“HIS Plans for Us are Good and He gives us Hope and a Future”
– Jeremiah 29:11
Health In Color, Inc. ©2023 www.HopscotchCommunications.com | Website Maintained by TechArk
In the United States, patients of color still have significantly worse health outcomes related to disease morbidity and mortality than white patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the achievement of health equity is when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.”
Despite the recognition and documentation of disparities for decades…many disparities have persisted, and in some cases, widened before the COVID-19 pandemic showed that people of color fared worse compared to their White counterparts across a range of health measures, including infant mortality, pregnancy-related deaths, prevalence of chronic conditions, and overall physical and mental health status. As of 2018, life expectancy among Black people was four years lower than White people, with the lowest expectancy among Black men.
Ndugga and Artiga (Kaiser Family Foundation 2021)
Many patients of color have low health literacy demonstrating difficulty obtaining, understanding and following health information. Consequently, they have a higher risk of poorer health outcomes. Low health literacy is an escalating source of health disparities among patients of color. Of the nearly 77 million Americans who struggle with health-related reading tasks, 65% are patients of color. In our team’s work with patients in communities of color, we have heard,
“I don’t know what my doctor is saying and I’m afraid to ask and look dumb…I didn’t understand what pills they wanted me to take and how they would affect me…I don’t know what my diagnosis is…and I don’t know what I’m being treated for.” Numerous health care systems now provide patients with printouts to accompany verbal discharge instructions – the mean readership of the instructions is, on average, two grade levels above patient literacy levels.