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Open AccessCommentary

The Relationship between Health Disparities, Psychosocial Functioning and Health Outcomes in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant Populations: Recommendations for Clinical Care

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Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 1201 E. Marshall St #4-100, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
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Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23219, USA
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Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA
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Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
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Massey Cancer Center Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072218 (registering DOI)
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 22 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child-Parent Dynamics, Psychosocial Factors, and Health Outcomes)
Not only do racial and ethnic minority children and adolescents with chronic illness experience disparities in health status and health outcomes, they also experience significant healthcare disparities, including differences in healthcare coverage, access to care, and quality of care. It is well known that the interaction between psychosocial functioning, health behaviors and ethnic and racial disparities, ultimately leads to worse health and psychosocial outcomes in pediatric and AYA chronic illness patient populations, including increased rates of morbidity and mortality. Investigating the impact of racial and ethnic factors on health outcomes, and strategies for reducing these disparities, is of the utmost importance, specifically in life-threatening conditions like cancer and sickle cell disease. This commentary underscores the relative importance of identifying factors that could reduce disparities between minority and non-minority populations. This present paper will focus on the dynamic relationships between health disparities, psychosocial factors and health outcomes within pediatric cancer, sickle cell disease and bone marrow transplant populations, and will offer recommendations for healthcare professionals working with these vulnerable patient populations. The primary goal of this commentary is to provide recommendations for enhancing cultural competency and humility for those working with highly vulnerable patient populations.
Keywords: health disparities; cancer; sickle cell disease; bone marrow transplant health disparities; cancer; sickle cell disease; bone marrow transplant
MDPI and ACS Style

Isaac, E.I.; Meisman, A.R.; Drucker, K.; Violante, S.; Behrhorst, K.L.; Floyd, A.; Rohan, J.M. The Relationship between Health Disparities, Psychosocial Functioning and Health Outcomes in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant Populations: Recommendations for Clinical Care. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2218.

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