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Healthcare And Socioeconomic Situations

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Healthcare And Socioeconomic Situations

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Discuss About The Healthcare And Socioeconomic Situations?


Healthcare and socioeconomic situations of people are highly interrelated, and the experts believe that there exists an inverse relationship between socioeconomic conditions and good health (Pampel, et.al., 2010). Social inequalities have affected our society for several years, and in a great many ways, apart from health care. Low income comes with many other side effects, such as disparity in education, living conditions and so on, and this, in turn, has been seen to affect the health conditions of the population living in such conditions.
The population group selected for the research and report is – people with socioeconomic disadvantages. This report will cover a brief about the general characteristics of the population group, their disadvantages that makes them different, and also the health concerns experienced by this group of population.
Population Characteristics:;
There is no clear demarcation between group of population with socioeconomic disadvantages and those who come with advantages of financial status and high salary. However, for the sake of demarcation, one can briefly explain the population group under study as those who have financial constraints, and have lower average income.
The characteristics include:

Staying in poor living conditions
No proper nutrition
Prone to drinking/tobacco/high smoking
Poor health due to low hygiene

Essentially, this group can be identified through their lower income, which contributes to the further disadvantages, and mostly, an inherent fear of healthcare system or distrust/disbelief in it (Becker, et.al., 2003).
Major health problems in people with socioeconomic disadvantage:
With low exercise, and poor diet, and no inbound inclination, the population group with socioeconomic disadvantages suffers through hoards of health issues (Pampel, et.al., 2010).  It is, therefore, expected that when a person is finding it difficult to make ends meet, he or she might not be thinking about approaching the healthcare with minor troubles with health.
As a result, this population group is prone to suffer a myriad of health problems, including:

Obesity (due to unhealthy eating habits)
Cardiovascular disease
Non-identification of diseases leading to complications
Malnutrition in children and adults
Oral health
No proper paediatric care

This population group, therefore, is one of the most-studied ones in the history of healthcare, and arriving at a perfect solution is difficult. It is not that there is non-availability of health workers or the health care system in place, but the inclination to approach them, which is missing among people with socioeconomic disadvantages (Mustard, et.al., 1995).  There are several healthcare workers who specifically work for this population group, and had faced alarming rate of disapprovals and disbelief despite doing their duty. However, the health concerns and issues such as low hygiene and poor diet persist and is a challenge that is yet to overcome.
Health risks and challenges faced:
The higher rate of health risks and persistent problems among the lower income groups or SES- Low socioeconomic status communities are attributed to several combined factors (Marcin, et.al., 2003). Consider the example of obesity among the SES groups.
With socioeconomic disadvantage, one is conscious of the eating patterns, nutritional intake, unlimited access to fast food or not caring about what goes in terms of food. Other factors such as excess alcohol consumption also accelerate the obesity rate in this population group. This, therefore, enhances the risk of obesity among the SES. As determined by a research, the men show a marked increase in the obesity rate among the SES group (Ghosh, et.al, 2016). The social determinants, such as the place a person is born with, and the habits he or she develops with age, contributes to the poor nutritional intake, other indulgent habits such as drinking and tobacco, and so on.  The social factors contribute largely to the health inequalities that is seen between the high and lower SES groups.
With poor sanitation, nutrition and hygiene, the children in the SES group suffer a maximum disadvantage. The higher mortality rate due to injuries that can only be due to the living conditions (with no safety measures to keep children away from fire or other sharp gadgets). Hence, because of the environmental factors, such as the living conditions and sanitation, as well as dangerous injury causing agents (unmonitored road crossing, firearm, and so on), there is an increased rate of infant and paediatric mortality/injury in this population group (Marcin. et.al., 2003). Another possible reason for the significant injuries and health problems in infants/children may be due to large numbers of single parent (mother) households in low SES communities, with mothers not aware of the importance of physician visit symptoms of a disease (Heck, et.al., 2002).
There are other health issues, such as cardiovascular diseases and oral health, which are again problems related to social determinants, and health behaviours. Both the above mentioned health concerns are completely related to poor eating habits, no proper hygiene and also non-identification of problems at an early stage (Winkleby, et.al., 1992). Hence, the inherent habits, eating and sleeping conditions, and the quality of life, contributes significantly to the health concerns that are seen among the population with socioeconomic disadvantage.
Common barriers to health and health care:
AS determined earlier, it is not the health care system itself that is to be blamed. There are several health care centres set up exclusively to deal with the low SES communities. The problem, therefore, is within the mindset of the people and their attitude towards health and health care.
For instance, a single mother of an infant, might not have time or inclination to bring her child for a regular physician’s visit or care about the symptoms, until it is too late or hard to avoid. Similarly, an overweight or obese individual might not worry about eating properly unless his heart gives away. Hence, the challenge for a healthcare worker here, is to make people aware of their problems or at least manage to bring them into the care, so that their conditions can be monitored and dealt with, successfully.
However, one need to understand that the people livng in Low SES communities either do not worry about taking an insurance, or do not have access to it, or simply cannot afford it. Hence, they are more apprehensive about approaching the facility with their health concerns (Mustard, et.al., 1995).
Another challenge is to make a person change a habit that has been inculcated from his birth. How will the children learn the necessity of maintaining hygiene (both physical and oral), if their parents and elders are not following it? How can a child learn to wash his hands before eating, or a teenager know the ill effects of drinking, when they have been taught (or rather, seen) the same, life long? To break the habits of a lifetime, and to inculcate new habits, explain the ill effects of poor hygiene or drinking, and other problems that are seen in low SES groups, is a challenge that a health care worker need to encounter at every step.
Role as a healthcare nurse for people with socioeconomic disadvantage:
It is not easy to break barriers, or overcome social challenges to successfully care for the population under discussion. Since each health care worker (a nurse or a physician) has to deal with uncompromising conditions and unalterable habits while dealing with low SES communities, it requires both determination and a strong inclination to bring the changes that this population sector requires.
As a nurse, my first and foremost concern would be to study the problems related to a particular community. Even among the low SES groups, the challenges differ, the complications vary. Communities with people belonging to multicultural groups, people with different religious beliefs, and also with cultural dissimilarities might prove to be harder to handle. Hence, studying the individual group which comes under the health care centre I work with, will be the first hurdle.
Secondly, as a nurse, my concern would be to bring those living in the community to understand the basic rules of hygiene, and proper nutrition. Since most of the problem stems from these concerns, starting with this can be of great advantage. Children are more Moldable than the adults. Conducting oral hygiene classes in small groups for children, where one can show pictorial presentation of the importance of oral health, can help alter their habits. Similarly, talking about changing their eating habits, including healthy, yet cheaper options (replacing fries with eggs or bread), can make the changes required.
Similarly, looking at the poor post-hospital outcomes in the low income SES groups, due to either unavailability of proper systems at home or economic constraints, this is one major issue that I will work upon, while serving this community (Kangovi, et.al., 2014).
Change cannot be made overnight. Although the low income Socioeconomic communities have many disadvantages, related to environmental, social and health factors, they are also studied in great detail for years together. Many changes have also been seen among these communities, and the younger generation is more adaptable to the alterations made in their lifestyle. It is, however, the elder and the older generations, who need to be brought into the picture, and their health concerns addressed effectively.
American Psychological Association (2017). Children, Youth, Families and Socioeconomic Status. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/children-families.aspx [Accessed on 12th Aug 2017].
American Psychological Association (2017).  Socioeconomic Status.  Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/socioeconomic-status/ [Accessed on 12th Aug 2017].
Ghosh, A., Charlton, K. E., & Batterham, M. J. (2016). Socioeconomic disadvantage and its implications for population health planning of obesity and overweight, using cross-sectional data from general practices from a regional catchment in Australia. BMJ Open, 6(5), e010405.
Gornick, M. E. (2002). Measuring the Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Health Care.  Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221050/ [Accessed on 12th Aug 2017].
Heck, K. E., & Parker, J. D. (2002). Family Structure, Socioeconomic Status, and Access to Health Care for Children. Health Serv Res., 37(1), 171-184.
Kruger, E., & Tennant, M. (2016). Socioeconomic disadvantage and oral-health-related hospital admissions: a 10-year analysis. BDJ Open. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/bdjopen20164 [Accessed on 12th Aug 2017].
Kangovi, S., Barg, F. K., Carter, T., Levy, K., Sellman, J., Long, J. A., & Grande, D. (2014). Challenges Faced by Patients with Low Socioeconomic Status During the Post-Hospital Transition. J Gen Intern Med., 29(2), 283-289.
Mustard, C. A., & Frohlich, N. (1995). Socioeconomic Status and the Health of the Population. Med Care, 33(12 Suppl), DS43-54.
 Marcin, J. P., Schembri, M. S., He, J., & Romano, P. S. (2003). A Population-Based Analysis of Socioeconomic Status and Insurance Status and Their Relationship With Pediatric Trauma Hospitalization and Mortality Rates.  Am J Public Health, 93(3), 461-466
Marcin, J. P., Schembri, M. S., He, J., & Romano, P. S. (2003). A Population-Based Analysis of Socioeconomic Status and Insurance Status and Their Relationship With Pediatric Trauma Hospitalization and Mortality Rates. Am J Public Health, 93(3), 461-466
Pampel, F. C., Krueger, P. M., & Denney, J. T. (2010). Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Behaviours. Annu Rev Sociol., 36, 349-370.
Winkleby, M. A., Jatulis, D. E., Frank, E., & Fortmann, S. P. (1992). Socioeconomic status and health: how education, income, and occupation contribute to risk factors for cardiovascular disease.  Am J Public Health, 82(6), 816-820.
World Health Organization (2012). What are social determinants of health? Retrieved from https://www.who.int/social_determinants/sdh_definition/en/ [Accessed on 12th Aug 2017].

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