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Health Disparities and Health Care Disparities: Home


Health disparity: A higher burden of illness, injury, disability, or mortality experienced by one population group relative to another group.

Health care disparity: Differences between groups in health insurance coverage, access to and use of care, and quality of care.

Health inequality: used more often in scientific literature to describe differences associated with specific attributes such as income, or race.

Health inequity: implies that a difference is unfair or unethical

Health and health care disparities are all around. Disparities can include:

  • geographic location (urban, rural)
  • race, ethnicity
  • age, gender
  • language
  • cultural perceptions
  • religion
  • access to health care
  • insurance, ability to pay
  • education, income
  • sexual identity, orientation
  • disability status

Project Implicit

Project Implicit is a non-profit international collaboration that investigates implicit social cognition or the thoughts and feelings we all have outside of our conscious awareness and control. To find out if you have an implicit attitude take one of the projects Implicit Association Tests (IAT).


An example of an IAT is Age ('Young - Old' IAT). This IAT requires the ability to distinguish old from young faces. This test often indicates that Americans have automatic preference for young over old.

The Attribution Error

"Attribution errors involve negative stereotypes that lead clinicians to ignore or minimize the possibility of serious disease. For example, clinicians might assume that an unconscious patient with an odor of alcohol is “just another drunk” and miss hypoglycemia or intracranial injury, or they might assume that a known drug abuser with back pain is simply seeking drugs and miss an epidural abscess caused by use of dirty needles. Psychiatric patients who develop a physical disorder are particularly likely to be subject to attribution errors because not only may they be subject to negative stereotyping but they often describe their symptoms in unclear, inconsistent, or confusing ways, leading unwary clinicians to assume their complaints are of mental origin." Merck Manuals



US Health Disparities Data

Alabama Health Disparities Data

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