Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Disparities in Health Care Essay

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Dr. Leonard Egede published an editorial in the Journal of General Internal Medicine regarding various issues in health care i.e. race, ethnicity, culture, and disparities. The editorial was published on the premise that existing evidence shows that racial and ethnic minorities obtain lower quality of health care services as compared to non-minorities. This trend continues to exist despite the significant development in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous chronic diseases. The main focus of this editorial was to highlight the disparities in health care delivery due to racial, ethnic, and cultural factors. In this regard, the publisher focused on examining why patients from minorities experience greater mortality and morbidity from several chronic diseases unlike non-minorities despite the significant medical advances. The editorial focused on three studies that were published on the issue of race, ethnicity, and disparities in the delivery of health care services to various patient populations.

The first study by Trivedi and Ayanian focused on examining the sources and root causes of racial and ethnic disparities in health care. To achieve the purpose of the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of more than 54,000 respondents to the California Health Interview of 2001 (Egede, 2006). The cross-sectional analysis was geared towards evaluating the link between perceptions of health care discrimination and utilization of health care services. These researchers found that nearly 5% of the respondents reported to have been subjected to some kind of discrimination in health care. Victims of discrimination were less likely to obtain some preventive health care services.

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Nonetheless, adjusting for perceived discrimination did not eliminate the observed disparities in delivery of preventive care on the basis of race, gender, and insurance. This study was significant since it highlighted the causes of racial and ethnic disparities in the delivery of health care services. The findings of this study signifies that race/ethnicity plays a crucial factor in disparities in health care. The researchers seemingly postulate that race or ethnicity influence health care disparities through contributing to discrimination that in turn affect access to preventive health care services across different races or ethnic groups. According to Bryan (2014), the various forms discrimination is regarded as major causes for cruel and inhumane treatment, which sometimes result in loss of life among other devastating impacts.

The second study that was reviewed in this editorial was conducted by Huang et al and focused on examining the difference between factor structure and endorsement rates. Additionally, these researchers examined the variance item functioning of the validated Patient Health Questionnaire depression scale among various racial and ethnic patient populations. Some of these racial/ethnic patient populations that were included in the analysis are white, Chinese American, African American, and Latino primary….....

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Bryan, W. V. (2014). Multicultural aspects of human behavior (3rd ed.). Springfield, IL.: Charles C Thomas - Publisher, LTD.

Egede, L.E. (2006, June). Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Disparities in Health Care. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21(6), 667-669.

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