Culturally Competent Strategies That Ameliorate Health Disparities In This Country

1878 words - 8 pages

The purpose of this paper is to inform readers on the culturally competent strategies that ameliorate health disparities in this country. Over the years health issues have increase rapidly. There are different ethnic backgrounds shows that their health plays a big role culturally and also diversity.
Health disparities are gaps in the quality of health and health care that mirror differences in socioeconomic status, racial and ethnic background, and education level. These disparities may stem from many factors, including accessibility of health care, increased risk of disease from occupational exposure, and increased risk of disease from underlying genetic, ethnic, or familial factors (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, 2011). The term health disparity is almost exclusively used in the use, while the terms “health inequity” or “health inequality” are used in other countries. The dictionary defines health disparity as in equality; difference in age, rank, condition, or excellence; or dissimilitude or “lack of equality as of opportunity, treatment or status (B & P, 2002).
While cultural competency is recognized as key to reducing health disparities, the concept of culture and its relation to cancer remain poorly understood. Many epidemiologic studies have statistically demonstrated the limited explanatory power of the “known” biologic and social factors for the racial/ethnic differences in cancer incidence, morbidity, mortality, and quality of life4-9 and speculate that unmeasured cultural factors may be better indicators for these differences. Culture influences patients’ and communities’ perceptions of cancer risk, their trust in oncology professionals and institutions, and their approach to standard and experimental cancer treatments, and also plays a determinant role in individual professionals’ and institutions’ approach to minority patients—a key element now emerging in health-disparities research (Hiles, 2010).
In a research, Dr. White head took specifies seven determinants of health disparities: natural biological variation, health damaging behavior, transient health advantage of one group over another, health damaging behavior through limited choice of lifestyle, exposure to unhealthy stressful living and working conditions, inadequate access to essential health services, and natural selection or health-related social mobility (B & P, 2002) From there, she placed them in two categories; those that are unavoidable or fair and others that are avoidable and unfair. Determining what’s avoidable and what is unavoidable is not simple because there many factors to consider. Conditions based on age are generally unavoidable. Other inequalities like genetically base conditions are to some degree unavoidable. In the next section I will break down the seven determinants and how they relate to a condition of being unequal and also how they can be ameliorate. Let us take a look at the first three sources of disparities: ...

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