Emily Schulz, PhD, OTR/L, CFLE, ACUE; Debarchana Ghosh, PhD; Eddie M. Clark, PhD; Beverly R. Williams, PhD; Lijing Ma, MA; Crystal Park, PhD; Randi Williams, MPH; Cheryl L. Knott, PhD
Background: Population-based research and community-based interventions are integral to occupational therapy’s scope of practice, yet they are underdeveloped in actual implementation. Therefore, this paper focuses on some health challenges facing the African American population, guided by the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance Model.
Method: Using data from an observational cross-sectional nationwide telephone survey of African American adults, we examined differences between African Americans who are receiving disability payments (RDP) and those who are employed full time (FTE) on several physical health behaviors and psychosocial health indicators. We further compared the differences between African Americans RDP versus those FTE on those physical health behaviors and psychosocial health indicators across five US regions.
Results: Findings suggest that African Americans RDP are engaging in fewer positive physical health behaviors and experiencing worse psychosocial health compared to their counterparts FTE. There are also nuanced regional variations in the differences between African Americans RDP and FTE in physical health behaviors and psychosocial health indicators.
Conclusion: This research highlighted some health challenges of African Americans RDP and FTE using a regional lens, demonstrating the value of OT population-based research. There is a need for OT population-specific community-based practice to address the health disparities of underserved and minority populations, such as African Americans.
Schulz, E., Ghosh, D., Clark, E. M., Williams, B. R., Williams, R., Ma, L., Park, C. L., & Knott, C. L. (2022). Disability and Health in African Americans: Population Research and Implications for Occupational Therapy Community-Based Practice. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 10(1), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1806
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