Various ethnic minorities groups presented in the US have their own social, cultural, economic problems that might impact their living conditions. Asian Americans are one of these groups that has specific health status and disparities. This essay will discuss unique challenges and differences Asian Americans have and will analyze cultural, socioeconomic, and other factors that might impact care plans that should be developed for this group.
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The ethnic minority group of Asian Americans is a diverse community of people. They account for around 20 million people and are called “model minority,” which means that they experience fewer health problems in comparison to others (Almendrala, 2016, para. 3). The current health status for this ethnicity is determined as better-than-average for diseases prevention (Almendrala, 2016). Census Bureau states that life expectancy at birth for Asian Americans is 79.9 years, in contrast, the national average is 79.8 years (Office of Minority Health, 2019). It is claimed that race and ethnicity influence Asian Americans’ level of risk for cancer, heart disease, strokes as well as tuberculosis (Office of Minority Health, 2019). Thus, Asian Americans still have some issues regarding possible diseases.
There are specific health disparities and nutritional problems within the Asian American group. Researchers state that there are health issues with cancer, chronic diseases, diabetes among Asian Americans. In contrast to the national average, it is reported that cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian Americans (NIMHD, n.d.).
This ethnic group also has difficulties in understanding the instructions of professionals (NIMHD, n.d.). According to analysts, Asian Americans have nutritional challenges, such as eating one portion of fruits and vegetables than five portions that are recommended per day; they also eat unhealthy high-fat foods with sodium (Kwon et al., 2015). There are specific challenges that Asian Americans face every day that impact their health.
Social, cultural, economic, and other factors also influence access to medical services for Asian Americans. According to data, 73.7% of Asian Americans had private insurance coverage in comparison to 75.4% of the non-Hispanic white population, which suggests quite a high level of socioeconomic state of the group (Office of Minority Health, 2019). Nevertheless, Census Bureau notes that 11.1% of Asian Americans in contrast to a national rate of 12.3% live in poverty, emphasizing that they have specific barriers to medical services (Fontenot et al., 2018).
Researchers state that cultural heterogeneity and educational disparities lead to increasing barriers because medical organizations do not have a tailored approach to an Asian American group. (Lee et al., 2019). Public health policy is also stated to be less preferential for Asian Americans as it is not contributed to funding medical care of the group (Lee et al., 2019). Overall, Asian Americans have better access to healthcare; however, there is an uneven situation in the group that leads to health barriers.
Various activities are introduced with the ethnic minority of Asian Americans. It is noted that there are health promotion activities held in faith-based organizations, such as hypertension and cardiovascular control programs practiced in several states, which also work at the national level (Kwon et al., 2017). There are substantial community-based activities among Asian Americans, such as smoking cessation, an increase in physical activity, and healthy eating that are practiced by a large number of members of this ethnic group (Liu et al., 2015). There are also other initiatives to address the health promotion of Asian Americans that are utilized locally.
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It can be concluded that the diseases that Asian Americans face are mostly chronic illnesses. There are limited preventive measures that may help to stop the onset of specific conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, on the primary level of health promotion prevention. However, the tertiary level of health promotion prevention that is focused on rehabilitation after significant illnesses might also be irrelevant to a large population of Asian Americans.
Therefore, the approach that might be the most effective in a care plan for Asian American ethnic groups is at the secondary level of health promotion prevention. At this level, there can be established screening, self-examination, and diagnosis initiatives that may help Asian Americans to detect disease at the early stage so that the medical professionals may help to prevent severe problems. This approach is supported by programs for this ethnic group that is focused on similar measures (Kwon et al., 2017). Thus, the activities at the secondary level of health promotion prevention may contribute to a reduction of certain diseases diagnosed.
When establishing a care plan, there should be considered cultural differences that exist in the Asian American ethnic group. It is reported that Asian Americans say that healthcare professionals do not understand their background and approaches to medication; thus, there should be established training practices for doctors that are following a care plan (Health Policy Institute, n.d.).
Family members may also contribute to the care plan to mitigate cultural differences. Giger and Davidhizar’s transcultural assessment model might be the best to support culturally competent health promotion for Asian Americans because it profoundly considers six dimensions of every culture (Albougami et al., 2016). This model might be useful also because it emphasizes the individual as a culturally unique member of the group (Albougami et al., 2016). This approach might help to address Asian Americans’ heterogeneity presented and develop an effective care plan.
To conclude, one might say that all ethnic groups presented in the US have unique features and problems that require a customized approach from healthcare specialists. The challenges that Asian Americans face influence their health state as much as any other minority group. Thus, it is essential to acknowledge social, economic, cultural factors when establishing a care plan and assigning professionals to take care of a patient.
Almendrala, A. (2016). What the government’s latest Asian-American health report got wrong. The Huffington Post. Web.
Albougami, A., Pounds, K., & Alotaibi, J. (2016). Comparison of four cultural competence models in transcultural nursing: A discussion paper. International Archives of Nursing and Health Care, 2(4). Web.
Health Policy Institute. (n.d.). Cultural competence in health care: Is it important for people with chronic conditions? Web.
Fontenot, K., Semega, J., S., & Kollar, M. (2018). Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017. Web.
Kwon, S., Patel, S., Choy, C., Zanowiak, J., Rideout, C., Yi, S., Wyatt, L., Taher, M., Garcia-Dia, M., Kim, S., Denholm, T., Kavathe, R., & Islam, N. (2017). Implementing health promotion activities using community-engaged approaches in Asian American faith-based organizations in New York City and New Jersey. Translational behavioral medicine, 7(3), 444–466. Web.
Kwon, S., Rideout, C., Patel, S., Arista, P., Tepporn, E., Lipman, J., Kunkel, S., Le, D., Chan, K., & Trinh-Shevrin, C. (2015). Improving access to healthy foods for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders: Lessons learned from the STRIVE program. Journal of Health Care for the Poor Underserved, 26(20), 116-136. Web.
Lee, S., Martinez, G., Ma, G., Hsu, C., Robinson, S., Bawa, J., & Juon, H. (2019). Barriers to health care access in 13 Asian American communities. American Journal of Health Behavior, 34(1), 21-30. Web.
Liu, J., Davidson, E., Bhopal, R., White, M., Johnson, M., Netto, G., Sheikh, A. (2015). Adapting health promotion interventions for ethnic minority groups: A qualitative study. Health Promotion International, 31(2), 325–334. Web.
Office of Minority Health (2019). Profile: Asian Americans. Web.
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). (n.d.). The Center for Asian Health engages communities in research to reduce Asian American health disparities. Web.
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