Health disparities leave minority communities in despair

Barbara Slagel, DHA, compiled research to analyze health disparities during COVID-19.

| Author: Hadlee Rinn | Media Contact: Kara Owens

Barbara Slagel, DHA, a recent Health Administration doctoral graduate, analyzed health disparities research during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, minority groups were disproportionally affected. For example, Slagel says, “American Indian and Alaskan Natives, Black, and Hispanic people had more than three times as many premature excess deaths as white people.”  

Slagel aimed to “learn what disciplines were conducting health disparities research during COVID-19, what journals were publishing the research, who was funding the research, what collaborations were occurring, and what thematic trends were evident in the research.”  

Slagel found that health disparities are a multidisciplinary concern. The terms used to describe health inequalities depend on perspectives and whether the research is qualitative or quantitative. Three main clusters of relevant, thematic trends were identified by Slagel, (1) global health crisis and society, (2) COVID-19 related predictors and outcomes, and (3) mental health. Additionally, she found that the disparities may be linked to structural racism, socioeconomic inequities, and mental health issues.  

To conduct her research, Slagel utilized bibliometric analysis which allows for exploring large amounts of research. Specifically, Slagel drew from the Web of Science and used VOSviewer to create maps of data which show connections between data points.  

Slagel was recently selected to present her dissertation and follow up research in Rome for the 17th World Congress on Public Health in May 2022. 

This story is brought to you by the  Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

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