When targeting the reduction of health disparities, the intervention should be focused on improving the access or care for members of minority groups rather than reducing the disparity itself. There is a distinct difference in the goals of reducing health disparities compared to improving minority health. This difference should be clearly addressed when reducing disparities. System-level interventions specifically aimed at providing concordant care to individuals has been proven to reduce disparities (Partin & Burgess, 2012).
Pertaining to health disparities, a system that needs to be addressed is cultural competency. This topic is more than just cultural awareness. Cultural competency includes the respect for different cultural perspectives as well as possessing cultural knowledge (Brach & Fraserirector, 2000). Although there are currently a multitude of techniques to target cultural competency, there’s no single approach that allows systems to have an overview of all of the options available.
Among racial and ethnic health disparities of Americans, a major cause is due to low socioeconomic status (SES). Those of low socioeconomic status are correlated to a lower access to health care services as well as poorer health outcomes. The gap between black wome and white women are seen in mortality rates from breast cancer. Despite a lower incidence of the disease among black women, the mortality rate can be up to 60% in states such as Louisiana and Mississippi (American Cancer Society, 2018).
Examples of Solutions to Reduce Health Disparities
Finding solutions to reduce health disparities can be very difficult due to the large effect they have on individuals. It was found that access to a higher education can help reduce these disparities. Implementing childhood interventions and education programs can have positive effects on one’s health. Improving these programs can significantly impact a child’s and their parents life and can greatly impact the bonds between family members. It was found that contributing to these programs early in life can increase the quality of one’s overall life and guarantee them of a healthy future. These programs could be a major factor in reducing health disparities at the population level (Thornton et al., 2016).
When looking at the example of language barriers contributing to health disparities, it could be beneficial to intervene in a way that focuses on the non-English speakers without affecting the English-speaking individuals. This policy of a targeted, disparity reduction strategy can be a crucial asset in reducing health disparities. This idea of targeting groups could also work if there was an intervention that targeted populations that one thought would have the highest rates of improvement. There is another strategy called a tailoring intervention that can introduce the barriers or help engage the individuals in the group in order to increase the effects of the intervention. However, this strategy would most likely be used at an individual level (Partin & Burgess, 2012). It is important to look at interventions at every level because one may be more beneficial to use at a certain level than others in order to reduce health disparities.