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Unit 2 Discussion 2: Disparity to Improve Health Outcomes

Unit 2 Discussion 2: Disparity to Improve Health Outcomes

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A complete descriptive epidemiology study includes the person (age, race, gender), place (neighborhood, county/city, state, nation, geographic region) and time variables in the study design. These variables are also used in epidemiology to describe the dynamics associated with a population’s health outcomes and expected changes in health outcomes as a population’s demographics change. Such dynamics may include a population’s fertility rates, poverty level, and the rate of economic development, discrimination, women’s rights, and a population’s migration. The text also describes a component of descriptive epidemiology in terms of a population’s or an individual’s socioeconomic status (SES). Understanding the dynamics of a population at a macro level and the relationship with health at the individual level is a valuable tool when describing and predicting determinates of a health trend, proposing solutions to negative determinates and creating effective policy to drive positive changes in the determinates.

For this discussion you are to choose a condition or disease of your interest that impacts public health and briefly describe in quantitative details the health disparities found within that condition or disease. Next, propose a solution to decreasing/improving the disparities you just described. Your solution should be specific to overcoming the cause of the disparity in terms of socioeconomic status, race, geography or other causes of disparity among populations.

An example of a discussion may look like this….. “according to the national cancer institute, (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/disparities/cancer-health-disparities (Links to an external site.)) breast cancer incidence among white females is 14 per 100,000 women (132.5) higher than black females (118.3). However, the death rate of black females is 8.8 per 100,000 women (33.8) higher than white females (25). The disparity could be a result of white females having better access to or are more likely to seek breast cancer screening programs than black females. The lack of access to or the lack of motivation of black females to seek breast cancer screening programs is resulting in a higher death rate because there cancer is detected later in the disease process. A possible solution to improving this disparity is to:1) require health insurance companies to offer free annual breast cancer screening programs; 2) hospitals should partner with community-based organization and local governments to provide mobile breast cancer screening in the neighborhoods with high death rates/low screening rates; and 3) a government and health insurance coalition should co-sponsor advertising and outreach efforts to address cultural barriers to self examinations and routine breast cancer screenings. Can my classmates think of other reasons for the disparities or additional solutions to reduce the disparity to improve health outcomes?

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