IJERPH, Vol. 17, Pages 2218: The Relationship between Health Disparities, Psychosocial Functioning and Health Outcomes in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant Populations: Recommendations for Clinical Care (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Not only do racial and ethnic minority children and adolescents with chronic illness experience disparities in health status and health outcomes, they also experience significant healthcare disparities, including differences in healthcare coverage, access to care, and quality of care. It is well known that the interaction between psychosocial functioning, health behaviors and ethnic and racial disparities, ultimately leads to worse health and psychosocial outcomes in pediatric and AYA chronic illness patient populations, including increased rates of morbidity and mortality. Investigating the impact of racial and ethnic factors on health outcomes, and strategies for reducing these disparities, is of the utmost importance, specifically in life-threatening conditions like cancer and sickle cell disease. This commentary underscores the relative importance of identifying factors that could reduce disparities between minority and non-minority populations. This present paper will focus on the dynamic relationships between health disparities, psychosocial factors and health outcomes within pediatric cancer, sickle cell disease and bone marrow transplant populations, and will offer recommendations for healthcare professionals working with these vulnerable patient populations. The primary goal of this commentary is to provide recommendations for enhancing cultural competency and humility for those working with highly vulnerable patient populations.