For the inaugural Culture of Health Reader Poll, a RWJF panel of experts considered and nominated research published in 2014—including external and Foundation-supported research—that highlights the identification and elimination of disparities in health care. In November, we conducted an online poll to find out what you thought was the most influential research published this year on identifying and eliminating health disparities. And the winner is...
Por Nuestros Ojos: Understanding Social Determinants of Health through the Eyes of Youth
Being Overburdened and Medically Underserved: Assessment of This Double Disparity for Populations in the State of Maryland
April 4, 2014, Wilson S, Zhang H, Jiang C, Burwell K, Rehr R, Murray R, Dalemarre L and Naney C: Environmental Health
This study explores the “double disparity” of disproportionate environmental hazards and limited access to health care resources that many communities face. The study found that people of color, low-income populations, and people with less than a high school education in Maryland are located closer to Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) facilities than other groups, and called for state agencies to better address these linked disparities.
May 30, 2014, Treuhaft, S Scoggins, J Tran J: Policy Link
The paper explores data on income levels by race, noting increasing concern that rising inequality and low wages are threatening national economic growth. The researchers found that the U.S. Gross Domestic Product could rise by $2.1 trillion every year by closing racial gaps in income.
The Quality of Data on “Race” and “Ethnicity”: Implications for Health Researchers, Policy Makers, and Practitioners
May 30, 2014, Kaplan JB: Race and Social Problems
The paper explores challenges related to the quality of race/ethnicity data commonly used in health disparities research, noting that researchers often presume the existence of clear and consistent distinctions between racial and ethnic categories. The conclusion calls for researchers to exercise greater caution in interpreting findings of racial and ethnic differences.