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    Analysis of interventions in five diseases provides tools for taking action

    Major disparities exist along racial and ethnic lines in the United States for a variety of medical conditions, but little guidance about how to reduce these gaps  exists. A new "roadmap" based on evaluations of efforts to reduce disparities aims to give organizations expert guidance on how to improve health equity.

    The roadmap, part of a symposium of six papers published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, comes from Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation based at the University of Chicago that seeks evidence-based solutions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. The roadmap is accompanied by systematic reviews of disparities interventions in HIV, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and asthma.

    Supplement to the Journal of General Internal Medicine Offers Roadmap to Reducing Disparities
    The issue offers systematic reviews of interventions in five disease states and recommendations for system change

    While the need to address disparities in care is well known, few strategies for reducing disparities have been studied systematically. This supplement, organized by researchers at Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change, offers organizations a new "roadmap" based on wisdom gained over seven years of grantmaking, reviewing literature, and providing technical assistance to organizations working to reduce health disparities.

    "A Roadmap and Best Practices for Organizations to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care" is accompanied by five systematic reviews of disparities interventions in HIV, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and asthma. The roadmap's architects hope it will provide direction for effective and sustainable interventions as the health disparities field shifts from measuring the problem to taking action. The lead paper highlights the need for recognizing disparities and committing to their reduction, and suggests that programs to reduce disparities should be integrated into broader quality improvement efforts at clinics, hospitals, and other health systems.

    Across the five systematic reviews, effective disparities interventions were found to utilize team care, patient navigation, cultural tailoring, collaboration with non-health care partners such as families or community members, and interactive skill-based training. The reviews also identified potential targets for reducing health disparities that have not yet been examined. For example, the majority of interventions targeted patient knowledge and behavior, rather than looking at other components of the health care system.

    While offering general guidelines for best practices, the authors point out that the specifics of any effort to reduce disparities must be custom-fit to the patient population and community that an organization seeks to help. The roadmap also emphasizes the importance of continually evaluating whether a particular intervention is working, making adjustments as needed, and considering the financial sustainability of efforts to reduce disparities.

    Listen to a special podcast:

     

    Read factsheets summarizing the findings of each article:

     

    Download the full articles in PDF format:

     

     

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New Roadmap Suggests Proven Routes to Reducing Health Disparities

New Roadmap Suggests Proven Routes to Reducing Health Disparities

Analysis of interventions in five diseases provides tools for taking action

Major disparities exist along racial and ethnic lines in the United States for a variety of medical conditions, but little guidance about how to reduce these gaps  exists. A new "roadmap" based on evaluations of efforts to reduce disparities aims to give organizations expert guidance on how to improve health equity.

The roadmap, part of a symposium of six papers published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, comes from Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation based at the University of Chicago that seeks evidence-based solutions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. The roadmap is accompanied by systematic reviews of disparities interventions in HIV, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and asthma.

Supplement to the Journal of General Internal Medicine Offers Roadmap to Reducing Disparities
The issue offers systematic reviews of interventions in five disease states and recommendations for system change

While the need to address disparities in care is well known, few strategies for reducing disparities have been studied systematically. This supplement, organized by researchers at Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change, offers organizations a new "roadmap" based on wisdom gained over seven years of grantmaking, reviewing literature, and providing technical assistance to organizations working to reduce health disparities.

"A Roadmap and Best Practices for Organizations to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care" is accompanied by five systematic reviews of disparities interventions in HIV, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and asthma. The roadmap's architects hope it will provide direction for effective and sustainable interventions as the health disparities field shifts from measuring the problem to taking action. The lead paper highlights the need for recognizing disparities and committing to their reduction, and suggests that programs to reduce disparities should be integrated into broader quality improvement efforts at clinics, hospitals, and other health systems.

Across the five systematic reviews, effective disparities interventions were found to utilize team care, patient navigation, cultural tailoring, collaboration with non-health care partners such as families or community members, and interactive skill-based training. The reviews also identified potential targets for reducing health disparities that have not yet been examined. For example, the majority of interventions targeted patient knowledge and behavior, rather than looking at other components of the health care system.

While offering general guidelines for best practices, the authors point out that the specifics of any effort to reduce disparities must be custom-fit to the patient population and community that an organization seeks to help. The roadmap also emphasizes the importance of continually evaluating whether a particular intervention is working, making adjustments as needed, and considering the financial sustainability of efforts to reduce disparities.

Listen to a special podcast:

 

Read factsheets summarizing the findings of each article:

 

Download the full articles in PDF format: