Reeves et al. (2013), focus their study on a Hispanic immigrant community in Albuquerque, New Mexico to establish whether there was a correlation between fear and health as they claimed. Diabetes is reported to be more prevalent in Albuquerque being the sixth cause of mortality(New Mexico Health Policy Commission 2009).The authors identified three core elements that determined the connection between health and fear(cost, language, discrimination and immigration status, and cultural differences).
The cost of health care being too high causes a level of stress that leads to fear as identified by the participants. Reeves et al. (2013) further explain that this fear is perpetuated not by diabetes but by the structural economic obstacles faced the low-income immigrant community. Most immigrants face language barriers and claim to be discriminated against when they go to health care institutions. They feel that they cannot clearly communicate their health needs. Even though some institutions have translators others report that they are not effective. Immigrants feel that being in a foreign country makes their immigration status conspicuous thus creating fear of being deported.
Reeves et al. (2013) report that according to Walton(2009),cultural disconnection arises from the perceptions health care providers have about alternative medicines which patients use to treat their health issues even diabetes. Patients are reluctant to tell their doctors that they use alternative medicine for fear of being criticized. This limits open communication between them thus degrading the quality of healthcare services given to the patients.
Structural violence does accelerate health disparities because it is embedded in social structures that expose individual to dangers. Individuals feel the lack of support from economic and political constructs in the social arrangements and this limits their access to health care services. Farmer et al. (2006), report that medical and public health programs will fail if healthcare providers do not understand the social factors of disease regarding structural violence. Montesdeoca (2013) further supports this argument that health disparities are related to past and present inequalities in social, economic, political and environmental resources elements of structural violence.
Farmer, P.E., Nizeye, B., Stulac, S. & Keshavjee, S. (2006).Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine. PLoS Medicine, 3(10), 449. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030449
Montesdeoca, C. (2013).Inadequate Access to Healthy Opportunities and Structural Violence: A Case Study of Health Disparities among Hispanics in McLean County. Senior Theses-Antropology. Paper 5
Page-Reeves,J.,Niforatos,J.,Mishra,S.,Regino,L.,Gingrich,A., & Bulten,R.(2013).Health Disparity and Structural Violence: How Fear Undermines Health Among Immigrants at Risk for Diabetes. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 6(2), 30-47
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