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Health Disparities: Media

  • By: Cabral Bigman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Media can both contribute to health disparities and help reduce them. This is because media messages provide information that can affect health outcomes, and because the media also help frame public discourse regarding health disparities and considerations about how to deal with them.

Health disparities, also known as health inequalities, are differences in health between groups. Health disparities often involve unequal risk for a disease or disparate health outcomes, but they can also involve other kinds of comparisons, including differences in treatment within a health care setting (i.e., health care disparities). Some scholars have argued that the terms health disparities or health inequalities should specifically refer to differences that are due to social inequalities that can be remedied through intervention. Health disparities that are unfair, unjust, ...

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