Disparities in health care: minority elders at risk.

Lisa Byrd, Audwin Fletcher, Charles Menifield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Minority elders are at great risk for missed diagnoses, greater disabilities, and higher death rates unless health care providers acknowledge that disparities in healthcare do exist and adjust their way of providing care. In the next 30 years, the current elderly population of 35 million is predicted to increase to 72 million. Minority elders are expected to account for 50% of this population. Research has shown that minority elders have a higher incidence of certain diseases but do not receive the same care as their white counterparts (Baldwin, 2003). Differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease among minority elders indicate that disparities in healthcare are consistently found in a variety of settings (Jett, 2006). Poor communication and distrust in the health care system have been found to be major factors affecting the quality of healthcare for these individuals. This article discusses healthcare disparities experienced by minority elders and suggests ways to curtail this problem. Culturally sensitive care is suggested to save lives and improve quality of life for these vulnerable individuals. Understanding the cultural practices of minority elders and negotiating a plan of care that respects their beliefs will increase patient compliance, improve care, improve outcomes, and decrease healthcare disparities among minority elders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalThe ABNF journal : official journal of the Association of Black Nursing Faculty in Higher Education, Inc
Volume18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

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