242128 Inclusion of disability in efforts to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities: A review of currently funded research

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Willi Horner-Johnson, PhD , Center on Community Accessibility, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Danielle Bailey, BA , Center on Community Accessibility, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Genia Taitano, MPH , John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Background: Traditionally underserved racial and ethnic groups often experience a higher prevalence of disability. As a group, people of color with disabilities have particularly poor socioeconomic status and health outcomes. Yet there has been little attention to the health needs of minorities with disabilities. This presentation will describe a review of the extent to which people with disabilities are included in current efforts to address racial and ethnic health disparities.

Methods: We reviewed abstracts of currently-funded federal grants in the NIH RePORTER database to identify those that included interventions addressing racial or ethnic health disparities among adults. Qualifying abstracts were further reviewed for explicit mention of adults with disabilities as a target group for intervention efforts.

Results: Our search yielded a total of 2496 abstracts on the general topic of racial and ethnic health disparities. Of these, 517 described intervention efforts focused on adults. Only 3 of the intervention abstracts mentioned inclusion of people with disabilities as a subgroup of interest. In all other abstracts, when disability was mentioned it was as a negative health outcome. Similar reviews are underway of foundation-funded projects and interventions supported by state offices of multicultural health.

Conclusions: Despite magnified health risks among people of color who also have a disability, only a miniscule proportion of the current efforts to address racial and ethnic health disparities consider the additional role of disability. However, many current interventions could be adapted to focus on or include people with disabilities.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the presentation, attendees will be able to: 1) Explain why it is important to address health disparities at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and disability 2) List current racial and ethnic health disparity interventions that include people with disabilities 3) Discuss how other efforts to address racial and ethnic health disparities could be made more inclusive of persons with disabilities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of the study being presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.