Office of Research & Development

 

Research on Health Disparities and Minority Health

VHA has a long-standing portfolio of research addressing the challenges posed by minority health care needs and the disparities that arise in healthcare delivery, access, and quality.

These varied research studies address disparities among multiple ethnic and racial groups, most prominently between African Americans and whites, but also among different Hispanic groups as well as American Indians. Further, current projects address disparities in care related to:

  • joint replacement
  • end of life care
  • care mood disorders
  • diabetes
  • health literacy

More system-level disparities are also being investigated, with one study comparing VA health disparities to those in the non-VA health care system. The current equity research portfolio focuses on:

  • understanding the reasons for disparities in care,
  • developing interventions to reduce disparities,
  • and the development of better implementation strategies to translate disparities research findings into practice.

Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP)

Since 2001, the VA HSR&D Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion (CHERP) has conducted research on racial and ethnic disparities, a priority area at HSR&D. In October 2013, CHERP was included as one of the 19 centers funded by VA HSR&D as a Center of Innovation (COIN), a group of dedicated research teams that will build on earlier successes established by the VA HSR&D Centers of Excellence. In addition to CHERP's research focus on health equity, VA HSR&D also supports Career Development Awards concentrated on equity and racial and ethnic variations.

Recent Findings

Study Examines Access for American Indian Veterans
Findings by HSR&D investigator Josea Kramer about access to VHA and IHS services among American Indian Veterans were recently published in Medical Care. The abstract is also available on the HSR&D website.

Publications

Numerous studies have demonstrated racial and ethnic disparities in health care in the United States. A recent Evidence Synthesis Report, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the VA Healthcare System (June 2007) (868 KB, PDF) examines these studies and synthesizes key findings.

Current Studies

Samples of select, current studies are available here. For more detail about these studies, or to search for additional current projects, use the search function at the HSR&D website.