This uniquely accessible volume challenges professionals to understand—and help correct—health disparities, both at the patient level and in their larger social contexts. Dedicated to eradicating this ongoing injustice, contributors focus on marginalized populations, the role of healthcare systems in perpetuating inequities, the need for deeper engagement and listening by professionals, and the need for advocacy within professional education and the political/policy arena. The compelling case narratives at the core of the book illustrate the interrelated biopsychosocial components of patients’ health problems and the gradations of learning needed for practitioners to address them effectively. The book’s tools for developing a health disparities curriculum include a selection of workshop exercises, facilitator resources, and a brief guide to writing effective case narratives.
A sampling of the narratives:
- “Finding the Person in Patient-Centered Health Care” (race/ethnicity/culture).
- “The Annual Big Girl / Big Boy Exchange” (gender).
- “Just Give Me Narcan and Let Me Go” (poverty/addiction).
- “Everyone Called Him Crazy” (immigration).
- “Adrift in the System” (disability).
- “Aging out of Pediatrics” (mental illness and stigma).
- “Time to Leave” (LGBT)
A work of profound compassion, Health Disparities will be of considerable interest to researchers and practitioners interested in public health, population health, health disparities, and related fields such as sociology, social work, and narrative medicine. Its wealth of educational features also makes it a quality training text.
"I was impressed when I read Health Disparities: Weaving a New Understanding through Case Narratives. As a patient who has experienced unpleasant situations in health care, I was moved to see that it was emotional and personal for the writers. The book confirms for me that the time is now for change to take place in our health care systems. I see this book as a light that can shine bright in the darkest places of health care. The editors have assembled a powerful book that provides all professionals in the health care systems with specific steps they can take towards addressing and then eventually eliminating health disparities. A few steps that I really connected with were improving critical awareness, delivering quality care, listening and empathizing with patients and families, and advocating for changes. I recommend that anyone interested in working to improve health care obtain a copy of this book—it’s filled with useful information that every medical professional should know. The book reminds me of a quote by Wayne Dyer, 'When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.'"
-Delores Collins, Founder and Executive Director, A Vision of Change Incorporated, Certified Community Health Worker. Founder of The Greater Cleveland Community Health Workers Association.
• Provides on-the-ground understanding of health disparities from the perspective of health care professionals and patients
• Engages readers in affective and emotional learning as well as practical and cognitive learning modes
• Provides a series of historical cases, consistent with the preferred and traditional learning modality of health professions
• Includes activities tools, learning exercises, references and resources for further study