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A Reflection on Differences in Health Care Access and Use

A Reflection on Differences in Health Care Access and Use

This reflection paper delves into the article “Differences in Health Care Access and Use by Gender, Race, Income, Age, and Employment Among Residents of the Rural South” by Kegler et al. (2023). By examining the authors’ views on current health disparities, their proposed strategies to reduce these disparities, and my alignment with these perspectives, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the issue.

Authors’ Views on Current Health Disparities

The scholarly publication by Kegler et al. (2023) sheds light upon the profound health inequities that endure within rural communities in the southern region of the United States. In order to acquire a deeper understanding of these disparities, the authors undertook a comprehensive survey encompassing 2,545 individuals of adult age hailing from ten rural counties within the state of Georgia. The results of their investigation unveil disparities predicated upon a multitude of demographic variables, encompassing but not limited to gender, race, income, age, and employment status. These factors exert a discernible influence on the accessibility and utilization of healthcare services within rural communities.

The research highlights the inherent vulnerability of rural regions to healthcare disparities, primarily stemming from the constrained healthcare infrastructure and limited resources available. The survey findings suggest a strong correlation between individuals of lower socioeconomic status, irrespective of their racial demographics, and their heightened propensity to lack health insurance coverage and abstain from seeking medical consultations due to financial limitations within the previous year. This underscores the paramount significance of socioeconomic variables in ascertaining the availability of healthcare services in rural regions. Furthermore, the research elucidates the profound impact of age, occupational situation, and racial background on the formation of healthcare disparities, thereby carrying significant ramifications for the holistic well-being of these populations.

Ways to Potentially Reduce Health Disparities

Given the discerned health disparities prevalent in rural communities, Kegler et al. (2023) posit that a comprehensive comprehension of the underlying etiology within these regions is imperative to tackle the inequities in healthcare accessibility efficaciously. In order to address these disparities, the authors espouse a comprehensive approach that duly considers the concept of intersectionality, wherein various demographic elements converge to engender distinct obstacles.

One of the pivotal findings elucidated by the study pertains to the confluence of race and income. The empirical evidence suggests that individuals from the higher-income bracket within the Black community did not encounter comparable obstacles in accessing healthcare compared to their lower-income counterparts. This observation underscores the complex and interconnected dynamics of race and income that influence disparities within the healthcare system. This observation highlights the significance of customizing interventions to effectively tackle the distinct experiences encountered by diverse subpopulations residing in rural regions.

In order to potentially mitigate health disparities, the authors posit a multitude of strategies. First and foremost, it is imperative to implement targeted interventions that meticulously consider the distinct requirements of various demographic cohorts residing within rural communities. This may encompass endeavors focused on enhancing the healthcare infrastructure in underprivileged regions, augmenting the availability of cost-effective health insurance, and tackling the shortage of healthcare professionals in rural localities.

Furthermore, it is imperative to implement policy modifications at the local, state, and federal levels in order to establish a conducive atmosphere for mitigating disparities. This may encompass strategies aimed at augmenting financial resources allocated to rural healthcare initiatives, fostering a compelling environment for healthcare practitioners to serve in rural locales, and enacting policies that effectively tackle the multifaceted factors influencing health outcomes, including but not limited to education and housing.

Lastly, implementing community-centric initiatives aimed at assisting marginalized demographics plays a pivotal role in ameliorating healthcare disparities. These programs may encompass various outreach endeavors to augment public consciousness regarding the healthcare services accessible to individuals. Additionally, they may aid in navigating the intricate healthcare system and spearhead initiatives that advocate for preventive care and overall well-being.

Alignment of My Perceptions

The findings drawn from Kegler et al.’s study align harmoniously with my comprehension of the prevailing health disparities in rural regions. It validates the concept that one’s racial background does not exclusively dictate the availability of healthcare services but is impacted by a confluence of variables, encompassing financial resources and occupational standing. This assertion resonates with my conviction that healthcare disparities are intricate and multifarious, necessitating a comprehensive approach to their resolution.

The study further emphasizes the significance of acknowledging the distinct obstacles rural communities encounter. Rural regions frequently encounter a dearth of healthcare resources and infrastructure readily accessible in urban locales, engendering heightened fiscal encumbrances upon individuals endeavoring to procure healthcare services. This concurs with my perception that geographical and socioeconomic determinants further compound the inequities in healthcare provision within rural regions.

Furthermore, the study’s focal point on intersectionality aligns with my conviction that rectifying healthcare disparities necessitates a nuanced and multifaceted approach rather than a simplistic and uniform solution (Ndugga & Artiga, 2023). Different population subgroups in rural communities may encounter unique obstacles, necessitating customized interventions to tackle these intricacies effectively.


In summation, Kegler et al.’s scholarly article offers invaluable perspectives on the prevailing health disparities prevalent within rural communities in the United States’ southern region. It underscores the need for focused interventions, policy modifications, and community-centric initiatives to mitigate these disparities and enhance healthcare accessibility for all individuals, regardless of their demographic attributes. Comprehending these disparities’ intricate and diverse nature is imperative in attaining equitable healthcare outcomes in rural regions.


Kegler, M. C., Bigger, L., Hermstad, A., Eidson, E., Thomas, J. G., Tucker, S. B., & Haardörfer, R. (2023). Differences in health care access and use by gender, race, income, age, and employment among residents of the rural South. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 34(1), 112–131.

Ndugga, N., & Artiga, S. (2023, April 21). Disparities in health and health care: 5 key questions and answers. Kaiser Family Foundation.


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A Reflection on Differences in Health Care Access and Use

A Reflection on Differences in Health Care Access and Use

For this assignment, you will be writing an APA-formatted reflection paper. A reflection paper is an opportunity for you to add your thoughts and analysis to something you have read. The objective is for you to demonstrate your understanding of the content and express in writing how it affects your own thoughts and ideas. Go to the LibGuide ( and click on Reflective Paper Readings. Read and reflect on one of the articles listed.
The following questions should guide your writing.
1) How are the authors’ views relative to current health disparities?
2) What do the authors pose as ways to potentially reduce health disparities?
3) How do your perceptions, actions, or beliefs align with those of the author(s)?
Your paper should be written following 7th ed. APA guidelines include a title page, level one headings, and a reference page (the chosen article must be included, and other references [if applicable] should be included). Please avoid using quotes with this assignment. Please refer to the APA Resources module as needed.

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