February 24, By: African Americans have a unique history in the United States which has led to some unique factors that have created significant health disparities in the black community. Whether these factors are cultural, environmental, or structural, it is important to highlight some of the specific concerns that affect health in the African American community and what is being done here in Michigan to address these issues.
May 16, The following cultural patterns may represent many African African americans health disparities, but do not represent all people in a community. Families that have immigrated recently from Africa have very different cultures compared to families that have been in the US for many generations.
Get to know your patient and their families on an individual level. Not all patients from diverse populations conform to commonly known culture-specific behaviors, beliefs, and actions. Participation in cultural practices is a more useful indicator of health beliefs and behaviors than assumptions made about group affiliation.
When applying this definition, it should become obvious that skin color is not the best indicator; people of African descent can have very light complexions. Many are of combined heritages. It is particularly important not to generalize about the African American experience when meeting with patients and families.
Seeing the individual in each encounter is, as always, most important. For African Americans, women more than men tend to remain unmarried, and more women have been educated at the college level.
Respect for Elders In general, the older generation is more conservative, may have a more traditional view of gender roles, and may shun interracial dating and marriage.
Elders are respected and often provide care for their grandchildren. Institutionalization of elders has historically been avoided, with sons and daughters taking on the family caretaker role. For most African Americans and others residing in low-income neighborhoods, the abundance of fast food chains fast food companies have specifically targeted African American communities as a growing market for their productshigh-priced food marts, and a lack of access to healthy affordable foods contributes to the prevalence of obesity and chronic illness.
Similarly, lack of transportation can be a pressing problem for low-income families, something middle class Americans of all ethnic groups are spared. If you have to take a bus to do real grocery shopping, it is more likely you will rely on the corner for convenience food.
Obesity, especially in children, is an enormous problem across America.
National programs to improve diet quality and the overall health, especially among African Americans and other minority groups, have been initiated. A Celebration of Healthy Eating and Living for African Americans offers information targeted to African Americans on eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Religion African Americans often have strong religious affiliations, especially with Christian denominations—notably Baptist and Church of God in Christ. However, many follow Islam. Maintaining good health is often correlated with good religious practice. Many churches maintain a health ministry through which congregations and parish nurses support good health with flu shots, blood pressure checks, and health education.
Often times, the answer to this question among African Americans will be church. Older African Americans may be suspicious of clinicians, because of experiences of past generations of African Americans with health care.
Even African American parents today have heard about the Tuskegee experiments on African Americans, so they may be a little reserved or suspicious until it is apparent that their health care provider is friendly, wants to listen, and is interested in them.
There may be reluctance to share personal or family issues, so building a trusting relationship is absolutely crucial. Child Rearing African Americans describe their approach to child rearing as being less permissive than Americans of European descent. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents be encouraged to develop methods other than spanking for managing undesirable behavior in their children.
This does not mean to suggest that abuse is considered acceptable among African Americans. Culture must be taken into account in childrearing.
Generally speaking, in the African American experience, spirituality is a fundamental part of how many people process and reconcile the experience of death.
African Americans tend to believe in the sanctity of life and rely on a strong sense of community and family at times of loss. Many African Americans have a holistic view of death and dying so that birth and death are understood to be part of a cycle or continuum.
Cremation is generally avoided in this community and organ donation may be viewed by some as a desecration of the body. So much emphasis is placed on the physical care of the dying that spirituality is often overlooked, and health care providers do not always recognize that this should be an integral part of the continuum of care.
In hospital settings, one way to accomplish this is to offer the support of the hospital chaplain.A new study published in the May issue of Preventive Medicine shows that African Americans and Latinos are significantly more likely to experience serious depression than Whites, but chronic stress does not seem to explain these differences.
Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) was the senior author of the study. The term health disparities refers to population-specific differences in the presence of disease, health outcomes, quality of health care and access to health care services that exist across racial and ethnic groups.
Disparities represent a lack of efficiency within the health care system and. Today, with African Americans at a higher risk than White Americans for obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease, race also defines the quality of healthcare, making health disparities in African Americans the true silent killer.
Black AIDS Institute This black health organization was the first HIV/AIDS policy center dedicated to reducing HIV/AIDS health disparities amongst African Americans. Health equity refers to the study and causes of differences in the quality of health and healthcare across different populations.
Health equity is different from health equality, as it refers only to the absence of disparities in controllable or remediable aspects of health. African Americans have a unique history in the United States which has led to some unique factors that have created significant health disparities in the black community.
Whether these factors are cultural, environmental, or structural, it is important to highlight some of the specific concerns that affect health in the African American.