How Scholarly Nursing Literature Addresses Health Disparities for Racial/Ethnic Minority Men

Article excerpt

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to review conceptual/ theoretical and review/agenda setting nursing literature on the health care of racial/ethnic minority men [specifically African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/ Alaskan Native and Asian/Pacific Islander men] in one of the four targeted areas of health disparities. CINAHL and MEDLINE computer databases were searched from 1983 to the present using a combination of manual and computer-based methods to identify the nursing literature that included any racial/ethnic men in the sample and addressed at least one of the four areas of health disparities targeted by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that affect adults: heart disease, malignant neoplasms (cancer), diabetes mellitus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/AIDS. This review provides an overview of health disparities experienced by racial/ethnic minority men in the targeted areas and of the types of conceptual and agenda-setting articles published in scholarly nursing literature in those targeted areas.

To promole quality research, education and clinical care of vulnerable populations, nursing scholarly literature must provide adequate and appropriate knowledge to prevent, assess and manage the leading causes of morbidity and mortality for minority men. The purpose of this article is to review conceptual/theoretical and review/agenda setting nursing literature on the health care of racial/ethnic minority men [specifically African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native and Asian/Pacific Islander men] in one of the four targeted areas of health disparities. CINAHL and MEDLINE computer databases were searched from 1983 to the present using a combination of manual and computer-based methods to identify the nursing literature that included any racial/ethnic men in the sample and addressed at least one of the four areas of health disparities targeted by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that affect adults: heart disease, malignant neoplasms (cancer), diabetes mellitus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/ AIDS.

Scholarly nursing literature was defined as either conceptual/theoretical or agenda-setting/review. Empirical studies were addressed elsewhere (Dallas & Burton, in press). Conceptual/theoretical literature generates appropriate research questions and hypotheses that can contribute to understanding discipline-related concepts (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber, 1998). Agenda-setting/review scholarly literature can ascertain what is known or yet to be determined about a concept or a problem, thereby establishing priority areas for future research. Reviews also help identify gaps and inconsistencies in knowledge and provide support for current practice or new interventions. Empirical studies uncover new knowledge that can lead to the development, validation, or refinement of theories that can then lead to changes in clinical practice (LoBiondo-Wood & Haber). This review provides information about health disparities experienced by racial/ ethnic minority men in the targeted areas as described in scholarly nursing literature. The increasing racial/ethnic diversity of the United States population make adequate health care knowledge of racial/ethnic men a critical priority for quality nursing care. Despite nursing's traditionally limited focus on women and children, the mission statement of the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR) includes men. It states that the purpose of nursing research is to:

Understand and ease the symptoms of acute and chronic illness, to prevent or delay the onset of disease or disability or slow its progression, to find effective approaches to achieving and sustaining good health, and to improve the clinical settings in which care is provided.

This overview of scholarly nursing literature provides a foundation for future research, education and clinical practice.

DHHS TARGETED HEALTH DISPARITIES FOR ADULTS

DHHS is committed to achieving significant reduction of racial/ethnic health disparities for adults by the year 2010 in cardiovascular disease, cancer screening and management, diabetes, and HIV infection/AIDS. …