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Premise: Access to Treatment of Mental Health Illnesses among the Underprivileged.
The problem statement can be improved by clearly defining the problem and other items that need to be discussed in the section of the problem statement. Firstly, the specific groups and individual that are experiencing the mental illnesses will be identified, objectives and the vision, alternative courses of actions, and the environment to which the problem pertains. This research proposes to address the challenges of accessing treatment among the mentally ill patients who are underprivileged in the United States. They include the mentally ill suffering from depression and anxiety among the poor, illiterate, unemployed, immigrants, women, and minority communities such as the African American and Mexican American. The vision of the entire research will be outlined in the problem statement. This involves outlining how the world would look like if the problem of healthcare access among the mentally ill suffering from depression and stress who are underprivileged is solved. The objective of the study will also be stated.
Additionally, alternative means for achieving the objectives were not mentioned in the initial problem statement. To improve it, I will outline at least two means that are available to achieve the stated objective. On the other hand, environments to which the problem of access to healthcare for the mentally ill pertains will be clearly defined. Moreover, the method that will be employed to ensure healthcare services are accessible to all in the same proportions in the U.S. will be elaborated. Healthcare access is also a challenge to the poor, overweight, and immigrants (Loignon et al., 2015). For instance, the poor in the U.S. are hardly insured and therefore do not get quality treatment on time (McBurney&White, 2010). Minority women and immigrants are other underserved and underprivileged groups in accessing quality healthcare services in the U.S. For instance, minority women in the U.S. face disparities while purchasing health insurance on the individual market (Niles, 2016). This form of segregation is referred to as “gender ratings.” On the other hand, due to the fear of deportation and discrimination, findings indicate that most of the mentally ill immigrants in the U.S., and especially the poor rely on traditional and religious means when they get sick (Niles, 2016). Many undeserved and under penetrated grouped in the U.S. do not get quality and sufficient health care services (Rutledge et al., 2014). And if they do, it is not timely. Such groups include the poor, unemployed, women, elderly, minorities, and the immigrants among others. Consequently, this has been proved by available literature as indicated in this paper. Moreover, such inequalities prompted the research topic for my research.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to establish whether there is an association between the accessibility of treatments of mental health illness with the social-economic status of individuals. In his study, Storrs (2016) identified that health phycisionas are highly likely to discriminate patients based on their social economic status and race, and this is one of the major factors that have made the topic of this research to be an area of importance in the health care sector. In addition, in the rural areas, the health care facilities are located far apart from each other, making most of the health consumers to travel long distances in order to access quality health care services.
Approach for the Study
Quantitative research methodologies will be applied in the research study. The Quantitative methodology will involve the generation of data that will be subjected to quantitative analysis.
Significance of the study
First, this study is of value in the practical and theoretical aspects. The study will help in identifying and establishing whether the mentally ill individuals, especially those who come from low social economic backgrounds access quality health care services just like those who come from high social economic settings. In addition, this study will sensitize the government and the health care ministry to take appropriate measures of ensuring equal access and affordability of treatment options for the mentally ill patients. There is always a room for improvement, and there is a possibility that this research will identify some gaps regarding the accessibility, affordability and treatment options for the mentally ill individuals.
A report by Storrs (2016) indicates that minorities, the low income, and the unemployed hardly access quality treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses. This may be influenced by lack of insurance and transportation issues. In addition, fear of discrimination by the health care providers may also have a big impact on the access to healthcare. Research by Niles (2017) shows that one in five older adults report discrimination in accessing quality healthcare services. This is because the elderly are less able to do simple tasks such as walking, feeding, dressing, and bathing. They, therefore, face discrimination in health care services from the healthcare providers and other patients. Moreover, a recent study indicates that discrimination, and especially to the elderly and the people with a mental health condition may worsen their functional status (McBurney&White, 2010). For mental illness patients, for example, discrimination against may prompt development of additional mental issues such as anger, depression, and anxiety.
In this research, theoretical approach can be examined through the lens of the telehealth program. Telehealth is a health technology that can be applied especially in rural areas where there is no availability of experienced health care physicians. This program eliminates the face-to face encounter between the patient and the health provider. According to Rutledge et al. (2014), telehealth calls for unique behaviors in order to conduct effective telehealth visit, and these behaviors are similar to a telephone consultation or traditional in-person visit. The only requirement is for health physicians to be trained on how to engage patients using this program.
Loignon, C., Fortin, M., Bedos, C., Barbeau, D., Boudreault-Fournier, A., Gottin, T.,& Haggerty, J. L. (2015). Providing care to vulnerable populations: a qualitative study among GPs working in deprived areas in Montreal, Canada. Family practice, 32(2), 232-236.
McBurney, D., & White, T. L. (2010). Research methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Niles, N. J. (2016). Basics of the U.S.. health care system. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Niles, N. J. (2017). Navigating the U.S. health care system. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Rutledge, C. M., Haney, T., Bordelon, M., Renaud, M., & Fowler, C. (2014). Telehealth: preparing advanced practice nurses to address healthcare needs in rural and underserved populations. International journal of nursing education scholarship, 11(1), 1-9.
Storrs, C. (2016). Therapists often discriminate against black and poor patients, study finds. Retrieved from CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/01/health/mental-health-therapists-race-class-bias/index.html