Discussion Addressing Behavioral Risk Factors NURS 6050
One of the statements that can be made from the above data for the state of California is that females comprise the larger majority of the populations than men. The difference between males and females is however not big as evidenced by female having 50.3% and males being 49.7%. The other statement that can be made based on the statistics of the state of California is that the occupancy level of the existing housing structures in California is average. This assertion can be seen from the fact that 54.6% of the housing facilities in the state are owner-occupied. However, it can be seen from the statistics that the data on the housing specifics such as houses for sale, rent or vacant is not available. The observation that can be seen from the statistics is that the largest population in California comprises of the Caucasian ethnicity while American Indian and Alaska Native population is the smallest in the state. People from Asian ethnicity are the ethnic minority that has the largest population. The last observation from the statistics is that the percentage of people aged above 65 years is lowest when compared to the population of people in other age groups. Lastly, the population by ethnicity for Hispanic or Latino and Non-Hispanic or Latino is almost the same.
Social determinants of health refer to the factors that have a significant influence on the improvement or worsening of health. Social determinants of health mainly focus on the structural factors that influence health rather than genetic, individual, or the biological factors that influence health (Adler et al., 2016). Social determinants of health also refers to the circumstances that an individual is born, grows, lives, and ages. The conditions in these circumstances shape an individual’s health. The influence of factors in one’s environment can be seen in the manner in which resources are distributed and utilized in a community (Daniel et al., 2018).
A comparative analysis performed on the social determinants of health between the state and US 2010 Census Data reveal significant information related to social determinants of health in California and the state as a whole. One of the social determinants of health that is evident in the comparative analysis is the influence of access to safe housing. Access to safe housing and its associated utilities is critical in promoting the health of the population. Safe housing minimizes the health risks associated with adverse weather conditions. Safe housing is also essential for the mental, social, and physical wellbeing of the population. Significant disparities in house ownership exist in the statistics of the state and that of the US as a whole (Butkus et al., 2020). It is therefore anticipated that lack of access to safe housing or housing ownership determines one’s health and the ability to utilize the existing social services.
The other social determinant of health that is evident from the comparative analysis of the US 2010 Census
Data and state data is level of education. According to the statistics by HealthyPeople.gov, a sharp rise in the graduation rate in public schools in America has been witnessed in the recent past. The statistics show that the percentage of high school students graduating with a diploma increased in America from by 8% (79-85%) between 2010-2011 and 2016-2017 school year. The percentage of students graduating with high school diploma increased also in ethnic minority groups such as non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives from 11 to 16% during the same period (Health.gov, 2020). A similar rise in the graduation rate among high school students is also seen in California. Level of education influences one’s awareness about the health promotion interventions, personal responsibility in health promotion, and health risks. Consequently, an increase in the overall rate of graduation among students both in high school both at the national and state level is anticipated to improve the health of the population significantly.
The other determinant of health that is evident from the comparison of state and national census data is ethnicity. Ethnicity plays a critical role in determining access to health by ethnic minorities in the US. Individuals from ethnic minority groups experience significant disparities in the access to and utilization of healthcare services. The disparities arise from the influence of factors such as inequalities in income, employment, and health insurance coverage (Butkus et al., 2020). The prevalence of health problems in individuals from ethnic minorities is also higher when compared to non-minority ethnic groups. Statistics show that African Americans have a high risk of developing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. The last social determinant of health that became evident in the comparative analysis of the data is age (Thornton et al., 2016). The elderly comprise a significant proportion of the population in California and the state as a whole. The elderly experience significant challenges in accessing the care that they need in the state. The challenges arise from the influence of factors such as income inequality and loss of social and occupational functioning.
Integrating Data into Current Role
I will integrate the above information into my current role in a number of ways. The first way is the use of the information to develop strategies that address the barriers to health in diverse populations. I will undertake clinical research to identify the different interventions that are effective in eliminating barriers to health in the state. Some of the interventions to address the social determinants of health include health education and elimination inequalities in the access to and utilization of healthcare services. Health education creates awareness among the populations affected adversely by the social determinants of health, hence, their stimulation to engage in activities that enhance their access to and utilization of healthcare services (Donkin et al., 2018). The other way in which the above data can be incorporated into current clinical role is policy advocacy for interventions that address barriers to health in different populations in the state. Policy interventions are highly effective in eliminating barriers to health in populations. Healthcare providers including the nurses can advocate the adoption of population specific policies that eliminate inequalities in healthcare (Walker et al., 2016). For example, policy initiatives that increase medical insurance coverage and affordability to the vulnerable populations should be adopted to increase their access to and utilization of the existing healthcare services.
The information can also be integrated into the current clinical role to develop effective partnership with communities, as a way of strengthening them. Healthcare providers can work with communities affected by barriers to healthcare to understand their experiences. The collaboration provides opportunities for the healthcare providers to identify the existing resources that can be utilized to improve the health of the community. Healthcare providers also work with the communities to strengthen and empower them to explore the effective ways in which they can address the barriers to healthcare affecting its members. Active collaboration between the community and healthcare providers promote the creation of effective systems of healthcare coordination and use of the existing healthcare services. The community members are also empowered to take responsibility for their health, hence, sustainability in the adopted interventions and minimization of the disparities in the access to and utilization of healthcare services. The last way in which the information can be integrated into clinical practice is advocating the creation of safe and healthy environments for the population in the state. The environmental conditions in the state should promote health. There should be access to adequate, clean and healthy food, water, and housing facilities. The population should also be educated on health promotion initiatives such as maintaining active physical activity (Singh et al., 2017). Through these interventions, the health and wellbeing of the state will be promoted, hence, minimizing the influence of barriers to health and social determinants of health.
Adler, N. E., Cutler, D. M., Fielding, J. E., Galea, S., Glymour, M. M., Koh, H. K., & Satcher, and D. (2016). Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities: A Vital Direction for Health and Health Care. NAM Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.31478/201609t
Butkus, R., Rapp, K., Cooney, T. G., & Engel, L. S. (2020). Envisioning a Better U.S. Health Care System for All: Reducing Barriers to Care and Addressing Social Determinants of Health. Annals of Internal Medicine, 172(2_Supplement), S50–S59. https://doi.org/10.7326/M19-2410
Daniel, H., Bornstein, S. S., & Kane, G. C. (2018). Addressing Social Determinants to Improve Patient Care and Promote Health Equity: An American College of Physicians Position Paper. Annals of Internal Medicine, 168(8), 577–578. https://doi.org/10.7326/M17-2441
Donkin, A., Goldblatt, P., Allen, J., Nathanson, V., & Marmot, M. (2018). Global action on the social determinants of health. BMJ Global Health, 3(Suppl 1), e000603. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000603
Health.gov. (2020). Social Determinants | Healthy People 2020. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Social-Determinants/data
Singh, G. K., Daus, G. P., Allender, M., Ramey, C. T., Martin, E. K., Perry, C., Reyes, A. A. D. L., & Vedamuthu, I. P. (2017). Social Determinants of Health in the United States: Addressing Major Health Inequality Trends for the Nation, 1935-2016. International Journal of MCH and AIDS, 6(2), 139–164. https://doi.org/10.21106/ijma.236