In the United States, ethnicity and race influence a person’s capacity to attain optimal health. The existing evidence shows that the differential health outcomes among the different identity groups stem from systematic variances in communities that occupy uneven positions within the society, which are unreasonable and preventable (Bediako and Griffith, 2020). Ethnicity and race have led to tangible effects on the lives of minority ethnic groups within the United States, leading to health disparities that take on varying forms. This paper will focus on health status and disparities among Hispanics, one of the minority groups within the United States. The paper will also suggest the health promotion activities and cultural models that support competent health promotion among Hispanics. Many Hispanics are experiencing risks and challenges compared to the general population in the face of health disparities trends.
Hispanics have been one of the fastest developing and growing population in U.S. Being the biggest minority set in the U.S, they have greatly contributed to the nation’s cultural diversity and economy. The Hispanic population can comprise of demographics of people from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central and South America. The majority of the Hispanics in the United States have traced their heritage and origin from Mexico. Bestowing to the 2015 U.S Census Bureau Population estimate, the United States is home to more than 56.5 million Hispanics (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2016). Hispanics in the United States comprise of foreign-born and native-born individuals that have migrated from the Caribbean, Latin America and Spain. Hispanics have been disproportionately impacted by the poor conditions and lifestyle, shaped by their social and structural position factors such as cultural values, socioeconomic status, education, income, social determinants of health and social support systems like health services.
Current Health Status
The current health status of Hispanics differs by their generational status. Hispanic health has been shaped by a lack of access to health insurance, preventative care, and cultural barriers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention have cited that some of the major grounds of death and illness among Hispanics consist of Cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and accidents (CDC, 2019). For instance, Hispanic adults have a possibility of being diagnosed with diabetes unlike non-Hispanic whites (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2015). Hispanics have a possibility to have obese unlike non-Hispanic whites in the United States. The causes of low health status among Hispanics unlike non-Hispanics in the United States are greatly linked to health disparities among Minority groups.
Health disparities consist of the variables that lead to inequalities and unequal distribution of healthcare services (Baciu et al., 2015). These are the preventable differences in the achievement of optimal health among minority groups. The health disparities among Hispanics are differences in the access to health services defined by socioeconomic status, ethnicity and economic resources. The Hispanic population in the United States face great disparities with language barriers, educational inequalities, socioeconomic status and access to care.
Hispanics encounter a variety of non-financial and financial barriers in obtaining timely and appropriate healthcare. Language, the extent of acculturation and immigration status have directly impacted access to care. For instance, limited proficiency in English has led to language barriers that have limited the ability to obtain health care and health information.
A large percent of the Hispanic population is not covered by health insurance, thus increasing healthcare costs (Velasco-Mondragon et al., 2015). Members of the Hispanic communities have a high illiteracy rate as compared to the non-Hispanic whites. Lack of sufficient education has contributed to barriers in healthcare case services due to limited understanding of treatment, diagnosis, prevention practices and health promotion. Hispanics are socioeconomically disadvantaged as unlike non-Hispanic whites in U.S. Their socio-economic conditions have greatly influenced their health outcomes.
Health Promotion Activities
Improving participation and access to health promotion interventions can boost healthcare and reduce health disparities among Hispanics. Cultural adaptation is among the most effective activities that can increase support across various health disciplines. Adaptation ensures that the health initiatives have reached the ethnic minority groups and addressed the healthcare needs (Liu et al., 2015). Cultural adaptation entails including individuals from the targeted population and the cultural beliefs to create successful care plans for the Hispanics.
An effective strategy to improve the health literacy of Hispanic to facilitate health promotion. Amplifying the diffusion of health information through private and federal efforts will boost health promotion among Hispanics in the United States. Health promotion through education material in Spanish is another effective practice to promote health among Hispanics. For instance, CDC has offered Hispanic communities novels that contain stories that discuss detection, treatment and disease processes (Bediako and Griffith, 2020). These have been effective in changing their decisions in cultural diet and practices. The United States government should focus on improving access to health insurance among minority groups. Increased affordability and health care access will facilitate better healthcare outcomes among Hispanics.
Cultural Adaptation Using the Three Levels of Health Promotion Prevention
The three levels of health promotion include primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention. Each of these levels plays an essential in health promotion. The primary intervention for Hispanics entails improving access to quality health care services to offer avenues that low health risks. Secondary intervention includes preventative measures for early diagnosis and prompt treatment to prevent severe problems. For this case, educating Hispanics on early screening and cultural practices can be supplemented to facilitate early disease detection. The tertiary prevention will entail educating Hispanics using materials in Spanish that incorporate their cultural beliefs and practices in their treatment and disease processes. For instance, this can be used in diabetes and obesity, which are high among Hispanics in the United States.
Cultural beliefs and practices that need to be considered while creating a care plan include the traditions around diets, natural remedies, herbs, rituals, and preferences. Assessing the cultural values, beliefs, and practices enables better health outcomes due to interventions that achieve culture competent care. For instance, Hispanic cultural practices and diet are some of the things that can supplement health approaches depending on the ethnic group.
Culturally Competent Model in Health Promotion
Culturally competent health promotion entails the ability to deliver health care services that realize cultural, social and linguistic demands of individual communities. Ideally, culturally competent health promotion will improve health outcomes and health care access for Hispanics, contributing significantly to eliminating ethnic and racial health disparities. Through Purnell’s model, the healthcare providers can examine the cultural beliefs, practices and values and related them in the care provision. The Purnell model relies on twelve domains that create cultural awareness and integrate culturally appropriate interventions (Purnell, 2021).
Various social determinants of health disparities disproportionally influence members of ethnic minority groups. The main health disparities affecting Hispanics include education, socioeconomic status, language barriers, and health literacy. The current health status of Hispanics records a low health status unlike non-Hispanic whites in the United States. Therefore, there is a need for health promotion activities to improve Hispanics’ health conditions and health outcomes. Cultural adaptation, health literacy and government interventions in health care practices and services will play a great role in health promotion among Hispanics.
Baciu, A., Negussie, Y., Geller, A., Weinstein, J. N., & National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). The state of health disparities in the United States. In Communities in action: pathways to health equity. National Academies Press (US).
Bediako, S. M., & Griffith, D. M. (2020). Eliminating racial/ethnic health disparities: Reconsidering comparative approaches. UMBC Faculty Collection.
CDC. (2019). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/hispanic-health/index.html
Liu, J. J., Davidson, E., Bhopal, R., White, M., Johnson, M., Netto, G., & Sheikh, A. (2015). Adapting health promotion interventions for ethnic minority groups: a qualitative study. Health promotion international, 31(2), 325-334.
Purnell, L. D. (2021). The Purnell Model and Theory for Cultural Competence. In Textbook for Transcultural Health Care: A Population Approach (pp. 19-59). Springer, Cham.
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), 1-27.