Research Webinar Series on Disability & Health Disparities

Event Date: 
April 07, 2015, 9 am to October 20, 2015, 9 am

Research Webinar Series on Disability & Health Disparities

The Interagency Committee on Health and Health Disparities of the ICDR is hosting a series of webinars to promote awareness of current research related to the biological, sociocultural, environmental, and behavioral determinants of health disparities for people with disabilities.

Health disparities are defined as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked to social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage"(Healthy People 2020).

Individuals with disabilities are a disparity population with significant unmet needs. “Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on… racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics” (Healthy People 2020). Healthy People 2020 recognizes the need to address this group as a disparity population, working toward the goal to “achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups”.

With disability emerging as a field within public health, this webinar series will consider the role of biological, sociocultural, environmental, and behavioral factors in reducing health disparities and achieving health equity among individuals with disabilities. The webinar series will promote awareness of current research by addressing the following topics:

  • Persons with disabilities as an unrecognized health disparity population
  • Aging and disability
  • Health disparities, disability, and injury
  • Chronic illness
  • Sociocultural & behavioral factors related to disparities
  • Cultural competence

Webinar Series Objectives

  • Highlight current research and advances related to health disparities research and the population of people with disabilities.
  • Stimulate information sharing and enhanced communication across stakeholder communities.
  • Identify knowledge gaps and recommend research that might address the gaps.
  • Promote opportunities for public and private research collaborations.

Webinar Series Outcomes

  • Increased awareness of current research related to the biological, sociocultural, environmental, and behavioral determinants of health disparities for people with disabilities.
  • Increased communication and collaboration across stakeholder communities.
  • Increased collaboration and research related to health disparities for people with disabilities.


Webinar #3 - Health Disparities: Health and Environment

Keshia Pollack, PhD
Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Ruth Lindberg
Health Impact Project

There is strong evidence that where we live, work, and play can influence several health outcomes; however, many decisions that impact our social, economic, and built environments are made without considering likely health effects. Health impact assessment (HIA) brings together scientific data, health expertise, and public input to identify the potential — and often overlooked — health effects of proposed projects, policies, and programs. This webinar will present select findings from a comprehensive HIA examining the potential health implications of a proposed update by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development of its designated housing rule permitting housing authorities to allocate certain public housing properties for senior families, disabled families, or a mixed population of both. The presenters will highlight findings regarding housing design, accessibility, and safety, and present recommended actions that could promote health and equity among seniors and younger people with disabilities when updating the rule.


Webinar #2 - Health Disparities: Race and Ethnicity

Persons with Disabilities and Participation in Clinical Trials
Raegan W. Durant, MD, MPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Racial and ethnic minorities have traditionally been underrepresented in clinical trials. Though efforts have been devoted to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials, less attention has been paid to the representation of the disabled in research studies involving human subjects. While disability status is an outcome in many clinical trials, the inclusion of persons with disabilities in other clinical trials, not focused on physical function, may be limited. The exclusion of persons with disabilities from clinical trials focused on common chronic diseases may limit the generalizability of trials to those populations with physical or cognitive limitations. Furthermore, low participation rates among disabled persons potentially deprive them of opportunities to share equally in the risk and benefits of trial participation. Adequate participation in clinical trials among the disabled could facilitate targeted efforts to address current health disparities observed in this group.

Multicultural Caregiving and Caregiver Interventions: A Systematic Review of the Literature, 1980-2013
Heather M. Young, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of California, Davis

Nationally, over a third of households are engaged in caregiving. Caregiving involves diverse activities such as personal care, complex medical and nursing tasks, financial and instrumental assistance, and emotional and social support. With the growth of a diverse aging population, higher acuity of individuals with chronic conditions, shorter hospital stays, and limited health services, the complexity and rate of care provided in the home is increasing. This systematic review revealed that in over three decades of research on multicultural caregiving, only 238 studies were published. The majority of research was descriptive, with relatively few published intervention studies. The majority of intervention research emphasized the stress and coping model, an individual-based approach that may not capture fully the capacity of networks and communities to address caregiving challenges for multicultural families. The presentation highlights recommendations for future action in research.


Webinar #1 - Persons with Disabilities as an Unrecognized Health Disparity Population

Gloria Krahn, PhD, MPH, Deborah Klein Walker, EdD and Rosaly Correa-De-Araujo, MD, MSc, PhD

Disability is an emerging field within public health; people with significant disabilities account for more than 12% of the U.S. population. Disparity status for this group would allow federal and state governments to actively work to reduce inequities. The presenters will summarize the evidence and recommend that observed differences are sufficient to meet the criteria for health disparities: population-level differences in health outcomes that are related to a history of wide-ranging disadvantages, which are avoidable and not primarily caused by the underlying disability. The presenters will recommend future research and policy directions to address health inequities for individuals with disabilities.