It has been a minute since I had an entry. It has not been a break from the conversation, just one from my writing about the cultural competence and quality on our blogs.
This one will be short. It often occurs to me that we often think about health disparities purely from a deficit model. We approach the prevalence of adverse health outcomes with the notion that our opportunity lies solely in fixing what's wrong.
It is natural to try to repair the wrongs, especially when they are driving our intention. The issue with this is that it is a purely past-based approach that inherently leaves us with limits. We are limited in the sense that we begin to look for the root of problem and then spend countless hours and endless conversations about changing the root.
The problem is that the root is resistant to change just like we are. In fact, if I were to stretch a little, I would say that where health disparities (aka quality disparities) are concerned, trying to get at the root causes and change them won't work. Of course, I don't think change works all that well either.
When we enter into the conversation about health disparities, it is important to do a strengths inventory as well as understand the dynamics of disparate outcomes on the negative side. In example, is the "Chicana effect" with birth outcomes. This term has been used to indicate that interesting fact that low birth weight birth outcomes are similar to that of whites and in some instances have been found to be lower regardless of social-economic status. It has led researchers to conclude that there are things socially and culturally within Latino/Chicano culture that are protective in nature.
If research and/or anecdote via our experience gives us insight into a positive health outcome in a particular community, it is vital that we look at the dynamics involved within that outcome. They may be sociocultural, they be structural, they can be a number of things. And it is possible that they can be leveraged in our cultural competence and quality efforts.
Make it a great day!