Aiming for Fairness in Well being Supplies | by CommunicateHealth | wehearthealthliteracy | Jan, 2021

Alt: Above the phrase “equality,” 3 doodles of various heights stand on 3 same-size packing containers. They’re making an attempt to see over a fence to look at a baseball recreation — however the shortest doodle nonetheless can’t see over the fence. Above the phrase “fairness,” the identical 3 doodles stand behind the identical fence — however the quick doodle will get 2 packing containers, the medium doodle will get 1 field, and the tall doodle doesn’t get any packing containers. This fashion, they will all see over the fence.

Right here at We ❤ Well being Literacy Headquarters, we actually take pleasure in speaking about how well being communicators (such as you!) will help tackle well being disparities. And since COVID-19 impacts some teams excess of others, addressing disparities in our well being supplies is as pressing as ever.

So this week, we need to take a more in-depth take a look at the distinction between equality and fairness. The George Washington College has a terrific useful resource explaining the distinction, however we’ll provide you with a fast abstract:

  • Equality means giving equal assets or alternatives to totally different folks or teams. Consider a meals financial institution providing an ordinary field of meals to all of its shoppers.
  • Fairness means giving every particular person or group the assets or alternatives they should attain an equal final result. So possibly that very same meals financial institution gives personalized meals packing containers based mostly on shoppers’ family dimension and dietary wants — and has a supply service for folk who can’t bodily get to the meals financial institution.

How does this apply to well being communication, you ask? Offering the identical data to everybody, in the identical format, doesn’t imply everybody may have equal entry.

As you’re creating well being supplies, get to know your viewers — or higher but, actively contain folks out of your precedence viewers within the course of of making your supplies.

Then ask your self how one can guarantee an equal final result for as many individuals as doable — particularly these dealing with structural boundaries or disadvantages. For instance, relying in your viewers, you would possibly:

The underside line: To deal with well being disparities, transcend one-size-fits-all communication supplies — and keep in mind that equal assets don’t at all times result in an equal final result.

Tweet about it: Equal resources don’t mean equal outcomes. So go beyond one-size-fits-all in your #HealthLit materials, says @CommunicateHlth: #HealthDisparities #HealthEquity

Picture inspiration courtesy of Interplay Institute for Social Change and Angus Maguire.

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