Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Where Does Sex/Gender Fit in Health Disparities? - Some Definitions:

  • Health disparities – “Disparities in health are defined as unequal burdens in disease morbidity ( lowered function due to illness)and mortality (death)rates experienced by ethnic/racial groups as compared to the dominant group (USDHHS, 2000). ” "Disparities in health care are defined as racial or ethnic differences in the quality of health care that are not due to access-related factors or clinical needs, preferences and appropriateness of intervention" (Smedley, Stith, & Nelson, 2002, p. 4).Causes of disparities in health care relate to quality and include provider/patient relationships, health providers of the future, provider bias and discrimination, and patient variables such as mistrust of the health care system and refusal of treatment” Although race/ethnicity were most written about health disparities can seen in a number of patient groups including women.
  • Sex and Gender Health Disparities - evaluation of the unequal burdens of disease in morbidity ( dysfunction) and mortality (death) that result in unequal health outcomes.SGHD can occur amongst women ( e.g cardiac disease) or amongst men(osteoporosis.)
  • Culturally Effective Health Care – health care that addressing biopsychosociocultural elements on wellness and disease. It is appropriate to the individual and their world. Knowledge about culturally diverse attitudes, health practices, physician bias, barriers and skills to increase awareness of ‘blindspots’ are essential for optimal health outcomes. The culture of sex/gender, in some ways is more difficult than others, as there is an assumption that the culture of sex/gender is something ‘everyone knows.’ Seasoned clinicians are aware that issues about family role, body image as well as anatomic and physiologic differences are important to investigate, reflect and act upon in order to optimize health outcomes.

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