Health Disparity Review

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Health Disparity Review (HDR) Part 1: Topic Proposal Assignment Guide

HDR Part 1 Overview In preparation for writing your Health Disparity Review paper for the course, you are to propose a specific topic for approval. Your topic will consist of a public health issue (e.g. obesity, lung cancer, schizophrenia, use of preventive health services, etc.) among a particular at-risk population living in the United States (Native Americans, veterans, LGBTQ population, etc). Topic examples:

  • Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among Hispanic/Latino-American children ages 5-12
  • Suicide attempts among veterans
  • HPV vaccination uptake in rural areas For this assignment you will submit a Word document that includes your topic, an introduction, and an APA formatted reference list. The assignment should be written professionally, with attention to grammar, mechanics, organization, and sentence structure. All sources should be reputable (i.e. peer-reviewed government sites or scholarly articles) and any source used for any part of the assignment should be included in the reference list. The instructor will provide feedback on your topic proposal. It is recommended that you not do significant work on the remaining components of the HDR paper assignments until your topic has been approved.

Choosing a Topic It is important to remember that your assignment should be focused on why a particular health disparity exists, rather than a general public health topic (i.e. focus on why a particular population suffers a higher burden of lung cancer than the overall population, rather than why lung cancer in general is a problem). Also, you need to identify a currently or historically marginalized or underserved population in the US as your disparity population.

Non-white racial/ethnic populations, the LGBTQ community, individuals with severe mental illness, military veterans, women, and rural populations are some examples of marginalized populations that may be appropriate, depending on the health issue you select. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Please note that while it is fine to select a topic that is similar to one you have worked on in a previous course, it is not acceptable to resubmit work that you have submitted in another course. The work you complete for this course should be based specifically on the course framework and information provided, and should be original work that you complete during the semester you are taking the course.

Literature Review In order to complete this assignment, you will need to begin a literature review on your topic. The KSU Library is a good place to start for this. It is recommended that you start your literature review by identifying the necessary statistics to support the existence of your disparity. This should help lead you to additional sources that address the determinants (causes/influences) of the disparity for the HDR Part 2 Assignment. If you are struggling with the literature review for the assignment, you are encouraged to work with the library to identify reputable and scholarly sources for your project.

Health Disparity Review (HDR) Part 1: Topic Proposal Assignment Guide

Proposal Guidelines Once you have selected a topic, write up a proposal including the following:

  1. Your topic in the following format (as in examples above)
  • Topic: [Health Issue], among [at-risk Population], [Males or Females, if applicable], [age group, if applicable]
  1. One paragraph describing the general burden in the US of the health issue/behavior that you’ve chosen
  2. What percentage of the overall population is affected by this issue? (Include data from a reputable source)
  • Example: The CDC reports breast cancer mortality rates of X% among the overall US population (CDC, 2015).
  1. What is the significance of this public health issue? In other words, what are the negative consequences? Why should we invest public health resources this problem?
  • Example: Breast cancer is the number one cancer in women, other than skin cancers. Breast cancer treatment significantly diminishes quality of life. Breast cancer diagnosis and treatments cost $X million dollars annually.
  1. One paragraph describing the burden of the health issue/behavior in your selected disparity population
  2. What percentage of your chosen disparity population is affected by this issue, and how does this compare to the overall population?
  • Example: The CDC reports breast cancer mortality rates of X% among the overall population, but X% among African-American women (CDC, 2015).
  1. If applicable, what are the additional burdens of this issue in this population?
  • Example: African-American women are less likely to receive prompt diagnosis of and treatment for breast cancer than white women.
  1. An explanation of why you, personally, are interested in this health disparity topic (1-2 paragraphs)

Resources To assist your topic selection process and ongoing research, additional resources are available to you through the KSU library Health Disparities Resource page: These resources may also assist you in identifying a topic: CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report: Healthy People 2020:

Last Updated on June 5, 2021