Health Disparities Overview
Health disparity is a significant issue facing the United States healthcare system. Although health disparities in the US occur by gender, disability status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and geographical location, race, and ethnicity are the most prevalent forms of health disparity. Consequently, the minority groups in the United States are disproportionately affected by health inequity. According to Baciu et al. (2021), health disparities in the US significantly contribute to the high rate of premature deaths and chronic illnesses among racial and ethnic minorities. The high rate of deaths and chronic illnesses among minorities compared to whites are associated with limited access to prevention and treatment healthcare services.
Social Determinants contributing to Health Disparity
In the United States, health disparity disproportionately affects minorities. This trend is associated with social determinants, particularly socioeconomic status. The minority groups residing in the US have lower socioeconomic status than whites. According to Chetty et al. (2020), Blacks and Hispanics receive less income than their white counterparts at a similar education level and performing the same job. As a result, most individuals from minority groups do not afford medical insurance covers, limiting them from accessing quality healthcare services.
Using Pender’s Model to reduce Health Disparity
Pender’s model of health promotion aims at improving individuals’ overall health. It describes health as a positive dynamic state rather than the absence of illnesses (Khodaveisi et al., 2017). Health promotion aims at improving an individual’s overall well-being. Therefore, this model supports the implementation of measures to reduce health disparity to promote the health and well-being of all individuals, including socially disadvantaged populations.
Baciu, A., Negussie, Y., Geller, A., Weinstein, J. N., & National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). The state of health disparities in the United States. In Communities in action: Pathways to health equity. National Academies Press (US). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425845/
Chetty, R., Hendren, N., Jones, M. R., & Porter, S. R. (2020). Race and economic opportunity in the United States: An intergenerational perspective. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 135(2), 711-783. https://doi.org/10.1093/qje/qjz042
Khodaveisi, M., Omidi, A., Farokhi, S., & Soltanian, A. R. (2017). The effect of Pender’s health promotion model in improving the nutritional behavior of overweight and obese women. International journal of community-based nursing and midwifery, 5(2), 165. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5385239/
• Consider a health disparity. What social determinants of health are associated with this disparity?
• How could the disparity be reduced using Pender’s model?