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Title: Racial Disparities in America: A Case Study of the American Healthcare System
Authors: Darko, Millicent
Advisors: Notterman, Daniel
Department: Molecular Biology
Certificate Program: African American Studies Program
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: Previous research has established that Black Americans disproportionately suffer from a variety of health conditions. Many of these racial health disparities, such as those seen in asthma morbidity and mortality rates, have biological, environmental, and socioeconomic antecedents. Therefore, I conducted a candidate gene study that focused on asthma in order to explore the biological contributions to the health disparity, the results of which were inconclusive. In order to examine the other determinants of broader health disparities, I conducted a literature review of the socioeconomic factors that influence experiences in healthcare. I determined that specific factors including access to healthcare, patient-physician interactions, and patient satisfaction are characteristics of patient experience. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I applied my findings to the experience of Black Americans and the ongoing coronavirus vaccination effort by surveying 1,070 Black Americans about their experiences with the U.S. healthcare system. The results showed that healthcare access and utilization are strong predictors of the intent to receive the vaccine (p<.05). Therefore, measures should be taken to increase healthcare access to medically underserved populations. Proposed solutions include increasing the patient-to-physician ratio in these areas, expanding the use of telehealth services, and allocating more funds and updated medical equipment to community health centers. Keywords: racial disparities, health disparities, healthcare disparities, asthma, COVID-19, patient experience, vaccine hesitancy
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Molecular Biology, 1954-2021

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