Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Minority health-care clinics separate but unequal

11.02.2009
New study evaluates role of clinic environment in health-care disparities

A study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine may shed new light on why minority Americans have poorer health outcomes from chronic conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers found that clinics serving higher proportions of these minority patients tend to have more challenging work environments and organizational characteristics.

"Unfavorable patient and physician outcomes may be attributable to disparities in work conditions at these clinics," said Anita Varkey, MD, lead author, assistant professor in the department of medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and medical director of general medicine at Loyola Outpatient Center, Loyola University Health System. "When you have limited access to medical supplies, referral specialists, and examination rooms, coupled with a more complex patient mix, you can start to see the challenges involved with providing high quality primary care."

Few studies have examined the influence of physician workplace conditions on health care disparities. This study compared 96 primary care clinics in five regions, including Chicago. Data were collected from 388 primary care physicians and 1,701 adult patients with chronic diseases. Researchers compared 27 clinics (41.8 percent of physicians) that had at least 30 percent minority patients with 69 clinics (45.9 percent of physicians) that had less than 30 percent. The clinics with larger proportions of minority patients were four times more likely to have a chaotic work environment, and their physicians were half as likely to report job satisfaction. These physicians also had a tendency to report higher stress and intention to leave.

"All of these factors can contribute to health care disparities," said Varkey. "Challenges in workplace characteristics exacerbate time pressures already complicated by disadvantaged patients with chronic medical and psychosocial issues."

Patients in clinics with higher proportions of minorities were more frequently depressed (22.8 percent vs. 12.1 percent), more often covered by Medicaid (30.2 percent vs. 11.4 percent), and had lower health literacy (3.7 vs. 4.4, on a scale where one is lowest and five is highest). Physicians from these clinics reported that more of their patients spoke little to no English (27.1 percent vs. 3. 4 percent), had more chronic pain (24.1 percent vs. 12.9 percent), substance abuse problems (15.1 percent vs. 10.1 percent), and complex medical cases.

The authors indicated that strategies to improve patient care for these clinics should go beyond efforts to improve health care coverage and reimbursement. Interventions also should target measures to reduce physician burnout, clinic chaos and work control measures.

"While further research is needed, health care reform strategies should consider the role that work environment plays in quality of care," said Varkey.

Nora Plunkett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lumc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>