Cultural leverage: interventions using culture to narrow racial disparities in health care

Med Care Res Rev. 2007 Oct;64(5 Suppl):243S-82S. doi: 10.1177/1077558707305414.

Abstract

The authors reviewed interventions using cultural leverage to narrow racial disparities in health care. Thirty-eight interventions of three types were identified: interventions that modified the health behaviors of individual patients of color, that increased the access of communities of color to the existing health care system, and that modified the health care system to better serve patients of color and their communities. Individual-level interventions typically tapped community members' expertise to shape programs. Access interventions largely involved screening programs, incorporating patient navigators and lay educators. Health care interventions focused on the roles of nurses, counselors, and community health workers to deliver culturally tailored health information. These interventions increased patients' knowledge for self-care, decreased barriers to access, and improved providers' cultural competence. The delivery of processes of care or intermediate health outcomes was significantly improved in 23 interventions. Interventions using cultural leverage show tremendous promise in reducing health disparities, but more research is needed to understand their health effects in combination with other interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Continental Population Groups*
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • United States