Your final paper should focus on a public health disparity topic of interest to you (e.g., diabetes among Native Hawaiian populations.) You will propose a structural intervention to address the disparity using a social determinant of health (SDOH) approach. You may approach this assignment from a research or practice perspective.
The assignment aims to demonstrate your knowledge of SDOH issues by incorporating course content and a minimum of 5-7 class readings into your final paper.
Your final paper should clearly present the health disparity, briefly identifying the background and significance of the disparity. You should discuss pathways or mechanisms that lead to the disparity with a focus on SDOH. This paper should include a brief focused proposal for a structural intervention with guidance from an SDOH theoretical framework. Also, include a critique of the advantages and disadvantages/barriers of using an SDOH approach in your work and provide a suggested direction for implementation (e.g., engaging community partners, key messaging, potential funding, etc.) and a conclusion.
You should demonstrate critical thinking in assessing the advantages and disadvantages of using an SDOH approach. Be sure to discuss key SDOH concepts, such as how using a multilevel model might facilitate your work. Your final paper should be 5 double-spaced pages, excluding references, using 1-inch margins and an 11 or 12-point font. Provide citations from course readings to support course content included, as well as for background information, prior research, and positions presented. You should use an acceptable and consistent referencing style for citations and references (e.g., APA, Chicago, or Medical).
Your Final Paper Should Include:
- Have you stated the purpose of your paper, including the health disparity of interest?
- Who is your population of interest, and what is the level of analysis (e.g., community, health system, policy etc.)?
- What is the significance of your proposed research or practice area?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a SDOH approach in your work?
- What theoretical/conceptual perspective will you apply in your proposal?
- What is your assessment of the success of previous attempts to reduce health disparities in your area of interest and why might your approach demonstrate progress towards health equity?
Public health disparity topic of your interest
A public health disparity topic of interest is the unequal distribution of healthcare resources and outcomes among different racial and ethnic groups. This issue is commonly referred to as health disparities or healthcare disparities. Here are some key points to consider regarding this topic:
- Definition: Health disparities refer to systematic differences in health outcomes and healthcare access and quality among different populations. These disparities can be observed across various dimensions, such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, geography, etc.
- Causes: Health disparities are complex and can be attributed to social, economic, environmental, and healthcare-related factors. Discrimination, socioeconomic disadvantage, limited access to healthcare services, cultural barriers, and unequal distribution of resources contribute to disparities in health outcomes.
- Impact: Health disparities have significant consequences on the affected populations. They result in unequal access to healthcare services, higher rates of chronic diseases, poorer health outcomes, and reduced life expectancy. Disparities also contribute to increased healthcare costs and economic burdens on individuals and communities.
- Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Within health disparities, racial and ethnic disparities are particularly notable. Certain racial and ethnic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and some Asian populations, experience higher rates of chronic diseases, poorer health outcomes, and reduced access to quality healthcare than white populations.
- Social Determinants of Health: Health disparities are closely linked to social determinants of health, which are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Education, income, employment, housing, and community resources significantly influence health outcomes and contribute to disparities.
- Policy and Interventions: Addressing health disparities requires comprehensive strategies at multiple levels. These can include policy interventions to promote equitable access to healthcare, address social determinants of health, improving cultural competency in healthcare delivery, expanding health insurance coverage, and increasing representation and diversity in the healthcare workforce.
- Community Engagement: Engaging communities affected by health disparities is crucial for developing effective interventions and solutions. Collaborating with community organizations, conducting outreach programs, and involving community members in decision-making processes help ensure that interventions are culturally appropriate, inclusive, and responsive to community needs.
Addressing health disparities and achieving health equity is a critical goal within public health. Recognizing and addressing the root causes of disparities, implementing targeted interventions, and promoting social and policy changes can reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for all populations.