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Health Promotion in Minority Populations

Most of the minority ethnic groups in the United States tend to have poor health. This is true since they find it hard to receive high-quality services due to the disparities that have existed in the country for decades. This paper discusses the major health concerns African Americans face and the most appropriate care plan that can address their needs.

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Ethnic Group and Health Status vs. National Average

The selected ethnic minority group for this discussion is that of African Americans. The latest statistics released by the National Center for Health Statistics reveal that African Americans record poor health outcomes in comparison with the national average. For example, the percent of members of this race in fair to poor health is around 13.5 percent (Holt et al., 2017). The national average is 9.8 percent (“Health of black,” n.d.). Additionally, around 37.5 percent of men and 56 percent o women aged above 20 years are obese (“Health of black,” n.d.). The national average for women and men with obesity is 35.5% and 32.2% (“Health of black,” n.d.).

The average percentage of African Americans suffering from hypertension is 42% while that of the entire country is around 32% (“Health of black,” n.d). Around 11.3% of African Americans lack proper health insurance while the national average is less than 10 percent (Holt et al., 2017). More African Americans suffer from various medical conditions, such as addiction, stroke, cancer, and heart disease.

The issue of ethnicity or race is known to influence the health outcomes. For instance, African Americans are usually at risk of developing these illnesses: diabetes, stroke, and hypertension (Fiscella & Sanders, 2016). This means that individuals from this cultural group have different health promotion practices, beliefs, and personal views that dictate their health experiences. Members of this race also find it hard to access superior medical services.

Health Disparities and Nutritional Challenges

Most of the initiatives put in place to improve the overall health of all American citizens have not been fruitful. African Americans continue to encounter numerous disparities in health, including increased cases of chronic conditions, lack of adequate insurance cover, disabilities, poverty, and barriers to medical services. Their social, economic, family, and cultural factors also affect the nature of care available to them. They also face unique nutritional challenges due to limited availability of healthy foods (Holt et al., 2017). Majority of them lead sedentary lifestyles, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, eat low quantifies of vegetables and fruits, and prefer fast foods.

Barriers to Health

African Americans do not have access to high-quality health services due to specific factors. The first one is that of culture. Members of this ethnic group exhibit beliefs, ideas, and practices that discourage them from seeking modern medical support (Fiscella & Sanders, 2016). They rely on their elders and parents to receive the right care. Some cultural practices affect their health outcomes, such as inappropriate traditional practices.

From a socioeconomics perspective, majority of these individuals are underpowered or live in areas that lack sustainable health systems. This gap presents a unique barrier to quality medical support. The level of education attainment among African Americans also remains low. Consequently, most of them find it hard to get jobs or work opportunities. They also find it hard to eat healthy or engage in physical exercises. Sociopolitical factors have affected their medical experiences since they live in areas that receive minimal resources to meet their health demands.

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Health Promotion

Within the past three decades, African Americans have pursued various health promotion initiatives in an attempt to record meaningful outcomes. The first approach revolves around the use of faith-based interventions to encourage more people to engage in exercises and eat healthy foods. Hand-washing and male circumcision campaigns have also become common among members of this race (Holt et al., 2017). The use of traditional healers delivers positive health results. Many African Americans are currently attending various learning institutions in an attempt to transform their health outcomes.

Health Promotion Prevention

A powerful action plan is needed to meet the unique health needs of this minority group. The strategy should be informed by the health promotion prevention model. The first stage of the plan is that of primary prevention. During the phase, all stakeholders can introduce evidence-based programs to discourage smoking and alcoholism. The relevant agencies will encourage more people to engage in physical activities, have their children vaccinated against various illnesses, and eat healthy. The next stage will be that of secondary prevention. This phase will guide health workers to identify common diseases and use appropriate initiatives to prevent them.

For example, those involved in public health can introduce programs to screen for various conditions, such as cancer, alcoholism, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. The third stage is called tertiary prevention and will be aimed at reducing the impacts of identified illnesses (Fiscella & Sanders, 2016). The ethnic group can benefit from self-care programs, rehabilitation measures, and evidence-based treatment methods. Members can also be encouraged to seek medical services from traditional healers.

The proposed action plan might be the best choice since it guided by the unique health challenges African Americans face today. The strategy focuses on the outstanding barriers to care, socioeconomic gaps, and disparities. The plan will succeed if the right teams, agencies, and institutions collaborate throughout the process (Fiscella & Sanders, 2016). Practitioners can expand it continuously depending on the emerging disparities or health problems affecting this group.

Cultural Beliefs and Practices

As described earlier, health professionals should put the cultural practices of a specific group into consideration whenever creating a powerful care plan. For this ethnic minority, practitioners should consider the people’s religious beliefs, nutritional choices, the use of alternative medicine, family setup or relationship, and health promotion strategies (Harkess & Kaddoura, 2016). The population’s worldview is also critical whenever developing a treatment model.

Practitioners can consider various nursing theories to support the health needs of this ethnic group. The most appropriate one is Leininger’s Culture Care Theory since it guides nurses and physicians to learn more about their patients’ cultural attributes and help them accordingly. This is the case since all groups will interpret health, death, and wellbeing differently. The model can result in evidence-based or culturally-competent procedures, thereby giving dignity to the targeted individuals and empowering them to record positive health outcomes (Harkess & Kaddoura, 2016). This theory is, therefore, appropriate for African Americans since it focuses on their unique needs and disparities. Nurses who embrace it will empower more members of the population to record positive health outcomes.


The above discussion has presented various health challenges many African Americans continue to face. A detailed analysis of such predicaments can inform a superior care plan that will deliver positive results. Such a strategy should focus on the population’s leading health indicators, nutritional choices, and disparities that affect their experiences. Leininger’s Culture Care Theory is essential since it can empower clinicians to formulate superior care delivery procedures that resonate with this ethnic group’s health needs.

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Fiscella, K., & Sanders, M. R. (2016). Racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of health care. Annual Review of Public Health, 37, 375-394. Web.

Harkess, L., & Kaddoura, M. (2016). Culture and cultural competence in nursing education and practice: The state of the art. Nursing Forum: An Independent Voice for Nursing, 51(3), 211-222. Web.

Health of black or African American non-Hispanic population. (n.d.). Web.

Holt, C. L., Graham-Phillips, A. L., Mullins, C. D., Slade, J. L., Savoy, A., & Carter, R. (2017). Health ministry and activities in African American faith-based organizations: A qualitative examination of facilitators, barriers, and use of technology. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 28(1), 378-388. Web.

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