Access to health care is the most critical factor that determines whether a state will achieve a Healthy People 2020 goal. It has an impact on the quality of one’s life, social, physical, and mental health status. Disparities in the economic status based on residential location, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, sex, age, disability status, gender identity, and sexual orientation affect community health status (Dedania & Gonzales, 2019). The vicious poverty circle attributed to unemployment, low income, and low productivity creates a barrier to healthcare access. This is because poor people have no or inadequate insurance coverage and they also lack competent care.
The Health People 2020 goal cannot be achieved if obstacles hindering access to health care are not solved. These barriers lead to delays in receiving required care, financial burden, preventable hospitalization, and inability to gain preventive services (Towne, 2017). Healthcare professionals have to provide preventive services for the community by employing primary care providers (PCP) to increase access to healthcare (Lazar & Davenport, 2018). In addition, having a PCP helps in increasing trust between the patient and the doctors. Hospitals need to be ready to provide health services when a need arises to avoid unnecessary hospitalization. A lack of access to primary healthcare, especially in rural areas, should be addressed by deploying primary care workforce to rural areas.
The Maternal and Infant Mortality Indicator
The maternal, infant and child health has improved in many regions such as Asia, Pacific Islands, and Northern Africa in the past two decades. This occurred due to increased access to health care services such as emergency and skilled routine care (Geller et al., 2018). Reduced baby and mother mortality have propelled hospitals towards the Healthy People 2020 goal. Unfortunately, in the United States, the occurrence is different, the maternal, infant, and child health indicator have a lower ranking (Lazar & Davenport, 2018). This trend is attributed to presence of comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and other chronic diseases.
The determinants influencing maternal health also have effects on child health and pregnancy outcomes. In the past, ethnic and racial disparities were the major cause of babies’ mortality in the United States (Heffernan, Fromknecht, McGowan, Blakey, & Oppenheimer, 2019). This can be partly attributed to disparities in social determinants of health. The US had the highest maternal and infant mortality rate (Lazar & Davenport, 2018). However, the Asian and Pacific Islanders regions registered a lower infant mortality rate in 2017 (Lazar & Davenport, 2018). This implies that cost-effective interventions and policies that promote healthcare were undertaken. The Health People 2020 goal will be achieved if access to crucial emergency childbirth-related care is implemented.
Behavioral Health Disorder
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental ailments that are signified by behavioral change. People suffering from this disease may develop eating disorders, depression, or substance abuse. Fortunately, this condition is treatable if recognized at an early stage, thus, persons with the disorder need to visit a hospital. Nervousness in response to events leads to prolonged and excessive distress or fear in this group of people (Leichsenring & Leweke, 2017). This occurs because their brain interprets imagined and real happenings as being dangerous and risky.
There are several types of anxiety disorders such a panic attacks, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive – compulsive disorder. These conditions have specific characteristics that make them distinct (Spence & Rapee, 2016). For instance, anxiety disorder is characterized by panic attacks coupled with chest pains and heart palpitations. On the other hand, post-traumatic disorder is triggered by past harm such as rape or accident.
Anxiety disorders affect people of all ages, it is symbolized by depression, excessive anger and irritability, nightmares, and flashbacks (Spence & Rapee, 2016). Currently, social stigmas associated with the illness hinder people from seeking help (Fairbrother, Janssen, Antony, Tucker, & Young, 2016). Thus, advocacy and community awareness programs should be developed to aid in demystifying the myths surrounding this condition. Infirmity results in behavioral change because they interfere with one’s professional and personal relationships.
Health Education Promotion
Anorexia is a psychiatric condition characterized by a disturbing eating disorder. People with this condition have an extreme urge to control the amount and type of food they are eating. The condition is prevalent in most western societies because they have a tendency of judging a person’s self-worth based on weight, shape, and the ability to have self-control over one’s diet (Kask et al., 2016). This condition is linked to other disorders that cause behavioral change such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Anorexia is a dangerous psychiatric illness that affects about 4% of women and 0.3% of men globally (Williams et al., 2017). Affected people have a biased view of perfect body shape and weight (Schmidt et al., 2016). They are extremely terrified of gaining weight and, for this reason, they starve themselves or eat less food, others eat normally while exercising to burn the calories they consume. This condition is treated by combining psychological interventions and family-based eating programs. Since societal norms encourage anorexic tendencies (Murray, Quintana, Loeb, Griffiths, & Le Grange, 2019), health educators should offer cognitive behavioral therapy to the patients. Additionally, the community needs sensitization about the advantages of proper dieting through health promotion campaigns.
Dedania, R., & Gonzales, G. (2019). Disparities in access to health care among US-born and foreign-born US adults by mental health status, 2013–2016. American Journal of Public Health, 109(S3), S221-S227.
Fairbrother, N., Janssen, P., Antony, M. M., Tucker, E., & Young, A. H. (2016). Perinatal anxiety disorder prevalence and incidence. Journal of Affective Disorders, 200, 148-155.
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