Health Disparities Have Cancer Implications for Indigenous People. Here’s How to Provide Culturally Competent Care.
Among all racial and ethnic groups, indigenous people (Native American and Alaska Natives) had the largest decline in life expectancy from 2020–2021. They also have the lowest overall life expectancy (65.2 years) than any of their Asian, Black, Hispanic, or White counterparts—in some cases, up to 20 years shorter. Indigenous people have disproportionately high rates of suicide, chronic liver disease, cardiac disorders, diabetes, and infant and maternal mortality.
Respect Patients’ Religious Hair Wraps or Coverings When Taking Accurate Height and Weight Measurements
Patients who follow various religious practices may wear head coverings that can affect their height or weight measurements. Accurate height and weight measurements are essential for weight-based medication dosing to prevent inadvertent over- or underdosing.
Cultural Competence Training Promotes Safe and Inclusive LGBTQ+ Patient Care
Successfully addressing sensitive topics, such as homophobia and LGBTQ+ biases, is best achieved in small, interactive groups, clinical nurse scientists said in a quality improvement project report published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.
Mental Health and Wellness in the Asian American/Pacific Islander Community
Rates of hate incidents against the Asian American/Pacific Islander community have tripled since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and it’s taking a toll on the population’s mental well-being. Researchers have linked pandemic-related discrimination to increased anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances among members of the AAPI community, yet they are much less likely to seek or accept mental health services than any other racial group.
Transgender Patients, Deadnaming, and Patient Identification
Individuals who identify as transgender and non-binary may no longer use their birth or legal name but rather choose a new name that aligns with their identity. When they ask that you use their new name instead, calling them by their old name is referred to as deadnaming and can be a stressful and traumatic experience for the individual and is even considered an act of verbal violence.
Religious Fasting During Cancer Treatment
Many cultures and religions across the world practice fasting, or the absence of caloric intake for a few hours to several weeks, at different times throughout the year. Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Taoism religions most commonly use fasting for various reasons, but the overall purpose generally is to demonstrate sacrifice or spiritual cleansing.
Support Patients’ Autonomy and Cultural Choices
You are the oncology nurse caring for Maria, who has been diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). She says she doesn’t understand how she developed lung cancer because she has always lived a clean lifestyle according to her religious practices. You notice that although Maria is initially conversant with you, she allows her husband to speak for her whenever he is present. When you mention your observation to Maria, she tells you that in her religious culture, medical decisions are deferred to the high elders of the church.
FDA’s Industry Guidance Will Increase Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Clinical Trials
New draft guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) facilitates enrolling more participants from underrepresented racial and ethnic U.S. populations into industry clinical trials. According to FDA, despite their disproportionate burden for certain diseases, racial and ethnic minorities are frequently underrepresented in research and expanding diversity in clinical trials is an important step to reduce those disparities.
Racial and Ethnic Groups Report COVID-19–Related Discrimination, NIH Says
People from all major racial and ethnic minority population groups in the United States report experiencing more COVID-19–related discrimination than White adults, including being threatened or harassed based on a perception of having COVID-19, according to results from a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Prevent Implicit Bias in Patient Care With These Cultural Conversation Starters
Each clinical encounter with a patient brings together three different cultural perspectives: the patient’s, the nurse’s, and health care’s own culture. Patient-centered care acknowledges and responds to the unique needs and preferences of each patient in the context of their culture. As we approach our patients with respect, humility, and curiosity to learn more, we must ask questions to help prevent assumptions, generalizations, and implicit bias from influencing our interactions.
Diversity in Nursing Begins at the Student Level
We must make a dedicated effort to increase diversity among nursing students at the college and university levels and support the inclusion of underrepresented minority, sexual minority, gender minority, and male student populations. Because of the country’s expanding immigration, increasing globalization, and minority population growth, we must have a diverse nursing workforce to meet the needs of patients and families from all backgrounds and communities.
Diversity in Nursing
To achieve health equity and improve health outcomes for diverse and marginalized racial and ethnic minorities, the nursing workforce must mirror the U.S. population. Yet despite decades of effort, the profession remains predominantly female and White. As the United States marches toward a minority majority, nursing diversity has never been a more critical objective.
NIH Diversity Research Program Gets New Chief Medical and Scientific Officer
A pioneer and internationally recognized expert in translational genomics and precision medicine will guide the scientific vision, strategy, and data collection for the next phase of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) All of Us Research Program, the agency announced. In November 2021, NIH appointed Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD, to serve as the program’s chief medical and scientific officer.
Cultural Humility Is a Nursing Clinical Competency
To confront the disparities that minority populations face in health care, organizations across the United States are recognizing that cultural humility is a clinical competency. Implicit and explicit bias are part of human nature, but prioritizing cultural humility as a foundation, diversifying the workforce, and engaging in education and training can help providers overcome those tendencies and achieve patient-centered care.
CDC Builds a Powerful Plan to Confront Racism and Health
In the early 2000s, healthcare professionals began creating theoretical frameworks to better understand racial gaps in care. Two decades later, racial disparities remain across all aspects of cancer care, from clinical trials and screening to mortality rates and survivorship. Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), declared racism a serious public health threat. To put those words to action, the agency also unveiled Racism and Health, an online hub for CDC’s efforts and a catalyst for education and dialogue around the critical issue.
NHGRI Proposes Action Agenda for Building Diverse Genomics Workforce
Thanks to the National Institutes of Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), cancer treatments and cures once out of reach are now closer than ever. So is our understanding about the human condition. As part of its latest strategic vision for the future of human genomics, NHGRI announced an action agenda to substantially enhance the industry’s workforce diversity by 2030.
Biden-Harris Administration Invests $10 Billion to Address Disparities in Vaccine Confidence and Distribution
The Biden-Harris administration to strengthen public perception of COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines and ensure all Americans, including communities of color, those in rural areas, low-income populations, and other underserved communities in the pandemic response, receive their vaccinations.
Biden’s American Rescue Plan Targets Social Determinants of Health and Other Disparities
The Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan (APR) is the largest, single piece of legislation focused on economics since Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed in his New Deal programs to pull the United States out of the Great Depression. Sweeping in scope, two of APR’s goals are to make health care accessible for all and to create formal plans for addressing racial disparities.
Biden Addresses Health Care and Racial Disparities in Series of Executive Orders
Since taking office, President Joe Biden has made good on his campaign promises to change federal tone and action in response to Americans’ concerns about health care and racial equity. On January 28, 2021, Biden signed an executive order (EO) extending the timeline for more Americans to apply for and receive access to the Affordable Care Act, reiterating his commitment to the law known as Obamacare. Biden also signed an EO supporting women’s health by reinstating Title X protections.
FDA Offers Guidance to Enhance Diversity in Clinical Trials
The COVID-19 coronavirus continues to smother the United States, and nationwide efforts to flatten the curve aren’t lowering cases or preventing deaths. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD, an oncologist by training and profession, addressed the actions needed to combat COVID-19. One in particular is ensuring that clinical trials accurately reflect diverse populations.
Healthcare Coverage Linked to Racial and Ethnic Cancer Disparities
Uninsured women or women on Medicaid are at a greater risk to develop advanced stage III breast cancer compared to women with health insurance, according to the results of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study reported in JAMA Oncology. Naomi Ko, MD, and Gregory Calip, PhD, noted that up to 47% of racial and ethnic disparities in advanced stage breast cancer could be mitigated by health insurance coverage.
Quality Cancer Care Includes Recognizing Underrepresented Patients
For oncology nurses, quality cancer care isn’t just about individualizing care for your patients, following local and national guidelines to the letter, or educating patients and family members to get them through their cancer diagnosis. Those are critical components to great cancer care, but tangible and intangible elements impact oncology as well.
What Oncology Nurses Need to Know About Cultural Differences During End-of-Life Care
Beyond the emotional complexities of end-of-life care, a multitude of cultural nuances and differences can affect the care that oncology nurses need to provide to their patients and family members. As the face of the healthcare team, oncology nurses are often called on to navigate this delicate area within the cancer continuum.
Oncology Nurses Can Have a Global Impact—in Bhutan and Beyond
Oncology nursing has certain universal truths: Your patients are going to need care. They’re going to need advocates, educators, and support systems to help them face their cancer diagnoses. Whether you work in a town that’s as American as apple pie or the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Eastern Himalayas, oncology nurses are at the ground level providing patient-centered care that leads to positive outcomes.
Ethnic Minority Patients May Receive Inferior End-of-Life Care
According to the results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, African American and Hispanic patients with ovarian cancer who lived in Texas were more likely to receive invasive or toxic treatment and be admitted to intensive care in their final month of life than their Caucasian counterparts.
Developing Oncology Partnerships Around the World
By 2035, it’s expected that 22 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed annually around the world. The global burden of cancer care and treatment is something that affects all nations and cultures. Through collaboration, understanding, and a dedication to forging new relationships, oncology professionals from around the world are coming together to fight for their patients and colleagues on February 4, 2017, for World Cancer Day.