Chronic illnesses are the most prevalent forms of illness today. Chronic illnesses require daily management by the patient him/herself to reduce complications and slow disease progression. Low income, and/or low education, and/or minority status persons are most likely to have chronic illnesses, most likely to experience complications and hospitalizations related to their illnesses and most likely to die and die sooner after diagnosis. Part of the problem is that low income, low education, minority patients have a hard time successfully self-managing their illnesses leaving them open to complications. The other part of the problem is that there is almost no research that accounts for these discrepancies and how they can be addressed in the health care system.
Therefore, the group will begin a systematic discussion of this problem with an end goal of developing theory, research projects, clinical interventions and practical programs that address this component of health inequality.