Health Promotion in Minority Populations Paper

Health Promotion in Minority Populations Paper

Health Promotion in Minority Populations

            In the United States, ethnic and racial minorities tend to face several challenges affecting their access to healthcare services. Even when they receive it, the care will not be of the same quality as compared to those of other groups. The reasons behind this inequality are quite complex, ranging from factors such as affordability of healthcare services, a limited number of healthcare providers, lack of insurance coverage, and patient preference among others. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 36% of the United States population belongs to ethnic and racial minorities such as African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaska Natives and Hispanics(Hammonds & Reverby, 2019). The purpose of this paper is to analyze the health status of African Americans and develop the most appropriate health promotion activities for this minority group.


Health Status of African Americans

In 2014, the total number of African Americans in the United States was approximately 42.3 million which makes 13% of the entire population (Yearby, 2018). The majority of the black Americans were living in New York. The current health status among the blacks has improved with a decline in the death rates by about 25% as reported by the CDC. However, these groups of individuals still bear the burden of most chronic diseases as compared to other ethnic groups. Studies show that African Americans, between the age of 18 and 49 years are twice as likely to die from stroke/heart disease as compared to whites. Additionally, blacks between the ages of 35 and 64 years have been reported to present a 50% likelihood of having hypertension than whites. Such differences in health status have been attributed to racism, which has deprived the blacks of equal opportunities to education, employment, housing, health services, and the ability to make changes in health policies.

Health Disparities

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The most common health problems affecting black Americans include stroke, heart disease, asthma, HIV/AIDs, cancer, pneumonia, influenza, and diabetes (Hammonds & Reverby, 2019). Most of these health disparities are contributed by the disadvantages experienced by minority groups in the united states like unemployment, poor living standard, lack of clean water, inability to afford routine care services, and unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking. Due to the low education level displayed among this minority group, they also tend to experience nutritional challenges characterized by the inability to afford healthy foods, hence increased consumption of fast foods which are rich in calories. Because of these nutritional challenges, African Americans have an increased risk of overweight and obesity, which contribute to other health complications such as diabetes and heart disease.

Barriers to Health

            Several intrinsic and extrinsic barriers to health have been reported among African Americans. Intrinsic barriers include fatalism, medical mistrust, lack of health awareness, and fear. Extrinsic barriers include unaffordable healthcare services, cultural and linguistic differences, lack of health insurance, and poverty (Sanders et al., 2019). Such barriers are associated with several educational, cultural, socio-political, and socioeconomic factors common among the minority groups in the United States. For example, members of the Jehovah witnesses are against medical procedures such as surgery which may require a blood transfusion. As such, African Americans who require such medical services, and belong to the Jehovah witness religion may fail to consent to the surgical procedure, hence developing health complications that can lead to death. Consequently, most African Americans have low socioeconomic status, poor education level, high rates of unemployment, and lack of insurance coverage, which limits their access to healthcare services.

Health Promotion Activities

            The healthy People 2030, are focusing on five main social determinants of health in the development of appropriate health promotion strategies including, economic stability, safe neighborhood and clean environment, social and community support, improved healthcare access and quality, and improved access to quality education. To achieve the above health promotion objectives, the self-help initiative must be implemented first before focusing on states’ role in promoting their access to quality care (Fletcher et al., 2018). Health promotion practices are being implemented in African American barbershops and saloons, to educate members of this ethnicity to adopt the self-help initiative to take charge of their health and healthy lifestyles such as healthy diet and routine exercise to promote their health and wellbeing.

Approach for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

            With the initiation of the self-help health promotion practices, black Americans can benefit from applying the Health Belief Model to develop and implement appropriate health promotion strategies. According to Sanders et al. (2019), the leading cause of death among African Americans is cardiovascular disease. Additional causes of death include diabetes and cancer. As such it is necessary to adopt health promotion practices focusing on lifestyle modification in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. The Health Belief Model focuses on the identification of “cues to action,” meaningful and appropriate for the target population. For example, at the primary level, the health brief model encourages community members to take part in physical activity and consume a healthy diet to promote their health and wellbeing. At the secondary level, routing screening for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer is promoted. Lastly, the tertiary level focuses on rehabilitation and educational programs on preventive measures among people at high risks of the mentioned health complications.

Cultural Beliefs and Practices

One of the main barriers to healthcare services among African Americans is their cultural beliefs against complementary medicine. Such cultural beliefs include a strong belief in traditional medicine, rather the complementary medicine, strong religious beliefs against blood transfusion or surgical procedures like the Jehovah witness believers, and myths and misconceptions about certain routine preventive measures such as immunization (Brewer & Williams, 2019). With the adoption of the theory of cultural humility, healthcare professionals will be able to come up with a flexible care plan which does not undermine the patients, cultural values, and beliefs. The focus of the theory is to minimize cultural discrimination and promote equality in the provision of care services among patients from different ethnic backgrounds.


African Americans are the largest group of minorities in the United States. They have been faced with several healthcare disparities due to barriers contributed either directly or indirectly by racism. Such barrier to healthcare includes poverty, unaffordable healthcare services, low education level, and lack of health insurance among others. However, with the appropriate utilization of culturally competent health promotion models in implementing appropriate strategies, the health status among African Americans will improve.


Brewer, L. C., & Williams, D. R. (2019). We’ve come this far by faith: the role of the black church in public health. American Journal of Public Health109(3), 385.

Fletcher, G. F., Landolfo, C., Niebauer, J., Ozemek, C., Arena, R., & Lavie, C. J. (2018). Promoting physical activity and exercise: JACC health promotion series. Journal of the American College of Cardiology72(14), 1622-1639.

Hammonds, E. M., & Reverby, S. M. (2019). Toward a historically informed analysis of racial health disparities since 1619. American Journal of Public Health109(10), 1348-1349.

Sanders, J. J., Johnson, K. S., Cannady, K., Paladino, J., Ford, D. W., Block, S. D., & Sterba, K. R. (2019). From barriers to assets: rethinking factors impacting advance care planning for African Americans. Palliative & supportive care17(3), 306-313.

Yearby, R. (2018). Racial disparities in health status and access to healthcare: the continuation of inequality in the United States due to structural racism. American Journal of Economics and Sociology77(3-4), 1113-1152 .


Select an ethnic minority group that is represented in the United States (American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander). Using health information available from Healthy People, the CDC, and other relevant government websites, analyze the health status for this group.

In a paper of 1,000-1,250 words, compare and contrast the health status of your selected minority group to the national average. Include the following:

Describe the ethnic minority group selected. Describe the current health status of this group. How do race and ethnicity influence health for this group?
What are the health disparities that exist for this group? What are the nutritional challenges for this group?
Discuss the barriers to health for this group resulting from culture, socioeconomics, education, and sociopolitical factors.
What health promotion activities are often practiced by this group?
Describe at least one approach using the three levels of health promotion prevention (primary, secondary, and tertiary) that is likely to be the most effective in a care plan given the unique needs of the minority group you have selected. Provide an explanation of why it might be the most effective choice.
What cultural beliefs or practices must be considered when creating a care plan? What cultural theory or model would be best to support culturally competent health promotion for this population? Why?
Cite at least three peer-reviewed or scholarly sources to complete this assignment. Sources should be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and public health content.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Course Resources if you need assistance.

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