Access & Equity

How health care resources are distributed across the population and how access and health outcomes vary across different groups. LDI Senior Fellows focus on how to achieve greater access for vulnerable populations and how to reduce disparities in health outcomes.

Non-surgical management of ovarian cancer: Prevalence and implications

Jun. 9, 2016

David I. Shalowitz, Andrew J. Epstein, Emily M. Ko, Robert L. Giuntoli

In Gynecologic Oncology, David Shalowitz and colleagues, including Andrew Epstein, analyze the prevalence of non-surgical treatment for ovarian cancer, the reasons behind this in cases where surgery would have been clinically appropriate, and implications for survival rates. The authors find that one in five patients with ovarian cancer do not undergo surgery, which goes against best-practice guidelines. Surgery has been shown to significantly improve survival rates for ovarian cancer compared with non-surgical treatment. The largest determinant of whether a patient had surgical...

Gender of the Clinician, Child, and Guardian and the Association With Receipt of Routine Adolescent Vaccines

May. 17, 2016

Laura Johnson Faherty, Benjamin French, Alexander Fiks

In the Journal of Adolescent Health, Laura Johnson Faherty and colleagues, including Benjamin French and Alexander Fiks, investigate the relationship of the gender of the clinician, child and guardian to the child’s receipt of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine compared to tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal dose 1 (MCV4) vaccines. Faherty and colleagues used electronic health record data from visits by adolescents to 27 primary care practices from 2009 to 2014 and stratified visits by type (preventive/acute). Adolescents were more likely to be...

The Health Status and Well-Being of Low-Resource, Housing-Unstable, Single-Parent Families Living in Violent Neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

May. 11, 2016

Sara Jacoby, Laura Tach, Terry Guerra, Douglas Wiebe, Therese Richmond

In Health and Social Care, Sara Jacoby and colleagues, including Terry Guerra, Douglas Wiebe, and Therese Richmond, investigate the health and well-being of single-parent families in public housing, and living in violent neighborhoods. The authors designed a two-phase, mixed methods study: in phase 1, data collected using standardized health status instruments were used to describe the health of the participating families in comparison to population norms; in phase 2, daily activity mapping, surveys and interviews of parents and children were collected to assess how these family...

Unmet Nursing Care Linked to Rehospitalizations Among Older Black AMI Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study of US Hospitals

Apr. 22, 2016

Margo Brooks-Carthon, Karen Lasater, Jessica Rearden, Sara Holland, Douglas Sloane 

In Medical Care, Margo Brooks-Carthon and colleagues, including Karen Lasater, investigate the differences in the relationship between nursing care left undone and acute myocardial infarction readmissions among older black patients compared with older white patients. Brooks-Carthon and colleagues used multiple datasets, including 2006 to 2007 administrative discharge data, a survey of registered nurses, and the American Hospital Association Annual Survey to estimate the association between care left undone, 30-day readmission, and the impact of race on this interaction. The sample...

"Look Like You Belong"

Apr. 18, 2016

[Editor's note: Penn Medicine recently sponsored a week-long series of events challenging all of us to address health equity in our work. One of these events was a 'story slam' in which a series of speakers told stories that testified to the impact of health inequities, here and abroad. This is one of those stories, by a former LDI SUMR Scholar.]

Educating Health Professionals on Social Determinants of Health

Apr. 6, 2016

Health professionals are ill-prepared to address social factors that contribute to poor health, because these factors often lie beyond the scope of medical education. But just as addressing social determinants of health (SDH) involves stretching beyond traditional medical practices, educating health professionals involves stretching beyond traditional medical education.

The Digital Hood: Social Media Use Among Youth In Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

Mar. 29, 2016

Robin Stevens, Stacia Gilliard-Matthews, Jamie Dunaev, Marcus Woods, Bridgette Brawner

In New Media & Society, Robin Stevens and colleagues examine the role of social media in the lives of youth living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Stevens conducted semi-structured interviews with 30 female and 30 male youths about their social worlds and neighborhoods, both online and offline. The study took place in predominantly African American and Hispanic neighborhoods. The researchers discovered a dynamic and concerning interplay between the geographic neighborhood and digital neighborhood, whereby negative social interactions in the geographic neighborhood are...

Adverse Childhood Experiences: Expanding the Concept of Adversity

Mar. 14, 2016

Peter Cronholm, Christine Forke, Roy Wade, Megan Bair-Merritt, Martha Davis, Mary Harkins-Schwarz, Lee Pachter, Joel Fein

In the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Peter Cronholm and colleagues investigate whether Conventional Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) alone can sufficiently measure adversity, particularly among various subgroups. Current knowledge of childhood adversity relies on data predominantly collected from white, middle- /upper-middle-class participants and focuses on experiences within the home. Expanded ACEs were designed to capture unmeasured community-level experiences of socioeconomically and racially urban population. The researchers asked participants from a previous...