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In September 2013, I used OvidSP to search for the topic healthcare disparities. I was looking for new articles on the subject. The search returned 7,672 results. Eagerly, I reviewed the results and discovered that 7 of the first 10 articles covered healthcare disparities from a broader perspective than just in the United States. The findings from this search are an excellent reminder that healthcare disparities are nondiscriminatory; they affect us all.

Globally, social determinants often systemically limit, hinder, or even block access to healthcare. The findings from this search on the topic of healthcare disparities, listed in the following table, identified populations from Australia, Canada, Chile, China, and Senegal that are impacted by healthcare disparities. The global phenomenon of inadequate healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes may differ from country to country, but the global goal to reduce such disparities is this: equity in care.

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Jovic, L., Lecordier, D., Mottaz, A. M., & Deme, D. V.


Live from Melbourne, the 25th Four-Year Meeting of the International Council of Nurses: Equity and Access to Health Care [French]

Recherche en Soins Infirmiers (Research in Nursing), (113)5, Editorial

Thackrah, R. D., & Thompson, S. C.


Refining the Concept of Cultural Competence: Building on Decades of Progress [Discusses disparities in health outcomes among indigenous Australians]

Medical Journal of Australia, 199(1), 35–38

Espinoza, I., Thomson, W. M., Gamonal, J., & Arteaga, O.


Disparities in Aspects of Oral-Health-Related Quality of Life Among Chilean Adults

Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology, 41(3), 242–250

Ramraj C., & Quinonez, C. R.


Self-Reported Cost-Prohibitive Dental Care Needs Among Canadians

International Journal of Dental Hygiene, 11(2), 115–120

King, N. B., & Fraser, V.


Untreated Pain, Narcotics Regulation, and Global Health Ideologies

PLoS Medicine / Public Library of Science, 10(4):e1001411

Zhang, X., Xiong, Y., Ye, J., Deng, Z., & Zhang, X.


Analysis of Government Investment in Primary Healthcare Institutions to Promote Equity During the Three-Year Health Reform Program in China

BMC Health Services Research, 13, 114

Faye, A., Diouf, M., Niang, K., Leye, M. M., Ndiaye, S., Ayad, M., & Tal-Dia, A.


Social Inequality and Antenatal Care: Impact of Economic Welfare on Pregnancy Monitoring in Senegal

Revue d’Epidemiologie et de Sante Publique (Epidemiology and Public Health Journal) 61(2), 180–185


The term health disparities was defined in Chapter 2, “Common Ground: Terms and Definitions,” as follows:

A particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their 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 historically ...

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