Estela Rangel, “Healthcare Disparities: The Leading Cause for Prematurity and Infant Mortality”
Mentor: Kris Barnekow, Occupational Science & Technology
Healthcare disparities refer to the difference in people’s ability to have health insurance, access to health and receive the same quality of care. Healthcare disparities create a downward spiral that might not allow individuals to receive the best healthcare they deserve. Factors associated with disparities include race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. These factors can negatively affect the health of mothers and children. For instance, healthcare disparities lead to increased risk of premature births and can even lead to infant mortality. This study was a literature review using a guided search grid that contained questions to guide the search and narrow down the number of articles. The literature search focused on the Black-White disparities in health and the influence these disparities create for both the mother and child. When compared by racial groups, African American women are more likely to experience preeclampsia, placental abruption and preterm births, and fetal death/stillbirth. African American women also have higher rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes than Whites or Hispanics. This is a result of the many healthcare disparities facing women and children today, that put them at risk of having preterm births, which in turn increase the risk of infant mortality. There are many families who are experiencing healthcare disparities that often lead to poor access to healthcare. Lack of access to healthcare can exacerbate healthcare issues. It is important to review articles related to healthcare disparities and discuss the negative effects of healthcare disparities in minority groups to be able to meet the needs of the people. Understanding the role that race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status play in these disparities, will promote development of new and effective ways of lowering the rates of infant mortality and improving birth outcomes.
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