Cultural health patterns in minority populations essay
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Determinants of health for individuals who speak English as a second language (ESL) are tracked by the U.S. Department of HHS (HHS, 2010). Cultural health patterns in minority populations influence the complex nature of wellness management. For instance, minorities tend to have live in lower socioeconomic standards and in close proximity to environmental hazards (Thomas, 2014). Thus, policymakers in the public health domain employ health impact assessments on such minority populations to help them integrate public health considerations when making decisions about design strategies for a community’s wellbeing (CDC, 2016). Making housing livable and affordable fall under this category and affect the ESL individual and family’s ability to live in a safe home and environment. Signage that can be read in both English and in the community’s native language is an example of one’s built environment improving their capacity for safety and social awareness, as well as transportation options and recreational opportunities (ADA, 2016).
Social determinants also have a large impact on health and function in the ESL population. Access to primary care, health care programs, and resources may be limited for the ESL speaker. Fewer educational and job opportunities may result in a lower quality of life. Lack of health insurance secondary to their decreased proficiency in English can adversely impact health outcomes, just as the capacity to translate important health information can have a negative impact on an individual’s health literacy (Healthy People, 2020). Still, a strength identified in the ESL population is that they tend to embrace support systems such as extended families and religious communities.
Certain biological characteristics of ESL/minority populations have been identified, such as sickle cell anemia in the Africans, alcohol-related disease in Native Americans, and high rates of type II diabetes in Latinos. Combine these genetic influences with the determinants that show statistically how minorities have disproportionately poorer health outcomes compared to non-minority populations (Thomas, 2014), and you realize that culturally competent health care that is suitable for the diverse population it serves is necessary in order to eliminate population specific determinants of health. Therefore, there must be a global benefit to promoting healthy social and physical environments for all individuals, populations, and nations (Healthy People, 2020). Cultural health patterns in minority populations essay.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. (2016). Health impact assessment.
Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/hia.htm
Healthy People. (2020). Retrieved from
Thomas, B. (2014). College of health and health care disparities: The effect of social
and environmental factors on individual and population health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 11(7), 7492-7507. doi:10.3390/ijerph110707492
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]. (2011). HHS implementation
guidance on data collection standards for race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, and disability status. Retrieved from
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