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Health Disparities: Communal Level

  • By: Michael L. Hecht & Yu Lu
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Health disparities are one of the world's great challenges and their elimination is a major worldwide public health objective. “Health disparity” is defined as a particular type of health difference that is closely linked to social, economic, environmental, and group-based identities. Among all differences in health status between groups, only the differences that systematically and negatively impact groups are classified as disparities. Such differences include incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease, as well as access to and quality of care. The goal of the Healthy People 2020 initiative is to achieve health equity by developing interventions and policies to eliminate disparities and improve the health of all groups in the United States.

Disparities of health can exist based on a number of factors, including ...

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