Special Issue "Health Disparities and Stigma in the Era of COVID-19"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).
Interests: undergraduate research training and development; health disparities; prevention science
Recent statistics suggest disparities in the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates of the COVID-19 virus among certain racial and ethnic groups. In the United States, Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans/American Indians are disproportionately diagnosed with and die from COVID-19. Among possible explanations for these findings are comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory illnesses. However, social determinants underlying many health conditions affecting these populations are also thought to make them more vulnerable to the virus. These determinants include but are not limited to: access to healthcare, economic insecurity, poor neighborhood and housing conditions, and availability of resources.
Additionally, recent news reports document an increase in stigma in the form of stereotyping and harassment directed toward ethnic/racial groups thought to be associated with the spread of the virus. Pandemics such as COVID-19 create fear and anxiety which can lead to social stigma toward certain groups, including people who have travelled abroad, people of Asian descent, or even service and healthcare providers. For example, stigma and discrimination that stems from it can occur when people associate COVID-19 with a nationality, even though not everyone in that nationality is at risk for the disease. Stigma can lead to social avoidance, denial of health care, or perhaps even violence.
Understanding these factors and how they influence incidence, treatment, and health outcomes may aid in mitigating current disparities and stigma associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, there is limited comprehensive data on the influence of social determinants and stigma on health disparities observed in racial/ethnic populations. Data aggregated by race and ethnicity is important for recognizing the extent to which disparities exist, as well as for examining their antecedents so as to help shape and target prevention and treatment efforts.
In this Special Issue we welcome articles and commentaries providing insights into the influence of the social determinants of health, including structural factors such as housing and neighborhood density on mitigation strategies; cultural beliefs about testing; economic constraints; and the influence of access to testing on disparities in diagnosis, treatment, and mortality from COVID-19. Empirical articles or reviews on stigma associated with the virus are also welcomed. Of particular interest is the role of stigma on getting tested for COVID-19, stigma associated with mitigation strategies such as wearing masks, and health outcomes related to stigma for some ethnic/racial groups.
Dr. Jocelyn Turner-Musa
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Health Disparities
- Social Determinants of Health
- Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Asian Americans, Native Americans/American Indians