Biomarkers of Psychological Stress in Health Disparities Research

Published in: The Open Biomarkers Journal, v. 1, Sep. 8, 2008, p. 7-19

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Zora Djuric, Chloe E. Bird, Alice Furumoto-Dawson, Garth H. Rauscher, Mack T. Ruffin, Raymond P. Stowe, Katherine L Tucker, Christopher M. Masi

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Racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of asthma care have been well documented in the United States. There are multiple factors associated with such disparities in asthma care, including structural barriers (eg, ability to access the health-care system), process-of-care barriers (eg, ability to navigate the health-care system), and process-of-care barriers at the interpersonal level (eg, ability to work effectively with a health-care provider) for equitable, quality asthma care. This article summarizes these issues and identifies specific areas for future investigation. At a health-systems level, further work is needed to understand how medical care financing arrangements may or may not be contributing to racial and ethnic disparities in asthma care, as well as how specific organizational initiatives can address these issues. Research needs at the patient/provider level include defining the content and methods for disseminating issues regarding cultural competency to health-care providers.

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