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How Poor Communication Exacerbates Health Inequities—and What to Do About it


In the United States, we know that long-standing systemic health and social inequities increase the likelihood of poor outcomes or death for members of racial and ethnic minority groups. For example, Black babies are more likely to die before their first birthday, and Black women are more likely to die from childbirth-related causes than their white counterparts. The COVID-19 pandemic has also underscored the fact that economic and social circumstancessocial determinants of health (SDOH), and maldistribution of resources contribute significantly to health inequity.

 . . .Some other factors are less easy to see and measure – yet are perhaps just as challenging. Distrust and poor communication related to racial and cultural differences pervade the health system and frustrate many efforts to reach the goal of good and equitable care for all in America. All too often, Black patients and other minorities are spoken to rather than talked with; the result is less-effective interactions, less empathy and acknowledgment of concerns, and ultimately, worse outcomes.

Image and article courtesy of Brookings.

Read the full article at Brookings

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