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(solved) Vulnerable Populations

(solved) Vulnerable Populations

Vulnerable Populations


Social factors may exacerbate health and healthcare issues in vulnerable populations. Here are five vulnerable populations with higher risk factors, less access to care, and higher morbidity and mortality rates than the general population.

Significant disparities exist in healthcare for vulnerable populations in the United States. Several groups are considered vulnerable populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, the economically disadvantaged, and those suffering from chronic health conditions.

Social factors may exacerbate health and healthcare issues in vulnerable populations. Here are five vulnerable populations with higher risk factors, less access to care, and higher morbidity and mortality rates than the general population.

1. Ill and disabled for an extended period

People with chronic diseases are more likely to have poor health outcomes and spend more money on healthcare than healthy people. Chronically ill people are twice as likely as the general population to report having a bad day.

Disabled people, like the chronically ill, have many interactions with the health system but may have difficulty accessing care due to their disability. Chronically ill and disabled people may face additional difficulties in obtaining services.

2. Individuals with low income or who are homeless

Low-income people are more likely to have chronic illnesses, and the consequences of those illnesses can be severe. Low-income people are also disproportionately racial and ethnic minorities. Because they are low-income, they are less likely to have coverage and, as a result, have less interaction with the healthcare system, according to Pamela Riley, MD, MPH, The Commonwealth Fund’s vice president of delivery system reform.

People with lower incomes are also more likely to have co-occurring conditions, which means they may have both behavioral health issues, such as depression, and chronic medical conditions, such as obesity or diabetes.

People who are homeless are at a higher risk of negative health outcomes because they may not have a safe place to stay. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 554,000 people in the country were homeless on a single night in 2017. These people are less likely to have a regular source of care and are more likely to avoid it. Furthermore, reaching homeless people can be difficult because they often feel stigmatized or unwelcome, according to a 2013 study published in The American Journal of Public Health.


3. Specific geographic communities

Rural Americans frequently have poorer health than the general population. This disparity is because rural populations are geographically isolated, have lower socioeconomic status, fewer job opportunities, and are older.

The fact that this population has difficulty accessing care exacerbates these issues in rural communities. According to the New York Times, people in rural America, particularly pregnant women, are isolated from medical care. In addition to the 85 rural hospital closures since 2010, fewer than half of rural counties have a hospital that provides obstetric care.

Native Americans who live on reservations are also at risk. According to the Indian Health Service, “American Indian and Alaska Native people have long had lower health status when compared to other Americans.” They have a lower life expectancy (5.5 years less than the all-races population) and a disproportionate disease burden due to inadequate education, higher poverty rates, and cultural differences.

Native Americans face similar barriers to care, partly because their health programs are underfunded but also because one-fourth of Native Americans have reported encountering discrimination when visiting a doctor or a health clinic, according to NPR.

4. The LGBTQ+ community

Almost one-fifth of the LGBTQ community has avoided seeking medical care because they have experienced or fear experiencing discrimination. There are also significant racial differences within the LGBTQ community. For example, black transgender women are disproportionately affected by HIV.

According to Healthy People 2020, discrimination against LGBTQ people is linked to higher rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. Discrimination in access to safe housing and a shortage of healthcare providers who are knowledgeable and culturally competent in LGBTQ health are two of the social determinants that affect the health of the LGBTQ community.

According to a recent study, people who identified as transgender or gender nonconforming before age 18 have a higher prevalence of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorders than their cisgender counterparts.

5. The elderly and the very young

The American Public Health Association has concentrated on how climate change affects vulnerable populations such as children, who have developing organs, have low immunity, spend more time outside, breathe more air, and drink more water per body weight than adults. Furthermore, there has been a shortage of adequate pediatric research and testing of medical interventions on pediatric populations. Children react differently to medications and interventions than adults and cannot be treated as “small adults” in the healthcare setting.

Vulnerable Populations


Vulnerable Populations

Compare vulnerable populations. Describe an example of one of these groups in the United States or from another country. Explain why the population is designated as “vulnerable.” Include the number of individuals belonging to this group and the specific challenges or issues involved. Discuss why these populations are unable to advocate for themselves, the ethical issues that must be considered when working with these groups, and how nursing advocacy would be beneficial.

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