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date: 26 June 2022

Health Disparities and Inequitieslocked

Health Disparities and Inequitieslocked

  • Sandra WexlerSandra WexlerUniversity of Pittsburgh
  •  and Valire Carr CopelandValire Carr CopelandUniversity of Pittsburgh

Summary

Despite technological advances and changes in healthcare delivery, some groups in the United States continue to have better health-related outcomes than others. This article discusses health disparities and inequities—differences in health status and healthcare utilization that are influenced by complex social, structural, economic, and cultural factors. It begins by exploring the “problem” with health disparities—what makes them problematic and for whom they are problematic. Factors contributing to health inequities, commonly referred to as social determinants, are then reviewed. Finally, the article considers early 21st-century policy and programmatic responses as well as future directions, including social workers’ role as macro practitioners.

Subjects

  • Health Care and Illness
  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Populations and Practice Settings
  • Race, Ethnicity, and Culture
  • Social Justice and Human Rights

Updated in this version

Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

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