by developing governmental infrastructure, providing appropriations, and focusing on specific diseases and data collection. In addition, states tackled emerging topics that were previously lacking laws, particularly Hispanic health. Legislation is an important policy tool for states to advance the elimination of racial/ethnic health disparities. PMID:25905834
Vargas Bustamante, Arturo; Fang, Hai; Rizzo, John A; Ortega, Alexander N
This study hypothesizes that differences in health care access and utilization exist across Latino adults (>18 years), with U.S. Latino adults of Mexican ancestry demonstrating the worst patterns of access and utilization. The analyses use the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data from 1999 to 2007 (N = 33,908). The authors first estimate the disparities in health care access and utilization among different categories of Latinos. They also implement Blinder-Oaxaca techniques to decompose disparities into observed and unobserved components, comparing Latinos of Mexican ancestry with non-Mexican Latinos. Latinos of Mexican ancestry consistently demonstrate lower health care access and utilization patterns than non-Mexican Latinos. Health insurance and region of residence were the most important factors that explained observable differences. In contrast, language and citizenship status were relatively unimportant. Although a significant share of these disparities may be explained by observed characteristics, disparities because of unobserved heterogeneity among the different Latino cohorts are also considerable.
Despite an accumulating body of literature addressing racial/ethnic disparities in children’s health and health care, there have been few published studies of interventions that have been successful in eliminating these disparities. The objectives of this article, therefore, are to (1) describe 3 interventions that have been successful in eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in children’s health and health care, (2) high-light tips and pitfalls regarding devising, implementing, and evaluating pediatric disparities interventions, and (3) propose a research agenda for pediatric disparities interventions. Key characteristics of the 3 successful interventions include rigorous study designs; large sample sizes; appropriate comparison groups; community-based interventions that are culturally and linguistically sensitive and involve collaboration with participants; research staff from the same community as the participants; appropriate blinding of outcomes assessors; and statistical adjustment of outcomes for relevant covariates. On the basis of these characteristics, I propose tips, pitfalls, an approach, and a research agenda for devising, implementing, and evaluating successful pediatric disparities interventions. Examination of 3 successful interventions indicates that pediatric health care disparities can be eliminated. Achievement of this goal requires an intervention that is rigorous, evidence-based, and culturally and linguistically appropriate. The intervention must also include community collaboration, minimize attrition, adjust for potential confounders, and incorporate mechanisms for sustainability. PMID:19861473
Despite an accumulating body of literature addressing racial/ethnic disparities in children's health and health care, there have been few published studies of interventions that have been successful in eliminating these disparities. The objectives of this article, therefore, are to (1) describe 3 interventions that have been successful in eliminating racial/ethnic disparities in children's health and health care, (2) highlight tips and pitfalls regarding devising, implementing, and evaluating pediatric disparities interventions, and (3) propose a research agenda for pediatric disparities interventions. Key characteristics of the 3 successful interventions include rigorous study designs; large sample sizes; appropriate comparison groups; community-based interventions that are culturally and linguistically sensitive and involve collaboration with participants; research staff from the same community as the participants; appropriate blinding of outcomes assessors; and statistical adjustment of outcomes for relevant covariates. On the basis of these characteristics, I propose tips, pitfalls, an approach, and a research agenda for devising, implementing, and evaluating successful pediatric disparities interventions. Examination of 3 successful interventions indicates that pediatric health care disparities can be eliminated. Achievement of this goal requires an intervention that is rigorous, evidence-based, and culturally and linguistically appropriate. The intervention must also include community collaboration, minimize attrition, adjust for potential confounders, and incorporate mechanisms for sustainability.
Jennings, Viniece; Gaither, Cassandra Johnson
Health disparities occur when adverse health conditions are unequal across populations due in part to gaps in wealth. These disparities continue to plague global health. Decades of research suggests that the natural environment can play a key role in sustaining the health of the public. However, the influence of the natural environment on health disparities is not well-articulated. Green spaces provide ecosystem services that are vital to public health. This paper discusses the link between green spaces and some of the nation's leading health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular health, heat-related illness, and psychological health. These associations are discussed in terms of key demographic variables—race, ethnicity, and income. The authors also identify research gaps and recommendations for future research.
Jennings, Viniece; Johnson Gaither, Cassandra
Health disparities occur when adverse health conditions are unequal across populations due in part to gaps in wealth. These disparities continue to plague global health. Decades of research suggests that the natural environment can play a key role in sustaining the health of the public. However, the influence of the natural environment on health disparities is not well-articulated. Green spaces provide ecosystem services that are vital to public health. This paper discusses the link between green spaces and some of the nation’s leading health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular health, heat-related illness, and psychological health. These associations are discussed in terms of key demographic variables—race, ethnicity, and income. The authors also identify research gaps and recommendations for future research. PMID:25674782
Wang, Xuefeng; Ji, Ping; Zhang, Yuanhao; LaComb, Joseph F.; Tian, Xinyu; Li, Ellen; Williams, Jennie L.
Background Incidence and mortality rates of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) are higher in African Americans (AAs) than in Caucasian Americans (CAs). Deficient micronutrient intake due to dietary restrictions in racial/ethnic populations can alter genetic and molecular profiles leading to dysregulated methylation patterns and the inheritance of somatic to germline mutations. Materials and Methods Total DNA and RNA samples of paired tumor and adjacent normal colon tissues were prepared from AA and CA CRC specimens. Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS) and RNA sequencing were employed to evaluate total genome methylation of 5’-regulatory regions and dysregulation of gene expression, respectively. Robust analysis was conducted using a trimming-and-retrieving scheme for RRBS library mapping in conjunction with the BStool toolkit. Results DNA from the tumor of AA CRC patients, compared to adjacent normal tissues, contained 1,588 hypermethylated and 100 hypomethylated differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Whereas, 109 hypermethylated and 4 hypomethylated DMRs were observed in DNA from the tumor of CA CRC patients; representing a 14.6-fold and 25-fold change, respectively. Specifically; CHL1, 4 anti-inflammatory genes (i.e., NELL1, GDF1, ARHGEF4, and ITGA4), and 7 miRNAs (of which miR-9-3p and miR-124-3p have been implicated in CRC) were hypermethylated in DNA samples from AA patients with CRC. From the same sample set, RNAseq analysis revealed 108 downregulated genes (including 14 ribosomal proteins) and 34 upregulated genes (including POLR2B and CYP1B1 [targets of miR-124-3p]) in AA patients with CRC versus CA patients. Conclusion DNA methylation profile and/or products of its downstream targets could serve as biomarker(s) addressing racial health disparity. PMID:27111221
Intervention research in rural health disparities communities presents challenges for study design, implementation, and evaluation, thus threatening scientific rigor, reducing response rates, and confounding study results. A multisite nutrition intervention was conducted in the rural Lower Mississip...
Sauerbrun-Cutler, May-Tal; Segars, James H
Health disparities exist in reproductive medicine as discussed in detail in the subsequent articles of this issue; however, in most cases, the exact cause of these differences is unknown. Some of these disparities can be linked to environmental exposures such as alcohol and other hazardous toxic exposures (polycarbonate, pesticides, nicotine) in adults. In addition, low socioeconomic status, behavioral risk factors, and lack of education have been linked to poor obstetric and reproductive outcomes in minority groups. Aside from these various environmental exposures later in life, there is evidence that adverse events in utero could contribute to poor reproductive outcome in specific minority groups. We will focus on the developmental origins of health and disease as a possible causal mechanism for health disparities in reproductive diseases, as this perspective may suggest tractable solutions of how to address and eliminate these health disparities.
Cancer Health Disparity Among African-American Men PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Harry Ostrer, M.D. RECIPIENT: Albert Einstein College of...ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER Albert Einstein College of Medicine Of Yeshiva University Bronx, NY 10461 9. SPONSORING
Khawaja, Marwan; Dawns, Jesse; Meyerson-Knox, Sonya; Yamout, Rouham
Background While Arab countries showed an impressive decline in child mortality rates during the past few decades, gaps in mortality by gender and socioeconomic status persisted. However, large socioeconomic disparities in child health were evident in almost every country in the region. Methods Using available tabulations and reliable micro data from national household surveys, data for 18 Arab countries were available for analysis. In addition to infant and child mortality, child health was measured by nutritional status, vaccination, and Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI). Within-country disparities in child health by gender, residence (urban/rural) and maternal educational level were described. Child health was also analyzed by macro measures of development, including per capita GDP (PPP), female literacy rates, urban population and doctors per 100,000 people. Results Gender disparities in child health using the above indicators were less evident, with most showing clear female advantage. With the exception of infant and child survival, gender disparities demonstrated a female advantage, as well as a large urban advantage and an overall advantage for mothers with secondary education. Surprisingly, the countries' rankings with respect to disparities were not associated with various macro measures of development. Conclusion The tenacity of pervasive intra-country socioeconomic disparities in child health calls for attention by policy makers and health practitioners. PMID:19021903
López, Steven R; Barrio, Concepcion; Kopelowicz, Alex; Vega, William A
The U.S. Surgeon General's report Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity--A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001) identified significant disparities in mental health care for Latinos and recommended directions for future research and mental health services. We update that report by reviewing five groundbreaking research projects on the mental health of Latinos that were published since 2001. National studies of adults and children, longitudinal designs, and analyses of Latino subgroups characterize these investigations. Despite the increasing sophistication of disparities research, these landmark studies, as well as the research in the supplemental report, can be characterized as documenting disparities in care. We argue that the next wave of research should give greater attention to reducing and eliminating disparities. Accordingly, we apply Rogler and Cortes's (1993) framework of pathways to care to the study of Latinos with schizophrenia. Specifically, we draw on research regarding the recognition of illness, social networks (families) and their association with the course of illness, and interventions. We illustrate examples at each pathway that have the potential to reduce disparities. We argue that implementing interventions synchronously across multiple pathways has considerable potential to reduce and eventually eliminate disparities in mental health care.
Willis, Danny G; Porche, Demetrius J
Given the current focus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on eliminating health disparities among minority populations, a substantive body of culturally competent scholarship about marginalized men's health disparities is needed to add knowledge about the complex features, processes, and relationships underlying health disparities, marginality, men's health, interventions, and clinical outcomes. Marginalized men in the United States suffer disproportionately from mental and chronic health problems. Historically disadvantaged, their voices have not been privileged in health care and clinical discourses. Utilizing the concepts of marginalization and culturally competent scholarship, an integrative framework has been created to facilitate clinicians and scholars in envisioning and advancing critical scholarship related to marginalized men's health disparities.
Pettit, Michele L.; Nienhaus, Alyson R.
This review of literature examines leading contributors and mediators of health disparities in the United States. Specifically, poverty, education, and health are addressed. Special emphasis is placed on implications of health risk behaviors and health education for select populations and settings. Existing and suggested strategies for addressing…
Higgins, Stephen T.
This Special Issue of Preventive Medicine (PM) is the 2nd that we have organized on behavior change, health, and health disparities. This is a topic of fundamental importance to improving population health in the U.S. and other industrialized countries that are trying to more effectively manage chronic health conditions. There is broad scientific consensus that personal behavior patterns such as cigarette smoking, other substance abuse, and physical inactivity/obesity are among the most important modifiable causes of chronic disease and its adverse impacts on population health. As such behavior change needs to be a key component of improving population health. There is also broad agreement that while these problems extend across socioeconomic strata, they are overrepresented among more economically disadvantaged populations and contribute directly to the growing problem of health disparities. Hence, behavior change represents an essential step in curtailing that unsettling problem as well. In this 2nd Special Issue, we devote considerable space to the current U.S. prescription opioid addiction epidemic, a crisis that was not addressed in the prior Special Issue. We also continue to devote attention to the two largest contributors to preventable disease and premature death, cigarette smoking and physical inactivity/obesity as well as risks of co-occurrence of these unhealthy behavior patterns. Across each of these topics we included contributions from highly accomplished policymakers and scientists to acquaint readers with recent accomplishments as well as remaining knowledge gaps and challenges to effectively managing these important chronic health problems. PMID:26257372
Maldonado, Maria E; Fried, Ethan D; DuBose, Thomas D; Nelson, Consuelo; Breida, Margaret
Despite the 2002 Institute of Medicine report that described the moral and financial impact of health care disparities and the need to address them, it is evident that health care disparities persist. Recommendations for addressing disparities include collecting and reporting data on patient race and ethnicity, supporting language interpretation services, increasing awareness of health care disparities through education, requiring cultural competency training for all health care professionals, and increasing diversity among those delivering health care. The Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education places strong emphasis on graduate medical education's role in eliminating health care disparities by asking medical educators to objectively evaluate and report on their trainees' ability to practice patient-centered, culturally competent care. Moreover, one of the objectives of the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education Clinical Learning Environment Review visits as part of the Next Accreditation System is to identify how sponsoring institutions engage residents and fellows in the use of data to improve systems of care, reduce health care disparities, and improve patient outcomes. Residency and fellowship programs should ensure the delivery of meaningful curricula on cultural competency and health care disparities, for which there are numerous resources, and ensure resident assessment of culturally competent care. Moreover, training programs and institutional leadership need to collaborate on ensuring data collection on patient satisfaction, outcomes, and quality measures that are broken down by patient race, cultural identification, and language. A diverse physician workforce is another strategy for mitigating health care disparities, and using strategies to enhance faculty diversity should also be a priority of graduate medical education. Transparent data about institutional diversity efforts should be provided to interested medical students
Murray, Christopher J L; Kulkarni, Sandeep; Ezzati, Majid
The Eight Americas Study divides the U.S. population into eight distinct groups with different epidemiologic patterns and mortality experience. The Eight Americas are Asians (America 1), below-median-income whites living in the Northland (America 2), middle America (America 3), poor whites living in Appalachia and the Mississippi Valley (America 4), Native Americans living on reservations in the West (America 5), black middle-America (America 6), poor blacks living in the rural South (America 7), and blacks living in high-risk urban environments (America 8). Life expectancy for males in America 8 is 21 years lower than life expectancy for females in America 1. For males, the gap between America 1 and America 8, 16.1 years, is as large as the gap between Iceland with the highest male life expectancy in the world and Bangladesh. Even in Americas 5, 6, 7, and 8, U.S. child mortality is in the middle of the range defined by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. For young and middle-aged males and females, however, mortality experience in the disadvantaged Americas is up to two times worse than the worst OECD country. The enormous excess of young and middle-aged mortality is largely due to chronic disease death. Based on the World Health Organization Comparative Risk Assessment project, we expect the major risks in the United States to be tobacco, alcohol, obesity, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Risk factor analysis using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data for the Eight Americas suggests that the pattern for tobacco, alcohol, and obesity is distinct for each America. Currently available data in the public domain do not provide an adequate basis to assess levels of blood pressure and cholesterol in the Eight Americas. To tackle disparities in the United States, public health will need to increase its focus on chronic diseases in young and middle-aged Americans. In particular, if blood pressure and cholesterol are
Edberg, Mark; Cleary, Sean; Simmons, Lauren B.; Cubilla-Batista, Idalina; Andrade, Elizabeth L.; Gudger, Glencora
Although Latino and other immigrant populations are the driving force behind population increases in the U.S., there are significant gaps in knowledge and practice on addressing health disparities in these populations. The Avance Center for the Advancement of Immigrant/Refugee Health, a health disparities research center in the Washington, DC area, includes as part of its mission a multi-level, participatory community intervention (called Adelante) to address the co-occurrence of substance abuse, violence and sex risk among Latino immigrant youth and young adults. Research staff and community partners knew that the intervention community had grown beyond its Census-designated place (CDP) boundaries, and that connection and attachment to community were relevant to an intervention. Thus, in order to understand current geographic and social boundaries of the community for sampling, data collection, intervention design and implementation, the research team conducted an ethnographic study to identify self-defined community boundaries, both geographic and social. Beginning with preliminary data from a pilot intervention and the original CDP map, the research included: geo-mapping de-identified addresses of service clients from a major community organization; key informant interviews; and observation and intercept interviews in the community. The results provided an expanded community boundary profile and important information about community identity. PMID:25892743
Freeman, Michele; Toure, Joahd; Tippens, Kimberly M.; Weeks, Christine; Ibrahim, Said
Objectives To better understand the causes of racial disparities in health care, we reviewed and synthesized existing evidence related to disparities in the “equal access” Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Methods We systematically reviewed and synthesized evidence from studies comparing health care utilization and quality by race within the VA. Results Racial disparities in the VA exist across a wide range of clinical areas and service types. Disparities appear most prevalent for medication adherence and surgery and other invasive procedures, processes that are likely to be affected by the quantity and quality of patient–provider communication, shared decision making, and patient participation. Studies indicate a variety of likely root causes of disparities including: racial differences in patients’ medical knowledge and information sources, trust and skepticism, levels of participation in health care interactions and decisions, and social support and resources; clinician judgment/bias; the racial/cultural milieu of health care settings; and differences in the quality of care at facilities attended by different racial groups. Conclusions Existing evidence from the VA indicates several promising targets for interventions to reduce racial disparities in the quality of health care. PMID:18301951
Owen, Carter M; Goldstein, Ellen H; Clayton, Janine A; Segars, James H
Racial and ethnic health disparities in reproductive medicine exist across the life span and are costly and burdensome to our healthcare system. Reduction and ultimate elimination of health disparities is a priority of the National Institutes of Health who requires reporting of race and ethnicity for all clinical research it supports. Given the increasing rates of admixture in our population, the definition and subsequent genetic significance of self-reported race and ethnicity used in health disparity research is not straightforward. Some groups have advocated using self-reported ancestry or carefully selected single-nucleotide polymorphisms, also known as ancestry informative markers, to sort individuals into populations. Despite the limitations in our current definitions of race and ethnicity in research, there are several clear examples of health inequalities in reproductive medicine extending from puberty and infertility to obstetric outcomes. We acknowledge that socioeconomic status, education, insurance status, and overall access to care likely contribute to the differences, but these factors do not fully explain the disparities. Epigenetics may provide the biologic link between these environmental factors and the transgenerational disparities that are observed. We propose an integrated view of health disparities across the life span and generations focusing on the metabolic aspects of fetal programming and the effects of environmental exposures. Interventions aimed at improving nutrition and minimizing adverse environmental exposures may act synergistically to reverse the effects of these epigenetic marks and improve the outcome of our future generations.
Cooper, Lisa A; Hill, Martha N; Powe, Neil R
A large number of factors contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in health status. Health care professionals, researchers, and policymakers have believed for some time that access to care is the centerpiece in the elimination of these health disparities. The Institute of Medicine's (IOM) model of access to health services includes personal, financial, and structural barriers, health service utilization, and mediators of care. This model can be used to describe the interactions among these factors and their impact on health outcomes and equity of services among racial and ethnic groups. We present a modified version of the IOM model that incorporates the features of other access models and highlights barriers and mediators that are relevant for interventions designed to eliminate disparities in U.S. health care. We also suggest that interventions to eliminate disparities and achieve equity in health care services be considered within the broader context of improving quality of care. Some health service intervention studies have shown improvements in the health of disadvantaged groups. If properly designed and implemented, these interventions could be used to reduce health disparities. Successful features of interventions include the use of multifaceted, intense approaches, culturally and linguistically appropriate methods, improved access to care, tailoring, the establishment of partnerships with stakeholders, and community involvement. However, in order to be effective in reducing disparities in health care and health status, important limitations of previous studies need to be addressed, including the lack of control groups, nonrandom assignment of subjects to experimental interventions, and use of health outcome measures that are not validated. Interventions might be improved by targeting high-risk populations, focusing on the most important contributing factors, including measures of appropriateness and quality of care and health outcomes, and prioritizing
Williams, Jerome D; Crockett, David; Harrison, Robert L; Thomas, Kevin D
Marketing activities have attracted increased attention from scholars interested in racial disparities in obesity prevalence, as well as the prevalence of other preventable conditions. Although reducing the marketing of nutritionally poor foods to racial/ethnic communities would represent a significant step forward in eliminating racial disparities in health, we focus instead on a critical-related question. What is the relationship between marketing activities, food culture, and health disparities? This commentary posits that food culture shapes the demand for food and the meaning attached to particular foods, preparation styles, and eating practices, while marketing activities shape the overall environment in which food choices are made. We build on prior research that explores the socio-cultural context in which marketing efforts are perceived and interpreted. We discuss each element of the marketing mix to highlight the complex relationship between food culture, marketing activities, and health disparities.
Brach, Cindy; Fraser, Irene
Finding ways to deliver high-quality health care to an increasingly diverse population is a major challenge for the American health care system. The persistence of racial and ethnic disparities in health care access, quality, and outcomes has prompted considerable interest in increasing the cultural competence of health care, both as an end in its own right and as a potential means to reduce disparities. This article reviews the potential role of cultural competence in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, the strength of health care organizations’ current incentives to adopt cultural competence techniques, and the limitations inherent in these incentives that will need to be overcome if cultural competence techniques are to become widely adopted. PMID:12938253
Padela, Aasim I; Curlin, Farr A
Both theory and data suggest that religions shape the way individuals interpret and seek help for their illnesses. Yet, health disparities research has rarely examined the influence of a shared religion on the health of individuals from distinct minority communities. In this paper, we focus on Islam and American Muslims to outline the ways in which a shared religion may impact the health of a racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse minority community. We use Kleinman's "cultural construction of clinical reality" as a theoretical framework to interpret the extant literature on American Muslim health. We then propose a research agenda that would extend current disparities research to include measures of religiosity, particularly among populations that share a minority religious affiliation. The research we propose would provide a fuller understanding of the relationships between religion and health among Muslim Americans and other minority communities and would thereby undergird efforts to reduce unwarranted health disparities.
Eckstrand, Kristen L; Lunn, Mitchell R; Yehia, Baligh R
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations face numerous barriers when accessing and receiving healthcare, which amplify specific LGBT health disparities. An effective strategic approach is necessary for academic health centers to meet the growing needs of LGBT populations. Although effective organizational change models have been proposed for other minority populations, the authors are not aware of any organizational change models that specifically promote LGBT inclusion and mitigate access barriers to reduce LGBT health disparities. With decades of combined experience, we identify elements and processes necessary to accelerate LGBT organizational change and reduce LGBT health disparities. This framework may assist health organizations in initiating and sustaining meaningful organizational change to improve the health and healthcare of the LGBT communities.
Jurkowski, Janine M; Paul-Ward, Amy
Eliminating health disparities is a national priority. People with intellectual disabilities (PWID) are a vulnerable group that experiences health disparities. However, their health disparities have largely been overlooked. Photovoice is an effective method for engaging PWID in health promotion planning and research. This article discusses the importance of including PWID as a priority group, presents a Photovoice project among Latinos with ID, and concludes with recommendations for employing Photovoice with PWID. The Photovoice project was a part of a larger pilot study that aimed to enable the voices of Latinos with ID and guide the development of health promotion programs at a community agency. The findings were presented in reports and at a town hall meeting during which attendees responded and developed actions steps for improving health promotion for PWID. Each Photovoice participant received a scrapbook of their photographs as a keepsake of their experiences participating in the project [corrected
Brach, Cindy; Fraser, Irene
Finding ways to deliver high-quality health care to an increasingly diverse population is a major challenge for the American health care system. The persistence of racial and ethnic disparities in health care access, quality, and outcomes has prompted considerable interest in increasing the cultural competence of health care, both as an end in its own right and as a potential means to reduce disparities. This article reviews the potential role of cultural competence in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities, the strength of health care organizations' current incentives to adopt cultural competence techniques, and the limitations inherent in these incentives that will need to be overcome if cultural competence techniques are to become widely adopted.
McClellan, Frank M; Wood, James E; Fahmy, Sherin M; Jones, Lynne C
The factors that contribute to musculoskeletal healthcare disparities may influence the results of studies regarding the long-term outcome of orthopaedic implants. Patient decisions regarding their healthcare and their subsequent outcomes are influenced by health literacy. Providing patients with the information that they need to consent to treatment must be provided in a culturally competent manner. The influence of the physician or healthcare provider on the treatment choice varies depending on the type of decision-making process: patient-based, physician-based, or shared decision making. Respecting the patient's autonomy while acknowledging the knowledge and experience of the physician, we advocate for shared decision making. This may require modification of existing regulations regarding informed consent. Furthermore, federal and state directives have been put into place to address healthcare disparities, especially with respect to culturally competent care and access to proper healthcare.
Mitchell, Jamie Ann
The purpose of this article is to propose an elective social work course as a means of better preparing social workers entering practice in healthcare to meet the challenges of promoting health and reducing health disparities in minority and underserved communities. Course offerings specifically targeting health or medical social work training…
Hall, Ingrid J; Johnson-Turbes, C Ashani; Williams, Kymber N
Radio stations that target African American audiences ("black radio") reach a national African American audience daily, making black radio an ideal medium for health promotion and disparities reduction in the African American community. Black radio can be used to communicate public health messages and to recruit African Americans into public health research.
Des Jardins, Terrisca; Drone, Shenetta A; Hashisaka, Susan; Hazzard, Jobyna; Hunt, Susan B; Massey, Kimberly; Rein, Alison; Schachter, Abigail; Turske, Scott
Using health information technology (IT) can potentially address health disparities by increasing access to care, delivering higher-quality care, improving patient-provider communication, and enhancing patient safety. It describes challenges encountered by three underserved Beacon Communities that implemented health IT interventions, including inadequate connectivity infrastructure, technical support, expertise, and financial resources; provider shortages and staff turnover; and equipment theft.
Buhi, Eric R.; Marhefka, Stephanie L.; Hoban, Mary T.
Objective: To examine sexual health disparities between blacks and whites in a national sample of US college students. Participants and Method Summary: Analyses utilized secondary data from 44,165 nonmarried undergraduates (aged 18-24; M = 20.1) responding to the Spring 2007 American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment;…
Williams, Shanita D; Hansen, Kristen; Smithey, Marian; Burnley, Josepha; Koplitz, Michelle; Koyama, Kirk; Young, Janice; Bakos, Alexis
It is widely accepted that diversifying the nation's health-care workforce is a necessary strategy to increase access to quality health care for all populations, reduce health disparities, and achieve health equity. In this article, we present a conceptual model that utilizes the social determinants of health framework to link nursing workforce diversity and care quality and access to two critical population health indicators-health disparities and health equity. Our proposed model suggests that a diverse nursing workforce can provide increased access to quality health care and health resources for all populations, and is a necessary precursor to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. With this conceptual model as a foundation, we aim to stimulate the conceptual and analytical work-both within and outside the nursing field-that is necessary to answer these important but largely unanswered questions.
Hansen, Kristen; Smithey, Marian; Burnley, Josepha; Koplitz, Michelle; Koyama, Kirk; Young, Janice; Bakos, Alexis
It is widely accepted that diversifying the nation's health-care workforce is a necessary strategy to increase access to quality health care for all populations, reduce health disparities, and achieve health equity. In this article, we present a conceptual model that utilizes the social determinants of health framework to link nursing workforce diversity and care quality and access to two critical population health indicators—health disparities and health equity. Our proposed model suggests that a diverse nursing workforce can provide increased access to quality health care and health resources for all populations, and is a necessary precursor to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity. With this conceptual model as a foundation, we aim to stimulate the conceptual and analytical work—both within and outside the nursing field—that is necessary to answer these important but largely unanswered questions. PMID:24385662
Miller, Jacqueline W; Plescia, Marcus; Ekwueme, Donatus U
Breast and cervical cancer have had disparate impact on the lives of women. The burden of breast and cervical cancer is more prominent among some racial and ethnic minority women. Providing comprehensive care to all medically underserved women is a critical element in continuing the battle to reduce cancer burden and eliminate disparities. The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is the only nationally organized cancer screening program for underserved women in the United States. Its public health goal is to ensure access to high-quality screening, follow-up, and treatment services for diverse and vulnerable populations that, in turn, may reduce disparities.
Sabo, Samantha; de Zapien, Jill; Teufel-Shone, Nicolette; Rosales, Cecilia; Bergsma, Lynda
Service learning (SL) is a form of community-centered experiential education that places emerging health professionals in community-generated service projects and provides structured opportunities for reflection on the broader social, economic, and political contexts of health. We describe the elements and impact of five distinct week-long intensive SL courses focused on the context of urban, rural, border, and indigenous health contexts. Students involved in these SL courses demonstrated a commitment to community-engaged scholarship and practice in both their student and professional lives. SL is directly in line with the core public health value of social justice and serves as a venue to strengthen community–campus partnerships in addressing health disparities through sustained collaboration and action in vulnerable communities. PMID:25706014
Sabo, Samantha; de Zapien, Jill; Teufel-Shone, Nicolette; Rosales, Cecilia; Bergsma, Lynda; Taren, Douglas
Service learning (SL) is a form of community-centered experiential education that places emerging health professionals in community-generated service projects and provides structured opportunities for reflection on the broader social, economic, and political contexts of health. We describe the elements and impact of five distinct week-long intensive SL courses focused on the context of urban, rural, border, and indigenous health contexts. Students involved in these SL courses demonstrated a commitment to community-engaged scholarship and practice in both their student and professional lives. SL is directly in line with the core public health value of social justice and serves as a venue to strengthen community-campus partnerships in addressing health disparities through sustained collaboration and action in vulnerable communities.
Millery, Mari; Kukafka, Rita
Health information technology (health IT) has potential for facilitating quality improvement and reducing quality disparities found in underresourced settings (URSs). With this systematic literature review, complemented by key informant interviews, the authors sought to identify evidence regarding health IT and quality outcomes in URSs. The review included 105 peer-reviewed studies (2004-2009) in all settings. Only 15 studies included URSs, and 8 focused on URSs. Based on literature across settings, most evidence was available for quality impact of order entry, clinical decision support systems, and computerized reminders. Study designs were predominantly quasi-experimental (37%) or descriptive (35%); 90% of the studies focused on the microsystem level of quality improvement, indicating a need for expanding research into patient experience and organizational and environmental levels. Key informants highlighted organizational partnerships and health IT champions and emphasized that for health IT to have an impact on quality, there must be an organizational culture of quality improvement.
Clarke, Christopher E.; Niederdeppe, Jeff; Lundell, Helen C.
Researchers have increasingly focused on how social determinants of health (SDH) influence health outcomes and disparities. They have also explored strategies for raising public awareness and mobilizing support for policies to address SDH, with particular attention to narrative and image-based information. These efforts will need to overcome low public awareness and concern about SDH; few organized campaigns; and limited descriptions of existing message content. To begin addressing these challenges, we analyzed characteristics of 58 narratives and 135 visual images disseminated by two national SDH awareness initiatives: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America and the PBS-produced documentary film Unnatural Causes. Certain types of SDH, including income/wealth and one’s home and workplace environment, were emphasized more heavily than others. Solutions for addressing SDH often involved combinations of self-driven motivation (such as changes in personal health behaviors) along with externally-driven factors such as government policy related to urban revitilization. Images, especially graphs and charts, drew connections among SDH, health outcomes, and other variables, such as the relationship between mother’s education and infant mortality as well as the link between heart disease and education levels within communities. We discuss implications of these findings for raising awareness of SDH and health disparities in the US through narrative and visual means. PMID:23330220
Clarke, Christopher E; Niederdeppe, Jeff; Lundell, Helen C
Researchers have increasingly focused on how social determinants of health (SDH) influence health outcomes and disparities. They have also explored strategies for raising public awareness and mobilizing support for policies to address SDH, with particular attention to narrative and image-based information. These efforts will need to overcome low public awareness and concern about SDH; few organized campaigns; and limited descriptions of existing message content. To begin addressing these challenges, we analyzed characteristics of 58 narratives and 135 visual images disseminated by two national SDH awareness initiatives: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America and the PBS-produced documentary film Unnatural Causes. Certain types of SDH, including income/wealth and one's home and workplace environment, were emphasized more heavily than others. Solutions for addressing SDH often involved combinations of self-driven motivation (such as changes in personal health behaviors) along with externally-driven factors such as government policy related to urban revitilization. Images, especially graphs and charts, drew connections among SDH, health outcomes, and other variables, such as the relationship between mother's education and infant mortality as well as the link between heart disease and education levels within communities. We discuss implications of these findings for raising awareness of SDH and health disparities in the US through narrative and visual means.
Boulware, L. Ebony; Miller, Edgar R.; Golden, Sherita Hill; Carson, Kathryn A.; Noronha, Gary; Huizinga, Mary Margaret; Roter, Debra L.; Yeh, Hsin-Chieh; Bone, Lee R.; Levine, David M.; Hill-Briggs, Felicia; Charleston, Jeanne; Kim, Miyong; Wang, Nae-Yuh; Aboumatar, Hanan; Halbert, Jennifer P.; Ephraim, Patti L.; Brancati, Frederick L.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) disparities continue to have a negative impact on African Americans in the United States, largely because of uncontrolled hypertension. Despite the availability of evidence-based interventions, their use has not been translated into clinical and public health practice. The Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities is a new transdisciplinary research program with a stated goal to lower the impact of CVD disparities on vulnerable populations in Baltimore, Maryland. By targeting multiple levels of influence on the core problem of disparities in Baltimore, the center leverages academic, community, and national partnerships and a novel structure to support 3 research studies and to train the next generation of CVD researchers. We also share the early lessons learned in the center’s design. PMID:24028238
Fredriksen-Goldsen, Karen I; Simoni, Jane M; Kim, Hyun-Jun; Lehavot, Keren; Walters, Karina L; Yang, Joyce; Hoy-Ellis, Charles P; Muraco, Anna
National health initiatives emphasize the importance of eliminating health disparities among historically disadvantaged populations. Yet, few studies have examined the range of health outcomes among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. To stimulate more inclusive research in the area, we present the Health Equity Promotion Model-a framework oriented toward LGBT people reaching their full mental and physical health potential that considers both positive and adverse health-related circumstances. The model highlights (a) heterogeneity and intersectionality within LGBT communities; (b) the influence of structural and environmental context; and (c) both health-promoting and adverse pathways that encompass behavioral, social, psychological, and biological processes. It also expands upon earlier conceptualizations of sexual minority health by integrating a life course development perspective within the health-promotion model. By explicating the important role of agency and resilience as well as the deleterious effect of social structures on health outcomes, it supports policy and social justice to advance health and well-being in these communities. Important directions for future research as well as implications for health-promotion interventions and policies are offered.
Fredriksen-Goldsen, Karen I.; Simoni, Jane M.; Kim, Hyun-Jun; Lehavot, Keren; Walters, Karina L.; Yang, Joyce; Hoy-Ellis, Charles P.
National health initiatives emphasize the importance of eliminating health disparities among historically disadvantaged populations. Yet, few studies have examined the range of health outcomes among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. To stimulate more inclusive research in the area, we present the Health Equity Promotion Model—a framework oriented toward LGBT people reaching their full mental and physical health potential that considers both positive and adverse health-related circumstances. The model highlights (a) heterogeneity and intersectionality within LGBT communities; (b) the influence of structural and environmental context; and (c) both health-promoting and adverse pathways that encompass behavioral, social, psychological, and biological processes. It also expands upon earlier conceptualizations of sexual minority health by integrating a life course development perspective within the health-promotion model. By explicating the important role of agency and resilience as well as the deleterious effect of social structures on health outcomes, it supports policy and social justice to advance health and well-being in these communities. Important directions for future research as well as implications for health-promotion interventions and policies are offered. PMID:25545433
Krause, James S; Broderick, Lynne E; Saladin, Lisa K; Broyles, Joy
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate heath disparities as a function of race and gender and the extent to which socioeconomic factors mediate disparities among participants with spinal cord injury. Design: Survey methodology. Cross-sectional data. Setting: A large Southeastern specialty hospital. Participants: There were 1,342 participants in the current analysis, all of whom were identified from patient records. There were 3 inclusion criteria: (a) traumatic SCI, (b) at least 18 years of age at the time of study, and (c) injury duration of more than 1 year. Main outcome measures: Six outcomes were measured, including 3 general outcomes (self-ratings, days impacted by poor health, days impacted by poor mental health) and 3 that reflect utilization of services (hospitalizations, days hospitalized, and nonroutine physician visits in the past 2 years). Results: Results of multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicated significant main effects for both race and gender. Follow-up tests identified racial disparities on 3 of the 6 outcomes, whereas gender disparities were observed for a single outcome. Years of education and household income mediated interrelationships between race and health (but not gender) as racial disparities disappeared after consideration of these factors. Conclusions: These findings suggest the need to work more diligently to promote better health outcomes among African Americans and to further investigate how socioeconomic factors and access to health care related to diminished health outcomes among African Americans with spinal cord injury. PMID:16572561
Zahodne, Laura B; Manly, Jennifer J; Smith, Jacqui; Seeman, Teresa; Lachman, Margie E
Racial disparities in cognitive performance exist across the life course, but it is not known whether mediators of disparities differ by age. Understanding sources of cognitive disparities at different ages can inform policies and interventions. Data were obtained for non-Hispanic Black and White respondents to The National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States from 3 age groups: 28-44 (N = 1210; 20% Black); 45-64 (N = 2693; 15% Black); and 65-85 (N = 1298; 11% Black). Moderated mediation models characterized direct and indirect effects of race on episodic memory and executive function composite scores through economic, health, and psychosocial variables as a function of age group. Education, income, chronic health conditions, and external locus of control mediated cognitive disparities across the life course, although income was a stronger mediator at younger ages. Perceived discrimination was a weaker mediator among young adults due to an absence of racial differences in perceived discrimination in that group. Despite multiple indirect effects, there were still significant unexplained effects of race on cognition that were not moderated by age group. Interventional work is needed to determine whether increasing educational attainment and income, and reducing chronic health conditions and perceived constraints among Blacks, reduce cognitive disparities. Targeting income inequality and discrimination (or buffering the impact of those variables) may be differently effective at reducing cognitive disparities at different stages of the adult life course. (PsycINFO Database Record
Iezzoni, Lisa I
Fifty-four million people in the United States are now living with disabilities. That number will grow substantially in the next thirty years, as the "baby-boom" generation ages and many of today's children and young adults mature and experience complications related to overweight and obesity. This reality poses a major challenge to the health care and policy communities. People with disabilities confront disadvantages from social and environmental determinants of health, including lower educational levels, lower incomes, and higher unemployment, than people without disabilities. Those with disabilities are also much more likely to report being in fair or poor health; to use tobacco; to forgo physical activity; and to be overweight or obese. People with disabilities also experience health care disparities, such as lower rates of screening and more difficulty accessing services, compared to people without disabilities. Eliminating these multifaceted disadvantages among people with disabilities should be a critical national priority.
Richter, Matthias; Rathman, Katharina; Nic Gabhainn, Saoirse; Zambon, Alessio; Boyce, William; Hurrelmann, Klaus
Comparative research on health and health inequalities has recently started to establish a welfare regime perspective. The objective of this study was to determine whether different welfare regimes are associated with health and health inequalities among adolescents. Data were collected from the 'Health Behaviour in School-aged Children' study in 2006, including 11- to 15-year-old students from 32 countries (N = 141,091). Prevalence rates and multilevel logistic regression models were calculated for self-rated health (SRH) and health complaints. The results show that between 4 per cent and 7 per cent of the variation in both health outcomes is attributable to differences between countries. Compared to the Scandinavian regime, the Southern regime had lower odds ratios for SRH, while for health complaints the Southern and Eastern regime showed high odds ratios. The association between subjective health and welfare regime was largely unaffected by adjusting for individual socioeconomic position. After adjustment for the welfare regime typology, the country-level variations were reduced to 4.6 per cent for SRH and to 2.9 per cent for health complaints. Regarding cross-level interaction effects between welfare regimes and socioeconomic position, no clear regime-specific pattern was found. Consistent with research on adults this study shows that welfare regimes are important in explaining variations in adolescent health across countries.
Woolf, Steven H; Braveman, Paula
Health disparities by racial or ethnic group or by income or education are only partly explained by disparities in medical care. Inadequate education and living conditions-ranging from low income to the unhealthy characteristics of neighborhoods and communities-can harm health through complex pathways. Meaningful progress in narrowing health disparities is unlikely without addressing these root causes. Policies on education, child care, jobs, community and economic revitalization, housing, transportation, and land use bear on these root causes and have implications for health and medical spending. A shortsighted political focus on reducing spending in these areas could actually increase medical costs by magnifying disease burden and widening health disparities.
Read, Jen'nan Ghazal; Emerson, Michael O; Tarlov, Alvin
This paper contributes to a growing understanding of U.S. black-white health disparities by using national-level data to disaggregate the health status of black Americans into the following subgroups: U.S.-born blacks, black immigrants from Africa, black immigrants from the West Indies, and black immigrants from Europe. Using new data on the 2000 and 2001 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS), the authors compare the status of U.S.- and foreign-born blacks to that of U.S.-born whites on three measures of health. The analysis finds that U.S.-born and European-born blacks have worse self-rated health, higher odds of activity limitation, and higher odds of limitation due to hypertension compared to U.S.-born whites. In contrast, African-born blacks have better health than U.S.-born whites on all three measures, while West Indian-born blacks have poorer self-rated health and higher odds of limitation due to hypertension but lower odds of activity limitation. These findings suggest that grouping together foreign-born blacks misses important variations within this population. Rather than being uniform, the black immigrant health advantage varies by region of birth and by health status measure. The authors conclude by exploring the implications of these findings for researchers, health professionals, and public policy.
Gwede, Clement K.; Ashley, Atalie A.; McGinnis, Kara; Montiel-Ishino, F. Alejandro; Standifer, Maisha; Baldwin, Julie; Williams, Coni; Sneed, Kevin B.; Wathington, Deanna; Dash-Pitts, Lolita; Green, B. Lee
Introduction Racial and ethnic minorities have disproportionately higher cancer incidence and mortality than their White counterparts. In response to this inequity in cancer prevention and care, community-based lay health advisors (LHAs) may be suited to deliver effective, culturally relevant, quality cancer education, prevention/screening, and early detection services for underserved populations. Approach and Strategies Consistent with key tenets of community-based participatory research (CBPR), this project engaged community partners to develop and implement a unique LHA training curriculum to address cancer health disparities among medically underserved communities in a tricounty area. Seven phases of curriculum development went into designing a final seven-module LHA curriculum. In keeping with principles of CBPR and community engagement, academic–community partners and LHAs themselves were involved at all phases to ensure the needs of academic and community partners were mutually addressed in development and implementation of the LHA program. Discussion and Conclusions Community-based LHA programs for outreach, education, and promotion of cancer screening and early detection, are ideal for addressing cancer health disparities in access and quality care. When community-based LHAs are appropriately recruited, trained, and located in communities, they provide unique opportunities to link, bridge, and facilitate quality cancer education, services, and research. PMID:22982709
Duerksen, Susan C; Mikail, Amy; Tom, Laura; Patton, Annie; Lopez, Janina; Amador, Xavier; Vargas, Reynaldo; Victorio, Maria; Kustin, Brenda; Sadler, Georgia Robins
Background Disparities in health status among ethnic groups favor the Caucasian population in the United States on almost all major indicators. Disparities in exposure to health-related mass media messages may be among the environmental factors contributing to the racial and ethnic imbalance in health outcomes. This study evaluated whether variations exist in health-related advertisements and health promotion cues among lay magazines catering to Hispanic, African American and Caucasian women. Methods Relative and absolute assessments of all health-related advertising in 12 women's magazines over a three-month period were compared. The four highest circulating, general interest magazines oriented to Black women and to Hispanic women were compared to the four highest-circulating magazines aimed at a mainstream, predominantly White readership. Data were collected and analyzed in 2002 and 2003. Results Compared to readers of mainstream magazines, readers of African American and Hispanic magazines were exposed to proportionally fewer health-promoting advertisements and more health-diminishing advertisements. Photographs of African American role models were more often used to advertise products with negative health impact than positive health impact, while the reverse was true of Caucasian role models in the mainstream magazines. Conclusion To the extent that individual levels of health education and awareness can be influenced by advertising, variations in the quantity and content of health-related information among magazines read by different ethnic groups may contribute to racial disparities in health behaviors and health status. PMID:16109157
Lantz, Paula M.; House, James S.; Mero, Richard P.; Williams, David R.
It has been hypothesized that exposure to stress and negative life events is related to poor health outcomes, and that differential exposure to stress plays a role in socioeconomic disparities in health. Data from three waves of the Americans' Changing Lives study (n = 3,617) were analyzed to investigate prospectively the relationship among…
Pandey, Shanta; Kagotho, Njeri
This study examined health insurance disparities among recent immigrants. The authors analyzed all working-age adult immigrants between the ages of 18 and 64 using the New Immigrant Survey data collected in 2003. This survey is a cross-sectional interview of recent legal permanent residents on their social, economic, and health status. Respondents…
Weiss, Elisa S; Stevenson, Alexis J; Erb-Downward, Jennifer; Combs, Sarah; Sabino, Eilleen E; Michel, Tamara A; Kemeny, M Margaret; Ackley-Kazdal, Tameron; O'Connor, Maureen; Rapkin, Bruce
In unstable economic environments, CBPR partnerships in underserved communities may face unanticipated obstacles that threaten success and sustainability. This report describes challenges experienced by HealthLink, a CBPR partnership to address cancer disparities in Queens, N.Y., and how HealthLink adapted. Recommendations for designing CBPR partnerships to overcome unexpected challenges are provided.
Focusing on Hawaii, a state with 21.3% of the population being multi-racial according to the 2010 U.S. Census, this study aims to examine the existence and nature of health disparities between mono- and multi-ethnic Asian Americans and the importance of Relational Well-Being in affecting the health of Asian Americans. A series of ordinary least…
Mays, Vickie M.; Ly, Lichin; Allen, Erica; Young, Sophia
One underutilized method for reducing health disparities and training culturally competent health care workers is the engagement of undergraduate student health organizations in conducting health screenings, promotion, and health education outreach activities in in underserved racial/ethnic communities. We conducted a needs assessment of 14 predominantly racial/ethnic minority undergraduate student-run health organizations. The 14 organizations annually served approximately 12,425 people (67% Hispanic, 25% African American, 6.33% Asian Pacific Islander), predominantly at health fairs within Los Angeles County (averaging 138 attendees). Student organizations provided screenings on general health conditions and diseases, with less emphasis on behavioral risk factors (e.g., drinking, smoking). Organizations indicated a need for increased and affordable trainings in preventive health screenings and help in understanding target populations’ needs. Universities are in an excellent position to train, supervise, and organize volunteer health corps in order to engage students in reducing health disparities and to train culturally competent health care providers. PMID:19648716
Marcin, James P; Shaikh, Ulfat; Steinhorn, Robin H
The regionalization of pediatric services has resulted in differential access to care, sometimes creating barriers to those living in underserved, rural communities. These disparities in access contribute to inferior healthcare outcomes among infants and children. We review the medical literature on telemedicine and its use to improve access and the quality of care provided to pediatric patients with otherwise limited access to pediatric subspecialty care. We review the use of telemedicine for the provision of pediatric subspecialty consultations in the settings of ambulatory care, acute and inpatient care, and perinatal and newborn care. Studies demonstrate the feasibility and efficiencies gained with models of care that use telemedicine. By providing pediatric subspecialty care in more convenient settings such as local primary care offices and community hospitals, pediatric patients are more likely to receive care that adheres to evidence-based guidelines. In many cases, telemedicine can significantly improve provider, patient, and family satisfaction, increase measures of quality of care and patient safety, and reduce overall costs of care. Models of care that use telemedicine have the potential to address pediatric specialists' geographic misdistribution and address disparities in the quality of care delivered to children in underserved communities.
Meade, Cathy D.; Menard, Janelle M.; Luque, John S.; Martinez-Tyson, Dinorah; Gwede, Clement K.
To effectively attenuate cancer disparities in multiethnic, medically underserved populations, interventions must be developed collaboratively through solid community–academic partnerships and driven by community-based participatory research (CBPR). The Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network (TBCCN) has been created to identify and implement interventions to address local cancer disparities in partnership with community-based nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, community health centers, local media, and adult literacy and education organizations. TBCCN activities and research efforts are geared toward addressing critical information and access issues related to cancer control and prevention in diverse communities in the Tampa Bay area. Such efforts include cross-cultural health promotion, screening, and awareness activities in addition to applied research projects that are rooted in communities and guided by CBPR methods. This article describes these activities as examples of partnership building to positively affect cancer disparities, promote community health, and set the stage for community-based research partnerships. PMID:19822724
Cromley, Ellen; Kleinman, Lawrence C.; Ramos, Michelle A.; Arniella, Guedy; Viswanathan, Nalini; Garel, Mischka; Horowitz, Carol R.
Background While neighborhood-based approaches to eliminate health disparities are on the rise, there is little guidance on how researchers may engage with community partners to select geographic areas for interventions to reduce health disparities. We aimed to identify a small geographic area to target interventions to improve diabetes-related outcomes. Objectives We describe lessons learned from a community-engaged approach to specify the geographic area of focus. Methods A community-academic partnership of more than 20 organizations collaborated to develop and employ a 5-stage process to specify a target area for diabetes preventions and control activities. Lessons Learned A coalition with local knowledge and ties to the community can develop criteria and direct a process leading to selection of a geographic area, increased research capacity, and strengthened relationships among partners. Conclusion A participatory approach can be effective in defining a geographic area for targeting interventions to reduce health disparities. PMID:22080778
Osypuk, Theresa L.; Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores
There has been insufficient attention to how and why place and neighborhood context contribute to racial/ethnic health disparities, as well as to policies that can eliminate racial/ethnic health disparities. This article uses a geography of opportunity framework to highlight methodological issues specific for quantitative research examining neighborhoods and racial/ethnic health disparities, including study design, measurement, causation, interpretation, and implications for policy. We argue that failure to consider regional, racialized housing market processes given high US racial residential segregation may introduce bias, restrict generalizability, and/or limit the policy relevance of study findings. We conclude that policies must address the larger geography of opportunity within the region in addition to improving deprived neighborhoods. PMID:20705500
Osypuk, Theresa L; Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores
There has been insufficient attention to how and why place and neighborhood context contribute to racial/ethnic health disparities, as well as to policies that can eliminate racial/ethnic health disparities. This article uses a geography of opportunity framework to highlight methodological issues specific for quantitative research examining neighborhoods and racial/ethnic health disparities, including study design, measurement, causation, interpretation, and implications for policy. We argue that failure to consider regional, racialized housing market processes given high US racial residential segregation may introduce bias, restrict generalizability, and/or limit the policy relevance of study findings. We conclude that policies must address the larger geography of opportunity within the region in addition to improving deprived neighborhoods.
Multi-level marketing (MLM0), a business model in which product distributors are compensated for enrolling further distributors as well as for selling products, has experienced dramatic growth in recent decades, especially in the so-called global South. This paper argues that the global success of MLM is due to its involvement in local health markets. While MLM has been subject to a number of critiques, few have analyzed the explicit health claims of MLM distributors. The majority of the products distributed through MLM are health products, which are presented as offering transformative health benefits. Based on interviews with MLM distributors in Ghana, but focusing on the experiences of one woman, this paper shows that MLM companies become intimately entwined with Ghanaian quests for health by providing their distributors with the materials to become informal health experts, allowing their distributors to present their products as medicines, and presenting MLM as an avenue to middle class cosmopolitanism. Ghanaian distributors promote MLM products as medically powerful, and the distribution of these products as an avenue to status and profit. As a result, individuals seeking health become a part of ethically questionable forms of medical provision based on the exploitation of personal relationships. The success of MLM therefore suggests that the health industry is at the forefront of transnational corporations' extraction of value from informal economies, drawing on features of health markets to monetize personal relationships.
Kim, Tae Jun; Vonneilich, Nico; Lüdecke, Daniel; von dem Knesebeck, Olaf
International studies have repeatedly shown that people with lower income are more likely to experience difficulties to access medical services. Less is known on why these relations vary across countries. This study investigates whether the association between income and financial barriers to health care is influenced by national public health expenditures (PHE, in % of total health expenditure). Data from the International Social Survey Programme (2011) was used (28 countries, 23,669 respondents). Financial barriers were assessed by the individual experience of forgone care due to financial reasons. Monthly equivalent household income was included as the main predictor. Other individual-level control variables were age, gender, education, subjective health, insurance coverage and place of living. PHE was considered as a macro-level predictor, adjusted for total health expenditure. Statistically significant associations between income and forgone care were found in 21 of 28 examined countries. Multilevel analyses across countries revealed that people with lower income have a higher likelihood to forgo needed medical care (OR: 3.94, 95%-CI: 2.96-5.24). After adjustments for individual-level covariates, this association slightly decreased (OR: 2.94, 95%-CI: 2.16-3.99). PHE did not moderate the relation between income and forgone care. The linkage between health system financing and inequalities in access to health care seems to be more complex than initially assumed, pointing towards further research to explore how PHE affects the redistribution of health resources in different health care systems.
Muñoz, Ricardo F
Health disparities are a persistent problem worldwide. A major obstacle to reducing health disparities is reliance on "consumable interventions," that is, interventions that, once used, cannot be used again. To reduce health disparities, interventions are required that can be used again and again without losing their therapeutic power, that can reach people even if local health care systems do not provide them with needed health care, and that can be shared globally without taking resources away from the populations where the interventions were developed. This paper presents the argument that automated self-help evidence-based Internet interventions meet the above criteria and can contribute to the reduction of health disparities worldwide. Proof-of-concept studies show that evidence-based Internet interventions can reach hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and could be used in public sector settings to augment existing offerings and provide services not currently available (such as prevention interventions). This paper presents a framework for systematically filling in a matrix composed of columns representing common health problems and rows representing languages. To bring the benefits of evidence-based Internet interventions to the underserved, public sector clinics should establish eHealth resource centers, through which patients could be screened online for common disorders and provided with evidence-based Internet intervention services not currently available at the clinics. These resources should be available in the patients' languages, in formats that do not require literacy, and that can be accessed with mobile devices. Such evidence-based Internet interventions should then be shared with public sector clinics as well as individuals anywhere in the world. Finally, this paper addresses sustainability and describes a continuum of evidence-based Internet interventions to share nationally and across the world. This approach to expanding health service
Garrett, Bridgette E.; Dube, Shanta R.; Babb, Stephen; McAfee, Tim
Introduction Comprehensive tobacco prevention and control efforts that include implementing smoke-free air laws, increasing tobacco prices, conducting hard-hitting mass media campaigns, and making evidence-based cessation treatments available are effective in reducing tobacco use in the general population. However, if these interventions are not implemented in an equitable manner, certain population groups may be left out causing or exacerbating disparities in tobacco use. Disparities in tobacco use have, in part, stemmed from inequities in the way tobacco control policies and programs have been adopted and implemented to reach and impact the most vulnerable segments of the population that have the highest rates of smokings (e.g., those with lower education and incomes). Methods Education and income are the 2 main social determinants of health that negatively impact health. However, there are other social determinants of health that must be considered for tobacco control policies to be effective in reducing tobacco-related disparities. This article will provide an overview of how tobacco control policies and programs can address key social determinants of health in order to achieve equity and eliminate disparities in tobacco prevention and control. Results Tobacco control policy interventions can be effective in addressing the social determinants of health in tobacco prevention and control to achieve equity and eliminate tobacco-related disparities when they are implemented consistently and equitably across all population groups. Conclusions Taking a social determinants of health approach in tobacco prevention and control will be necessary to achieve equity and eliminate tobacco-related disparities. PMID:25516538
Howard, Daniel L.; Boyd, Carlton L.; Kalsbeek, Bill; Godley, Paul A.
This article describes the development of the Center for Survey Research at Shaw University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), and its efforts to build a data collection infrastructure that addresses issues germane to health disparities research in the African American population. Academic institutions that are similar to Shaw in size, mission, and background can use the Project EXPORT collaboration and the Center for Survey Research as models for establishing their own research infrastructure and subsequent survey center in order to address health disparities through the use of survey methodology. PMID:22090795
Kongtip, Pornpimol; Nankongnab, Noppanun; Chaikittiporn, Chalermchai; Laohaudomchok, Wisanti; Woskie, Susan; Slatin, Craig
Informal workers in Thailand lack employee status as defined under the Labor Protection Act (LPA). Typically, they do not work at an employer's premise; they work at home and may be self-employed or temporary workers. They account for 62.6 percent of the Thai workforce and have a workplace accident rate ten times higher than formal workers. Most Thai Labor laws apply only to formal workers, but some protect informal workers in the domestic, home work, and agricultural sectors. Laws that protect informal workers lack practical enforcement mechanisms and are generally ineffective because informal workers lack employment contracts and awareness of their legal rights. Thai social security laws fail to provide informal workers with treatment of work-related accidents, diseases, and injuries; unemployment and retirement insurance; and workers' compensation. The article summarizes the differences in protections available for formal and informal sector workers and measures needed to decrease these disparities in coverage.
Schraufnagel, Dean E; Blasi, Francesco; Kraft, Monica; Gaga, Mina; Finn, Patricia; Rabe, Klaus F
Health disparities, defined as a significant difference in health between populations, are more common for diseases of the respiratory system than for those of other organ systems, because of the environmental influence on breathing and the variation of the environment among different segments of the population. The lowest social groups are up to 14 times more likely to have respiratory diseases than are the highest. Tobacco smoke, air pollution, environmental exposures, and occupational hazards affect the lungs more than other organs and occur disproportionately in ethnic minorities and those with lower socioeconomic status. Lack of access to quality healthcare contributes to disparities. The executive committees of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and European Respiratory Society (ERS) established a writing committee to develop a policy on health disparities. The document was reviewed, edited, and approved by their full executive committees and boards of directors of the societies. This document expresses a policy to address health disparities by promoting scientific inquiry and training, disseminating medical information and best practices, and monitoring and advocating for public respiratory health. The ERS and the ATS have strong international commitments and work with leaders from governments, academia, and other organisational bodies to address and reduce avoidable health inequalities. Their training initiatives improve the function of healthcare systems and health equality. Both the ATS and the ERS support all aspects of this document, confer regularly, and act together when possible, but the activities to bring about change may vary because of the differences in the continents where the two organisations carry out most of their activities. The ATS and ERS pledge to frame their actions to reduce respiratory health disparities. The vision of the ATS and ERS is that all persons attain better and sustained respiratory health. They call on all their members
Carey, Timothy S.; Howard, Daniel L.; Goldmon, Moses; Roberson, James T.; Godley, Paul A.; Ammerman, Alice
Health disparities are an enormous challenge to American society. Addressing these disparities is a priority for U.S. society and especially for institutions of higher learning, with their threefold mission of education, service, and research. Collaboration across multiple intellectual disciplines will be critical as universities address health disparities. In addition, universities must collaborate with communities, with state partners, and with each other. Development of these collaborations must be sensitive to the history and unique characteristics of each academic institution and population. The authors describe the challenges of all three types of collaboration, but primarily focus on collaboration between research-intensive universities and historically black colleges and universities. The authors describe a four-year collaboration between Shaw University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). These universities strategically developed multiple research initiatives to address health disparities, building on modest early success and personal relationships. These activities included participation by Shaw faculty in faculty development activities, multiple collaborative pilot studies, and joint participation in securing grants from the Agency for Health care Research and Quality of the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, including a P-60 Project EXPORT center grant. These multiple activities were sometimes led by UNC-CH, sometimes by Shaw University. Open discussion of problems as they arose, realistic expectations, and mutual recognition of the strengths of each institution and its faculty have been critical in achieving successful collaboration to date. PMID:16249303
Schetter, Christine Dunkel; Schafer, Peter; Lanzi, Robin Gaines; Clark-Kauffman, Elizabeth; Raju, Tonse N. K.; Hillemeier, Marianne M.
Health disparities are large and persistent gaps in the rates of disease and death between racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status subgroups in the population. Stress is a major pathway hypothesized to explain such disparities. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development formed a community/research collaborative—the Community Child Health Network—to investigate disparities in maternal and child health in five high-risk communities. Using community participation methods, we enrolled a large cohort of African American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, and non-Hispanic/White mothers and fathers of newborns at the time of birth and followed them over 2 years. A majority had household incomes near or below the federal poverty level. Home interviews yielded detailed information regarding multiple types of stress such as major life events and many forms of chronic stress including racism. Several forms of stress varied markedly by racial/ethnic group and income, with decreasing stress as income increased among Caucasians but not among African Americans; other forms of stress varied by race/ethnicity or poverty alone. We conclude that greater sophistication in studying the many forms of stress and community partnership is necessary to uncover the mechanisms underlying health disparities in poor and ethnic-minority families and to implement community health interventions. PMID:26173227
Lapatin, Sheri; Gonçalves, Marta; Nillni, Anna; Chavez, Ligia; Quinn, Roxana Llerena; Green, Alexander; Alegría, Margarita
Objective To examine the development, feasibility, and use of a vignette approach as an important tool in health services disparities research. Data Source Interviews with vignette developers and qualitative data from a novel mental health services disparities study that used vignettes in two samples: (1) predominantly low-income parents of children attending mental health specialty care who were Latino or non-Latino White and (2) Latino and non-Latino mental health clinicians who treat children in their practice. Study Design We conduct a content analysis of qualitative data from patients and providers in the Ethnic Differences Study to explore the feasibility of vignette methodology in health services disparities research, and we identify lessons learned that may guide future vignette development. Principal Findings Vignettes provide a valuable approach that is acceptable to participants, elicits important insight on participant experience and services, and sheds light on factors that can help optimize study design for exploring health disparities questions. Conclusions Researchers, clinicians, and others should consider a set of factors that help determine when a vignette approach is warranted in research, training, or for other uses, including how best to address identified weaknesses. PMID:22150766
Langellier, Brent A; Chen, Jie; Vargas-Bustamante, Arturo; Inkelas, Moira; Ortega, Alexander N
It is important to understand the source of health-care disparities between Latinos and other children in the United States. We examine parent-reported health-care access and utilization among Latino, White, and Black children (≤17 years old) in the United States in the 2006–2011 National Health Interview Survey. Using Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, we portion health-care disparities into two parts (1) those attributable to differences in the levels of sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., income) and (2) those attributable to differences in group-specific regression coefficients that measure the health-care ‘return’ Latino, White, and Black children receive on these characteristics. In the United States, Latino children are less likely than Whites to have a usual source of care, receive at least one preventive care visit, and visit a doctor, and are more likely to have delayed care. The return on sociodemographic characteristics explains 20–30% of the disparity between Latino and White children in the usual source of care, delayed care, and doctor visits and 40–50% of the disparity between Latinos and Blacks in emergency department use and preventive care. Much of the health-care disadvantage experienced by Latino children would persist if Latinos had the sociodemographic characteristics as Whites and Blacks. PMID:25395597
Edelstein, Burton L; Chinn, Courtney H
This contribution updates federal survey findings on children's oral health and dental care since release of Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General in 2000. Dental caries experience continued at high levels, impacting 40% of all children aged 2 to 11 years, with greater disease and untreated disease burden borne by poor and low-income children and racial/ethnic minorities. Caries rates increased for young children (to 28% of 2- to 5-year-olds in the period 1999-2004) and remained flat for most other ages. The total volume of caries and untreated caries increased as the numbers of children increased. The proportion of US children with a dental visit increased modestly (from 42% to 45% between 1996 and 2004), with the greatest increases occurring among children newly covered by the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Disparities in dental visits continued to be evidenced by age, family income, race/ethnicity, and caregiver education. Parental reports of children's oral health and dental care parallel these findings and also reveal higher unmet dental needs among children with special health care needs. Racial- and income-based disparities in both oral health and dental care continue into adolescence and young adulthood. These disparities can, as in the past, be expected to exacerbate under the forces of growing income disparities and demographic trends.
Levin, Kate; Inchley, Jo; Currie, Dorothy; Currie, Candace
Purpose: The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of the health promoting school (HPS) on adolescent well-being. Design/methodology/approach: Data from the 2006 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children: WHO-collaborative Study in Scotland were analysed using multilevel linear regression analyses for outcome measures: happiness, confidence,…
Bramlett, Matthew D.; Soobader, Mah-J; Fisher-Owens, Susan A.; Weintraub, Jane A.; Gansky, Stuart A.; Platt, Larry J.; Newacheck, Paul W.
Objectives To empirically test a multilevel conceptual model of children’s oral health incorporating 22 domains of children’s oral health across four levels: child, family, neighborhood and state. Data source The 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health, a module of the State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, is a nationally representative telephone survey of caregivers of children. Study design We examined child-, family-, neighborhood-, and state-level factors influencing parent’s report of children’s oral health using a multilevel logistic regression model, estimated for 26 736 children ages 1–5 years. Principal findings Factors operating at all four levels were associated with the likelihood that parents rated their children’s oral health as fair or poor, although most significant correlates are represented at the child or family level. Of 22 domains identified in our conceptual model, 15 domains contained factors significantly associated with young children’s oral health. At the state level, access to fluoridated water was significantly associated with favorable oral health for children. Conclusions Our results suggest that efforts to understand or improve children’s oral health should consider a multilevel approach that goes beyond solely child-level factors. PMID:20370808
Hardison-Moody, Annie; Dunn, Carolyn; Hall, David; Jones, Lorelei; Newkirk, Jimmy; Thomas, Cathy
This article examines the role of multi-level partnerships in implementing Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More, a faith-based health promotion program that works with low-resource faith communities in North Carolina. This program incorporates a nine-lesson individual behavior change program in concert with policy and environmental…
Liu, Hong; Fang, Hai; Zhao, Zhong
This paper analyzes urban-rural disparities of China's child health and nutritional status using the China Health and Nutrition Survey data from 1989 to 2006. We investigate degrees of health and nutritional disparities between urban and rural children in China as well as how such disparities have changed during the period 1989-2006. The results show that on average urban children have 0.29 higher height-for-age z-scores and 0.19 greater weight-for-age z-scores than rural children. Urban children are approximately 40% less likely to be stunted (OR=0.62; p<0.01) or underweight (OR=0.62; p<0.05) during the period 1989-2006. We also find that the urban-rural health and nutritional disparities have been declining significantly from 1989 to 2006. Both urban and rural children have increased consumption of high protein and fat foods from 1989 to 2006, but the urban-rural difference decreased over time. Moreover, the urban-rural gap in child preventive health care access was also reduced during this period.
Link, Bruce G.; Susser, Ezra S.; Factor-Litvak, Pam; March, Dana; Kezios, Katrina L.; Lovasi, Gina S.; Rundle, Andrew G.; Suglia, Shakira F.; Fader, Kim M.; Andrews, Howard F.; Johnson, Eileen; Cirillo, Piera M.; Cohn, Barbara A.
Extensive evidence leads us to expect that health disparities by race and socioeconomic status found in one generation might be reproduced in the next. To the extent that this occurs it is important to assess life course processes responsible for the reproduction. Prospective evidence concerning such life course processes is hard to come by as it requires long-term follow-up of individuals from childhood through adult life. We present data from the Child Health and Development Disparities study that provides evidence relevant to this issue with respect to self-rated health. Mothers and offspring recruited in California's Bay Area between 1959 and 1967 were assessed during pregnancy with follow-up exams of offspring along with in-person interviews with mothers (at offspring ages 5, 9–11, 15–17) and offspring (at ages 15–17, ~50). Available data allow us to assess the importance of three potential life course pathways in the reproduction of inequalities in self-rated health – socioeconomic pathways, cognitive pathways and pathways involving emerging health itself. As expected we found that race and SES disparities in SRH are reproduced across generations. They are evident in mothers, not strong or significant in offspring at 15–17, but present once again in offspring at age ~50. Concerning potential pathways, we found that indicators of child health were related to adult SRH and played some role in accounting for race but not SES disparities in adult SRH. Cognitive abilities were unrelated to adult SRH with childhood SES controlled. Childhood SES was associated with adult SRH independent of other childhood factors and is reduced to non-significance only when offspring college attainment is controlled. Race and SES disparities in self-reported health in one generation are re-expressed in the next with strongest support for SES pathways in this transmission. PMID:27987434
Link, Bruce G; Susser, Ezra S; Factor-Litvak, Pam; March, Dana; Kezios, Katrina L; Lovasi, Gina S; Rundle, Andrew G; Suglia, Shakira F; Fader, Kim M; Andrews, Howard F; Johnson, Eileen; Cirillo, Piera M; Cohn, Barbara A
Extensive evidence leads us to expect that health disparities by race and socioeconomic status found in one generation might be reproduced in the next. To the extent that this occurs it is important to assess life course processes responsible for the reproduction. Prospective evidence concerning such life course processes is hard to come by as it requires long-term follow-up of individuals from childhood through adult life. We present data from the Child Health and Development Disparities study that provides evidence relevant to this issue with respect to self-rated health. Mothers and offspring recruited in California's Bay Area between 1959 and 1967 were assessed during pregnancy with follow-up exams of offspring along with in-person interviews with mothers (at offspring ages 5, 9-11, 15-17) and offspring (at ages 15-17, ∼50). Available data allow us to assess the importance of three potential life course pathways in the reproduction of inequalities in self-rated health - socioeconomic pathways, cognitive pathways and pathways involving emerging health itself. As expected we found that race and SES disparities in SRH are reproduced across generations. They are evident in mothers, not strong or significant in offspring at 15-17, but present once again in offspring at age ∼50. Concerning potential pathways, we found that indicators of child health were related to adult SRH and played some role in accounting for race but not SES disparities in adult SRH. Cognitive abilities were unrelated to adult SRH with childhood SES controlled. Childhood SES was associated with adult SRH independent of other childhood factors and is reduced to non-significance only when offspring college attainment is controlled. Race and SES disparities in self-reported health in one generation are re-expressed in the next with strongest support for SES pathways in this transmission.
Christiani, Yodi; Byles, Julie E; Tavener, Meredith; Dugdale, Paul
We examined women's access to health insurance in Indonesia. We analyzed IFLS-4 data of 1,400 adult women residing in four major cities. Among this population, the health insurance coverage was 24%. Women who were older, involved in paid work, and with higher education had greater access to health insurance (p < .05). We also found there were disparities in the probability of having health insurance across community levels (Median Odds Ratios = 3.40). Given the importance of health insurance for women's health, strategies should be developed to expand health insurance coverage among women in Indonesia, including the disparities across community levels. Such problems might also be encountered in other developing countries with low health insurance coverage.
Jalali, Arash; Olabode, Olusegun A; Bell, Christopher M
As the use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) has continued to gain prominence in hospitals and physician practices, public health agencies and health professionals have the ability to access health data through health information exchanges (HIE). With such knowledge health providers are well positioned to positively affect population health, and enhance health status or quality-of-life outcomes in at-risk populations. Through big data analytics, predictive analytics and cloud computing, public health agencies have the opportunity to observe emerging public health threats in real-time and provide more effective interventions addressing health disparities in our communities. The Smarter Public Health Prevention System (SPHPS) provides real-time reporting of potential public health threats to public health leaders through the use of a simple and efficient dashboard and links people with needed personal health services through mobile platforms for smartphones and tablets to promote and encourage healthy behaviors in our communities. The purpose of this working paper is to evaluate how a secure virtual private cloud (VPC) solution could facilitate the implementation of the SPHPS in order to address public health disparities.
Mitchell, Jamie A; Thompson, Hayley S; Watkins, Daphne C; Shires, Deirdre; Modlin, Charles S
Given the benefits of health-related Internet use, we examined whether sociodemographic, medical, and access-related factors predicted this outcome among African American men, a population burdened with health disparities. African American men (n = 329) completed an anonymous survey at a community health fair in 2010; logistic regression was used to identify predictors. Only education (having attended some college or more) predicted health-related Internet use (P < .001). African American men may vary in how they prefer to receive health information; those with less education may need support to engage effectively with health-related Internet use.
Kagawa Singer, Marjorie
Culture is often cited as an underlying cause of the undue burden of disease borne by communities of color along the entire life cycle. However, culture is rarely defined or appropriately measured. Scientifically, culture is a complex, integrated, and dynamic conceptual framework that is incongruent with the way it is operationalized in health behavior theories: as a unidimensional, static, and immutable character element of a homogeneous population group. This paper lays out this contradiction and proposes a more scientifically grounded approach to the use of culture. The premise is that if the concept of culture were better operationalized, results from studies of diverse population groups would produce findings that are more scientifically valid and relevant to the community. Practitioners could then use these findings to develop more effective strategies to reduce health disparities and improve the health of all population groups. Six steps are proposed to increase our ability to achieve greater clarity on what culture is and to identify how it impacts health behavior and ultimately health outcomes, enabling researchers to build a stronger science of cultural diversity.
Okechukwu, Cassandra A.; Souza, Kerry; Davis, Kelly D.; de Castro, A. Butch
This paper synthesizes research on the contribution of workplace injustices – discrimination, harassment, abuse and bullying – to occupational health disparities. A conceptual framework is presented to illustrate the pathways through which injustices at the interpersonal and institutional level lead to differential risk of vulnerable workers to adverse occupational health outcomes. Members of demographic minority groups are more likely to be victims of workplace injustice and suffer more adverse outcomes when exposed to workplace injustice compared to demographic majority groups. A growing body of research links workplace injustice to poor psychological and physical health, and a smaller body of evidence links workplace injustice to unhealthy behaviors. Although not as well studied, studies also show that workplace injustice can influence workers’ health through effects on workers’ family life and job-related outcomes. Lastly, this paper discusses methodological limitations in research linking injustices and occupational health disparities and makes recommendations to improve the state of research. PMID:23813664
Payne, Gayle Holmes; James, Stephen D.; Hawley, Lisa; Corrigan, Bethany; Kramer, Rachel E.; Overton, Samantha N.; Farris, Rosanne P.; Wasilewski, Yvonne
Obesity has been on the rise in the United States over the past three decades, and is high. In addition to population-wide trends, it is clear that obesity affects some groups more than others and can be associated with age, income, education, gender, race and ethnicity, and geographic region. To reverse the obesity epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) promotes evidence-based and practice-informed strategies to address nutrition and physical activity environments and behaviors. These public health strategies require translation into actionable approaches that can be implemented by state and local entities to address disparities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used findings from an expert panel meeting to guide the development and dissemination of the Health Equity Resource Toolkit for State Practitioners Addressing Obesity Disparities (available at http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/health_equity/toolkit.html). The Toolkit helps public health practitioners take a systematic approach to program planning using a health equity lens. The Toolkit provides a six-step process for planning, implementing, and evaluating strategies to address obesity disparities. Each section contains (a) a basic description of the steps of the process and suggested evidence-informed actions to help address obesity disparities, (b) practical tools for carrying out activities to help reduce obesity disparities, and (c) a “real-world” case study of a successful state-level effort to address obesity with a focus on health equity that is particularly relevant to the content in that section. Hyperlinks to additional resources are included throughout. PMID:24962967
Payne, Gayle Holmes; James, Stephen D; Hawley, Lisa; Corrigan, Bethany; Kramer, Rachel E; Overton, Samantha N; Farris, Rosanne P; Wasilewski, Yvonne
Obesity has been on the rise in the United States over the past three decades, and is high. In addition to population-wide trends, it is clear that obesity affects some groups more than others and can be associated with age, income, education, gender, race and ethnicity, and geographic region. To reverse the obesity epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) promotes evidence-based and practice-informed strategies to address nutrition and physical activity environments and behaviors. These public health strategies require translation into actionable approaches that can be implemented by state and local entities to address disparities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used findings from an expert panel meeting to guide the development and dissemination of the Health Equity Resource Toolkit for State Practitioners Addressing Obesity Disparities (available at http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/health_equity/toolkit.html). The Toolkit helps public health practitioners take a systematic approach to program planning using a health equity lens. The Toolkit provides a six-step process for planning, implementing, and evaluating strategies to address obesity disparities. Each section contains (a) a basic description of the steps of the process and suggested evidence-informed actions to help address obesity disparities, (b) practical tools for carrying out activities to help reduce obesity disparities, and (c) a "real-world" case study of a successful state-level effort to address obesity with a focus on health equity that is particularly relevant to the content in that section. Hyperlinks to additional resources are included throughout.
Chapman, Elizabeth N; Kaatz, Anna; Carnes, Molly
Although the medical profession strives for equal treatment of all patients, disparities in health care are prevalent. Cultural stereotypes may not be consciously endorsed, but their mere existence influences how information about an individual is processed and leads to unintended biases in decision-making, so called "implicit bias". All of society is susceptible to these biases, including physicians. Research suggests that implicit bias may contribute to health care disparities by shaping physician behavior and producing differences in medical treatment along the lines of race, ethnicity, gender or other characteristics. We review the origins of implicit bias, cite research documenting the existence of implicit bias among physicians, and describe studies that demonstrate implicit bias in clinical decision-making. We then present the bias-reducing strategies of consciously taking patients' perspectives and intentionally focusing on individual patients' information apart from their social group. We conclude that the contribution of implicit bias to health care disparities could decrease if all physicians acknowledged their susceptibility to it, and deliberately practiced perspective-taking and individuation when providing patient care. We further conclude that increasing the number of African American/Black physicians could reduce the impact of implicit bias on health care disparities because they exhibit significantly less implicit race bias.
Locke, Jill; Kang-Yi, Christina D.; Pellecchia, Melanie; Marcus, Steven; Hadley, Trevor; Mandell, David S.
Background: We examined racial/ethnic disparities in school-based behavioral health service use for children with psychiatric disorders. Methods: Medicaid claims data were used to compare the behavioral healthcare service use of 23,601 children aged 5-17 years by psychiatric disorder (autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD],…
Zekeri, Andrew A.; Habtemariam, Tsegaye
Objective: This study examined African American college students' perceptions of psychosocial factors that influence racial disparities in health. Methods: We conducted focus groups in two Alabama Black Belt Counties from June to August 2005. Data were collected using a standardized discussion guide, augmented by prompts for clarification.…
Koh, Howard K; Judge, Christine M; Ferrer, Barbara; Gershman, Susan T
Identifying and eliminating social disparities in cancer depend upon the availability and ready use of public health surveillance data at the national, state and local levels. As an example of advancing a statewide research agenda in cancer disparities, we present descriptive statistics from major public health surveillance data systems in Massachusetts. Disparities highlighted include higher breast cancer mortality rates among African-American women than women of other racial groups, lower rates of colorectal and cervical cancer screening among Asian-American residents, and striking gradients in cancer risk factor prevalence and screening by income and education. Challenges in utilizing public health surveillance data include lack of information in many domains of social inequity beyond race/ethnicity, uneven quality, and lack of stable, reportable data for smaller populations. Opportunities to maximize the usefulness of cancer registry data include application of geographic information systems and linkage with other data systems tracking information on health services outcomes and clinical trial participation. Analyses of surveillance data can spark advances not only in community-based participatory research but also in programs and policies that may ultimately eliminate disparities along the cancer continuum.
Grineski, Sara E.; Collins, Timothy W.; Chavez-Payan, Paola; Jimenez, Anthony M.; Clark-Reyna, Stephanie; Gaines, Marie; Kim, Young-an
The objectives of this study were to assess prevalence of children’s respiratory health conditions and to measure and describe social disparities in children’s respiratory problems and access to health resources for asthma/wheezing management. Data were collected through a cross-sectional, observational mail survey of all primary caretakers of 4th and 5th grade children in El Paso Independent School District (El Paso, TX, USA). 6295 primary caretakers received surveys at their home address and 1904 surveys were completed and returned for a 30% response rate. El Paso children have high rates of asthma (17%) and allergies (51%). In terms of social disparities, children that are male, not poor, obese, Hispanic, born in El Paso, have a US-born caretaker, and have a caretaker who has lower levels Spanish proficiency have increased odds of respiratory problems. Among children with asthma and wheezing, disparities exist in access to care; those that are poor, with a Spanish-speaking caretaker, or with a foreign-born caretaker had increased odds of seeking care in urgent care center, emergency rooms and hospitals. Results have scholarly and practical implications for broader trends in terms of increasing prevalence of respiratory health problems across multiple scales (from El Paso to the US context to worldwide) and health disparities experienced within the rapidly growing US Hispanic population. PMID:24619157
Altpeter, Mary; Mitchell, James F.; Pennell, Joan
This study provides the basis for customizing culturally responsive social work health promotion programs aimed at eliminating breast cancer screening and mortality disparities between white and African American women. Survey data collected from a random sample of 853 women in rural North Carolina were used to explore the impact of psychosocial…
Weeks, William B.; Wallace, Amy E.; Wang, Stanley; Lee, Austin; Kazis, Lewis E.
Context: Compared to their urban counterparts, rural veterans have been found to have lower health-related quality of life. Purpose: To determine whether these disparities persist when examining disease categories of rural and urban veterans. Methods: We obtained survey data on 748,216 veterans who were current or anticipated Veterans Health…
Eack, Shaun M.; Newhill, Christina E.
Racial disparities in mental health outcomes have been widely documented in noninstitutionalized community psychiatric samples, but few studies have specifically examined the effects of race among individuals with the most severe mental illnesses. A sample of 925 individuals hospitalized for severe mental illness was followed for a year after…
Mitchell, Dennis A; Lassiter, Shana L
The racial/ethnic composition of our nation is projected to change drastically in the coming decades. It is therefore important that the health professions improve their efforts to provide culturally competent care to all patients. We reviewed literature concerning health care disparities and workforce diversity issues--particularly within the oral health field--and provide a synthesis of recommendations to address these issues. This review is highly relevant to both the medical and public health professions, because they are facing similar disparity and workforce issues. In addition, the recent establishment of relationships between oral health and certain systemic health conditions will elevate oral health promotion and disease prevention as important points of intervention in the quest to improve our nation's public health.
Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes; Portillo, Carmen J.; Garbanati, James Allen
Analyzes health indicators for Latinas in rural and urban California. Discusses Latina demographics; causes of death; life expectancy; and profiles for breast cancer, cervical cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and AIDS. Examines Latina risk factors: poverty, high dropout rates, lack of health insurance, obesity, physical inactivity, low levels of…
Rock, Melanie J.; McIntyre, Lynn; Persaud, Steven A.; Thomas, Karen L.
Media advocacy is a well-established strategy for transmitting health messages to the public. This paper discusses a media advocacy intervention that raised issues about how the public interprets messages about the negative effects of poverty on population health. In conjunction with the publication of a manuscript illustrating how income-related…
Fulkerson, Nadia Deashinta; Haff, Darlene R; Chino, Michelle
The objective of this study was to advance our understanding and appreciation of the health status of young children in the state of Nevada in addition to their discrepancies in accessing health care. This study used the 2008-2009 Nevada Kindergarten Health Survey data of 11,073 children to assess both independent and combined effects of annual household income, race/ethnicity, primary language spoken in the family, rural/urban residence, and existing medical condition on access to health care. Annual household income was a significant predictor of access to health care, with middle and high income respondents having regular access to care compared to low income counterparts. Further, English proficiency was associated with access to health care, with English-speaking Hispanics over 2.5 times more likely to have regular access to care than Spanish-speaking Hispanics. Rural residents had decreased odds of access to preventive care and having a primary care provider, but unexpectedly, had increased odds of having access to dental care compared to urban residents. Finally, parents of children with no medical conditions were more likely to have access to care than those with a medical condition. The consequences for not addressing health care access issues include deteriorating health and well-being for vulnerable socio-demographic groups in the state. Altogether these findings suggest that programs and policies within the state must be sensitive to the specific needs of at risk groups, including minorities, those with low income, and regionally and linguistically isolated residents.
Kim, Hyun-Jun; Barkan, Susan E.; Muraco, Anna; Hoy-Ellis, Charles P.
Objectives. We investigated health disparities among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults aged 50 years and older. Methods. We analyzed data from the 2003–2010 Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n = 96 992) on health outcomes, chronic conditions, access to care, behaviors, and screening by gender and sexual orientation with adjusted logistic regressions. Results. LGB older adults had higher risk of disability, poor mental health, smoking, and excessive drinking than did heterosexuals. Lesbians and bisexual women had higher risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity, and gay and bisexual men had higher risk of poor physical health and living alone than did heterosexuals. Lesbians reported a higher rate of excessive drinking than did bisexual women; bisexual men reported a higher rate of diabetes and a lower rate of being tested for HIV than did gay men. Conclusions. Tailored interventions are needed to address the health disparities and unique health needs of LGB older adults. Research across the life course is needed to better understand health disparities by sexual orientation and age, and to assess subgroup differences within these communities. PMID:23763391
Graves, Kristi D; Tercyak, Kenneth P
Given the importance of minority health and health-disparities research in addressing our nation's health-care objectives, Health Psychology encourages manuscripts that reflect a range of themes in this topic. This special section focuses on genomic medicine and continues the journal's effort to highlight behavioral research in disparities. Genomics is a rapidly evolving science and is becoming ubiquitous throughout health care. Researchers and clinicians are increasingly turning their attention to the human genome and its interaction with the environment to understand root causes of many chronic diseases. For all individuals, families, and communities within our society to benefit equitably from such discoveries, genomic research must become an ally in the fight to eliminate health disparities. In this special section, 3 studies concentrate on understanding genomic risk information in racially and ethnically diverse populations, and how that information is communicated and received. These works represent a call to action for health psychologists (and social and behavioral scientists more broadly) to improve our understanding of the role of sociocultural factors in the delivery of genomic medicine through empirical research on affect, cognition, behavior, and patient-provider communication.
Zelle, Andraya; Arms, Tamatha
The 1.5 million older adults who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) are expected to double in number by 2030. Research suggests that health disparities are closely linked with societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of civil and human rights. More LGBT older adults struggle with depression, substance abuse, social isolation, and acceptance compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Despite individual preferences, most health care providers recognize the right of any individual to have access to basic medical services. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requires that all hospitals receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid respect visitation and medical decision-making rights to all individuals identifying as LGBT. The Joint Commission also requires a non-discrimination statement for accreditation. The current literature review examines LGBT health disparities and the consequential psychosocial impact on LGBT older adults as well as brings awareness to the needs of this underserved and underrepresented population.
Steinberg, Marc L.; Griffiths, Kim Gesell; Cooperman, Nina
Smokers with co-occurring mental illness or substance use disorders are not designated a disparity group or priority population by most national public health and tobacco control groups. These smokers fulfill the criteria commonly used to identify groups that merit special attention: targeted marketing by the tobacco industry, high smoking prevalence rates, heavy economic and health burdens from tobacco, limited access to treatment, and longer durations of smoking with less cessation. A national effort to increase surveillance, research, and treatment is needed. Designating smokers with behavioral health comorbidity a priority group will bring much-needed attention and resources. The disparity in smoking rates among persons with behavioral health issues relative to the general population will worsen over time if their needs remain unaddressed. PMID:23865661
Davis, Esa M; Stange, Kurt C; Horwitz, Ralph I
The perinatal period, from early in the first trimester to 1 year postpartum, provides opportunities for novel public health interventions to reduce obesity disparities. We present a unifying socio-biological framework to suggest opportunities for multidisciplinary research and public health approaches to elucidate and target the mechanisms for the development of maternal obesity and related disparities. The framework illustrates the interplay of the social, cultural and physical environment; stress appraisal and response; and coping behaviors on short-term outcomes (e.g. allostatic load and gestational weight gain), the intermediate outcomes of persistent insulin resistance and post-partum weight retention, and longer term outcomes of obesity and its disease consequences. Testing the proposed relationships may provide insights into how childbearing risk factors such as gestational weight gain, postpartum weight retention and parity contribute to obesity, which are needed to inform public health policies and clinical care guidelines aimed at reducing obesity and improving the health of women.
Wylie, Sarah A; Corliss, Heather L; Boulanger, Vanessa; Prokop, Lisa A; Austin, S Bryn
Discrimination and violence targeting people perceived as gender nonconforming have been linked to a range of negative health outcomes, and large-scale representative data are needed to begin population surveillance of associated health disparities. A brief self-report measure of gender expression as perceived by others was tested using cognitive interviewing methods in a diverse sample of 82 young adults aged 18-30 years, recruited from the New England region in the U.S. Results identified themes related to item clarity, gender expression variation, undesirability of highest or lowest ends of item range, and tension between self and others' perceptions. The item performed as expected and is recommended for use on studies of health disparities, including statewide and national public health surveillance tools.
Bryan, Valerie; Brye, Willette; Hudson, Kenneth; Dubose, Leevones; Hansberry, Shantisha; Arrieta, Martha
This article describes one university's efforts to partner with a local agency (the "Coalition") within a disadvantaged, predominantly African American neighborhood, to assist them with studying their community's health disparities and health care access. The final, mutually agreed-upon plan used a community-based participatory research approach, wherein university researchers prepared neighborhood volunteers and Coalition members to conduct face-to-face interviews with residents about their health and health care access. Subsequently, the Coalition surveyed 138 residents, and the agency now possesses extensive data about the nature and extent of health problems in their community. Lessons learned from these experiences are offered.
Wells, Kristen J; Lima, Diana S; Meade, Cathy D; Muñoz-Antonia, Teresita; Scarinci, Isabel; McGuire, Allison; Gwede, Clement K; Pledger, W Jack; Partridge, Edward; Lipscomb, Joseph; Matthews, Roland; Matta, Jaime; Flores, Idhaliz; Weiner, Roy; Turner, Timothy; Miele, Lucio; Wiese, Thomas E; Fouad, Mona; Moreno, Carlos S; Lacey, Michelle; Christie, Debra W; Price-Haywood, Eboni G; Quinn, Gwendolyn P; Coppola, Domenico; Sodeke, Stephen O; Green, B Lee; Lichtveld, Maureen Y
Significant cancer health disparities exist in the United States and Puerto Rico. While numerous initiatives have been implemented to reduce cancer disparities, regional coordination of these efforts between institutions is often limited. To address cancer health disparities nation-wide, a series of regional transdisciplinary networks through the Geographic Management Program (GMaP) and the Minority Biospecimen/Biobanking Geographic Management Program (BMaP) were established in six regions across the country. This paper describes the development of the Region 3 GMaP/BMaP network composed of over 100 investigators from nine institutions in five Southeastern states and Puerto Rico to develop a state-of-the-art network for cancer health disparities research and training. We describe a series of partnership activities that led to the formation of the infrastructure for this network, recount the participatory processes utilized to develop and implement a needs and assets assessment and implementation plan, and describe our approach to data collection. Completion, by all nine institutions, of the needs and assets assessment resulted in several beneficial outcomes for Region 3 GMaP/BMaP. This network entails ongoing commitment from the institutions and institutional leaders, continuous participatory and engagement activities, and effective coordination and communication centered on team science goals.
Background The provision of effective health care to people with HIV and those from usually marginalised backgrounds, such as drug users and sex workers is a growing concern in Nepal, because these populations often do not seek health care, as willingly as the general population. Exploration of the factors, which hinder them seeking health care is crucial. The 'lived' experiences of the usually marginalized participants in this research will reflect on the constraining factors, and contribute to the development of appropriate strategies, which will facilitate people with HIV and other marginal populations to seek more readily appropriate health services. Methods This study explored the healthcare-seeking experiences of 20 HIV-positive participants in Nepal, as well as 10 drug-using participants who had never had an HIV test and did not know their HIV status. Using grounded theory, this study investigated the perceptions and experiences of HIV-positive persons, or those perceived to be at risk for HIV, as they sought health care services in locations around Kathmandu Valley. Results Health professionals were perceived to lack knowledge and sensitivity in providing health care to often marginalized and stigmatized injecting drug users, sex workers and HIV-positive people. Stigma and marginalization seem to interfere with doctors' and other health professionals' decisions to voluntarily treat persons who they perceive to be at high risk for HIV infections. Doctors and other health professionals appear suspicious, even unaware, of contemporary biomedical knowledge as it relates to HIV. The fear that certain marginalized groups, such as injecting drug users and sex workers, would be infected with HIV has further intensified stigma against these groups. Conclusion The study identified the beginning of a change in the experiences of HIV-positive people, or those at risk of HIV, in their seeking of health care. With focused, contemporary HIV education and training, the
Sheehan, Diana M; Dillon, Frank R; Babino, Rosa; Melton, James; Spadola, Christine; Da Silva, Nicole; De La Rosa, Mario
The authors interviewed 4 researchers to identify facilitators in recruiting and assessing Latina immigrants. The 4 researchers recruited 530 recent Latina immigrants (ages 18-23 years) for a study of social and cultural determinants of health. Consensual qualitative research methods revealed that respondent-driven sampling was an effective recruitment method. Fear of deportation was a barrier. Stigma about sensitive topics (e.g., sex, drug use) did not affect participation. Findings can help counselors conduct health disparities research.
Beck, Audrey N.; Finch, Brian K.; Lin, Shih-Fan; Hummer, Robert A.; Masters, Ryan K.
This paper uses data from the U.S. National Health Interview Surveys (N = 1,513,097) to describe and explain temporal patterns in black-white health disparities with models that simultaneously consider the unique effects of age, period, and cohort. First, we employ cross-classified random effects age–period–cohort (APC) models to document black-white disparities in self-rated health across temporal dimensions. Second, we use decomposition techniques to shed light on the extent to which socio-economic shifts in cohort composition explain the age and period adjusted racial health disparities across successive birth cohorts. Third, we examine the extent to which exogenous conditions at the time of birth help explain the racial disparities across successive cohorts. Results show that black-white disparities are wider among the pre-1935 cohorts for women, falling thereafter; disparities for men exhibit a similar pattern but exhibit narrowing among cohorts born earlier in the century. Differences in socioeconomic composition consistently contribute to racial health disparities across cohorts; notably, marital status differences by race emerge as an increasingly important explanatory factor in more recent cohorts for women whereas employment differences by race emerge as increasingly salient in more recent cohorts for men. Finally, our cohort characteristics models suggest that cohort economic conditions at the time of birth (percent large family, farm or Southern birth) help explain racial disparities in health for both men and women. PMID:24581075
Williams, David R; Kontos, Emily Z; Viswanath, K; Haas, Jennifer S; Lathan, Christopher S; MacConaill, Laura E; Chen, Jarvis; Ayanian, John Z
Objective To illustrate the complex patterns that emerge when race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES), and gender are considered simultaneously in health care disparities research and to outline the needed research to understand them by using disparities in lung cancer risks, treatment, and outcomes as an example. Principal Findings SES, gender, and race/ethnicity are social categories that are robust predictors of variations in health and health services utilization. These are usually considered separately, but intersectionality theory indicates that the impact of each depends on the others. Each reflects historically and culturally contingent variations in social, economic, and political status. Distinct patterns of risk and resilience emerge at the intersections of multiple social categories and shape the experience of health, health care access, utilization, quality, and outcomes where these categories intersect. Intersectional approaches call for greater attention to understand social processes at multiple levels of society and require the collection of relevant data and utilization of appropriate analytic approaches to understand how multiple risk factors and resources combine to affect the distribution of disease and its management. Conclusions Understanding how race/ethnicity, gender, and SES are interactive, interdependent, and social identities can provide new knowledge to enhance our efforts to effectively address health disparities. PMID:22568674
Lazo, Mariana; Bilal, Usama; Perez-Escamilla, Rafael
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver condition in the USA and worldwide and affects Hispanics disproportionally. In this review, we aim to document and contrast the epidemiology of NAFLD and type 2 diabetes, provide a framework to study health disparities in NAFLD in Hispanic populations, and identify points of action within the health care system to tackle these health disparities. NAFLD shares many common risk factors with type 2 diabetes, specially obesity and insulin resistance, but shows different prevalence patterns by ethnicity: while Hispanics are disproportionately affected by both NAFLD and type 2 diabetes, non-Hispanic black populations have a low prevalence of NAFLD. The current literature suggests a strong role of polymorphisms in the PNPLA3 gene and potential interactions with environmental factors in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. However, given potential interactions and the shared risk factors with type 2 diabetes, a health disparity approach that acknowledges upstream determinants is needed. Solutions to these determinants can also be found in the health system. The role of interventions that have shown efficacy in type 2 diabetes, like community health workers, may be implemented to prevent and control NAFLD.
Siegel, Elliot R.; Wood, Frederick B.; Dutcher, Gale A.; Ruffin, Angela; Logan, Robert A.; Scott, John C.
Objectives: Overcoming health disparities between majority and minority populations is a significant national challenge. This paper assesses outreach to Native Americans (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians) by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). A companion paper details NLM's portfolio of Native American outreach projects. Method: NLM's Native American outreach is assessed in light of the presentations at a community-based health information outreach symposium and the goals set by NLM's plan to reduce health disparities. Results: NLM's current portfolio of Native American outreach projects appears most advanced in meeting the goal set in area 1 of the health disparities plan, “Promote use of health information by health professionals and the public.” NLM's portfolio also shows significant strength and good progress regarding area 2 of the plan, “Expand partnerships among various types of libraries and community-based organizations.” The portfolio is weaker in area 3, “Conduct and support informatics research.” More knowledge-building efforts would benefit NLM, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and Native American and community-based organizations. Implications: The current Native American outreach portfolio should be continued, but new approaches are needed for evaluating Native American outreach and for forging collaborations with Native American groups, approaches grounded in consultation and mutual understanding of needs and perspectives. PMID:16239954
Yamada, Tetsuji; Chen, Chia-Ching; Murata, Chiyoe; Hirai, Hiroshi; Ojima, Toshiyuki; Kondo, Katsunori; Harris, Joseph R.
The purpose of this study is to investigate healthcare access disparity that will cause delayed and unmet healthcare needs for the elderly, and to examine health inequality and healthcare cost burden for the elderly. To produce clear policy applications, this study adapts a modified PRECEDE-PROCEED model for framing theoretical and experimental approaches. Data were collected from a large collection of the Community Tracking Study Household Survey 2003–2004 of the USA. Reliability and construct validity are examined for internal consistency and estimation of disparity and inequality are analyzed by using probit/ols regressions. The results show that predisposing factors (e.g., attitude, beliefs, and perception by socio-demographic differences) are negatively associated with delayed healthcare. A 10% increase in enabling factors (e.g., availability of health insurance coverage, and usual sources of healthcare providers) are significantly associated with a 1% increase in healthcare financing factors. In addition, information through a socio-economic network and support system has a 5% impact on an access disparity. Income, health status, and health inequality are exogenously determined. Designing and implementing easy healthcare accessibility (healthcare system) and healthcare financing methods, and developing a socio-economic support network (including public health information) are essential in reducing delayed healthcare and health inequality. PMID:25654774
Aronson, Joshua; Burgess, Diana; Phelan, Sean M; Juarez, Lindsay
Stereotype threat is the unpleasant psychological experience of confronting negative stereotypes about race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or social status. Hundreds of published studies show how the experience of stereotype threat can impair intellectual functioning and interfere with test and school performance. Numerous published interventions derived from this research have improved the performance and motivation of individuals targeted by low-ability stereotypes. Stereotype threat theory and research provide a useful lens for understanding and reducing the negative health consequences of interracial interactions for African Americans and members of similarly stigmatized minority groups. Here we summarize the educational outcomes of stereotype threat and examine the implications of stereotype threat for health and health-related behaviors.
Jimenez, Daniel E.; Cook, Ben; Bartels, Stephen J.; Alegría, Margarita
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES We apply the Institute of Medicine definition of healthcare disparities to measure disparities at different junctures of episodes of mental health care and to identify disparities in types of mental health services used. DESIGN Four two-year longitudinal datasets from Panels 9–13 (2004–2009) of the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys were combined. SETTING Large-scale surveys of families and individuals and their medical providers across the United States. PARTICIPANTS A total of 1658 (981 Whites, 303 Blacks, and 374 Latinos) participants aged 60+ with probable mental health care need. MEASUREMENTS Mental health care need was defined as Kessler-6 Scale >12 and PHQ-2 >2. Five aspects of mental health care episodes were analyzed: 1) treatment initiation; 2) adequacy of care; 3) duration of care; 4) number of visits; 5) and expenditures. We assessed whether episodes of care included only prescription drug fills, only outpatient visits, or both. RESULTS Treatment initiation and adequacy were lower for Blacks and Latinos than Whites. Latinos experienced episodes with longer duration, increased number of visits, and more expenditures. Blacks and Latinos had significantly lower rates of episodes that consisted of only medication refills. Blacks had significantly greater rates of episodes with only outpatient care visits. Latinos had significantly higher rates of medication plus outpatient visits. CONCLUSION Low mental health treatment initiation and poor adequacy suggest the need for culturally appropriate interventions to engage older Blacks and Latinos in mental health care. The surprising findings among Blacks (greater rates of outpatient care visits) and Latinos (higher rates of medication plus outpatient visits) highlight the complexities of the older adult population and suggest new avenues for disparities research. PMID:23252464
Signorello, Lisa B.; Hargreaves, Margaret K.; Blot, William J.
Summary Over 73,700 adults age 40–79, nearly 70% African American, were recruited at community health centers across 12 southeastern states; individual characteristics were recorded and biologic specimens collected at baseline for later follow-up. The Southern Community Cohort Study is a unique national resource for assessing determinants of racial/ethnic differentials in diseases. PMID:20173283
National Human Genome Research Institute, 2008
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) led the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) contribution to the International Human Genome Project, whose primary goal was the sequencing of the human genome. This project was successfully completed in April 2003. Now, the NHGRI's mission is focused on a broad range of studies aimed at…
Gianaros, Peter J; Hackman, Daniel A
Socioeconomic disadvantage confers risk for ill health. Historically, the pathways by which socioeconomic disadvantage may affect health have been viewed from epidemiological perspectives emphasizing environmental, behavioral, and biopsychosocial risk factors. Such perspectives, however, have yet to integrate findings from emerging neuroscience studies demonstrating that indicators of socioeconomic disadvantage relate to patterns of brain morphology and functionality that have been associated with aspects of mental, physical, and cognitive health over the lifecourse. This commentary considers findings from one such study appearing in the current issue of Psychosomatic Medicine. It reports that an area-level indicator of socioeconomic disadvantage relates to cortical morphology in brain regions important for language, executive control, and other cognitive and behavioral functions-possibly via a systemic inflammatory pathway. These findings are put into context by discussing broader questions and challenges that need to be addressed in order for neuroscience approaches to a) become better integrated with existing epidemiological perspectives and b) more fully advance our understanding of the pathways by which socioeconomic disadvantage becomes embodied by the brain in relation to health.
Fedock, Gina; Sarantakos, Sophia
Young women ages 18 to 25 make up approximately 30 percent of women arrested in the United States. Although health disparities have been found for incarcerated adults, health concerns for this subpopulation of women have not been as closely examined. Aiming to fill this gap in the literature, this study examined national data for young women ages 18 to 25 who participated in the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. Physical and mental health concerns were compared for young women with and without arrest histories. Young women with arrest histories had significantly higher odds ratios of multiple physical health concerns and all forms of mental health concerns, including recent suicide attempts. This study indicates that history of arrest is significantly associated with health disparities for young women and thus expands and builds gender-specific knowledge for the field of criminal justice epidemiology. Given the intersecting needs of physical health, mental health, and criminal justice involvement, the fields of public health and social work may contribute to gender-responsive interventions that incorporate health promotion specifically for this population of women.
Laird, Lance D; Amer, Mona M; Barnett, Elizabeth D; Barnes, Linda L
This article provides a framework for understanding how Muslim identity, and the current social and political contexts in which it is shaped, affects the health of Muslims in the UK and the US, and the quality of health care they receive. Key medical and public health literature that addresses health concerns related to Muslim communities in the UK and the US is reviewed. Few data exist specific to health disparities for Muslim minorities. However, the article focuses on emerging studies concerning the consequences of "Islamophobia" for the physical and mental health and health care of Muslim families and children. We argue that, despite substantive structural differences in the health care systems of the UK and the US, social structural and political forces play similar roles in the health of Muslim children in both countries. Finally, we call for significant cultural and institutional adjustments in health care settings and further research studies to provide specific data to address health disparities for these growing and diverse populations.
Laird, Lance D; Amer, Mona M; Barnett, Elizabeth D; Barnes, Linda L
This article provides a framework for understanding how Muslim identity, and the current social and political contexts in which it is shaped, affects the health of Muslims in the UK and the US, and the quality of health care they receive. Key medical and public health literature that addresses health concerns related to Muslim communities in the UK and the US is reviewed. Few data exist specific to health disparities for Muslim minorities. However, the article focuses on emerging studies concerning the consequences of “Islamophobia” for the physical and mental health and health care of Muslim families and children. We argue that, despite substantive structural differences in the health care systems of the UK and the US, social structural and political forces play similar roles in the health of Muslim children in both countries. Finally, we call for significant cultural and institutional adjustments in health care settings and further research studies to provide specific data to address health disparities for these growing and diverse populations. PMID:17895342
Kritek, Phyllis Beck; Hargraves, Martha; Cuellar, Ernestine H.; Dallo, Florence; Gauthier, Donna M.; Holland, Christi A.; Ilkiw, Connie; Swanson, Jane W.; Swanson, Reid
A national conference convened in May 2001 explored health disparities among minority women. It included 5 one-hour workshops that randomly assigned each participant to 1 of 4 groups. Groups generated recommendations on conference topics and from these identified priority recommendations. Trained facilitators guided groups through brainstorming and weighted voting processes; individual recommendations were submitted in writing. Participants generated 598 recommendations, 71 of them voted as priorities; these were analyzed to capture participants' “messages.” Central themes focused on access issues and cultural incompetence as deterrents to the elimination of health disparities and on education, funding, and community-based, community-driven research as mechanisms for change. Strategies for change included reinventing or expanding the role of minority communities and changing health care itself and “how” it does its work. The essential element in all recommendations was community leadership and control. PMID:11919057
Blewett, Lynn A.
Objectives. We examined national and state-specific disparities in health insurance coverage, specifically employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage, for adults in same-sex relationships. Methods. We used data from the American Community Survey to identify adults (aged 25–64 years) in same-sex relationships (n = 31 947), married opposite-sex relationships (n = 3 060 711), and unmarried opposite-sex relationships (n = 259 147). We estimated multinomial logistic regression models and state-specific relative differences in ESI coverage with predictive margins. Results. Men and women in same-sex relationships were less likely to have ESI than were their married counterparts in opposite-sex relationships. We found ESI disparities among adults in same-sex relationships in every region, but we found the largest ESI gaps for men in the South and for women in the Midwest. ESI disparities were narrower in states that had extended legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, and broad domestic partnerships. Conclusions. Men and women in same-sex relationships experience disparities in health insurance coverage across the country, but residing in a state that recognizes legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, or broad domestic partnerships may improve access to ESI for same-sex spouses and domestic partners. PMID:24328616
Deshmukh, Sachin K; Azim, Shafquat; Ahmad, Aamir; Zubair, Haseeb; Tyagi, Nikhil; Srivastava, Sanjeev K; Bhardwaj, Arun; Singh, Seema; Rocconi, Rodney P; Singh, Ajay P
Last few decades have witnessed remarkable progress in our understanding of cancer initiation and progression leading to refinement of prevention and treatment approaches. Although these advances have improved the survival of cancer patients in general, certain racial/ethnic groups have benefited only partially. Footprints of cancer-associated racial disparities are very much evident in cancers of the prostate, breast, cervical, colorectal, endometrium, liver and lung. These health inequalities are mostly attributed to socioeconomic differences among races, but there is a growing realization that these may actually be due to inherent biological differences as well. Indeed, significant data now exist to support the biological basis of racial disparities in cancer, warranting basic research investigations, using appropriate tools and model systems. In this article, we have aimed to succinctly review the literature supporting the biological bases of racial disparities in cancer, along with available resources, databases and model systems that will be of interest to researchers. Moreover, we have highlighted the specific areas that need attention in terms of development of resources and/or tools, and discuss the opportunities and challenges in basic biological research in cancer health disparities. PMID:28123843
Friedman, Paula K; Kaufman, Laura B; Karpas, Steven L
Progress has been made in reducing dental caries and edentulism in older adults, but disparities continue to exist related to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic level, and sex. Lack of training in treating medically complex patients, economic factors including absence of coverage for oral health services in Medicare and as a required service for adults in Medicaid, and attitudinal issues on the part of patients, caregivers, and providers contribute to barriers to care for older adults. In addition to the impact of oral health on overall health, oral health impacts quality of life and social and employment opportunities.
Brockie, Teresa N.; Heinzelmann, Morgan; Gill, Jessica
Background. Native Americans disproportionately experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as well as health disparities, including high rates of posttraumatic stress, depression, and substance abuse. Many ACEs have been linked to methylation changes in genes that regulate the stress response, suggesting that these molecular changes may underlie the risk for psychiatric disorders related to ACEs. Methods. We reviewed published studies to provide evidence that ACE-related methylation changes contribute to health disparities in Native Americans. This framework may be adapted to understand how ACEs may result in health disparities in other racial/ethnic groups. Findings. Here we provide evidence that links ACEs to methylation differences in genes that regulate the stress response. Psychiatric disorders are also associated with methylation differences in endocrine, immune, and neurotransmitter genes that serve to regulate the stress response and are linked to psychiatric symptoms and medical morbidity. We provide evidence linking ACEs to these epigenetic modifications, suggesting that ACEs contribute to the vulnerability for developing psychiatric disorders in Native Americans. Conclusion. Additional studies are needed to better understand how ACEs contribute to health and well-being. These studies may inform future interventions to address these serious risks and promote the health and well-being of Native Americans. PMID:24386563
Brockie, Teresa N; Heinzelmann, Morgan; Gill, Jessica
Background. Native Americans disproportionately experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as well as health disparities, including high rates of posttraumatic stress, depression, and substance abuse. Many ACEs have been linked to methylation changes in genes that regulate the stress response, suggesting that these molecular changes may underlie the risk for psychiatric disorders related to ACEs. Methods. We reviewed published studies to provide evidence that ACE-related methylation changes contribute to health disparities in Native Americans. This framework may be adapted to understand how ACEs may result in health disparities in other racial/ethnic groups. Findings. Here we provide evidence that links ACEs to methylation differences in genes that regulate the stress response. Psychiatric disorders are also associated with methylation differences in endocrine, immune, and neurotransmitter genes that serve to regulate the stress response and are linked to psychiatric symptoms and medical morbidity. We provide evidence linking ACEs to these epigenetic modifications, suggesting that ACEs contribute to the vulnerability for developing psychiatric disorders in Native Americans. Conclusion. Additional studies are needed to better understand how ACEs contribute to health and well-being. These studies may inform future interventions to address these serious risks and promote the health and well-being of Native Americans.
Landrine, Hope; Corral, Irma
To conduct meaningful, epidemiologic research on racial–ethnic health disparities, racial–ethnic samples must be rendered equivalent on other social status and contextual variables via statistical controls of those extraneous factors. The racial–ethnic groups must also be equally familiar with and have similar responses to the methods and measures used to collect health data, must have equal opportunity to participate in the research, and must be equally representative of their respective populations. In the absence of such measurement equivalence, studies of racial–ethnic health disparities are confounded by a plethora of unmeasured, uncontrolled correlates of race–ethnicity. Those correlates render the samples, methods, and measures incomparable across racial–ethnic groups, and diminish the ability to attribute health differences discovered to race–ethnicity vs. to its correlates. This paper reviews the non-equivalent yet normative samples, methodologies and measures used in epidemiologic studies of racial–ethnic health disparities, and provides concrete suggestions for improving sample, method, and scalar measurement equivalence. PMID:25566524
The purpose of this article is to review conceptual/theoretical and review/agenda setting nursing literature on the health care of racial/ethnic minority men [specifically African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native and Asian/Pacific Islander men] in one of the four targeted areas of health disparities. CINAHL and MEDLINE computer databases were searched from 1983 to the present using a combination of manual and computer-based methods to identify the nursing literature that included any racial/ethnic men in the sample and addressed at least one of the four areas of health disparities targeted by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that affect adults: heart disease, malignant neoplasms (cancer), diabetes mellitus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/AIDS. This review provides an overview of health disparities experienced by racial/ethnic minority men in the targeted areas and of the types of conceptual and agenda-setting articles published in scholarly nursing literature in those targeted areas.
Bailey, Stacy Cooper; O’Conor, Rachel; Bojarski, Elizabeth A.; Mullen, Rebecca; Patzer, Rachel E.; Vicencio, Daniel; Jacobson, Kara L.; Parker, Ruth M.; Wolf, Michael S.
Background Age and race-related disparities in technology use have been well documented, but less is known about how health literacy influences technology access and use. Objective To assess the association between patients’ literacy skills and mobile phone ownership, use of text messaging, internet access, and use of the internet for health-related purposes. Methods A secondary analysis utilizing data from 1,077 primary care patients enrolled in two, multi-site studies from 2011–2013. Patients were administered an in-person, structured interview. Results Patients with adequate health literacy were more likely to own a mobile phone or smartphone in comparison to patients with low or marginal literacy (mobile phone ownership: 96.8% vs. 95.2% vs. 90.1%, respectively, p<.001; smartphone ownership: 70.6% vs. 62.5% vs. 40.1%, p<.001) and to report text messaging (78.6% vs. 75.2% vs. 53.1%, p<.001). They were also more likely to have access to the internet from their home (92.1% vs. 74.7% vs. 44.9%, p<.001) and to report using the internet for email (93.0% vs. 75.7% vs. 38.5%, p<.001), browsing the web (93.9% vs. 80.2% vs. 44.5%, p<.001), accessing health information (86.3% vs. 75.5% vs. 40.8%, p<.001), and communicating with providers (54.2% vs. 29.8% vs. 13.0%, p<.001). Relationships remained significant in multivariable analyses controlling for relevant covariates. Conclusions Results reveal that literacy-related disparities in technology access and use are widespread, with lower literate patients being less likely to own smartphones or to access and use the internet, particularly for health reasons. Future interventions should consider these disparities and ensure that health promotion activities do not further exacerbate disparities. PMID:25363660
Piccolo, Rebecca S; Duncan, Dustin T; Pearce, Neil; McKinlay, John B
Racial/ethnic disparities in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are well documented and until recently, research has focused almost exclusively on individual-based determinants as potential contributors to these disparities (health behaviors, biological/genetic factors, and individual-level socio-demographics). Research on the role of neighborhood characteristics in relation to racial/ethnic disparities in T2DM is very limited. Therefore, the aim of this research is to identify and estimate the contribution of specific aspects of neighborhoods that may be associated with racial/ethnic disparities in T2DM. Data from the Boston Area Community Health III Survey (N = 2764) was used in this study, which is a community-based random-sample survey of adults in Boston, Massachusetts from three racial/ethnic groups (Black, Hispanic, and White). We applied two-level random intercepts logistic regression to assess the associations between race/ethnicity, neighborhood characteristics (census tract socioeconomic status, racial composition, property and violent crime, open space, geographic proximity to grocery stores, convenience stores, and fast food, and neighborhood disorder) and prevalent T2DM (fasting glucose > 125 mg/dL, HbA1c ≥ 6.5%, or self-report of a T2DM diagnosis). Black and Hispanic participants had 2.89 times and 1.48 times the odds of T2DM as White participants, respectively. Multilevel models indicated a significant between-neighborhood variance estimate of 0.943, providing evidence of neighborhood variation. Individual demographics (race/ethnicity, age and gender) explained 22.3% of the neighborhood variability in T2DM. The addition of neighborhood-level variables to the model had very little effect on the magnitude of the racial/ethnic disparities and on the between-neighborhood variability. For example, census tract poverty explained less than 1% and 6% of the excess odds of T2DM among Blacks and Hispanics and only 1.8% of the neighborhood
Piccolo, Rebecca S.; Duncan, Dustin T.; Pearce, Neil; McKinlay, John B.
Racial/ethnic disparities in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are well documented and until recently, research has focused almost exclusively on individual-based determinants as potential contributors to these disparities (health behaviors, biological/genetic factors, and individual-level sociodemographics). Research on the role of neighborhood characteristics in relation to racial/ethnic disparities in T2DM is very limited. Therefore, the aim of this research is to identify and estimate the contribution of specific aspects of neighborhoods that may be associated with racial/ethnic disparities in T2DM. Data from the Boston Area Community Health III Survey (N = 2,764) was used in this study, which is a community-based random-sample survey of adults in Boston, Massachusetts from three racial/ethnic groups (Black, Hispanic, and White). We applied two-level random intercepts logistic regression to assess the associations between race/ethnicity, neighborhood characteristics (census tract socioeconomic status, racial composition, property and violent crime, open space, geographic proximity to grocery stores, convenience stores, and fast food, and neighborhood disorder) and prevalent T2DM (fasting glucose > 125 mg/dL, HbA1c ≥ 6.5%, or self-report of a T2DM diagnosis). Black and Hispanic participants had 2.89 times and 1.48 times the odds of T2DM as White participants, respectively. Multilevel models indicated a significant between-neighborhood variance estimate of 0.943, providing evidence of neighborhood variation. Individual demographics (race/ethnicity, age and gender) explained 22.3% of the neighborhood variability in T2DM. The addition of neighborhood-level variables to the model had very little effect on the magnitude of the racial/ethnic disparities and on the between-neighborhood variability. For example, census tract poverty explained less than 1% and 6% of the excess odds of T2DM among Blacks and Hispanics and only 1.8% of the neighborhood
Fisher, Thomas L.; Burnet, Deborah L.; Huang, Elbert S.; Chin, Marshall H.; Cagney, Kathleen A.
The authors reviewed interventions using cultural leverage to narrow racial disparities in health care. Thirty-eight interventions of three types were identified: interventions that modified the health behaviors of individual patients of color, that increased the access of communities of color to the existing health care system, and that modified the health care system to better serve patients of color and their communities. Individual-level interventions typically tapped community members’ expertise to shape programs. Access interventions largely involved screening programs, incorporating patient navigators and lay educators. Health care interventions focused on the roles of nurses, counselors, and community health workers to deliver culturally tailored health information. These interventions increased patients’ knowledge for self-care, decreased barriers to access, and improved providers’ cultural competence. The delivery of processes of care or intermediate health outcomes was significantly improved in 23 interventions. Interventions using cultural leverage show tremendous promise in reducing health disparities, but more research is needed to understand their health effects in combination with other interventions. PMID:17881628
Easa, David; Harrigan, Rosanne; Hammatt, Zoè; Greer, Mark; Kuba, Carolyn; Davis, James; Beck, James D; Offenbacher, Steven
Research suggests that oral health is linked to systemic health, and those with poor oral health are potentially at greater risk for important diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in Hawaii have high rates of many such diseases. Studies in children in Hawaii have revealed disparities in dental health; for example, API children have significantly higher rates of cavities than other groups. Hence, conducting further study is vital in adults, particularly APIs, to assess oral health and its correlation to overall health outcomes. Given the lack of a dental school and the lack of fluoridated water in the state, the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine (ABSOM) has identified the need to assume a leadership role in creating effective community-based oral health research and treatment programs. With the support of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, JABSOM fostered a collaborative relationship with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, a premiere research-intensive dental school, the Waimanalo Health Center, and the Hawaii State Department of Health. This partnership has worked together to implement a community-based approach to performing research designed to illuminate disparities and develop innovative strategies to promote oral health in Hawaii's diverse populations. We hope that this collaborative, culturally competent approach may serve as a model for use in other settings without a research-intensive dental school.
Consuming a balanced diet, such as the food groups represented on MyPlate, is key to improving health disparities. Despite the best of intentions, however, the dietary guidelines can be culturally challenging, particularly when it comes to dairy consumption. Many African and Hispanic Americans avoid milk and dairy products-key contributors of three shortfall nutrients (calcium, potassium and vitamin D)-because many people in these populations believe they are lactose intolerant. However, avoiding dairy can have significant health effects. An emerging body of evidence suggests that yogurt and other dairy products may help support reduced risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes-conditions that disproportionately impact people of color. For this reason, the National Medical Association and the National Hispanic Medical Association issued a joint consensus statement recommending African Americans consume three to four servings of low-fat dairy every day. Cultured dairy products could play an important role in addressing these recommendations. Because of the presence of lactase-producing cultures, yogurt is often a more easily digestible alternative to milk, and thus more palatable to people who experience symptoms of lactose intolerance. This was a key factor cited in the final rule to include yogurt in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
Consuming a balanced diet, such as the food groups represented on MyPlate, is key to improving health disparities. Despite the best of intentions, however, the dietary guidelines can be culturally challenging, particularly when it comes to dairy consumption. Many African and Hispanic Americans avoid milk and dairy products—key contributors of three shortfall nutrients (calcium, potassium and vitamin D)—because many people in these populations believe they are lactose intolerant. However, avoiding dairy can have significant health effects. An emerging body of evidence suggests that yogurt and other dairy products may help support reduced risk of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes—conditions that disproportionately impact people of color. For this reason, the National Medical Association and the National Hispanic Medical Association issued a joint consensus statement recommending African Americans consume three to four servings of low-fat dairy every day. Cultured dairy products could play an important role in addressing these recommendations. Because of the presence of lactase-producing cultures, yogurt is often a more easily digestible alternative to milk, and thus more palatable to people who experience symptoms of lactose intolerance. This was a key factor cited in the final rule to include yogurt in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. PMID:26703668
Chung, Bowen; Jones, Loretta; Terry, Chrystene; Jones, Andrea; Forge, Nell; Norris, Keith C.
Just as scientific articles are used as a way of sharing knowledge in scientific communities, stories are used as a way of transferring knowledge within African American communities. This article uses the story and metaphor of Stone Soup to illustrate the Healthy African American Families' (HAAF) Community Partnered Participatory Research (CPPR) method of engaging diverse partners to address health issues, such as preterm birth, depression, diabetes, and kidney disease, and to create community-wide change through education, capacity building, resource sharing, and intervention development. PMID:20629241
Chung, Bowen; Jones, Loretta; Terry, Chrystene; Jones, Andrea; Forge, Nell; Norris, Keith C
Just as scientific articles are used as a way of sharing knowledge in scientific communities, stories are used as a way of transferring knowledge within African American communities. This article uses the story and metaphor of Stone Soup to illustrate the Healthy African American Families' (HAAF) Community Partnered Participatory Research (CPPR) method of engaging diverse partners to address health issues, such as preterm birth, depression, diabetes, and kidney disease, and to create community-wide change through education, capacity building, resource sharing, and intervention development.
Magana, Sandra; Parish, Susan L.; Rose, Roderick A.; Timberlake, Maria; Swaine, Jamie G.
We examined racial and ethnic disparities in quality of care for children with autism and other developmental disabilities and whether disparities varied for children with autism compared to children with other developmental disabilities. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (N = 4,414), we compared…
Despite the substantial and prolonged sociological interest in health disparities, much remains unknown about the processes that initiate them. To investigate this topic, we focus on the case study of cocaine use, for which a socioeconomic disparity emerged across all age groups in a short period of time around 1990. We examine whether the…
Nachshen, Jennifer S.; Martin-Storey, Alexa; Campisi, Lisa; Stack, Dale; Schwartzman, Alex; Serbin, Lisa
Background: Previous research on psychiatric and health disparities according to level of cognitive functioning has focused on adults within an American healthcare context. The current study compares children with and without cognitive and developmental delays in Quebec, Canada, using physician billing data from a longitudinal study of low-income,…
Fredriksen-Goldsen, Karen I.
Objectives. We investigated whether elevated risks of health disparities exist in Hispanic lesbians and bisexual women aged 18 years and older compared with non-Hispanic White lesbians and bisexual women and Hispanic heterosexual women. Methods. We analyzed population-based data from the Washington State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2003–2009) using adjusted logistic regressions. Results. Hispanic lesbians and bisexual women, compared with Hispanic heterosexual women, were at elevated risk for disparities in smoking, asthma, and disability. Hispanic bisexual women also showed higher odds of arthritis, acute drinking, poor general health, and frequent mental distress compared with Hispanic heterosexual women. In addition, Hispanic bisexual women were more likely to report frequent mental distress than were non-Hispanic White bisexual women. Hispanic lesbians were more likely to report asthma than were non-Hispanic White lesbians. Conclusions. The elevated risk of health disparities in Hispanic lesbians and bisexual women are primarily associated with sexual orientation. Yet, the elevated prevalence of mental distress for Hispanic bisexual women and asthma for Hispanic lesbians appears to result from the cumulative risk of doubly disadvantaged statuses. Efforts are needed to address unique health concerns of diverse lesbians and bisexual women. PMID:22095348
Bayati, Mohsen; Feyzabadi, Vahid Yazdi; Rashidian, Arash
Background: Women's health is a key factor affecting the health of the whole population. Tackling inequality in determinants of health is recognized as the main path toward reducing the inequality in health outcomes. This study aimed to analyze the provincial inequality in determinants of women's health and health care in Iran. Methods: Using the Moss's model (2002) as a comprehensive framework of determinants of women's health, including “geopolitical environment,” “culture, norms, sanctions,” “women's roles in reproduction and production,” “health-related mediators,” and “health outcome” categories, we chose 13 indicators. Afterward, using data sources including the Iranian Multiple Indicators of Demographics and Health Survey, the National Organization for Civil Registration, and Statistics Centre of Iran, we analyzed provincial inequality in these indicators in Iran (2011). Gini coefficient and Lorenz curve were used for measuring inequality. Results: Gini coefficients calculated as follows; life satisfaction level (0.027), literate women (0.398), women with proper knowledge about HIV/AIDS prevention (0.483), unemployed women (0.380), women without an income (0.384), women who use at least one type of mass media (0.389), women who used computer or internet (0.467), women who had received pregnancy care from a skill birth attendant (SBA) (0.420), women who had delivered with the help of an SBA (0.426), women who currently smoke cigarettes (0.603), women who currently consume hookah (0.561), women with at least one chronic disease (0.438), and women's deaths in 2010 and 2011 (0.393 and 0.359, respectively). Conclusions: We found large provincial disparities in determinants of women's health in Iran. Determinants such as lifestyle, health behavior, health knowledge, and health-care services availability should be considered by health policymakers in addressing the inequality in women's health at a provincial level. PMID:28348721
Sharby, Nancy; Martire, Katharine; Iversen, Maura D
Factors influencing access to health care among people with disabilities (PWD) include: attitudes of health care providers and the public, physical barriers, miscommunication, income level, ethnic/minority status, insurance coverage, and lack of information tailored to PWD. Reducing health care disparities in a population with complex needs requires implementation at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. This review article discusses common barriers to health care access from the patient and provider perspective, particularly focusing on communication barriers and how to address and ameliorate them. Articles utilized in this review were published from 2005 to present in MEDLINE and CINAHL and written in English that focused on people with disabilities. Topics searched for in the literature include: disparities and health outcomes, health care dissatisfaction, patient-provider communication and access issues. Ineffective communication has significant impacts for PWD. They frequently believe that providers are not interested in, or sensitive to their particular needs and are less likely to seek care or to follow up with recommendations. Various strategies for successful improvement of health outcomes for PWD were identified including changing the way health care professionals are educated regarding disabilities, improving access to health care services, and enhancing the capacity for patient centered care.
Compared with the relationship between neighborhood-level residential segregation and physical health of Hispanic Americans, less is known about how neighborhood residential segregation affects mental health. This study examines if, and how, neighborhood residential segregation is associated with the mental health of Puerto Rican and Mexican Americans in Chicago. Multilevel analyses reveal that neighborhood residential segregation is positively associated with depressive symptoms and anxiety in both groups. Neighborhood segregation, however, has more salient effects on the mental health of Mexican Americans. For Puerto Rican Americans, the effects of neighborhood segregation on mental health become nonsignificant after controlling for neighborhood-level income and individual-level covariates, whereas neighborhood segregation is strongly associated with the mental health of Mexican Americans even after controlling for other covariates. These findings show that living in a Mexican American-dominated community is not beneficial to mental health, in contrast to findings for physical health shown in previous studies.
I use anchoring vignettes from Indonesia, the United States, England, and China to study the extent to which differences in self-reported health across gender and education levels can be explained by the use of different response thresholds. To determine whether statistically significant differences between groups remain after adjusting thresholds, I calculate standard errors for the simulated probabilities, largely ignored in previous literature. Accounting for reporting heterogeneity reduces the gender gap in many health domains across the four countries, but to varying degrees. Health disparities across education levels persist and even widen after equalizing thresholds across the two groups.
Shimazu, Akihito; Kawakami, Norito; Kubota, Kazumi; Inoue, Akiomi; Kurioka, Sumiko; Miyaki, Koichi; Takahashi, Masaya; Tsutsumi, Akizumi
Recent epidemiologic research has shown that people with higher socioeconomic status (SES) (e.g., educational attainment) have better psychological health than those with lower SES. However, the psychosocial mechanisms of underlying this relationship remain unclear. To fill this gap, the current study examines the mediating effects of job demands and job resources in the relationship between educational attainment and psychological distress. The hypothesized model was tested using large data sets from two different studies: a cross-sectional study of 9,652 Japanese employees from 12 workplaces (Study 1), and a longitudinal study of 1,957 Japanese employees (Study 2). Structural equation modeling revealed that (1) educational attainment was positively related to psychological distress through job demands, (2) educational attainment was negatively related to psychological distress through job resources, and (3) educational attainment was not directly related to psychological distress. These results suggest that educational attainment has an indirect effect, rather than a direct one, on psychological distress among workers; educational attainment had both a positive and a negative relationship to psychological distress through job demands and job resources, respectively.
Peek, Monica E.; Wilson, Shannon C.; Bussey-Jones, Jada; Lypson, Monica; Cordasco, Kristina; Jacobs, Elizabeth A.; Bright, Cedric; Brown, Arleen F.
Purpose To characterize national physician organizations’ efforts to reduce health disparities and identify organizational characteristics associated with such efforts. Method This cross-sectional study was conducted between September 2009 and June 2010. The authors used two-sample t tests and chi-square tests to compare the proportion of organizations with disparity-reducing activities between different organizational types (e.g., primary care versus subspecialty organizations, small [<1,000 members] versus large [>5,000 members]). Inclusion criteria required physician organizations to be (1) focused on physicians, (2) national in scope, and (3) membership based. Results The number of activities per organization ranged from 0 to 22. Approximately half (53%) of organizations had 0 or 1 disparity-reducing activities. Organiza-tional characteristics associated with having at least 1 disparity-reducing effort included membership size (88% of large groups versus 58% of small groups had at least 1 activity; P = .004) and the presence of a health disparities committee (95% versus 59%; P < .001). Primary care (versus subspecialty) organizations and racial/ethnic minority physician organizations were more likely to have disparity-reducing efforts, although findings were not statistically significant. Common themes addressed by activities were health care access, health care disparities, workforce diversity, and language barriers. Common strategies included education of physicians/trainees and patients/general public, position statements, and advocacy. Conclusions Despite the national priority to eliminate health disparities, more than half of national physician organizations are doing little to address this problem. Primary care and minority physician organizations, and those with disparities committees, may provide leadership to extend the scope of disparity-reduction efforts. PMID:22534593
Choi, Jae-Young; Kuo, Yong-Fang; Goodwin, James S.
Objectives Disparities in healthcare among minority groups can result in disparate treatments for similar severities of symptoms, unequal access to medical care, and a wide deviation in health outcomes. Such racial disparities may be reduced via use of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. However, there has been little research investigating the impact of EMR systems on the disparities in health outcomes among minority groups. Methods This study examined the impact of EMR systems on the following four outcomes of black patients: length of stay, inpatient mortality rate, 30-day mortality rate, and 30-day readmission rate, using patient and hospital data from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society between 2000 and 2007. The difference-in-difference research method was employed with a generalized linear model to examine the association of EMR adoption on health outcomes for minority patients while controlling for patient and hospital characteristics. Results We examined the association between EMR adoption and the outcomes of minority patients, specifically black patients. However, after controlling for patient and hospital characteristics we could not find any significant changes in the four health outcomes of minority patients before and after EMR implementation. Conclusions EMR systems have been reported to support better coordinated care, thus encouraging appropriate treatment for minority patients by removing potential sources of bias from providers. Also, EMR systems may improve the quality of care provided to patients via increased responsiveness to care processes that are required to be more time-sensitive and through improved communication. However, we did not find any significant benefit for minority groups after EMR adoption. PMID:27200220
Background Cancer health disparities affecting low-income and minority patients are well documented. Root-causes are multifactorial, including diagnostic and treatment delays, social and financial barriers, and poor communication. Patient navigation and communication coaching (activation) are potential interventions to address disparities in cancer treatment. The purpose of this clinical trial is to test the effectiveness of an intervention combining patient navigation and activation to improve cancer treatment. Methods/Design The Rochester Patient Navigation Research Program (PNRP) is a National Cancer Institute-sponsored, patient-level randomized trial (RCT) of patient navigation and activation, targeting newly-diagnosed breast and colorectal cancer patients in Rochester, NY. The goal of the program is to decrease cancer health disparities by addressing barriers to receipt of cancer care and promoting patient self-efficacy. The intervention uses trained, paraprofessional patient navigators recruited from the target community, and a detailed training and supervisory program. Recruited patients are randomly assigned to receive either usual care (except for baseline and follow-up questionnaires and interviews) or intervention. The intervention patients receive tailored assistance from their patient navigators, including phone calls, in-person meetings, and behind-the-scenes coordination of care. A total of 344 patients have been recruited. Outcomes measured at three month intervals include timeliness of care, patient adherence, patient satisfaction, quality of life, self-efficacy, health literacy, and cancer knowledge. Discussion This unique intervention combining patient navigation and patient activation is designed to address the multifactorial problem of cancer health disparities. If successful, this study will affect the design and implementation of patient navigation programs. Trials Registration clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00496678 PMID:20939928
Lantz, Paula M; House, James S; Mero, Richard P; Williams, David R
It has been hypothesized that exposure to stress and negative life events is related to poor health outcomes, and that differential exposure to stress plays a role in socioeconomic disparities in health. Data from three waves of the Americans' Changing Lives study (n = 3,617) were analyzed to investigate prospectively the relationship among socioeconomic indicators, five measures of stress/negative life events, and the health outcomes of mortality, functional limitations, and self-rated health. The results revealed that (1) life events and other types of stressors are clearly related to socioeconomic position; (2) a count of negative lifetime events was positively associated with mortality; (3) a higher score on a financial stress scale was predictive of severe/moderate functional limitations and fair/poor self-rated health at wave 3; and (4) a higher score on a parental stress scale was predictive of fair/poor self-rated health at wave 3. The negative effects of low income on functional limitations attenuated to insignificance when waves 1 and 2 stress/life event measures were controlled for, but other socioeconomic disparities in health change remained sizable and significant when adjusted for exposure to stressors. The results support the hypothesis that differential exposure to stress and negative life events is one of many ways in which socioeconomic inequalities in health are produced in society.
Holden, Kisha; McGregor, Brian; Thandi, Poonam; Fresh, Edith; Sheats, Kameron; Belton, Allyson; Mattox, Gail; Satcher, David
Despite decades of research, recognition and treatment of mental illness and its co-morbidities still remain a significant public health problem in the United States. Ethnic minorities are identified as a population that is vulnerable to mental health disparities and face unique challenges pertaining to mental health care. Psychiatric illness is associated with great physical, emotional, functional, and societal burden. The primary health care setting may be a promising venue for screening, assessment, and treatment of mental illnesses for ethnic minority populations. We propose a comprehensive, innovative, culturally centered integrated care model to address the complexities within the health care system, from the individual level, that includes provider and patient factors, to the system level, which include practice culture and system functionality issues. Our multi-disciplinary investigative team acknowledges the importance of providing culturally tailored integrative healthcare to holistically concentrate on physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral problems among ethnic minorities in a primary care setting. It is our intention that the proposed model will be useful for health practitioners, contribute to the reduction of mental health disparities, and promote better mental health and well-being for ethnic minority individuals, families, and communities. PMID:25383991
Jha, Ayan; Dobe, Madhumita
Health inequities are disparities which can be avoided through rational actions on the part of policymakers. Such inequalities are unnecessary and unjust and may exist between and within nations, societies, and population groups. Social determinants such as wealth, income, occupation, education, gender, and racial/ethnic groups are the principal drivers of this inequality since they determine the health risks and preventive behaviors, access to, and affordability of health care. Within this framework, there is a debate on assigning a personal responsibility factor over and above societal responsibility to issues of ill health. One school of philosophy argues that when individuals are worse-off than others for no fault of their own, it is unjust, as opposed to health disparities that arise due to avoidable personal choices such as smoking and drug addiction for which there should (can) be a personal responsibility. Opposing thoughts have pointed out that the relative socioeconomic position of an individual dictates how his/her life may progress from education to working conditions and aging, susceptibility to diseases and infirmity, and the consequences thereof. The existence of a social gradient in health outcomes across populations throughout the world is a testimony to this truth. It has been emphasized that assuming personal responsibility for health in public policy-making can only have a peripheral place. Instead, the concept of individual responsibility should be promoted as a positive concept of enabling people to gain control over the determinants of health through conscious, informed, and healthy choices.
Manrai, Arjun K.; Funke, Birgit H.; Rehm, Heidi L.; Olesen, Morten S.; Maron, Bradley A.; Szolovits, Peter; Margulies, David M.; Loscalzo, Joseph; Kohane, Isaac S.
sequenced, we expect variant reclassifications to increase, particularly for ancestry groups that have historically been less well studied. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.) PMID:27532831
Lee, Su Hyun; Joh, Hee-Kyung; Kim, Soojin; Oh, Seung-Won; Lee, Cheol Min; Kwon, Hyuktae
Abstract Public health insurance coverage for preventive care in young adults is incomplete in Korea. Few studies have focused on young adults’ socioeconomic disparities in preventive care utilization. We aimed to explore household income disparities in the use of different types of health screening services among university students in Korea. This cross-sectional study used a web-based self-administered survey of students at a university in Korea from January to February 2013. To examine the associations between household income levels and health screening service use within the past 2 years, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression with adjustment for various covariables. Of 2479 participants, 45.5% reported using health screening services within 2 years (university-provided screening 32.9%, private sector screening 16.7%, and both 4.1%). Household income levels were not significantly associated with overall rates of health screening service use with a multivariable-adjusted OR (95% CI) in the lowest versus highest income group of 1.12 (0.87–1.45, Ptrend = 0.35). However, we found significantly different associations in specific types of utilized screening services by household income levels. The multivariable-adjusted OR (95% CI) of university-provided health screening service use in the lowest versus highest income level was 1.74 (1.30–2.34; Ptrend < 0.001), whereas the multivariable-adjusted OR (95% CI) of private sector service use in the lowest versus highest income level was 0.45 (0.31–0.66; Ptrend < 0.001). This study demonstrated significant disparities in the types of utilized health screening services by income groups among university students in Korea, although overall rates of health screening service use were similar across income levels. Low-income students were more likely to use university-provided health screening services, and less likely to use private sector screening
Parks, Caitlin; Peipert, Jeffrey F
Significant public health disparities exist surrounding teen and unplanned pregnancy in the United States. Women of color and those with lower education and socioeconomic status are at much greater risk of unplanned pregnancy and the resulting adverse outcomes. Unplanned pregnancies reduce educational and career opportunities and may contribute to socioeconomic deprivation and widening income disparities. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), including intrauterine devices and implants, offer the opportunity to change the default from drifting into parenthood to planned conception. LARC methods are forgettable; once placed, they offer highly effective, long-term pregnancy prevention. Increasing evidence in the medical literature demonstrates the population benefits of use of these methods. However, barriers to more widespread use of LARC methods persist and include educational, access, and cost barriers. With increasing insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act and more widespread, no-cost coverage of methods, more and more women are choosing intrauterine devices and the contraceptive implant. Increasing the use of highly effective contraceptive methods may provide one solution to the persistent problem of the health disparities of unplanned and teen pregnancies in the United States and improve women's and children's health.
Fone, David L; Dunstan, Frank
Using data on 24,975 respondents to the Welsh Health Survey 1998 aged 17-74 years, we investigated associations between individual mental health status measured using the SF-36 instrument, social class, economic inactivity and the electoral division Townsend deprivation score. In a multilevel modelling analysis, we found mental health was significantly associated with the Townsend score after adjusting for composition, and this effect was strongest in respondents who were economically inactive. Further contextual effects were shown by significant random variability in the slopes of the relation between mental health and economic inactivity at the electoral division level. Our results suggest that the places in which people live affect their mental health, supporting NHS policy that multi-agency planning to reduce inequalities in mental health status should address the wider determinants of health, as well as services for individual patients.
Cavigelli, Sonia A; Chaudhry, Hashim S
For humans in developed nations, socioeconomic status (SES)--relative income, education and occupational position in a society--is a strong predictor of morbidity and mortality rates, with increasing SES predicting longer life span (e.g. Marmot et al., 1991). Mechanisms underlying this relationship have been examined, but the relative role of each mechanism still remains unknown. By understanding the relative role of specific mechanisms that underlie dramatic health disparities between high and low social status individuals we can begin to identify effective, targeted methods to alleviate health disparities. In the current paper, we take advantage of a growing number of animal studies that have quantified biological health-related correlates (glucocorticoid production and immune function) of social status and compare these studies to the current literature on human SES and health to determine if and how animal studies can further our understanding of SES-associated human health disparities. Specifically, we compared social-status related glucocorticoid production and immune function in humans and animals. From the review, we show that our present understanding of the relationships between social status and glucocorticoid production/immune function is still growing, but that there are already identifiable parallels (and non-parallels) between humans and animals. We propose timely areas of future study focused on (1) specific aspects of social status that may influence stress-related physiology, (2) mechanisms underlying long-term influences of social status on physiology and health, and (3) intervention studies to alleviate potentially negative physiological correlates of social status.
Lee, Joseph G. L.
Objectives. We investigated the health profile of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults in North Carolina, the first state in the South to include a measure of sexual orientation identity in a probability-based statewide health survey. Methods. Using data from 9876 respondents in the 2011 North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, we compared sexual minorities to heterosexuals on a variety of health indicators. Results. LGB respondents were younger and more likely to be reached by cell phone. Many examined indicators were not different by sexual orientation. Significant results, however, were consistent with findings from state population surveys in other regions of the country, including disparities in mental health and, among women, smoking. Conclusions. Reporting LGB identity in North Carolina is associated with poorer health. The concentration of anti-LGB policies in the South warrants ongoing monitoring of LGB health disparities in North Carolina and in other Southeastern states for potential effects on the health and well-being of LGB populations. PMID:24825240
The Rényi index (RI) is a one-parameter class of indices that summarize health disparities among population groups by measuring divergence between the distributions of disease burden and population shares of these groups. The rank-dependent RI introduced in this paper is a two-parameter class of health disparity indices that also accounts for the association between socioeconomic rank and health; it may be derived from a rank-dependent social welfare function. Two competing classes are discussed and the rank-dependent RI is shown to be more robust to changes in the distribution of either socioeconomic rank or health. The standard error and sampling distribution of the rank-dependent RI are evaluated using linearization and re-sampling techniques, and the methodology is illustrated using health survey data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and registry data from the U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program. Such data underlie many population-based objectives within the U.S. Healthy People 2020 initiative. The rank-dependent RI provides a unified mathematical framework for eliciting various societal positions with regards to the policies that are tied to such wide-reaching public health initiatives. For example, if population groups with lower socioeconomic position were ascertained to be more likely to utilize costly public programs, then the parameters of the RI could be selected to reflect prioritizing those population groups for intervention or treatment. PMID:26566419
Ponce, Ninez A; Cochran, Susan D; Mays, Vickie M; Chia, Jenny; Brown, E Richard
The health coverage of low-income workers represents an area of continuing disparities in the United States system of health insurance. Using the 2001 California Health Interview Survey, we estimate the effect of low-income wage earners' citizenship and gender on the odds of obtaining primary employment-based health insurance (EBHI), dependent EBHI, public program coverage, and coverage from any source. We find that noncitizen men and women who comprise 40% of California's low-income workforce, share the disadvantage of much lower rates of insurance coverage, compared to naturalized and U.S.-born citizens. However, poor coverage rates of noncitizen men, regardless of permanent residency status, result from the cumulative disadvantage in obtaining dependent EBHI and public insurance. If public policies designed to provide a health care safety net fail to address the health care coverage needs of low-wage noncitizens, health disparities will continue to increase in this group that contributes essentially to the U.S. economy.
Rivera, Luis M
The presence of diverse ethnic-racial groups in the United States today is a source of national pride. However, this cultural sentiment is overshadowed by the reality that those ethnic-racial groups that are stigmatized carry a disproportionate burden of negative physical health outcomes. These systematic differences are referred to as health disparities. Although this phenomenon is fairly well documented, relatively little is understood about the social contexts and the psychological processes they activate that contribute to poor health. More importantly, to demonstrate the processes underlying health disparities does not single-handedly address the issue of social injustice in the health of disadvantaged people. Scientists must assume the burden of facilitating the translation of their laboratory and community-based research to public policy recommendations. This volume of the Journal of Social Issues brings together social, developmental, cognitive, and clinical psychological research on the physical health of ethnic-racial stigmatized individuals in the United States. Each contribution explicitly discusses the implications of research for public health policy.
Paine, Sarah-Jane; Harris, Ricci; Cormack, Donna; Stanley, James
Study Objectives: Research on the relationship between racial discrimination and sleep is limited. The aims of this study were to: (1) examine the independent relationship between ethnicity, sex, age, socioeconomic position, experience of racial discrimination and self-reported sleep disturbances, and (2) determine the statistical contribution of experience of racial discrimination to ethnic disparities in sleep disturbances. Methods: The study used data from the 2002/03 New Zealand Health Survey, a nationally-representative, population-based survey of New Zealand adults (≥ 15 years). The sample included 4,108 self-identified Māori (indigenous New Zealanders) and 6,261 European adults. Outcome variables were difficulty falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, and early morning awakenings. Experiences of racial discrimination across five domains were used to assess overall racial discrimination “ever” and the level of exposure to racial discrimination. Socioeconomic position was measured using neighborhood deprivation, education, and equivalized household income. Results: Māori had a higher prevalence of each sleep disturbance item than Europeans. Reported experiences of racial discrimination were independently associated with each sleep disturbance item, adjusted for ethnicity, sex, age group, and socioeconomic position. Sequential logistic regression models showed that racial discrimination and socioeconomic position explained most of the disparity in difficulty falling asleep and frequent nocturnal awakening between Māori and Europeans; however, ethnic differences in early morning awakenings remained. Conclusions: Racial discrimination may play an important role in ethnic disparities in sleep disturbances in New Zealand. Activities to improve the sleep health of non-dominant ethnic groups should consider the potentially multifarious ways in which racial discrimination can disturb sleep. Citation: Paine SJ, Harris R, Cormack D, Stanley J. Racial
Diamond, Lisa C; Jacobs, Elizabeth A
Clinicians should be educated about how language barriers contribute to disparities for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP). However, educators must avoid developing educational interventions that increase health disparities for LEP patients. For example, studies suggest that teaching "Medical Spanish" or related courses may actually contribute to health care disparities if clinicians begin using these non-English language skills inappropriately with patients. We discuss the risks and benefits of teaching specific cultural competence skills and make evidence-based recommendations for the teaching content and methods for educational interventions focused on overcoming language barriers in health care. At minimum, we suggest such interventions include: (1) the role of language barriers in health disparities, (2) means of overcoming language barriers, (3) how to work with interpreters, (4) identifying and fixing problems in interpreted encounters, and (5) appropriate and safe use of one's own limited non-English language skills.
Villeneuve, Michael J
Nurses in the 21st century are being called to rise to new levels of practice, including a more influential leadership at senior levels of policy development. Decades of research, good will, and a revolutionary civil rights movement have not resolved the world's staggering health outcome disparities. Nursing has a solution: Many of the most troubling disparities are amenable to effective intervention by the world's nurses through their clinical and policy work. The author challenges nurses to imagine the impact on global health if the elimination of disparities is the core goal of nursing for the 21st century. Moving from individuals and communities to systems levels, nurses must be versed in a range of system-level vital signs that affect policy development including economics, demographics, and access to care. Setting our sights on the elimination of health disparities offers a rallying point around which nursing can coalesce and set human health on a new and more equitable course.
Intervention research in rural, health disparate communities presents unique challenges for study design, implementation, and evaluation. Challenges include: 1) culturally appropriate intervention components; 2) participant recruitment and retention; 3) treatment cross-contamination; 4) intervention...
Gibbons, M Chris; Fleisher, Linda; Slamon, Rachel E; Bass, Sarah; Kandadai, Venk; Beck, J Robert
This article addresses use of the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies by racial and ethnic minorities and explores the potential opportunities and challenges in leveraging Web 2.0 approaches to impact health disparities. These opportunities and challenges include developing approaches and methods to (a) identify strategies for integrating social media into health promotion interventions focused on major health-related issues that affect members of medically underserved groups; (b) amalgamate techniques to leverage and connect social-media technologies to other evidence-informed online resources; (c) integrate health communication best practices, including addressing health literacy issues; (d) capitalize on social networking to enhance access and communication with health care providers; and (e) advance current efforts and ongoing expansion of research participation by individuals from underserved communities.
..., Two Democracy Plaza, 6707 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting). Contact Person... Disparities, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 594-7784, email@example.com ....
Li, Fan; Zaslavsky, Alan M; Landrum, Mary Beth
Propensity score methods are being increasingly used as a less parametric alternative to traditional regression to balance observed differences across groups in both descriptive and causal comparisons. Data collected in many disciplines often have analytically relevant multilevel or clustered structure. The propensity score, however, was developed and has been used primarily with unstructured data. We present and compare several propensity-score-weighted estimators for clustered data, including marginal, cluster-weighted, and doubly robust estimators. Using both analytical derivations and Monte Carlo simulations, we illustrate bias arising when the usual assumptions of propensity score analysis do not hold for multilevel data. We show that exploiting the multilevel structure, either parametrically or nonparametrically, in at least one stage of the propensity score analysis can greatly reduce these biases. We applied these methods to a study of racial disparities in breast cancer screening among beneficiaries of Medicare health plans.
Donatiello, Joann E.; Droese, Peter W.; Kim, Soo H.
Research documents the existence of racial and ethnic health disparities. As a result, policy makers are seeking to address these disparities. This list is a starting point for building or updating a collection that supports this policy development process. It is written for health policy librarians and researchers and includes annotated recommendations for books, periodicals, government publications, and Websites. Entries for print publications are primarily from 1998 to 2003. PMID:15098056
Canales, Mary K; Coffey, Nancy; Moore, Emily
A focus group process, conducted by a community-academic partnership, qualitatively assessed food insecurity perspectives of parents and community staff assisting families with food assistance. Food insecurity was reported to affect all aspects of their life, increasing stress and reducing coping abilities. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality encourages research with priority populations, including low-income populations. This research supports the body of knowledge correlating relationships between poverty, food insecurity, and chronic health conditions. Perspectives of food-insecure people are often missing from policy and advocacy interventions. Nurses can use lessons learned and recommendations from this research to address food-insecurity-related health disparities.
Sarche, Michelle; Spicer, Paul
This report explores the current state of knowledge regarding inequalities and their effect on American Indian and Alaska Native children, underscoring gaps in our current knowledge and the opportunities for early intervention to begin to address persistent challenges in young American Indian and Alaska Native children's development. This overview documents demographic, social, health, and health care disparities as they affect American Indian and Alaska Native children, the persistent cultural strengths that must form the basis for any conscientious intervention effort, and the exciting possibilities for early childhood interventions.
Terada, Keith; Carney, Michael; Kim, Robert; Ahn, Hyeong Jun; Miyamura, Jill
The current study was undertaken to assess disparities in 5 year admission rates and mortality following hysterectomy for endometrial cancer in the State of Hawai'i. Data from the Hawai'i Health Information Corporation was utilized to determine five-year admission rates and overall mortality. Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) patients were compared to non-NHOPI patients for the period January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2013. Secondary admission rates were significantly higher for NHOPI patients compared to non-NHOPI patients (P=.02). Overall mortality was not different. NHOPI patients living on Oahu were less likely to live in Honolulu (P=.01), were more likely to have government insurance (P=.01), and were significantly younger (P=.02) than non-NHOPI patients. The findings suggest that race, insurance, and demographic factors are interrelated and are associated with disparities following surgery for endometrial cancer.
Villaverde, José; Maza, Adolfo; Hierro, María
This paper examines health care expenditure (HCE) disparities between the European Union countries over the period 1995-2010. By means of using a continuous version of the distribution dynamics approach, the key conclusions are that the reduction in disparities is very weak and, therefore, persistence is the main characteristic of the HCE distribution. In view of these findings, a preliminary attempt is made to add some insights into potentially main factors behind the HCE distribution. The results indicate that whereas per capita income is by far the main determinant, the dependency ratio and female labour participation do not play any role in explaining the HCE distribution; as for the rest of the factors studied (life expectancy, infant mortality, R&D expenditure and public HCE expenditure share), we find that their role falls somewhat in between.
Penner, Louis A.; Hagiwara, Nao; Eggly, Susan; Gaertner, Samuel L.; Albrecht, Terrance L.; Dovidio, John F.
Around the world, members of racial/ethnic minority groups typically experience poorer health than members of racial/ethnic majority groups. The core premise of this article is that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to race and ethnicity play a critical role in healthcare disparities. Social psychological theories of the origins and consequences of these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors offer critical insights into the processes responsible for these disparities and suggest interventions to address them. We present a multilevel model that explains how societal, intrapersonal, and interpersonal factors can influence ethnic/racial health disparities. We focus our literature review, including our own research, and conceptual analysis at the intrapersonal (the race-related thoughts and feelings of minority patients and non-minority physicians) and interpersonal levels (intergroup processes that affect medical interactions between minority patients and non-minority physicians). At both levels of analysis, we use theories of social categorization, social identity, contemporary forms of racial bias, stereotype activation, stigma, and other social psychological processes to identify and understand potential causes and processes of health and healthcare disparities. In the final section, we identify theory-based interventions that might reduce ethnic/racial disparities in health and healthcare. PMID:25197206
Villatoro, Alice P; Dixon, Elizabeth; Mays, Vickie M
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; 2010) is expected to increase access to mental health care through provisions aimed at increasing health coverage among the nation's uninsured, including 10.2 million eligible Latino adults. The ACA will increase health coverage by expanding Medicaid eligibility to individuals living below 138% of the federal poverty level, subsidizing the purchase of private insurance among individuals not eligible for Medicaid, and requiring employers with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance. An anticipated result of this landmark legislation is improvement in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders in racial/ethnic minorities, particularly for Latinos, who traditionally have had less access to these services. However, these efforts alone may not sufficiently ameliorate mental health care disparities for Latinos. Faith-based organizations (FBOs) could play an integral role in the mental health care of Latinos by increasing help seeking, providing religion-based mental health services, and delivering supportive services that address common access barriers among Latinos. Thus, in determining ways to eliminate Latino mental health care disparities under the ACA, examining pathways into care through the faith-based sector offers unique opportunities to address some of the cultural barriers confronted by this population. We examine how partnerships between FBOs and primary care patient-centered health homes may help reduce the gap of unmet mental health needs among Latinos in this era of health reform. We also describe the challenges FBOs and primary care providers need to overcome to be partners in integrated care efforts.
Masso, Malcolm; Quinsey, Karen; Fildes, Dave
A well-conceived evaluation framework increases understanding of a program's goals and objectives, facilitates the identification of outcomes and can be used as a planning tool during program development. Herein we describe the origins and development of an evaluation framework that recognises that implementation is influenced by the setting in which it takes place, the individuals involved and the processes by which implementation is accomplished. The framework includes an evaluation hierarchy that focuses on outcomes for consumers, providers and the care delivery system, and is structured according to six domains: program delivery, impact, sustainability, capacity building, generalisability and dissemination. These components of the evaluation framework fit into a matrix structure, and cells within the matrix are supported by relevant evaluation tools. The development of the framework has been influenced by feedback from various stakeholders, existing knowledge of the evaluators and the literature on health promotion and implementation science. Over the years, the framework has matured and is generic enough to be useful in a wide variety of circumstances, yet specific enough to focus data collection, data analysis and the presentation of findings.What is known about the topic? Evaluation in healthcare typically investigates the implementation of complex innovations in uncontrolled 'real world' settings. This presents many challenges for evaluators and those wanting to commission evaluations.What does this paper add? Herein we describe the origins and development of an evaluation framework that is structured in terms of three levels and six domains. The framework has stood the test of time and been used to evaluate a variety of innovations in the delivery of health and aged care. Novel aspects of the framework include the concepts of levels, capacity building and sustainability.What are the implications for practitioners? The structure of the evaluation framework
Givens, Marjory L.; Malecki, Kristen C.; Peppard, Paul E.; Palta, Mari; Said, Adnan; Engelman, Corinne D.; Walsh, Matthew C.; Nieto, F. Javier
Background With the expanding demand for a 24-hour society, the prevalence of sleep deprivation and other sleep-related health problems is increasing. Shiftwork is an occupational health risk of growing significance because of its high prevalence and because of its potential role as a determinant of socioeconomic-related health disparities. Aims The aim of this study was to examine the associations of shiftwork with overweight status and type 2 diabetes, and explore whether a history of sleep problems mediates or modifies these associations. Participants and Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1,593 participants in the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (2008–12) who were employed and reported work characteristics (traditional schedule or shiftwork) and sleep habits and history of sleep problems (insomnia, insufficient sleep, wake time sleepiness). Objective measures of body mass index (BMI) and type 2 diabetes were used. Results Shiftworkers were more overweight than traditional-schedule workers (83% vs. 71% with BMI≥25) and reported more sleep problems, such as insomnia symptoms (24% vs. 16%), insufficient sleep (53% vs.43%), and sleepiness (32% vs. 24%). The associations between shiftwork and being overweight or diabetic were stronger among those reporting insufficient sleep, but the interaction was not statistically significant. Conclusions Shiftworkers face disparities in metabolic health, particularly those with insufficient sleep. Improved understanding of the relationship between sleep and metabolic states can inform healthcare providers’ and employers’ efforts to screen high-risk individuals and intervene with workplace wellness initiatives to address these disparities. PMID:26894229
Pérez-Escamilla, Rafael; Damio, Grace; De Jesús, Jeannette; Bow, Laurine; Chhabra, Jyoti; Bull, Nancy H.
CEHDL’s mission is to contribute to the elimination of health disparities among Latino(a)s through the formation of human resources, community-based research, and culturally appropriate outreach/extension. CEHDL is structured as a consortium led by the University of Connecticut (UConn) in close partnership with the Hispanic Health Council (HHC), a community health agency located in inner-city Hartford, and Hartford Hospital (HH). Demonstrating best practice and culturally skilled, evidence-based outreach, and bringing the best of academic, community, and health institutions to socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, CEHDL fosters scientific-community interactions and supports training of undergraduate, graduate, and medical students. Building capacity in other agencies is one method through which CEDHDL seeks to accomplish its goals. Thus far, CEHDL has made substantial progress demonstrating that interdisciplinary community-academic-hospital partnerships are essential for addressing health inequities in our country. PMID:20671805
Sönmez, Sevil; Apostolopoulos, Yorghos; Tran, Diane; Rentrope, Shantyana
Systematic violations of migrant workers' human rights and striking health disparities among these populations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the norm in member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Migrant laborers comprise about 90 percent of the UAE workforce and include approximately 500,000 construction workers and 450,000 domestic workers. Like many other GCC members countries, the UAE witnessed an unprecedented construction boom during the early 2000s, attracting large numbers of Western expatriates and increasing demand for cheap migrant labor. Elite Emiratis' and Western expatriates' dependence on household staff further promoted labor migration. This paper offers a summary of existing literature on migrant workers and human rights in the UAE, focusing on their impact on related health ramifications and disparities, with specific attention to construction workers, domestic workers, and trafficked women and children. Construction workers and domestic laborers are victims of debt bondage and face severe wage exploitation, and experience serious health and safety problems resulting from inhumane work and living conditions. High rates of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse impact the health of domestic workers. Through a review of available literature, including official reports, scientific papers, and media reports, the paper discusses the responsibility of employers, governments, and the global community in mitigating these problems and reveals the paucity of systematic data on the health of migrant workers in the Gulf.
Stempski, Sarah; Liu, Lenna; Grow, H Mollie; Pomietto, Maureen; Chung, Celeste; Shumann, Amy; Bennett, Elizabeth
Well-known disparities exist in rates of obesity and drowning, two public health priorities. Addressing these disparities by increasing access to safe swimming and water recreation may yield benefits for both obesity and injury prevention. Everyone Swims, a community partnership, brought community health clinics and water recreation organizations together to improve policies and systems that facilitated learning to swim and access to swimming and water recreation for low-income, diverse communities. Based in King County, Washington, Everyone Swims launched with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant funding from 2010 to 2012. This partnership led to multiple improvements in policies and systems: higher numbers of clinics screening for swimming ability, referrals from clinics to pools, more scholarship accessibility, and expansion of special swim programs. In building partnerships between community health/public health and community recreation organizations to develop systems that address user needs in low-income and culturally diverse communities, Everyone Swims represents a promising model of a structured partnership for systems and policy change to promote health and physical activity.
Coles, Emily; Kruger, Estie; Anjrini, Abed Aktam; Tennant, Marc
The aim of this study was to create an Urban Dental Index (UDI) for Perth, Western Australia, adapting a method utilised by the World Health Organisation. Dental health indicators were derived from the 2011 census, standardised on a (0,1) interval, amalgamated using a geometric mean, and mapped to identify dental health inequity. The validity of the UDI was tested by comparison with oral cellulitis data. Dental health disparities were examined using a ratio of the mean of the highest to lowest decile and slope of the eight middle deciles. The robustness of the UDI was tested using indicator correlation, weighting, and systematic indicator removal. There were a high proportion of low UDI census areas outside the inner city. Adult public dental clinics were unevenly distributed across these low UDI areas. The UDI was significantly correlated with oral cellulitis data and had a moderate disparity ratio (1.69) and slope (0.23). All dental indicators were highly correlated, and UDIs calculated with weighted indicators and indicators removed were significantly correlated with the original UDI. These results indicate that the UDI is a robust tool which can be used by policy makers to target dental health initiatives to high-risk areas.
Schulz, Amy J.; Israel, Barbara A.; Coombe, Chris M.; Gaines, Causandra; Reyes, Angela G.; Rowe, Zachary; Sand, Sharon; Strong, Larkin L.; Weir, Sheryl
The elimination of persistent health inequities requires the engagement of multiple perspectives, resources and skills. Community-based participatory research is one approach to developing action strategies that promote health equity by addressing contextual as well as individual level factors, and that can contribute to addressing more fundamental factors linked to health inequity. Yet many questions remain about how to implement participatory processes that engage local insights and expertise, are informed by the existing public health knowledge base, and build support across multiple sectors to implement solutions. We describe a CBPR approach used to conduct a community assessment and action planning process, culminating in development of a multilevel intervention to address inequalities in cardiovascular disease in Detroit, Michigan. We consider implications for future efforts to engage communities in developing strategies toward eliminating health inequities. PMID:21873580
Laz, Tabassum H; Berenson, Abbey B
To examine the influence of race/ethnicity on seeking health information from the Internet among women aged 16-24 years, the authors conducted a self-administered survey on 3,181 women regarding their Internet use and obtaining information on reproductive health (menstruation, contraception, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections) and general health from the Internet. The authors performed multivariate logistic regression to examine the association between race/ethnicity and online health-related information seeking after adjusting for covariates. Racial/ethnic disparities were noted in overall Internet use and its use to locate health information. Overall, more White (92.7%) and Black (92.9%) women used the Internet than did Hispanics (67.5%). More White women (79.2%) used it to find health information than did Blacks and Hispanics (70.3% and 74.3%, respectively). Compared with White women, Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to seek information on contraception [(OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.58-0.91) and (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.61-0.92)] and more likely to seek information on pregnancy tests [(OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.28-2.18) and (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.09-1.81] and sexually transmitted infections [(OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.11-1.73) and (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.01-1.54)], respectively. With regard to general health issues-such as how to quit smoking, how to lose weight, alcohol/drug use, mood disorders, and skin disorders-Blacks, but not Hispanics, were significantly less likely to seek online information than were Whites. Disparities in the way that women from different backgrounds use the Internet for health-related information could be associated with overall health awareness.
Kennedy, Bernice Roberts
Social inequalities in the United States resulted in negative health outcomes for the African Americans. Their stressful living conditions of poverty, discrimination, racism, abuse and rejection from American society contribute to their negative health outcomes. The lifestyles of African Americans have been influenced by poverty and prior injustices, which have molded their worldview of health and illness. Dr. Martin Luther King, national civil rights leader, brought about social change with much prayer; however, he went a step further with collective gatherings to include the power of non-violence massive public demonstrations. This paper is an analytical review of the literature addressing social inequalities impacting on health inequalities of African Americans resulting in health disparities. Policy changes are propose by implementing transformation development and community empowerment models as frameworks for community/public health nurses in guiding African American communities with addressing health disparities. These models empower members of the community to participate in a collaborative effort in making political and social changes to improve their overall health outcomes.
Dong, Fen; Wang, Dingming; Pan, Li; Yu, Yangwen; Wang, Ke; Li, Ling; Wang, Li; Liu, Tao; Zeng, Xianjia; Sun, Liangxian; Zhu, Guangjin; Feng, Kui; Zhang, Biao; Xu, Ke; Pang, Xinglong; Chen, Ting; Pan, Hui; Ma, Jin; Zhong, Yong; Ping, Bo; Shan, Guangliang
Hypertension is highly prevalent in low-income population. This study aims to investigate ethnic disparities in hypertension and identify modifiable factors related to its occurrence and control in developing regions in South China. Blood pressure was measured in the Bouyei and Han populations during a community-based health survey in Guizhou, 2012. A multistage stratified sampling method was adopted to recruit Bouyei and Han aged from 20 to 80 years. Taking mixed effects into consideration, multilevel logistic models with random intercept were used for data analysis. The prevalence rates of hypertension were 35.3% for the Bouyei and 33.7% for the Han. Among the hypertensive participants, 30.1% of the Bouyei and 40.2% of the Han were aware of their hypertensive conditions, 19.7% of the Bouyei and 31.1% of the Han were receiving treatment, and only 3.6% of the Bouyei and 9.9% of the Han had their blood pressure under control. Age-sex standardized rates of awareness, treatment, and control were consistently lower in the Bouyei than the Han. Such ethnic disparities were more evident in the elderly population. Avoidance of excessive alcohol consumption and better education were favorable lifestyle for reduction in risk of hypertension. Moderate physical activity improved control of hypertension in Bouyei patients under treatment. Conclusively, hypertension awareness, treatment, and control were substantially lower in Bouyei than Han, particularly in the elderly population. Such ethnic disparities indicate that elderly Bouyei population should be targeted for tailored interventions in the future. PMID:26907309
Dong, Fen; Wang, Dingming; Pan, Li; Yu, Yangwen; Wang, Ke; Li, Ling; Wang, Li; Liu, Tao; Zeng, Xianjia; Sun, Liangxian; Zhu, Guangjin; Feng, Kui; Zhang, Biao; Xu, Ke; Pang, Xinglong; Chen, Ting; Pan, Hui; Ma, Jin; Zhong, Yong; Ping, Bo; Shan, Guangliang
Hypertension is highly prevalent in low-income population. This study aims to investigate ethnic disparities in hypertension and identify modifiable factors related to its occurrence and control in developing regions in South China. Blood pressure was measured in the Bouyei and Han populations during a community-based health survey in Guizhou, 2012. A multistage stratified sampling method was adopted to recruit Bouyei and Han aged from 20 to 80 years. Taking mixed effects into consideration, multilevel logistic models with random intercept were used for data analysis. The prevalence rates of hypertension were 35.3% for the Bouyei and 33.7% for the Han. Among the hypertensive participants, 30.1% of the Bouyei and 40.2% of the Han were aware of their hypertensive conditions, 19.7% of the Bouyei and 31.1% of the Han were receiving treatment, and only 3.6% of the Bouyei and 9.9% of the Han had their blood pressure under control. Age-sex standardized rates of awareness, treatment, and control were consistently lower in the Bouyei than the Han. Such ethnic disparities were more evident in the elderly population. Avoidance of excessive alcohol consumption and better education were favorable lifestyle for reduction in risk of hypertension. Moderate physical activity improved control of hypertension in Bouyei patients under treatment. Conclusively, hypertension awareness, treatment, and control were substantially lower in Bouyei than Han, particularly in the elderly population. Such ethnic disparities indicate that elderly Bouyei population should be targeted for tailored interventions in the future.
Jun, Jungmi; Nan, Xiaoli
We conducted a systematic analysis of 24 peer-reviewed literary works that examined Asian Americans' breast, cervical, and colon cancer screening, focusing on empirical findings from large-scale public health surveys (i.e., NHIS, CHIS, HINTS, BRFSS). We provide an overview of relevant research in terms of study characteristics, samples, predictor/covariate of cancer screenings, and key findings. Our analysis indicates that Asian Americans' cancer screening rates are lower than for non-Hispanic Whites for all cancer types in four large-scale public health surveys throughout 17 study years. Acculturation and healthcare access were two significant factors in explaining Asian Americans' cancer screening rates. Cancer fatalism and family cancer history emerged as potential factors that may account for more variances. However, the screening disparities between Asian Americans and whites persist even after adjusting all covariates, including SES, acculturation, healthcare access, health status, and health perception/literacy. More individual and cultural factors should be identified to address these disparities.
In the 2000 census, 36.4 million persons, approximately 12.9% of the U.S. population, identified themselves as Black or African American; 35.4 million of these persons identified themselves as non-Hispanic. For many health conditions, non-Hispanic blacks bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, death, and disability. Although the top three causes and seven of the 10 leading causes of death are the same for non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites (the largest racial/ethnic population in the United States), the risk factors and incidence, morbidity, and mortality rates for these diseases and injuries often are greater among blacks than whites. In addition, three of the 10 leading causes of death for non-Hispanic blacks are not among the leading causes of death for non-Hispanic whites: homicide (sixth), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease (seventh), and septicemia (ninth). This week's MMWR is the third in a series focusing on racial/ethnic health disparities. Eliminating these disparities will require culturally appropriate public health initiatives, community support, and equitable access to quality health care.
Coveney, Max; García-Gómez, Pilar; Van Doorslaer, Eddy; Van Ourti, Tom
Little is known about how health disparities by income change during times of economic crisis. We apply a decomposition method to unravel the contributions of income growth, income inequality and differential income mobility across socio-demographic groups to changes in health disparities by income in Spain using longitudinal data from the Survey of Income and Living Conditions for the period 2004-2012. We find a modest rise in health inequality by income in Spain in the 5 years of economic growth prior to the start of the crisis in 2008, but a sharp fall after 2008. The drop mainly derives from the fact that loss of employment and earnings has disproportionately affected the incomes of the younger and healthier groups rather than the (mainly stable pension) incomes of the groups over 65 years. This suggests that unequal distribution of income protection by age may reduce health inequality in the short run after an economic recession. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Aghajanian, A; Mehryar, A H; Ahmadnia, S; Kazemipour, S
By 1979 50 years of uneven development and modernization by governments prior to the Islamic Revolution had left rural parts of the Islamic Republic of Iran with extremely low economic and health status. This paper reports on the impact of the rural health development programme implemented as an effective and inexpensive way to improve the heath of the rural population, especially mothers and children. It describes the system of rural health centres, health houses and community health workers (behvarz) and demonstrates the effectiveness of the programme through declining measures of rural-urban disparities in health indicators. The implications of inexpensive rural health policies for other countries in the region such as Afghanistan and Central Asian countries with a similar sociocultural structure are discussed.
Bourgois, Philippe; Holmes, Seth M; Sue, Kim; Quesada, James
The authors propose reinvigorating and extending the traditional social history beyond its narrow range of risk behaviors to enable clinicians to address negative health outcomes imposed by social determinants of health. In this Perspective, they outline a novel, practical medical vulnerability assessment questionnaire that operationalizes for clinical practice the social science concept of "structural vulnerability." A structural vulnerability assessment tool designed to highlight the pathways through which specific local hierarchies and broader sets of power relationships exacerbate individual patients' health problems is presented to help clinicians identify patients likely to benefit from additional multidisciplinary health and social services. To illustrate how the tool could be implemented in time- and resource-limited settings (e.g., emergency department), the authors contrast two cases of structurally vulnerable patients with differing outcomes. Operationalizing structural vulnerability in clinical practice and introducing it in medical education can help health care practitioners think more clearly, critically, and practically about the ways social structures make people sick. Use of the assessment tool could promote "structural competency," a potential new medical education priority, to improve understanding of how social conditions and practical logistics undermine the capacities of patients to access health care, adhere to treatment, and modify lifestyles successfully. Adoption of a structural vulnerability framework in health care could also justify the mobilization of resources inside and outside clinical settings to improve a patient's immediate access to care and long-term health outcomes. Ultimately, the concept may orient health care providers toward policy leadership to reduce health disparities and foster health equity.
Dumont, Dora M.; Gjelsvik, Annie; Redmond, Nicole; Rich, Josiah D.
There were nearly 12 million admissions to U.S. jails in 2011, the majority of them Black or Hispanic. We analyzed data on men’s health screenings from the last Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of Inmates in Local Jails. Black and Hispanic men had the same or higher odds of reporting nearly all types of screenings compared to White male inmates. Because many prisoners are medically underserved, jails can be crucial public health partners in reducing disparities by identifying men in need of health care. The anticipated expansion of Medicaid eligibility in 2014 constitutes an important opportunity for correctional and public health authorities to work together to ensure linkage to care following release from incarceration. PMID:25374479
Rajendiran, Smrithi; Kashyap, Meghana V; Vishwanatha, Jamboor K
The Texas Center for Health Disparities, a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Center of Excellence, presents an annual conference to discuss prevention, awareness education and ongoing research about health disparities both in Texas and among the national population. The 2013 Texas Conference on Health Disparities brought together experts, in research, patient care and community outreach, on the "Intersection of Smoking, Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and Cancer". Smoking, HIV/AIDS and cancer are three individual areas of public health concern, each with its own set of disparities and risk factors based on race, ethnicity, gender, geography and socio-economic status. Disparities among patient populations, in which these issues are found to be comorbid, provide valuable information on goals for patient care. The conference consisted of three sessions addressing "Comorbidities and Treatment", "Public Health Perspectives", and "Best Practices". This article summarizes the basic science, clinical correlates and public health data presented by the speakers.
Pickett, K; Pearl, M
PURPOSE—Interest in the effects of neighbourhood or local area social characteristics on health has increased in recent years, but to date the existing evidence has not been systematically reviewed. Multilevel or contextual analyses of social factors and health represent a possible reconciliation between two divergent epidemiological paradigms—individual risk factor epidemiology and an ecological approach. DATA SOURCES—Keyword searching of Index Medicus (Medline) and additional references from retrieved articles. STUDY SELECTION—All original studies of the effect of local area social characteristics on individual health outcomes, adjusted for individual socioeconomic status, published in English before 1 June 1998 and focused on populations in developed countries. DATA SYNTHESIS—The methodological challenges posed by the design and interpretation of multilevel studies of local area effects are discussed and results summarised with reference to type of health outcome. All but two of the 25 reviewed studies reported a statistically significant association between at least one measure of social environment and a health outcome (contextual effect), after adjusting for individual level socioeconomic status (compositional effect). Contextual effects were generally modest and much smaller than compositional effects. CONCLUSIONS—The evidence for modest neighbourhood effects on health is fairly consistent despite heterogeneity of study designs, substitution of local area measures for neighbourhood measures and probable measurement error. By drawing public health attention to the health risks associated with the social structure and ecology of neighbourhoods, innovative approaches to community level interventions may ensue. Keywords: socioeconomic status; local area; contextual analysis; hierarchical analysis PMID:11154250
Vanderbilt, Allison A.; Wright, Marcie S.; Brewer, Alisa E.; Murithi, Lydia K.; Coney, PonJola
Introduction: Health disparities can negatively impact subsets of the population who have systematically experienced greater socioeconomic obstacles to health. For example, health disparities between ethnic and racial groups continue to grow due to the widening gap in large declines in infant and fetal mortality among Caucasians compared to Black non-Hispanic or African Americans. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, preterm birth remains a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality. The purpose of our study is to determine if the computer-based educational modules related to preterm birth health literacy and health disparity with a pre-test and post-test can effectively increase health knowledge of our participants in targeted underserved communities within the Richmond-metro area. Methods: This was a pilot study in the Richmond-Metro area. Participants were required to be over the age of 18, and had to electronically give consent. Descriptive statistics, means and standard deviations, and Paired t-tests were conducted in SPSS 22.0. Results: There were 140 participants in the pilot study. P <.05 was set as significant and all four modules had a P <.000. The males were not significant with modules: Let’s Talk Patient & Provider Communication P <.132 and It Takes a Village P <.066. Preterm birth status yes all of the findings were statistically significant P<.000. Preterm birth status no Let’s Talk Patients & Provider Communication was not significant P <.106. Conclusion: Overall, researchers found that with a strong research methodology and strong content relevant to the community, the participants demonstrated an increase in their knowledge in health literacy and preterm birth. PMID:26234992
Donald, Cameron; Ehrenfeld, Jesse M
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people experience a variety of health care disparities, including higher rates of certain chronic illnesses, substance abuse, and HIV. The growing adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) presents an important opportunity to optimize care for LGBTI individuals by routinely capturing in structured form patient sexual orientation and gender identity (SO/GI), as well as a patient's preferred name and pronoun. In addition to improving care provided to LGBTI patients, collection of structured SO/GI information will facilitate important public health data collection efforts that can be used to further reduce health care disparities in this underserved population.
Bray, Jeremy W.; Kelly, Erin L.; Hammer, Leslie B.; Almeida, David M.; Dearing, James W.; King, Rosalind B.; Buxton, Orfeu M.
Recognizing a need for rigorous, experimental research to support the efforts of workplaces and policymakers in improving the health and wellbeing of employees and their families, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formed the Work, Family & Health Network (WFHN). The WFHN is implementing an innovative multisite study with a rigorous experimental design (adaptive randomization, control groups), comprehensive multilevel measures, a novel and theoretically based intervention targeting the psychosocial work environment, and translational activities. This paper describes challenges and benefits of designing a multilevel and transdisciplinary research network that includes an effectiveness study to assess intervention effects on employees, families, and managers; a daily diary study to examine effects on family functioning and daily stress; a process study to understand intervention implementation; and translational research to understand and inform diffusion of innovation. Challenges were both conceptual and logistical, spanning all aspects of study design and implementation. In dealing with these challenges, however, the WFHN developed innovative, transdisciplinary, multi-method approaches to conducting workplace research that will benefit both the research and business communities. PMID:24618878
Story, William T
This study examines the association between social capital and the utilization of antenatal care, professional delivery care, and childhood immunizations using a multilevel analytic sample of 10,739 women who recently gave birth and 7403 children between one and five years of age in 2293 communities and 22 state-groups from the 2005 India Human Development Survey. Exploratory factor analysis was used to create and validate six social capital measures that were used in multilevel logistic regression models to examine whether each form of social capital had an independent, contextual effect on health care use. Results revealed that social capital operated at the community level in association with all three care-seeking behaviors; however, the results differed based on the type of health care utilized. Specifically, components of social capital that led to heterogeneous bridging ties were positively associated with all three types of health care use, whereas components of social capital that led to strong bonding ties were negatively associated with the use of preventive care, but positively associated with professional delivery care.
Bray, Jeremy W; Kelly, Erin L; Hammer, Leslie B; Almeida, David M; Dearing, James W; King, Rosalind B; Buxton, Orfeu M
Recognizing a need for rigorous, experimental research to support the efforts of workplaces and policymakers in improving the health and wellbeing of employees and their families, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formed the Work, Family & Health Network (WFHN). The WFHN is implementing an innovative multisite study with a rigorous experimental design (adaptive randomization, control groups), comprehensive multilevel measures, a novel and theoretically based intervention targeting the psychosocial work environment, and translational activities. This paper describes challenges and benefits of designing a multilevel and transdisciplinary research network that includes an effectiveness study to assess intervention effects on employees, families, and managers; a daily diary study to examine effects on family functioning and daily stress; a process study to understand intervention implementation; and translational research to understand and inform diffusion of innovation. Challenges were both conceptual and logistical, spanning all aspects of study design and implementation. In dealing with these challenges, however, the WFHN developed innovative, transdisciplinary, multi-method approaches to conducting workplace research that will benefit both the research and business communities.
Dovidio, John F; Fiske, Susan T
Several aspects of social psychological science shed light on how unexamined racial/ethnic biases contribute to health care disparities. Biases are complex but systematic, differing by racial/ethnic group and not limited to love-hate polarities. Group images on the universal social cognitive dimensions of competence and warmth determine the content of each group's overall stereotype, distinct emotional prejudices (pity, envy, disgust, pride), and discriminatory tendencies. These biases are often unconscious and occur despite the best intentions. Such ambivalent and automatic biases can influence medical decisions and interactions, systematically producing discrimination in health care and ultimately disparities in health. Understanding how these processes may contribute to bias in health care can help guide interventions to address racial and ethnic disparities in health.
Gone, Joseph P; Trimble, Joseph E
As descendants of the indigenous peoples of the United States, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) have experienced a resurgence in population and prospects since the beginning of the twentieth century. Today, tribally affiliated individuals number over two million, distributed across 565 federally recognized tribal communities and countless metropolitan and nonreservation rural areas. Although relatively little evidence is available, the existing data suggest that AI/AN adults and youth suffer a disproportionate burden of mental health problems compared with other Americans. Specifically, clear disparities have emerged for AI/AN substance abuse, posttraumatic stress, violence, and suicide. The rapid expansion of mental health services to AI/AN communities has, however, frequently preceded careful consideration of a variety of questions about critical components of such care, such as the service delivery structure itself, clinical treatment processes, and preventive and rehabilitative program evaluation. As a consequence, the mental health needs of these communities have easily outpaced and overwhelmed the federally funded agency designed to serve these populations, with the Indian Health Service remaining chronically understaffed and underfunded such that elimination of AI/AN mental health disparities is only a distant dream. Although research published during the past decade has substantially improved knowledge about AI/AN mental health problems, far fewer investigations have explored treatment efficacy and outcomes among these culturally diverse peoples. In addition to routine calls for greater clinical and research resources, however, AI/AN community members themselves are increasingly advocating for culturally alternative approaches and opportunities to address their mental health needs on their own terms.
Bowen, Anthony; Casadevall, Arturo
Society makes substantial investments in biomedical research, searching for ways to better human health. The product of this research is principally information published in scientific journals. Continued investment in science relies on society's confidence in the accuracy, honesty, and utility of research results. A recent focus on productivity has dominated the competitive evaluation of scientists, creating incentives to maximize publication numbers, citation counts, and publications in high-impact journals. Some studies have also suggested a decreasing quality in the published literature. The efficiency of society's investments in biomedical research, in terms of improved health outcomes, has not been studied. We show that biomedical research outcomes over the last five decades, as estimated by both life expectancy and New Molecular Entities approved by the Food and Drug Administration, have remained relatively constant despite rising resource inputs and scientific knowledge. Research investments by the National Institutes of Health over this time correlate with publication and author numbers but not with the numerical development of novel therapeutics. We consider several possibilities for the growing input-outcome disparity including the prior elimination of easier research questions, increasing specialization, overreliance on reductionism, a disproportionate emphasis on scientific outputs, and other negative pressures on the scientific enterprise. Monitoring the efficiency of research investments in producing positive societal outcomes may be a useful mechanism for weighing the efficacy of reforms to the scientific enterprise. Understanding the causes of the increasing input-outcome disparity in biomedical research may improve society's confidence in science and provide support for growing future research investments.
Saxena, Nakshatra; Gutiérrez, Orlando M.
Compared to Caucasians, African Americans have lower circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the major storage form of vitamin D, leading to the widespread assumption that African Americans are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. However, the finding that African Americans maintain better indices of musculoskeletal health than Caucasians throughout their lifespan despite having lower circulating 25(OH)D concentrations suggests that the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and racial health disparities may not be so straight forward. The fairly recent emergence of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) may help resolve some of this uncertainty. FGF23 strongly modulates both systemic and local activation of 25(OH)D, playing a potentially important role in the degree to which lower 25(OH)D concentrations impact health outcomes, including differences in the incidence and rate of progression of chronic kidney disease by race. The focus of this review will be to critically assess ongoing controversies surrounding the relationship between vitamin D and racial disparities in chronic kidney disease outcomes, and how FGF23 may help to clarify the picture. PMID:24119850
Chin, Marshall H.; Goddu, Anna P.; Ferguson, Molly J.; Peek, Monica E.
To reduce racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes care and outcomes, it is critical to integrate health care and community approaches. However, little work describes how to expand and sustain such partnerships and initiatives. We outline our experience creating and growing an initiative to improve diabetes care and outcomes in the predominantly African American South Side of Chicago. Our project involves patient education and activation, a quality improvement collaborative with six clinics, provider education, and community partnerships. We aligned our project with the needs and goals of community residents and organizations, the mission and strategic plan of our academic medical center, various strengths and resources in Chicago, and the changing health care marketplace. We use the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change conceptual model and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to elucidate how we expanded and sustained our project within a shifting environment. We recommend taking action to integrate health care with community projects, being inclusive, building partnerships, working with the media, and understanding vital historical, political, and economic contexts. PMID:25359247
Chen, Feinian; Yang, Yang; Liu, Guangya
This article examines social stratification in individual health trajectories for multiple cohorts in the context of China’s dramatically changing macro-social environment. Using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, we find significant socioeconomic status (SES) differences in the mean level of health and that these SES differentials generally diverge over the life course. We also find strong cohort variations in SES disparities in the mean levels of health and health trajectories. The effect of education on health slightly decreases across successive cohorts. By contrast, the income gap in health trajectories diverges for earlier cohorts but converges for most recent cohorts. Both effects are more pronounced in rural areas. Given that these cohort effects are opposite those reported in recent U.S. studies, we discuss China’s unique social, economic, and political settings. We highlight the association between SES and health behaviors, China’s stage of epidemiologic transition, and the changing power of the state government and its implications for health care. PMID:20379373
Background There are few studies that have analyzed the context of health care utilization, particularly in Latin America. This study examines the context of utilization of health services in Ecuador; focusing on the relationship between provision of services and use of both preventive and curative services. Methods This study is cross-sectional and analyzes data from the 2004 National Demographic and Maternal & Child Health dataset. Provider variables come from the Ecuadorian System of Social Indicators (SIISE). Global Moran's I statistic is used to assess spatial autocorrelation of the provider variables. Multilevel modeling is used for the simultaneous analysis of provision of services at the province-level with use of services at the individual level. Results Spatial analysis indicates no significant differences in the density of health care providers among Ecuadorian provinces. After adjusting for various predisposing, enabling, need factors and interaction terms, density of public practice health personnel was positively associated with use of preventive care, particularly among rural households. On the other hand, density of private practice physicians was positively associated with use of curative care, particularly among urban households. Conclusions There are significant public/private, urban/rural gaps in provision of services in Ecuador; which in turn affect people's use of services. It is necessary to strengthen the public health care delivery system (which includes addressing distribution of health workers) and national health information systems. These efforts could improve access to health care, and inform the civil society and policymakers on the advances of health care reform. PMID:20222988
Romine, William L.; Miller, Michele E.; Knese, Shawn A.; Folk, William R.
Using the context of a 2-wk instructional unit focused on eye and vision health, we developed and validated a multilevel measure of middle school students' interest in science and health careers. This survey contained three subscales positioned differently with respect to curricular content. Interest in Vision Care was most related, but less…
Haas, Steven A
The developmental origins of disease (DOD) model seeks to replace the traditional epidemiologic risk factor model with a perspective focused on the long-term consequences of nutritional resource scarcity during early life and the developmental trade-offs it creates. Research into the developmental origins of adult chronic disease has progressed substantially in recent years. However, a number of critical issues remain unexplored and under-developed. This chapter discusses some of those issues while providing an interdisciplinary population health perspective on the future of DOD research, with particular attention paid to health disparities and changes that are needed in health policy and intervention. I argue for research to provide greater specificity of the exposures of interest, a more comprehensive understanding of critical periods, and better theoretical and empirical integration of the developmental origins perspective within the life course and across multiple intergenerational processes.
Williams, Richard Allen
A 2003 report by the Institute of Medicine identified several areas of disparity in health care due to discrimination (whether unintentional or intentional), bias, and prejudice. Given that most minority patients are treated by physicians from the majority group, the principles of cultural competency are extremely important. A health care provider is culturally competent when the patient is satisfied that a collaborative partnership has been established that facilitates successful and satisfactory delivery of care. To accomplish this, the physician makes an effort to overcome language barriers and learns to appreciate cultural differences. Taking the step to increase communication and awareness will enhance the quality of medical care delivered to minorities, leading to greater racial and ethnic harmony and understanding in the health care professions.
Theunissen, Katherine Evelyn
Many countries across the globe experience disparities in health between their indigenous and non-indigenous people. The indigenous Māori of New Zealand are the most marginalized and deprived ethnic group with the poorest health status overall. Factors including the historical British colonization, institutional discrimination, healthcare workforce bias and the personal attitudes and beliefs of Māori significantly contribute to disparities, differential access and receipt of quality health services. Māori experience more barriers towards accessing health services and as a result achieve poorer health outcomes. Contradicting translations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi have created much debate regarding social rights as interpreted by Oritetanga (equal British citizenship rights) and whether or not Māori are entitled to equal opportunities or equal outcomes. Inconsistent consideration of Māori culture in the New Zealand health system and social policy greatly contributes to the current health disparities. Nurses and healthcare professionals alike have the gifted opportunity to truly change attitudes toward Māori health and move forward in adopting culturally appropriate care practices. More specifically the nursing workforce provides 80% of direct patient care, thus are in a unique position to be the forefront of change in reducing health disparities experienced by Māori. Incorporating cultural safety, patient advocacy, and Māori-centred models of care will support nurses in adopting a new approach toward improving Māori health outcomes overall.
Krueger, Patrick M.; Dovel, Kathryn; Denney, Justin T.
Existing research has found a positive association between countries’ level of democratic governance and the health of their populations, although that research is limited by the use of data from small numbers of high-income countries or aggregate data that do not assess individual-level health outcomes. We extend prior research by using multilevel World Health Survey (2002-2004) data on 313,554 individuals in 67 countries, and find that the positive association between democratic governance and self-rated health persists after adjusting for both individual- and country-level confounders. However, the mechanisms linking democracy and self-rated health remain unclear. Individual-level measures of socioeconomic status, and country-level measures of economic inequality and investments in public health and education, do not significantly mediate the association between democratic governance and self-rated health. The persistent association between democratic governance and health suggests that the political organization of societies may be an important upstream determinant of population health. PMID:26356825
Krueger, Patrick M; Dovel, Kathryn; Denney, Justin T
Existing research has found a positive association between countries' level of democratic governance and the health of their populations, although that research is limited by the use of data from small numbers of high-income countries or aggregate data that do not assess individual-level health outcomes. We extend prior research by using multilevel World Health Survey (2002-2004) data on 313,554 individuals in 67 countries, and find that the positive association between democratic governance and self-rated health persists after adjusting for both individual- and country-level confounders. However, the mechanisms linking democracy and self-rated health remain unclear. Individual-level measures of socioeconomic status, and country-level measures of economic inequality and investments in public health and education, do not significantly mediate the association between democratic governance and self-rated health. The persistent association between democratic governance and health suggests that the political organization of societies may be an important upstream determinant of population health.
Horton, Sarah; Barker, Judith C.
Severe early childhood caries (ECC) can leave lasting effects on children’s physical development, including malformed oral arches and crooked permanent dentition. This article examines the way that ECC sets up Mexican American farm worker children in the United States for lasting dental problems and social stigma as young adults. We examine the role of dietary and environmental factors in contributing to what we call “stigmatized biologies,” and that of market-based dental public health insurance systems in cementing their enduring effects. We adapt Margaret Lock’s term, local biology, to illustrate the way that biology differs not only because of culture, diet, and environment but also because of disparities in insurance coverage. By showing the long-term effects of ECC and disparate dental treatment on farmworker adults, we show how the interaction of immigrant caregiving practices and underinsurance can have lasting social effects. An examination of the long-term effects of farm worker children’s ECC illustrates the ways that market-based health care systems can create embodied differences that in turn reproduce a system of social inequality. PMID:20550093
Casciello, Alana; Gansky, Stuart A.; Henshaw, Michelle; Ramos-Gomez, Francisco; Rasmussen, Margaret; Garcia, Raul I.; Albino, Judith; Batliner, Terrence S.
Background Four trials of interventions designed to prevent early childhood caries are using community-engagement strategies to improve recruitment of low-income, racial/ethnic minority participants. The trials are being implemented by 3 centers funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and known as the Early Childhood Caries Collaborating Centers (EC4): the Center for Native Oral Health Research at the University of Colorado, the Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health at the University of California San Francisco, and the Center for Research to Evaluate and Eliminate Dental Disparities at Boston University. Community Context The community contexts for the EC4 trials include urban public housing developments, Hispanic communities near the US–Mexican border, and rural American Indian reservations. These communities have a high prevalence of early childhood caries, suggesting the need for effective, culturally acceptable interventions. Methods Each center’s intervention(s) used community-based participatory research approaches, identified community partners, engaged the community through various means, and developed communication strategies to enhance recruitment. Outcome All 3 centers have completed recruitment. Each center implemented several new strategies and approaches to enhance recruitment efforts, such as introducing new communication techniques, using media such as radio and newspapers to spread awareness about the studies, and hosting community gatherings. Interpretation Using multiple strategies that build trust in the community, are sensitive to cultural norms, and are adaptable to the community environment can enhance recruitment in underserved communities. PMID:25101490
Horton, Sarah; Barker, Judith C
Severe early childhood caries (ECC) can leave lasting effects on children's physical development, including malformed oral arches and crooked permanent dentition. This article examines the way that the ECC of Mexican American farmworker children in the United States sets them up for lasting dental problems and social stigma as young adults. We examine the role of dietary and environmental factors in contributing to what we call "stigmatized biologies," and that of market-based dental public health insurance systems in cementing their enduring effects. We adapt Margaret Lock's term, local biology, to illustrate the way that biology differs not only because of culture, diet, and environment but also because of disparities in insurance coverage. By showing the long-term effects of ECC and disparate dental treatment on farmworker adults, we show how the interaction of immigrant caregiving practices and underinsurance can having lasting social effects. An examination of the long-term effects of farmworker children's ECC illustrates the ways that market-based health care systems can create embodied differences that in turn reproduce a system of social inequality.
Wagner, Philippe; Ghith, Nermin; Leckie, George
Background and Aim Many multilevel logistic regression analyses of “neighbourhood and health” focus on interpreting measures of associations (e.g., odds ratio, OR). In contrast, multilevel analysis of variance is rarely considered. We propose an original stepwise analytical approach that distinguishes between “specific” (measures of association) and “general” (measures of variance) contextual effects. Performing two empirical examples we illustrate the methodology, interpret the results and discuss the implications of this kind of analysis in public health. Methods We analyse 43,291 individuals residing in 218 neighbourhoods in the city of Malmö, Sweden in 2006. We study two individual outcomes (psychotropic drug use and choice of private vs. public general practitioner, GP) for which the relative importance of neighbourhood as a source of individual variation differs substantially. In Step 1 of the analysis, we evaluate the OR and the area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC) curve for individual-level covariates (i.e., age, sex and individual low income). In Step 2, we assess general contextual effects using the AUC. Finally, in Step 3 the OR for a specific neighbourhood characteristic (i.e., neighbourhood income) is interpreted jointly with the proportional change in variance (i.e., PCV) and the proportion of ORs in the opposite direction (POOR) statistics. Results For both outcomes, information on individual characteristics (Step 1) provide a low discriminatory accuracy (AUC = 0.616 for psychotropic drugs; = 0.600 for choosing a private GP). Accounting for neighbourhood of residence (Step 2) only improved the AUC for choosing a private GP (+0.295 units). High neighbourhood income (Step 3) was strongly associated to choosing a private GP (OR = 3.50) but the PCV was only 11% and the POOR 33%. Conclusion Applying an innovative stepwise multilevel analysis, we observed that, in Malmö, the neighbourhood context per se had a negligible
Sheehan, Connor M.; Hummer, Robert A.; Moore, Brenda L.; Huyser, Kimberly R.; Butler, John Sibley
Given their unique occupational hazards and sizable population, military veterans are an important population for the study of health. Yet veterans are by no means homogeneous, and there are unanswered questions regarding the extent of, and explanations for, racial and ethnic differences in veterans’ health. Using the 2010 National Survey of Veterans, we first documented race/ethnic differences in self-rated health and limitations in Activities of Daily Living among male veterans aged 30–84. Second, we examined potential explanations for the disparities, including socioeconomic and behavioral differences, as well as differences in specific military experiences. We found that Black, Hispanic, and other/multiple race veterans reported much worse health than White veterans. Using progressively adjusted regression models, we uncovered that the poorer self-rated health and higher levels of activity limitations among minority veterans compared to Whites was partially explained by differences in their socioeconomic status and by their military experiences. Minority veterans are a vulnerable population for poor health; future research and policy efforts should attempt to better understand and ameliorate their health disadvantages relative to White veterans. PMID:26783376
Bakir, Amira H.; Skarzynski, Martin
Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes roughly 1.6% of the plus 1.6 million cases of cancer that are diagnosed in the United States each year. Despite the proven safety and efficacy of available vaccines, HPV remains the most common sexually transmitted infection. Underlying the high prevalence of HPV infection is the poor adherence to the Centers for Disease Control recommendation to vaccinate all 11- to 12-year-old males and females. In fact, only about 38 and 14% of eligible females and males, respectively, receive the complete, three-dose immunization. The many factors associated with missed HPV vaccination opportunities – including race, age, family income, and patient education – contribute to widespread disparities in vaccine completion and related health outcomes. Beyond patient circumstance, however, research indicates that the rigor and consistency of recommendation by primary care providers also plays a significant role in uptake of HPV immunization. Health disparities data are of vital importance to HPV vaccination campaigns because they can provide insight into how to address current problems and allocate limited resources where they are most needed. Furthermore, even modest gains in populations with low vaccination rates may yield great benefits because HPV immunization has been shown to provide herd immunity, indirect protection for non-immunized individuals achieved by limiting the spread of an infectious agent through a population. However, the impact of current HPV vaccination campaigns is hindered by stagnant immunization rates, which remain far below target levels despite a slow overall increase. Furthermore, gains in immunization are not equally distributed across gender, age, demographic, and socioeconomic divisions within the recommended group of vaccine recipients. To achieve the greatest impact, public health campaigns should focus on improving immunization coverage where it is weakest. They should also explore more subtle but potentially
North Carolina has numerous low-income minority communities and tribal areas where basic public health amenities are lacking. Disparities in clean air, safe drinking water, and toxin-free soil create human exposures that result in poor health, depressed property value, and more contaminated environments than are present in higher income communities.
Francis, Karen Belinda
Background: Cultural and linguistic competence is widely viewed as a strategy for addressing disparities in health and mental health care. Organizational activities towards the integration and implementation of cultural and linguistic competence span the gamut to include training, workforce development, policy development and standards that inform…
Olson, Tom; Vera, Beatriz; Perez, Oriana
The widespread and devastating nature of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) sharply contrasts with the paucity of research involving Mexican Americans and Mexicans who suffer from this condition. This mixed-methods preliminary study was intended to provide initial data and to pilot the procedures for a larger investigation of the cultural identification, symptomatology, health concerns, coping mechanisms, and quality of life of Mexican Americans and Mexicans with OCD living in the U.S.-Mexico border region of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. For the sample of six participants, whose symptoms ranged from moderate to extreme, OCD was associated with marked impairment in quality of life, particularly in terms of social functioning, an area of central importance for many Mexican Americans and Mexicans. Areas of further study were identified, with the aim of developing culturally sensitive interventions to decrease health disparities involving OCD. PMID:17917689
Ortiz-Hernández, Luis; Valencia-Valero, Reyna Guadalupe
The aim of this study was to document disparities in mental health related to discrimination based on sexual orientation in Mexican adolescents. A representative national sample of secondary school students was analyzed. Criteria for homosexual orientation were having had a same-sex boyfriend or girlfriend and having had same-sex sexual relations. The events were: depression, low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, attempted suicide, smoking, alcohol abuse, and drug use. Teenagers with same-sex relationships or sexual relations had an increased risk of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, attempted suicide, and alcohol abuse. These differences were particularly related to having experienced violence in the family and in school. Despite institutional and legal progress in acknowledging the rights of the lesbian, bisexual, and gay population, health inequities persist due to discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Murphy, Sheila T.; Frank, Lauren B.; Chatterjee, Joyee S.; Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes
This research empirically tests whether using a fictional narrative produces a greater impact on health-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intention than presenting the identical information in a more traditional, nonfiction, non-narrative format. European American, Mexican American, and African American women (N = 758) were surveyed before and after viewing either a narrative or non-narrative cervical cancer-related film. The narrative was more effective in increasing cervical cancer-related knowledge and attitudes. Moreover, in response to the narrative featuring Latinas, Mexican Americans were most transported, identified most with the characters, and experienced the strongest emotions. Regressions revealed that transportation, identification with specific characters, and emotion each contributed to shifts in knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Thus, narrative formats may provide a valuable tool in reducing health disparities. PMID:24347679
Arredondo, Armando; Reyes, Gabriela
The rapid growth of diabetes in middle-income countries is generating disparities in global health. In this context we conducted a study to quantify the health disparities from the economic burden of diabetes in México. Evaluative research based on a longitudinal design, using cost methodology by instrumentation. For the estimation of epidemiological changes during the 2010-2012 period, several probabilistic models were developed using the Box-Jenkins technique. The financial requirements were obtained from expected case management costs by disease and the application of an econometric adjustment factor to control the effects of inflation. Comparing the economic impact in 2010 versus 2012 (p<0.05), there was a 33% increase in financial requirements. The total amount for diabetes in 2011 (US dollars) was $7.7 billion. It includes $3.4 billion in direct costs and $4.3 in indirect costs. The total direct costs were $.4 billion to the Ministry of Health (SSA), serving the uninsured population; $1.2 to the institutions serving the insured population (Mexican Institute for Social Security-IMSS-, and Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers-ISSSTE-); $1.8 to users; and $.1 to Private Health Insurance (PHI). If the risk factors and the different health care models remain as they currently are in the analyzed institutions, health disparities in terms of financial implications will have the greatest impact on users' pockets. In middle-income countries, health disparities generated by the economic burden of diabetes is one of the main reasons for catastrophic health expenditure. Health disparities generated by the economic burden of diabetes suggests the need to design and review the current organization of health systems and the relevance of moving from biomedical models and curative health care to preventive and socio-medical models to meet expected challenges from diseases like diabetes in middle-income countries.
Arredondo, Armando; Reyes, Gabriela
The rapid growth of diabetes in middle-income countries is generating disparities in global health. In this context we conducted a study to quantify the health disparities from the economic burden of diabetes in México. Evaluative research based on a longitudinal design, using cost methodology by instrumentation. For the estimation of epidemiological changes during the 2010–2012 period, several probabilistic models were developed using the Box-Jenkins technique. The financial requirements were obtained from expected case management costs by disease and the application of an econometric adjustment factor to control the effects of inflation. Comparing the economic impact in 2010 versus 2012 (p<0.05), there was a 33% increase in financial requirements. The total amount for diabetes in 2011 (US dollars) was $7.7 billion. It includes $3.4 billion in direct costs and $4.3 in indirect costs. The total direct costs were $.4 billion to the Ministry of Health (SSA), serving the uninsured population; $1.2 to the institutions serving the insured population (Mexican Institute for Social Security–IMSS-, and Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers-ISSSTE-); $1.8 to users; and $.1 to Private Health Insurance (PHI). If the risk factors and the different health care models remain as they currently are in the analyzed institutions, health disparities in terms of financial implications will have the greatest impact on users’ pockets. In middle-income countries, health disparities generated by the economic burden of diabetes is one of the main reasons for catastrophic health expenditure. Health disparities generated by the economic burden of diabetes suggests the need to design and review the current organization of health systems and the relevance of moving from biomedical models and curative health care to preventive and socio-medical models to meet expected challenges from diseases like diabetes in middle-income countries. PMID:23874629
Johnson, Michelle A; Marchi, Kristen S
A higher prevalence of infant low birth weight (<2500 g) has been observed among more acculturated mothers of Mexican descent living in the U.S. when compared to their less acculturated counterparts. Tests of the "acculturation hypothesis" have established that disparities in certain risks for low birth weight exist between subgroups of women of Mexican-origin. However, disparities observed by neighborhood of residence have yet to be explained. Most tests of the acculturation hypothesis assume a classical path of assimilation, whereby Mexican American health is expected to deteriorate with time spent residing in the U.S. and across the generations. The theory of segmented assimilation suggests that alternative paths are possible depending upon individual characteristics and the context of the neighborhood into which immigrant families and their children reside. This study tested the theory of segmented assimilation as a framework for examining the geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic underpinnings of population differences in infant low birth weight among women of Mexican descent in California using the 2000 U.S. Census and population-based data from the Maternal and Infant Health Assessment (1999-2005) (n=6442). Little support was found for the theory's hypotheses. Rather, increased odds for infant low birth weight were observed for English speakers residing in Latino immigrant neighborhoods when compared to English speakers in other neighborhoods, an effect attenuated for Spanish speakers. Elevated odds of low birth weight were also observed among English speakers residing in Latino immigrant neighborhoods when compared to Spanish speakers in the same neighborhoods. Findings suggest the transfer of health-specific social capital in ethnic neighborhoods may depend upon sociocultural consonance between individuals and neighborhood residents. The authors call for additional research that sheds light on the sociocultural dynamics of maternal and infant health at
Shonkoff, Jack P; Boyce, W Thomas; McEwen, Bruce S
A scientific consensus is emerging that the origins of adult disease are often found among developmental and biological disruptions occurring during the early years of life. These early experiences can affect adult health in 2 ways--either by cumulative damage over time or by the biological embedding of adversities during sensitive developmental periods. In both cases, there can be a lag of many years, even decades, before early adverse experiences are expressed in the form of disease. From both basic research and policy perspectives, confronting the origins of disparities in physical and mental health early in life may produce greater effects than attempting to modify health-related behaviors or improve access to health care in adulthood.
Wharam, J Frank; Soumerai, Steve; Trinacty, Connie; Eggleston, Emma; Zhang, Fang; LeCates, Robert; Canning, Claire; Ross-Degnan, Dennis
Consumer-directed health plans combine lower premiums with high annual deductibles, Internet-based quality-of-care information, and health savings mechanisms. These plans may encourage members to seek better value for health expenditures but may also decrease essential care. The expansion of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) represents a natural experiment of tremendous proportion. We designed a pre-post, longitudinal, quasi-experimental study to determine the effect of HDHPs on diabetes quality of care, outcomes, and disparities. We will use a 13-year rolling sample (2001-2013) of members of an HDHP and members of a control group. To reduce selection bias, we will limit participants to those whose employers mandate a single health insurance type. The study will measure rates of monthly hemoglobin A1c, lipid, and albuminuria testing; availability of blood glucose test strips; and rates of retinal examinations, high-severity emergency department visits, and preventable hospitalizations. Results could be used to design health plan features that promote high-quality care and better outcomes among people who have diabetes.
Kumar, Supriya; Freimuth, Vicki S.; Musa, Donald; Casteneda-Angarita, Nestor; Kidwell, Kelley
Objectives. We conducted the first empirical examination of disparities in H1N1 exposure, susceptibility to H1N1 complications, and access to health care during the H1N1 influenza pandemic. Methods. We conducted a nationally representative survey among a sample drawn from more than 60 000 US households. We analyzed responses from 1479 adults, including significant numbers of Blacks and Hispanics. The survey asked respondents about their ability to impose social distance in response to public health recommendations, their chronic health conditions, and their access to health care. Results. Risk of exposure to H1N1 was significantly related to race and ethnicity. Spanish-speaking Hispanics were at greatest risk of exposure but were less susceptible to complications from H1N1. Disparities in access to health care remained significant for Spanish-speaking Hispanics after controlling for other demographic factors. We used measures based on prevalence of chronic conditions to determine that Blacks were the most susceptible to complications from H1N1. Conclusions. We found significant race/ethnicity-related disparities in potential risk from H1N1 flu. Disparities in the risks of exposure, susceptibility (particularly to severe disease), and access to health care may interact to exacerbate existing health inequalities and contribute to increased morbidity and mortality in these populations. PMID:21164098
Fisher-Owens, Susan A.; Isong, Inyang A.; Soobader, Mah-J; Gansky, Stuart A.; Weintraub, Jane A.; Platt, Larry J.; Newacheck, Paul W.
Objective Assess the extent apparent racial/ethnic disparities in children’s oral health and oral health care are explained by factors other than race/ethnicity. Data Source 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, for children 2–17 years (N=82,020). Outcomes included parental reports of child’s oral health status, receipt of preventive dental care, and delayed dental care/unmet need. Model-based survey data analysis examined racial/ethnic disparities, controlling for other child, family, and community/state (contextual) factors. Results Unadjusted results show large oral health disparities by race/ethnicity. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks were markedly more likely to be reported in only fair/poor oral health (odds ratios (ORs) [95% confidence intervals] 4.3 [4.0–4.6], 2.2 [2.0–2.4], respectively), lack preventive care (ORs 1.9 [1.8–2.0], 1.4 [1.3–1.5]), and experience delayed care/unmet need (ORs 1.5 [1.3–1.7], 1.4 [1.3–1.5]). Adjusting for child, family, and community/state factors reduced or eliminated racial/ethnic disparities. Adjusted ORs (AORs) for Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks attenuated for fair/poor oral health, to 1.6 [1.5–1.8] and 1.2 [1.1–1.4], respectively. Adjustment eliminated disparities in each group for lacking preventive care (AORs 1.0 [0.9–1.1], 1.1 [1.1–1.2]), and in Hispanics for delayed care/unmet need (AOR 1.0). Among non-Hispanic Blacks, adjustment reversed the disparity for delayed care/unmet need (AOR 0.6 [0.6–0.7]). Conclusions Racial/ethnic disparities in children’s oral health status and access were found to be attributable largely to determinants such as socioeconomic and health insurance factors. Efforts to decrease disparities may be more efficacious if targeted at the social, economic, and other factors associated with minority racial/ethnic status, and may also have collateral positive effects on sectors of the majority population who share similar social
Shah, Vallabh O.; Ghahate, Donica M; Bobelu, Jeanette; Sandy, Phillip; Newman, Sara; Helitzer, Deborah L.; Faber, Thomas; Zager, Philip
The Zuni Pueblo is home to an economically disadvantaged population, which faces a public health challenge from the interrelated epidemics of obesity, diabetes and kidney disease. Efforts to decrease the impact of these epidemics have been complicated by historical, economic and cultural barriers, which may limit health-care utilization. The NIH supported Zuni Health Initiative (ZHI) conducted a study to identify barriers to heath care in the Zuni Pueblo. Community health representatives (CHRs) led 14 one-hour focus group sessions at which a total of 112 people participated posed unique questions that took into account the Zuni culture to elicit information on perceived barriers to health care. Audiotapes were translated and transcribed by bilingual ZHI staff. We reduced the text to thematic categories, constructed a coding dictionary and inserted the text into NVivo 9 program. We identified nine themes emerged regarding the barriers experienced in receiving health care and adhering to medical advice. These included distance; transportation; embarrassment; relating to healthcare professionals; navigating the medical system; awareness of available resources; waiting times; adhering to medication; and incentives in health promotion. In conclusion the implementation of culturally appropriate community based health promotion programs and preventive screening techniques will improve access to health care and diminish health disparities. PMID:24528897
Eikemo, Terje Andreas; Bambra, Clare; Judge, Ken; Ringdal, Kristen
The aim of this study was to determine the degree to which welfare state regime characteristics explained the proportional variation of self-perceived health between European countries, when individual and regional variation was accounted for, by undertaking a multilevel analysis of the European Social Survey (2002 and 2004). A total of 65,065 individuals, from 218 regions and 21 countries, aged 25 years and above were included in the analysis. The health outcomes related to people's own mental and physical health, in general. The study showed that almost 90% of the variation in health was attributable to the individual-level, while approximately 10% was associated with national welfare state characteristics. The variation across regions within countries was not significant. Type of welfare state regime appeared to account for approximately half of the national-level variation of health inequalities between European countries. People in countries with Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon welfare regimes were observed to have better self-perceived general health in comparison to Southern and East European welfare regimes.
Bowen, Anthony; Casadevall, Arturo
Society makes substantial investments in biomedical research, searching for ways to better human health. The product of this research is principally information published in scientific journals. Continued investment in science relies on society’s confidence in the accuracy, honesty, and utility of research results. A recent focus on productivity has dominated the competitive evaluation of scientists, creating incentives to maximize publication numbers, citation counts, and publications in high-impact journals. Some studies have also suggested a decreasing quality in the published literature. The efficiency of society’s investments in biomedical research, in terms of improved health outcomes, has not been studied. We show that biomedical research outcomes over the last five decades, as estimated by both life expectancy and New Molecular Entities approved by the Food and Drug Administration, have remained relatively constant despite rising resource inputs and scientific knowledge. Research investments by the National Institutes of Health over this time correlate with publication and author numbers but not with the numerical development of novel therapeutics. We consider several possibilities for the growing input-outcome disparity including the prior elimination of easier research questions, increasing specialization, overreliance on reductionism, a disproportionate emphasis on scientific outputs, and other negative pressures on the scientific enterprise. Monitoring the efficiency of research investments in producing positive societal outcomes may be a useful mechanism for weighing the efficacy of reforms to the scientific enterprise. Understanding the causes of the increasing input-outcome disparity in biomedical research may improve society’s confidence in science and provide support for growing future research investments. PMID:26283360
Monsivais, Pablo; McLain, Julia; Drewnowski, Adam
Nutrient dense foods that are associated with better health outcomes tend to cost more per kilocalorie (kcal) than do refined grains, sweets and fats. The price disparity between healthful and less healthful foods appears to be growing. This study demonstrates a new method for linking longitudinal retail price data with objective, nutrient-based ratings of the nutritional quality of foods and beverages. Retail prices for 378 foods and beverages were obtained from major supermarket chains in the Seattle, WA for 2004-8. Nutritional quality was based on energy density (kcal/g) and two measures of nutrient density, calculated using the Naturally Nutrient Rich (NNR) score and the Nutrient Rich Foods index (NRF9.3). Food prices were expressed as $/100g edible portion and as $/1,000 kcal. Foods were stratified by quintiles of energy and nutrient density for analyses. Both measures of nutrient density were negatively associated with energy density and positively associated with cost per 1,000 kcal. The mean cost of foods in the top quintile of nutrient density was $27.20/1,000 kcal and the 4 y price increase was 29.2%. Foods in the bottom quintile cost a mean of $3.32/1000 kcal and the 4 y price increase was 16.1%. There is a growing price disparity between nutrient-dense foods and less nutritious options. Cost may pose a barrier to the adoption of healthier diets and so limit the impact of dietary guidance. Nutrient profiling methods provide objective criteria for tracking retail prices of foods in relation to their nutritional quality and for guiding food and nutrition policy. PMID:25411518
Background There is increasing evidence that individual health is at least partly determined by neighbourhood and regional factors. Mechanisms, however, remain poorly understood, and evidence from Germany is scant. This study explores whether regional as well as neighbourhood deprivation are associated with physical health and to what extent this association can be explained by specific neighbourhood exposures. Methods Using 2004 data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) merged with regional and neighbourhood characteristics, we fitted multilevel linear regression models with subjective physical health, as measured by the SF-12, as the dependent variable. The models include regional and neighbourhood proxies of deprivation (i.e. regional unemployment quota, average purchasing power of the street section) as well as specific neighbourhood exposures (i.e. perceived air pollution). Individual characteristics including socioeconomic status and health behaviour have been controlled for. Results This study finds a significant association between area deprivation and physical health which is independent of compositional factors and consistent across different spatial scales. Furthermore the association between neighbourhood deprivation and physical health can be partly explained by specific features of the neighbourhood environment. Among these perceived air pollution shows the strongest association with physical health (-2.4 points for very strong and -1.5 points for strong disturbance by air pollution, standard error (SE) = 0.8 and 0.4, respectively). Beta coefficients for perceived air pollution, perceived noise and the perceived distance to recreational resources do not diminish when including individual health behaviour in the models. Conclusions This study highlights the difference regional and in particular neighbourhood deprivation make to the physical health of individuals in Germany. The results support the argument that specific neighbourhood
Friedman, M. Reuel; Dodge, Brian; Schick, Vanessa; Herbenick, Debby; Hubach, Randolph; Bowling, Jessamyn; Goncalves, Gabriel; Krier, Sarah; Reece, Michael
PUROPSE A newly emergent literature suggest that bisexual men and women face profound health disparities in comparison to both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. Additionally, bisexual individuals often experience prejudice, stigma, and discrimination from both gay/lesbian and straight communities, termed “biphobia.” However, only limited research exists that empirically tests the extent and predictors of this double discrimination. The Bisexualities: Indiana Attitudes Survey (BIAS) was developed to test associations between biphobia and sexual identity. METHODS Using standard techniques, we developed and administered a scale to a purposive online sample of adults from a wide range of social networking websites. We conducted exploratory factor analysis to refine scales assessing attitudes toward bisexual men and bisexual women, respectively. Using generalized linear modeling, we assessed relationships between BIAS scores and sexual identity, adjusting for covariates. RESULTS Two separately gendered scales were developed, administered, and refined: BIAS-m (n=645), focusing on attitudes toward bisexual men; and BIAS-f (n=631), focusing on attitudes toward bisexual women. Across scales, sexual identity significantly predicted response variance. Lesbian/gay respondents had lower levels of bi-negative attitudes than their heterosexual counterparts (all p-values <.05); bisexual respondents had lower levels of bi-negative attitudes than their straight counterparts (all p-values <.001); and bisexual respondents had lower levels of bi-negative attitudes than their lesbian/gay counterparts (all p-values <.05). Within racial/ethnic minority respondents, biracial/multiracial status was associated with lower bi-negativity scores (all p-values <.05). CONCLUSION This study provides important quantitative support for theories related to biphobia and double discrimination. Our findings provide strong evidence for understanding how stereotypes and stigma may lead to
Vines, Anissa I; Godley, Paul A
Despite the accomplishments of American medical science and the impressive array of healthcare facilities and service delivery models available in this country, the existence of significant health disparities is a matter of urgent national and state health policy priority. Policies to address these issues should address fundamental problems having to do with access to care (such as health insurance coverage and the availability and the geographic and culturally-appropriate accessibility of personal health services), the educational preparation of healthcare professionals for the challenge of caring for the increasing diversity of patients in a truly "patient-centered" healthcare system of the future, efforts to deal with widespread problems of health literacy that reduce the likely impact and effectiveness of healthcare, and a more aggressive effort to assure that future medial science continues to include minorities and women (and they continue to participate) as subjects in clinical trials of innovative therapeutic interventions. The policy agenda to address these issues is both broad and demanding, as would be expected of any set of problems which is so widespread and complex. But, America is no stranger to challenges, and few are more worthy of the effort than this.
Dominguez, Fred; Ortega, Alex N
The purpose of this study is to observe Cuba's working healthcare models in an effort to improve ethnic health disparities in south Los Angeles through generating a new level of synergy by mobilizing resources to create academic-community partnerships and apply lessons learned. During a three-year period beginning in 2005, a team of 12-14 Charles R. Drew University and UCLA faculty, south Los Angeles community leaders, and health providers completed three one-week visits to Cuba to survey the country's approach to various health problems and ascertain their potential to improve health conditions in south Los Angeles. Various methods such as opinion surveys, evaluations, and team meetings were used to measure the direction and progress of translating lessons learned into creating a working relationship with community leaders. After two visits, opinion surveys demonstrated an increase in the response to acknowledging that there were lessons learned. However, respondents acknowledged that they encountered difficulty in attempting to make these changes. One outcome from these visits resulted in a community forum at which community leaders and residents from south Los Angeles heard various speakers present on lessons learned in Cuba. In conclusion, after observing Cuba's approach to health problems that are also encountered in south Los Angeles, the team has begun to plan research projects and next steps to incorporate lessons learned into current programs with the community.
Wheeler, Stephanie B; Reeder-Hayes, Katherine E; Carey, Lisa A
Racial disparities in breast cancer mortality have been widely documented for several decades and persist despite advances in receipt of mammography across racial groups. This persistence leads to questions about the roles of biological, social, and health system determinants of poor outcomes. Cancer outcomes are a function not only of innate biological factors but also of modifiable characteristics of individual behavior and decision making as well as characteristics of patient-health system interaction and the health system itself. Attempts to explain persistent racial disparities have mostly been limited to discussion of differences in insurance coverage, socioeconomic status, tumor stage at diagnosis, comorbidity, and molecular subtype of the tumor. This article summarizes existing literature exploring reasons for racial disparities in breast cancer mortality, with an emphasis on treatment disparities and opportunities for future research. Because breast cancer care requires a high degree of multidisciplinary team collaboration, ensuring that guideline recommended treatment (such as endocrine therapy for hormone receptor positive patients) is received by all racial/ethnic groups is critical and requires coordination across multiple providers and health care settings. Recognition that variation in cancer care quality may be correlated with race (and socioeconomic and health system factors) may assist policy makers in identifying strategies to more equally distribute clinical expertise and health infrastructure across multiple user populations.
Hutchinson, Rebecca Newlin; Shin, Sonya
Background American Indians and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations experience significant health disparities compared to non-Hispanic white populations. Cardiovascular disease and related risk factors are increasingly recognized as growing indicators of global health disparities. However, comparative reports on disparities among this constellation of diseases for AI/AN populations have not been systematically reviewed. Objectives We performed a literature review on the prevalence of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease; and associated morbidity and mortality among AI/AN. Data sources A total of 203 articles were reviewed, of which 31 met study criteria for inclusion. Searches were performed on PUBMED, MEDLINE, the CDC MMWR, and the Indian Health Services. Study eligibility criteria Published literature that were published within the last fifteen years and provided direct comparisons between AI/AN to non-AI/AN populations were included. Study appraisal and synthesis methods We abstracted data on study design, data source, AI/AN population, comparison group, and. outcome measures. A descriptive synthesis of primary findings is included. Results Rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome are clearly higher for AI/AN populations. Hypertension and hyperlipidemia differences are more equivocal. Our analysis also revealed that there are likely regional and gender differences in the degree of disparities observed. Limitations Studies using BRFSS telephone surveys administered in English may underestimate disparities. Many AI/AN do not have telephones and/or speak English. Regional variability makes national surveys difficult to interpret. Finally, studies using self-reported data may not be accurate. Conclusions and implications of key findings Profound health disparities in cardiovascular diseases and associated risk factors for AI/AN populations persist, perhaps due to low
Ingram, Maia; Marrone, Nicole; Sanchez, Daisey Thalia; Sander, Alicia; Navarro, Cecilia; de Zapien, Jill Guernsey; Colina, Sonia; Harris, Frances
Hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline and impairment in daily living activities. Access to hearing health care has broad implications for healthy aging of the U.S. population. This qualitative study investigated factors related to the socio-ecological domains of hearing health in a U.S.–Mexico border community experiencing disparities in access to care. A multidisciplinary research team partnered with community health workers (CHWs) from a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in designing the study. CHWs conducted interviews with people with hearing loss (n = 20) and focus groups with their family/friends (n = 27) and with members of the community-at-large (n = 47). The research team conducted interviews with FQHC providers and staff (n = 12). Individuals experienced depression, sadness, and social isolation, as well as frustration and even anger regarding communication. Family members experienced negative impacts of deteriorating communication, but expressed few coping strategies. There was general agreement across data sources that hearing loss was not routinely addressed within primary care and assistive hearing technology was generally unaffordable. Community members described stigma related to hearing loss and a need for greater access to hearing health care and broader community education. Findings confirm the causal sequence of hearing impairment on quality of life aggravated by socioeconomic conditions and lack of access to hearing health care. Hearing loss requires a comprehensive and innovative public health response across the socio-ecological framework that includes both individual communication intervention and greater access to hearing health resources. CHWs can be effective in tailoring intervention strategies to community characteristics. PMID:27574602
Jung, Minsoo; Choi, Mankyu
There has been little conceptual understanding as to how community capacity works, although it allows for an important, population-based health promotional strategy. In this study, the mechanism of community capacity was studied through literature reviews to suggest a comprehensive conceptual model. The research results found that the key to community capacity prevailed in how actively the capacities of individuals and their communities are able to interact with one another. Under active interactions, community-based organizations, which are a type of voluntary association, were created within the community, and cohesion among residents was enhanced. In addition, people were more willing to address community issues. During the process, many services were initiated to meet the people's health needs and strengthen their social and psychological ties. The characteristics of community capacity were named as the contextual multilevel effects. Because an increase in community capacity contributes to a boosted health status, encourages health behaviors, and eventually leads to the overall prosperity of the community, more public health-related attention is required.
Karliner, Leah; Marks, Angela; Mutha, Sunita
Despite improvements in overall health of the American population, disparities persist, particularly for minority women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers the potential to reduce disparities through expanded insurance coverage, greater access to high-quality care, and bolstered prevention efforts in the context of new models of care such as the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). We use case studies representing three clinical conditions (breast cancer, HIV, and coronary heart disease) to present strategies for how a PCMH could reduce disparities for minority women. The case studies highlight the opportunity that further implementation of the ACA provides to improve screening, risk assessment, and prevention for a range of conditions that impact the health of minority women, as well as areas ripe for future investigation.
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office ] DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Minority Health and Health... unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Name of Committee: National Institute on Minority Health and...
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute on Minority Health and Health... unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Name of Committee: National Institute on Minority Health and...
While many may view language barriers in healthcare settings (LBHS) as a simple, practical problem, they present unique challenges to theoretical development and practice implications in healthcare delivery, especially when one considers the implications and impacts of specific contextual factors. By exploring the differences of contextual factors in the US and Japan, this review explores and highlights how such differences may entail different impacts on patients' quality of care and require different solutions. I conduct narrative review through library database, Google Scholar, and CiNii (a Japanese library database) with multiple search terms, including language barriers, healthcare, medical interpreter, and immigrant. I first present a diagram to show the pathways and process between language barriers and health disparities, using the literature reported in the US. Then, I examined the literature reported in Japan and discuss the needs for re-conceptualizing LBHS. The implications for future research will be discussed.
Research on the social determinants of health in developing countries is increasingly focusing on the importance of gender. Cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension are a growing concern in developing countries, where they are now the leading cause of death. Researchers have documented differences in hypertension between men and women, but the importance of gendered practices in shaping these differences has been left unexamined. Using national data from the India Human Development Survey 2005 (N=101,593), this study assesses the moderating role of two salient and widespread gendered practices-women's seclusion and decision-making power-on hypertension disparities between women and men. Both seclusion and low decision-making power are associated with increased odds of hypertension for women, but in the case of seclusion reduced hypertension for men. Results also show the gender gap in hypertension is exacerbated with women's seclusion and low decision-making power.
Snowden, Lonnie R.
Since publication of the U.S. Surgeon General's report "Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity--A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General" (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001), several federal initiatives signal a sustained focus on addressing African American-White American disparities in mental health…
Hurd, Noelle M; Stoddard, Sarah A; Zimmerman, Marc A
This study explored how neighborhood characteristics may relate to African American adolescents’ internalizing symptoms via adolescents’ social support and perceptions of neighborhood cohesion. Participants included 571 urban, African American adolescents (52% female; M age = 17.8). A multilevel path analysis testing both direct and indirect effects of neighborhood characteristics on adolescents’ mental health outcomes was conducted. Higher neighborhood poverty and unemployment rates predicted greater internalizing symptoms via lower cumulative social support and perceptions of neighborhood cohesion. In contrast, higher concentrations of African American and residentially stable residents in one’s neighborhood related to fewer internalizing symptoms among adolescent residents via greater cumulative social support and perceptions of neighborhood cohesion. Implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:23199188
Hess, Julia M.; Isakson, Brian; Githinji, Ann; Roche, Natalie; Vadnais, Kathryn; Parker, Danielle P.; Goodkind, Jessica R.
Distribution of power and resources greatly impacts the mental health of individuals and communities. Thus, in order to reduce mental health disparities, it is imperative to address these social determinants of mental health through social change. Engaging in social change efforts requires people to critically engage with present conditions on personal, local, national and global levels and to develop knowledge, capacity, and experience with envisioning and creating more equitable conditions. This critical engagement can be fostered through a process of transformative learning. In this article, we examine the Refugee Well-being Project (RWP), a program that aims to improve the mental health of refugees in the United States. From 2007 to 2009, participants in the RWP in New Mexico were refugees from the Great Lakes region of Africa. The RWP paired undergraduate students with refugees to engage in mutual learning and advocacy. Data from in-depth qualitative interviews with 72 refugees and 53 undergraduate students suggest that participation in the RWP constituted a transformative learning experience through which refugees and students came to new understandings of the relationship between social inequities and well-being. For many, this provided an impetus to work towards change at multiple levels. PMID:24417257
Hess, Julia M; Isakson, Brian; Githinji, Ann; Roche, Natalie; Vadnais, Kathryn; Parker, Danielle P; Goodkind, Jessica R
Distribution of power and resources greatly impacts the mental health of individuals and communities. Thus, to reduce mental health disparities, it is imperative to address these social determinants of mental health through social change. Engaging in social change efforts requires people to critically engage with present conditions on personal, local, national, and global levels and to develop knowledge, capacity, and experience with envisioning and creating more equitable conditions. This critical engagement can be fostered through a process of transformative learning. In this article, we examine the Refugee Well-being Project (RWP), a program that aims to improve the mental health of refugees in the United States. From 2007 to 2009, participants in the RWP in New Mexico were refugees from the Great Lakes region of Africa. The RWP paired undergraduate students with refugees to engage in mutual learning and advocacy. Data from in-depth qualitative interviews with 72 refugees and 53 undergraduate students suggest that participation in the RWP constituted a transformative learning experience through which refugees and students came to new understandings of the relationship between social inequities and well-being. For many, this provided an impetus to work toward change at multiple levels.
Epstein, Richard A
The 2003 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study on Unequal Treatment takes the strong position that many of the current disparities in health care by race are attributable to forms of conscious and unconscious discrimination by health care providers. The study, however, is flawed by imprecise definitions of discrimination that fail to distinguish between differences in treatment due to breakdown in communications and differences in the treated population that are prompted by invidious motives of health care providers. It is doubtful that hidden forms of discrimination are prevalent in a profession whose professional norms are set so strongly against it. In addition, the IOM relies too uncritically on similar studies in unrelated fields to show the ostensible forms of discrimination. These errors have adverse social consequences. A false diagnosis of discrimination where none exists will send a false signal to members of racial minorities that may induce them to avoid receiving needed medical care and instead pursue costly and ineffective remedial devices that will take away funds better spent on providing direct health care.
This paper provides a summary of the invited talk at the 2007 CDC & ATSDR 11th Biennial Symposium on Statistical Methods conference in which a university-non-profit collaboration targeted the elimination of racial disparities in perinatal health with the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS). This program will be described in four temporal stages; the pre-program early years (1999--2001) where the health burden is defined, leading to the Healthy Start years (2001--2005), in which spatial analyses, methods to effectively disseminate GIS results, the creation of the Baton Rouge Healthy Start database, and a move toward a conceptual goal of creating a holistic neighborhood GIS-health model are all described. The Katrina years (September 2005--early 2006) portrays the impact of the disaster and how the collaboration changed as resources from both were directed toward both response and recovery. The final section of the paper, the Post-Katrina years (early 2006 and ongoing) describes how the health landscape of Louisiana, including Baton Rouge as well as New Orleans, has worsened after the storms. An argument is made that the relationships and GIS structure developed during the collaboration's pre-Katrina years, even though stretched, provide the flexibility to analyze and cope with a Katrina-type shock to the system.
Woods, Elizabeth R; Bhaumik, Urmi; Sommer, Susan J; Chan, Elaine; Tsopelas, Lindsay; Fleegler, Eric W; Lorenzi, Margarita; Klements, Elizabeth M; Dickerson, Deborah U; Nethersole, Shari; Dulin, Rick
Black and Hispanic children are hospitalized with complications of asthma at much higher rates than white children. The Boston Children's Hospital Community Asthma Initiative (CAI) provides asthma case management and home visits for children from low-income neighborhoods in Boston, Massachusetts, to address racial/ethnic health disparities in pediatric asthma outcomes. CAI objectives were to evaluate 1) case management data by parent/guardian report for health outcomes and 2) hospital administrative data for comparison between intervention and comparison groups. Data from parent/guardian reports indicate that CAI decreased the number of children with any (one or more) asthma-related hospitalizations (decrease of 79% at 12 months) and any asthma-related emergency department visits (decrease of 56% at 12 months) among children served, most of whom were non-Hispanic black or Hispanic. Hospital administrative data also indicate that the number of asthma-related hospitalizations per child significantly decreased among CAI participants compared with a comparison group. The CAI model has been replicated in other cities and states with adaptations to local cultural and systems variations. Health outcome and cost data have been used to contribute to a business case to educate legislators and insurers about outcomes and costs for this enhanced approach to care. Strong partnerships with public health, community, and housing agencies have allowed CAI to leverage its outcomes to expand systemic changes locally and statewide to reduce asthma morbidity.
Frank, Lauren B.; Chatterjee, Joyee S.; Moran, Meghan B.; Zhao, Nan; Amezola de Herrera, Paula; Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes A.
Objectives. We compared the relative efficacy of a fictional narrative film to a more traditional nonnarrative film in conveying the same health information. Methods. We used a random digit dial procedure to survey the cervical cancer-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of non-Hispanic White, Mexican American, and African American women, aged 25 to 45 years, living in Los Angeles, California, from 2011 to 2012. Participants (n = 704) were randomly assigned to view either a narrative or nonnarrative film containing the same information about how cervical cancer could be prevented or detected, and they were re-contacted 2 weeks and 6 months later. Results. At 2 weeks, both films produced a significant increase in cervical cancer-related knowledge and attitudes, but these effects were significantly higher for the narrative film. At 6 months, viewers of both films retained greater than baseline knowledge and more positive attitudes toward Papanicolaou (Pap) tests, but women who saw the narrative were significantly more likely to have had or scheduled a Pap test. The narrative was particularly effective for Mexican American women, eliminating cervical cancer screening disparities found at baseline. Conclusions. Narratives might prove to be a useful tool for reducing health disparities. PMID:25905845
Lee, Haeok; Baik, Seong-Yi
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) is an important health problem that must be recognized and addressed by the U.S. public health policy. However, AAPIs have been to a large degree invisible in public health data and debates and their interests have been disregarded. Moreover, an estimation of HBV infection rates reported from the National Nutritional and Health Survey Examinations III was 1.25 million; however, an estimate based on AAPI-targeted studies places the number at almost 2 million. This article discusses the perils of application of textbook methods of sampling coverage, selection, and nonresponse in studies related to AAPIs and the importance to note that some rapidly increasing racial/ethnic groups such as AAPIs have linguistic and cultural differences and these differences often cause such groups to be omitted from data collection.
Payne, Hannah E; Steele, Michalyn; Bingham, Jennie L; Sloan, Chantel D
The purpose of this paper was to investigate disparities in mental healthcare delivery in American Indian/Alaska Native populations from three perspectives: public health, legal policy and mental healthcare and provide evidence-based recommendations toward reducing those disparities. Data on mental health funding to tribes were obtained from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. As a result of analysis of these data, vital statistics and current literature, we propose three recommendations to reduce mental health disparities. First, where possible, increase mental health funding opportunities for federally-recognized tribes. Second, model funding practices on principles of tribal self-determination. Finally, support diverse interventions that are culturally-based and culturally-appropriate.
Kroll, Mareike; Bharucha, Erach; Kraas, Frauke
Background Rapid urbanization in low- and middle-income countries reinforces risk and epidemiological transition in urban societies, which are characterized by high socioeconomic gradients. Limited availability of disaggregated morbidity data in these settings impedes research on epidemiological profiles of different population subgroups. Objective The study aimed to analyze the epidemiological transition in the emerging megacity of Pune with respect to changing morbidity and mortality patterns, also taking into consideration health disparities among different socioeconomic groups. Design A mixed-methods approach was used, comprising secondary analysis of mortality data, a survey among 900 households in six neighborhoods with different socioeconomic profiles, 46 in-depth interviews with laypeople, and expert interviews with 37 health care providers and 22 other health care workers. Results The mortality data account for an epidemiological transition with an increasing number of deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Pune. The share of deaths due to infectious and parasitic diseases remained nearly constant, though the cause of deaths changed considerably within this group. The survey data and expert interviews indicated a slightly higher prevalence of diabetes and hypertension among higher socioeconomic groups, but a higher incidence and more frequent complications and comorbidities in lower socioeconomic groups. Although the self-reported morbidity for malaria, gastroenteritis, and tuberculosis did not show a socioeconomic pattern, experts estimated the prevalence in lower socioeconomic groups to be higher, though all groups in Pune would be affected. Conclusions The rising burden of NCDs among all socioeconomic groups and the concurrent persistence of communicable diseases pose a major challenge for public health. Improvement of urban health requires a stronger focus on health promotion and disease prevention for all socioeconomic groups with a
McKendall, Sherron Benson; Kasten, Kasandra; Hanks, Sara; Chester, Ann
Health and educational disparities are national issues in the United States. Research has shown that health care professionals from underserved backgrounds are more likely than others to work in underserved areas. The Association of American Medical Colleges' Project 3000 by 2000, to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medical schools, spurred the West Virginia School of Medicine to start the Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) in 1994 with the goal of supporting interested underrepresented high school students in pursuing college and health professions careers. The program was based on three beliefs: (1) if underrepresented high school students have potential and the desire to pursue a health professions career and are given the support, they can reach their goals, including obtaining a health professions degree; (2) underserved high school students are able to predict their own success if given the right resources; and (3) community engagement would be key to the program's success.In this Perspective, the authors describe the HSTA and its framework and philosophy, including the underlying theories and pedagogy from research in the fields of education and the behavioral/social sciences. They then offer evidence of the program's success, specifically for African American students, including graduates' high college-going rate and overwhelming intention to choose a health professions major. Finally, the authors describe the benefits of the HSTA's community partnerships, including providing mentors to students, adding legislative language providing tuition waivers and a budgetary line item devoted to the program, and securing program funding from outside sources.
Introduction The aim of this paper was to investigate the association between health, social position, social participation and the welfare state. Extending recent research on the social consequences of poor health, we asked whether and how welfare generosity is related to the risk of social exclusion associated with combinations of poor health, low education and economic inactivity. Methods Our analyses are based on data from the European Social Survey, round 3 (2006/7), comprising between 21,205 and 21,397 individuals, aged 25–59 years, within 21 European welfare states. The analyses were conducted by means of multilevel logistic regression analysis in STATA 12. Results The results demonstrated that the risk of non-participation in social networks decreased as welfare generosity increased. The risk of social exclusion, i.e. non-participation in social networks among disadvantaged groups, seldom differed from the overall association, and in absolute terms it was invariably smaller in more generous welfare state contexts. Conclusions The results showed that there were no indications of higher levels of non-participation among disadvantaged groups in more generous welfare states. On the contrary, resources made available by the welfare state seemed to matter to all individuals in terms of overall lower levels of non-participation. As such, these results demonstrate the importance of linking health related social exclusion to the social policy context. PMID:24073744
Collins, Timothy W; Kim, Young-an; Grineski, Sara E; Clark-Reyna, Stephanie
Prior research suggests that economic deprivation has a generally negative influence on residents' health. We employ hierarchical logistic regression modeling to test if economic deprivation presents respiratory health risks or benefits to Hispanic children living in the City of El Paso (Texas, USA) at neighborhood- and individual-levels, and whether individual-level health effects of economic deprivation vary based on neighborhood-level economic deprivation. Data come from the US Census Bureau and a population-based survey of El Paso schoolchildren. The dependent variable is children's current wheezing, an established respiratory morbidity measure, which is appropriate for use with economically-deprived children with an increased likelihood of not receiving a doctor's asthma diagnosis. Results reveal that economic deprivation (measured based on poverty status) at both neighborhood- and individual-levels is associated with reduced odds of wheezing for Hispanic children. A sensitivity analysis revealed similar significant effects of individual- and neighborhood-level poverty on the odds of doctor-diagnosed asthma. Neighborhood-level poverty did not significantly modify the observed association between individual-level poverty and Hispanic children's wheezing; however, greater neighborhood poverty tends to be more protective for poor (as opposed to non-poor) Hispanic children. These findings support a novel, multilevel understanding of seemingly paradoxical effects of economic deprivation on Hispanic health.
López, Lenny; Grant, Richard W
Latinos have higher rates of diabetes and diabetes-related complications compared to non-Latinos. Clinical diabetes self-management tools that rely on innovative health information technology (HIT) may not be widely used by Latinos, particularly those that have low literacy or numeracy, low income, and/or limited English proficiency. Prior work has shown that tailored diabetes self-management educational interventions are feasible and effective in improving diabetes knowledge and physiological measures among Latinos, especially those interventions that utilize tailored coaching and navigator programs. In this article, we discuss the role of HIT for diabetes management in Latinos and describe a novel “eNavigator” role that we are developing to increase HIT adoption and thereby reduce health care disparities. PMID:22401336
Magaña, Sandra; Parish, Susan L.; Son, Esther
The aim of this study was to determine if racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of provider interaction have changed between 2006 and 2010 for children with developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Data from the 2005/2006 and 2009/2010 National Survey of Children With Special Health Care Needs were analyzed. Results…
Althoff, Keri N; Rebeiro, Peter; Brooks, John T; Buchacz, Kate; Gebo, Kelly; Martin, Jeffrey; Hogg, Robert; Thorne, Jennifer E; Klein, Marina; Gill, M John; Sterling, Timothy R; Yehia, Baligh; Silverberg, Michael J; Crane, Heidi; Justice, Amy C; Gange, Stephen J; Moore, Richard; Kitahata, Mari M; Horberg, Michael A
We estimated US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)-approved human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) indicators. Among patients, 71% were retained in care, 82% were prescribed treatment, and 78% had HIV RNA ≤200 copies/mL; younger adults, women, blacks, and injection drug users had poorer outcomes. Interventions are needed to reduce retention- and treatment-related disparities.
Stephens, Nicole M.; Markus, Hazel Rose; Fryberg, Stephanie A.
The literature on social class disparities in health and education contains 2 underlying, yet often opposed, models of behavior: the individual model and the structural model. These models refer to largely unacknowledged assumptions about the sources of human behavior that are foundational to research and interventions. Our review and theoretical…
Workers are people too. What else is new? This seemingly self-evident proposition, however, takes on new meaning when considering the challenging and deeply important issue of occupational health disparities--the topic that is the focus of 12 articles in this special issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. In this commentary, I highlight some of the myriad ways that societal determinants of health intertwine with each and every aspect of occupation-related health inequities, as analyzed from an ecosocial perspective. The engagement extends from basic surveillance to etiologic research, from conceptualization and measurement of variables to analysis and interpretation of data, from causal inference to preventive action, and from the political economy of work to the political economy of health. A basic point is that who is employed (or not) in what kinds of jobs, with what kinds of exposures, what kinds of treatment, and what kinds of job stability, benefits, and pay-as well as what evidence exists about these conditions and what action is taken to address them-depends on societal context. At issue are diverse aspects of people's social location within their societies, in relation to their jointly experienced-and embodied-realities of socioeconomic position, race/ethnicity, nationality, nativity, immigration and citizen status, age, gender, and sexuality, among others. Reviewing the papers' findings, I discuss the scientific and real-world action challenges they pose. Recommendations include better conceptualization and measurement of socioeconomic position and race/ethnicity and also use of the health and human rights framework to further the public health mission of ensuring the conditions that enable people-including workers-to live healthy and dignified lives.
Paskett, Electra D.; Reeves, Katherine W.; McLaughlin, John M.; Katz, Mira L.; McAlearney, Ann Scheck; Ruffin, Mack T.; Halbert, Chanita Hughes; Merete, Cristina; Davis, Faith; Gehlert, Sarah
Objective The recruitment of minority and underserved individuals to research studies is often problematic. The purpose of this study was to describe the recruitment experiences of projects that actively recruited minority and underserved populations as part of The Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) initiative. Methods Principal investigators and research staff from 17 research projects at eight institutions across the United States were surveyed about their recruitment experiences. Investigators reported the study purpose and design, recruitment methods employed, recruitment progress, problems or challenges to recruitment, strategies used to address these problems, and difficulties resulting from Institutional Review B