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Health Disparities, Relational Influences on

  • By: Janice L. Krieger & Bridget Potocki
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Health disparities, also known as health inequities, are differences in health outcomes among various population groups as a result of relative social advantage or disadvantage. There are many factors that influence health outcomes for vulnerable populations, including health behaviors and access to health care, as well as biology, environment, and health policies. One important area of health communication research is exploring the former, including how interpersonal influence promotes or diminishes physical, emotional, and social well-being. Health-related talk occurs in formal settings, such as when individuals interact with a health care provider (HCP), as well as informal settings, such as when individuals talk with family members, friends, and coworkers about topics related to health. Research has shown that there is a lack of equity in the ...

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