Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Little progress made in reducing health disparities for people with disabilities

Date:
June 26, 2014
Source:
Health Behavior News Service
Summary:
Mental distress in people with disabilities is associated with increased prevalence of chronic illness and reduced access to health care and preventive care services, finds a new study. "It's important to find out why there has been so little progress, since the prevention, detection, and treatment of secondary illnesses is critical for health maintenance, halting progression of disability, and helping people with disabilities to participate in life activities," says the lead author.

Psychological distress in people with disabilities is associated with increased prevalence of other chronic conditions and reduced access to health care and preventive care services, finds a new study in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People series established goals to reduce disparities among people with disabilities, but there has been very little progress toward reaching these goals, says lead author Catherine Okoro, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.

"It's important to find out why there has been so little progress, since the prevention, detection, and treatment of secondary illnesses is critical for health maintenance, halting progression of disability, and helping people with disabilities to participate in life activities," she says.

The study analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey conducted in 2007 by most state health departments in conjunction with the CDC. Approximately 30 percent of adults with disabilities reported having moderate to serious psychological distress, with over 12 percent reporting serious psychological distress.

Adults who reported having a disability and serious psychological distress had a higher prevalence of seven chronic diseases and conditions -- arthritis, asthma, coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and stroke -- when compared to adults with no psychological distress. Disabled adults with moderate psychological distress also had higher rates of these conditions, with the exception of diabetes.

"We found a strong association between increasing numbers of physical chronic conditions and prevalence of serious psychological distress," Okoro says. "For example, the prevalence of serious psychological distress was about two times as high among those with five to seven chronic conditions compared to those with no conditions."

Adults ages 18 to 64 with disabilities and moderate-to-serious psychological distress were also found to have several barriers to accessing health care. They were more likely to be uninsured and unable to afford care than those with no distress. Researchers found that the use of mental health services increased with the severity of psychological distress, but a larger proportion of older adults with serious psychological distress reported not receiving mental health care when compared to their younger counterparts. "It's possible this may be due to competing health conditions, stigma, or avoidance," Okoro comments.

The study illustrates that a relatively small but highly vulnerable population bears the majority of burden of poor physical and psychological health, says Benjamin Druss, M.D., a psychiatrist at Emory University. "These problems tend to be tangled up with one another so a person who has physical problems tends to be more stressed about their problems -- particularly if they can't get health care," he comments. "It's not easy to untangle all these issues, but these individuals should be treated in a holistic way, looking at their mental problems, their physical health, and their psychosocial issues," he adds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service. The original article was written by Katherine Kahn. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Okoro A, Dhingra SS, and Li C. A triple play: psychological distress, physical comorbidities, and access and use of health services among US adults with disabilities. J of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 2014;(25):814-836

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service. "Little progress made in reducing health disparities for people with disabilities." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140626141017.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service. (2014, June 26). Little progress made in reducing health disparities for people with disabilities. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140626141017.htm
Health Behavior News Service. "Little progress made in reducing health disparities for people with disabilities." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140626141017.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins