Items in AFP with MESH term: Delivery of Health Care
Behavioral Change Counseling in the Medical Home - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers
Working in a Toxic Environment - Editor's Page
Primary Care for Refugees - Article
ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, at least 600,000 refugees from more than 60 different countries have been resettled in the United States. The personal history of a refugee is often marked by physical and emotional trauma. Although refugees come from many different countries and cultures, their shared pattern of experiences allows for some generalizations to be made about their health care needs and challenges. Before being accepted for resettlement in the United States, all refugees must pass an overseas medical screening examination, the purpose of which is to identify conditions that could result in ineligibility for admission to the United States. Primary care physicians have the opportunity to care for members of this unique population once they resettle. Refugees present to primary care physicians with a variety of health problems, including musculoskeletal and pain issues, mental and social health problems, infectious diseases, and longstanding undiagnosed chronic illnesses. Important infectious diseases to consider in the symptomatic patient include tuberculosis, parasites, and malaria. Health maintenance and immunizations should also be addressed. Language barriers, cross-cultural medicine issues, and low levels of health literacy provide additional challenges to caring for this population. The purpose of this article is to provide primary care physicians with a guide to some of the common issues that arise when caring for refugee patients.
Cultural Aspects of Caring for Refugees - Medicine and Society
Caring for Latino Patients - Article
ABSTRACT: Latinos comprise nearly 16 percent of the U.S. population, and this proportion is anticipated to increase to 30 percent by 2050. Latinos are a diverse ethnic group that includes many different cultures, races, and nationalities. Barriers to care have resulted in striking disparities in quality of health care for these patients. These barriers include language, lack of insurance, different cultural beliefs, and in some cases, illegal immigration status, mistrust, and illiteracy. The National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services address these concerns with recommendations for culturally competent care, language services, and organizational support. Latinos have disproportionately higher rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus. Other health problems include stress, neurocysticercosis, and tuberculosis. It is important to explore the use of alternative therapies and belief in traditional folk illnesses, recognizing that health beliefs are dependent on education, socioeconomic status, and degree of acculturation. Many—but not all—folk and herbal treatments can be safely accommodated with conventional therapy. Physicians must be sensitive to Latino cultural values of simpatia (kindness), personalismo (relationship), respeto (respect), and modestia (modesty). The LEARN technique can facilitate cross-cultural interviews. Some cultural barriers may be overcome by using the “teach back” technique to ensure that directions are correctly understood and by creating a welcoming health care environment for Latino patients.
Improving America's Health Requires Community-Level Solutions: Folsom Revisited - Graham Center Policy One-Pagers
Care of the Homeless: An Overview - Article
ABSTRACT: Homelessness affects men, women, and children of all races and ethnicities. On any given night, more than 610,000 persons in the United States are homeless; a little more than one-third of these are families. Homeless persons are more likely to become ill, have greater hospitalization rates, and are more likely to die at a younger age than the general population. The average life span for a homeless person is between 42 and 52 years. Homeless children are much sicker and have more academic and behavioral problems. Insufficient personal income and the lack of affordable housing are the major reasons for homelessness. Complex, advanced medical problems and psychiatric illnesses, exacerbated by drug and alcohol abuse, in combination with the economic and social issues (such as the lack of housing and proper transportation) make this subset of the population a unique challenge for the health care system, local communities, and the government. An integrated, multidisciplinary health care team with an outreach focus, along with involvement of local and state agencies, seems best suited to address the components needed to ensure quality of care, to help make these patients self-sufficient, and to help them succeed. Family physicians are well suited to manage the needs of the homeless patient, provide continuity of care, and lead these multidisciplinary teams.