Disparities in minority healthcare and implications for the field of audiology
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Publisher:Ohio State University. Department of Speech and Hearing Science
Series/Report no.:Ohio State University. Department of Speech and Hearing Science. Doctor of Audiology Capstone Projects. 2010
In recent years the minority population in the United States has grown to represent nearly a third of the total population. With this tremendous growth, the healthcare field must be prepared to meet the unique needs of this population to ensure the provision of appropriate and effective care to all patients. However, the research continues to demonstrate great disparities in minority healthcare in terms of both access to care and quality of services. Examples of disparities involving access to healthcare include lack of insurance coverage, insufficient access to medical specialty services, and lack of access to regular care. Examples of disparities in quality of care received include poor or reduced services resulting from cultural or linguistic barriers between patient and provider. As participants in hearing heath care, audiologists must find ways to overcome obstacles in providing services to minorities so that all patients may receive the best care possible. In order to do this, audiologists must first gain an understanding and awareness of the overall extent of the stated disparities in the healthcare field. They must then look specifically at how these disparities impact the field of audiology. Only then can they successfully and effectively develop approaches to provide appropriate hearing health care to all patients regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender and socio-economic factors.
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