Health Promotion Among Diverse American Population

Introduction

The United States’ population is diverse with different minority groups including American Indians, Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and Pacific Islanders. Hispanics are some of the largest minority groups, and their number has been increasing consistently over the years. Currently, the estimated number of Hispanics in the US is around 55 million, which makes around 17 percent of the total population (Velasco-Mondragon, Jimenez, Palladino-Davis, Davis, & Escamilla-Cejudo, 2016). This paper discusses the current health status, definition of health promotion, and health disparities among Hispanics. Different approaches using the three levels of health promotion prevention are also discussed.

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Current Health Status among Hispanics

Different Hispanic nationalities have varying health statuses, but they share common mortality rates. The leading causes of death among Hispanics include chronic conditions such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, stroke, chronic cirrhosis, kidney diseases, and chronic lower respiratory disease (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016). Others include pneumonia and influenza. However, diabetes is the most common cause of death among Hispanics.

Health Promotion

One of the best ways to promote health among Hispanics is to address challenges that individuals face in accessing quality care services. The main barriers include the lack of health care insurance coverage, the lack of information on how to become better healthcare consumers, and a limited number of Hispanics in the healthcare profession (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016).

Strategies for healthcare promotion among Hispanics would include ensuring access to quality care services by providing health insurance coverage and community services such as free health clinics. In addition, this group of individuals needs to be educated on the benefits of preventive healthcare. Similarly, the number of Hispanics in the healthcare profession should be increased to ensure compliance and understanding in the process of dispensing and consuming healthcare services. Individuals receiving healthcare services from people of the same cultural background are likely to follow treatment regimens and be open to questions, which leads to better patient outcomes.

Health Disparities

The issue of healthcare disparities is one of the major problems affecting service providers in the United States. Such inequalities prevent Hispanics from accessing quality healthcare services. The key disparities include low education level, language barrier, socioeconomic status, and cultural practices and beliefs (Avilés-Santa et al., 2017). In most cases, Hispanics earn incomes below the federal poverty level, they are unemployed, and they lack higher education as compared to other ethnic groups in the country. In addition, Hispanics are likely to be employed in high-risk jobs, thus affecting their health status negatively.

Moreover, the number of Hispanics under the age of 65 years without healthcare insurance coverage currently stands at 19.6 percent (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016). This lack of insurance coverage implies that the affected Hispanics cannot access quality care services due to the associated prohibitive costs.

The low level of education among Hispanics plays an important role in promoting health disparities among Hispanics. According to Velasco-Mondragon et al. (2016), the education level among Hispanics is low because the majority of them do not pursue higher education. This disadvantage promotes health disparities in two ways. First, the lack of higher education translates into low income, and thus access to quality healthcare services is limited. Second, the language barrier becomes a problem because such individuals cannot communicate effectively with healthcare professionals. Therefore, some people may avoid visiting healthcare facilities, which leads to poor health outcomes.

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Finally, the Hispanics’ cultural beliefs contribute significantly to health disparities. For instance, decision-making concerning health issues involves family members. As such, the more people are involved in the process, the more it becomes difficult to make quick decisions, which may have negative health implications. Additionally, Hispanics believe in strong family bonds and thus children are more likely to get healthcare services at the expense of their parents.

Health Prevention Promotion

Primary Health

The commonly used primary care option among Hispanics is emergency medical services (Alcalá et al., 2016). However, this option is more expensive as compared to using primary physicians’ offices. Additionally, due to the lack of education, most Hispanics do not know different primary care options. Therefore, education will be the most effective approach in promoting primary health among Hispanics because it will play an important role in ensuring that individuals in this ethnic group understand how to lead healthy lifestyles and utilize low-cost clinics in their neighborhoods.

Secondary Prevention

Secondary prevention comes after a diagnosis of been made. In this case, early diagnosis will be the most appropriate approach for secondary prevention among Hispanics, as it will ensure timely treatment and short sickness duration. This move will reduce the spread of diseases and avert the negative consequences of prolonged sicknesses.

Tertiary Prevention

Tertiary prevention focuses on improving the quality of life and reducing the symptoms of a given disease, and thus it deals with individuals who have been infected already. Some of the appropriate measures that can be taken among Hispanics at this stage include quality treatment and rehabilitation. Quality treatment will restore the baseline functioning of individuals suffering from different diseases.

Conclusion

Hispanics are among the largest minority ethnic groups in the US. Diabetes is the leading cause of mortality among Hispanics. Health promotion can be effected through education, offering health insurance coverage, and increasing the number of Hispanics in the healthcare profession. This ethnic group experiences several health disparities in the US, but such issues can be addressed through primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention programs.

References

Alcalá, H. E., Albert, S. L., Trabanino, S. K., Garcia, R-E., Glik, D. C., Prelip, M. L., & Ortega, A. N. (2016). Access to and use of health care services among Latinos in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights. Family & Community Health, 39(1), 62-71. Web.

Avilés-Santa, M. L., Heintzman, J., Lindberg, N. M., Guerrero-Preston, R., Ramos, K., Abraído-Lanza, A. L., … Vázquez, M. A. (2017). Personalized medicine and Hispanic health: Improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities – a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute workshop report. BMC Proceedings, 11(11), 1-21. Web.

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Velasco-Mondragon, E., Jimenez, A., Palladino-Davis, A. G., Davis, D., & Escamilla-Cejudo, J. A. (2016). Hispanic health in the USA: a scoping review of the literature. Public Health Reviews, 37, 1-27. Web.

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