Health Disparities Interventions
Over the last two decades, health disparities research in the United States has made significant progress and contributed to a growing evidence base for interventions addressing disparities in health status and access to care. However, health disparity interventions have primarily focused on individual and interpersonal factors, which are frequently limited in their ability to produce long-term improvements.
Health disparities arise and persist due to complex mechanisms involving socioeconomic, environmental, and system-level factors. To accelerate the reduction of health disparities and achieve long-term health outcomes, broader approaches are required to address these structural determinants. Although a growing number of innovative programs and policies have been implemented to address structural determinants, few have explicitly discussed their impact on minority health and health disparities.
Rigorously evaluated, evidence-based structural interventions are required to address multilevel structural determinants that systemically lead to and perpetuate social and health inequities. This article discusses challenges and opportunities for accelerating improvements in minority health and recommendations to foster the development of structural interventions likely to advance health disparities research.
Reduced health disparities are a complex challenge that extends far beyond the reach of traditional healthcare settings. The structural conditions under which people are born live, learn, work, worship, play, and age are increasingly recognized as important determinants of health and health disparities. Minority populations are frequently subjected to multiple levels of mutually reinforcing structural disadvantage, all of which contribute to poor health. Although many promising health interventions have targeted individual-, interpersonal-, and, to a lesser extent, community-level factors, evidence on how long these interventions last in supporting long-term improvements in population health and reducing health disparities is limited. The dynamic interplay of risk and protective factors that cut across social and environmental contexts that can help individuals and their communities achieve the highest level of health is inherent in the challenge to support individual behavioral change. Consider obesity disparities: interventions to improve nutrition and physical activity at the personal level are unlikely to succeed when the food and social environments (e.g., unsafe and limited recreational space, ready access to low-cost, calorie-dense food options) and high rates of poverty present significant barriers to maintaining healthy diets and active lifestyles.
Despite growing national recognition of the relationship between structural determinants and health and health disparities, most health disparities interventions have primarily focused on behavior change at the individual and interpersonal levels, with limited impact on long-term health improvements or reductions in health disparities. Through multisectoral collaborations, the vision for health disparities research is to promote intervention science that addresses the structural drivers of health disparities. This article provides examples of significant national efforts focused on structural determinants that have reduced health disparities. These examples highlight common themes in successful interventions that address structural health drivers and challenges in implementing structural interventions that improve minority health and health equity. We conclude with suggestions for furthering the science of health disparities research.
Health Disparities Interventions
In this work, you will review interventions made in other countries that have impacted health disparities. Your response will be saved in .doc or .docx format, use APA format and resources, and be 3-5 pages in length.
*Consider the Rubric. See picture below
- Review the Learning Resources and lessons in this module.
- Review interventions made in other countries that have impacted health disparities.
- Write a 3–5-pages introducing 2 strategies that are believed to reduce a local health disparity and explaining why they would be impactful.