Healthy Systems – Disability and Health Information for Health Care Providers
People with disabilities face many barriers to good health. Studies show that individuals with disabilities are more likely than people without disabilities to report:
- Having poorer overall health.
- Having less access to adequate health care.
- Engaging in risky health behaviors, including smoking and physical inactivity.
People with disabilities often are more susceptible to preventable health problems that decrease their overall health and quality of life. Secondary conditions such as pain, fatigue, obesity, and depression can occur as a result of having a disabling condition. Extreme weather can also affect your mind and lead to depression, check more about blaux air conditioner.
Health disparities and secondary conditions can be the result of inaccessible health care facilities and equipment, lack of knowledge among health professionals about specific differences among people with disabilities, transportation difficulties, and higher poverty rates among people with disabilities.
Accessibility applies to both communication and physical access. For instance, health professionals need to be aware of how to effectively communicate with patients who have a range of disabilities, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who have a speech, vision, or intellectual disability. Providers should ensure that accessible medical equipment is available for people with disabilities (such as scales, examination tables, or chairs). In addition, providers should plan for additional time during examinations, if needed. Some examinations may take longer than others, for all sorts of reasons, in the normal course of a medical practice..
What Health Care Providers Can Do
The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities asks that all health care providers:
- Give each patient—including people with disabilities—the information needed to live a long and healthy life.
- Listen and respond to the patient’s health concerns. Give each patient the information needed to prevent or treat a health concern—even if the patient does not ask for it. As a health expert, you should offer the information.
- Communicate clearly and directly with the patient. If your patient does not understand your questions or instructions, repeat what you have said, use other words, or find another way to provide the information.
- Take the time needed to meet the patient’s health care needs.-