Inequalities In The Health Care Arena Sample Essay

Type of disparity in the U.S. healthcare system

The United States is one of the countries in the world considered to be development conscious. The indicator by United Nations Human Development shows that the general health of the people within the US is satisfactory. This, however, has been discovered to ignore the great disparity that exists within the health sector in the majority of the regions. Research has revealed that there is not enough access to healthcare and insurance coverage amongst various races, gender, and locations.

One common disparity is on racial differences, especially when it comes to the use of arthroplasty. The way healthcare workers deal with this treatment differs and varies from different locations. Skinner et al. indicate the disparities that exist between the blacks and the non-Hispanic whites and between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites according to sex (Uncommon Insights, 2007; Skinner et al., 2005).

The occurrence of knee arthroplasty as per the geographical location is low on Hispanic women as compared with non-Hispanic white women. The findings prove that generally, the Hispanic women inhabit the locations that record a low rate of arthroplasty. On the other hand, there is a large disparity between the black men and the non-Hispanic white men, a small percentage being attributed to geographic location.

Most local health systems treat black men differently from non-Hispanic white men while women irrespective of their race, are not treated with such bias. Research is underway to establish what percentage of this disparity is due to beliefs among the black men and the percentage that is due to bias on the side of health care physicians (Lavizzo-Mourey & Knickman, 2003).

The need to eliminate disparities in the U.S healthcare system

There’s a need to eliminate this disparity because of its effects on the economy and the posterity. The disparity might result in social divisions that contribute to unnecessary hierarchies, and most of the blame is directly attributed to those working in the health care sector. The high regressive fee payment systems and exclusion from healthcare make most households slide into poverty, particularly when they resort to asset sales and loss of important people (Uncommon Insights, 2007).

The disparity may also lead to the institutionalization of segregated health care provision, and this only promotes further social division. The size and the scale of differences in the health of people living in different parts of the U.S, and between socially advantaged and disadvantaged represents a challenge to the government’s commitment to solidarity and equality to opportunity. To achieve the goal of access and reduction of health disparities, there should be equitable sharing in basic health determinants within communities (Uncommon Insights, 2007).

There is an increase in the number of the uninsured, and this has seen a shift in cost for uncompensated care. This has been based on the insurance premiums of those that have the coverage.

Majority of the medical costs of the uninsured remain uncompensated for a longer period. Many have lost coverage, and the number is expected to increase due to the rising costs of medical care, this leads to high premium charges hence majority becoming uninsured. Due to this, it makes it more expensive for firms to add new workers, thus slowing the rate of employment opportunities.

On the other hand, the already existing workers find that health care costs suppress wage increase by driving up total compensation costs. The lower productivity of uninsured workers might be a contributing factor to slow economic growth. According to the records produced by the Institute of Medicine the total losses in the economy due to uninsurance is estimated to be $65 billion and $130 per year with the annual cost of reduced productivity alone at between $87 billion and $126 billion (Sridhar, 2005).

References

Lavizzo-Mourey, R. and Knickman, J. (2003). Racial Disparities. Web.

Skinner, J. Baicker, K., and Chandra, A., (2005). Factors in Healthcare Disparities. Web.

Sridhar, D. (2005). Inequality in the United States HealthCare System.

Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford

Uncommon Insights. (2007). Literature review on effective sex and Gender-Based Systems. Web.

Depressed Women And Art Therapy

Introduction

Depression is a serious mental health issue that has become prevalent in modern society. While this condition afflicts people indiscriminately, women are more predisposed to developing depressive disorders. A report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that one in eight women will face a major depression (1). Depression has a detrimental effect on a woman’s quality of life. It leads to poor concentration and reduces the productivity of the person.

If left unmanaged, depression can lead to psychotic breakdowns and even suicide attempts. It is therefore important for women to seek professional assistance to manage their depression. One proposed method of dealing with depression is through art therapy. This paper will discuss how art therapy affects depressed women and the merits and demerits of using this form of therapy. The paper will also reflect on the efficacy of art therapy in dealing with depression in women.

Women and Depression

Depression is an issue of great concern for women in America. To begin with, women have a higher susceptibility to depression with the rate of depression among women being twice as high as that of men. There are a number of reasons why depression is more prevalent in women than in any other section of the population. Glasgow explains that the numerous roles that women play in society increase the probability of developing depression (28). Working mothers are prone to depressive episodes due to the combination of stress at work and life as a mother.

There is an important link between the psychological condition of women and reproductive health events. Hormonal factors lead to up to 15% of women experiencing clinical depression either during pregnancy or in the months following delivery (NAMI 1). Foster and Dorsey document that the prenatal depression experienced by most women is a psychological complication with significant ramifications for the mother and the baby (294). Treatment that helps to maintain emotional equilibrium in expectant mothers is therefore crucial for the well-being of the mother and her unborn child.

In addition to the biological and psychosocial factors that contribute to the higher rate of depression in women, genetic factors also play a role. Women who come from families where there is a history of depression are more likely to suffer from this condition (NAMI 21). In most cases, depression leads to many adverse effects on the woman. It is, therefore, crucial to seek effective treatment for this condition.

Art Therapy: A Definition

Art therapy is a relatively new type of intervention that combines psychodynamic, humanistic, educational, and other therapeutic approaches in an attempt to improve the psychological well-being of the depressed patient. Glasgow asserts that art therapy uses “artistic practices within psychological counseling or simply focuses on the act of artistic creativity as therapy in itself” (29). Bar-Sela et al. reveal that art therapy was first developed in adult psychiatric inpatient units and it was used primarily for patients in whom verbal psychotherapy would be impossible (981). However, the use of art therapy expanded over the decades as therapists sort to expand the benefits of this treatment option to more patients.

Effect of Art Therapy on Depressed Women

Art therapy begins by activating the process of creation in the client. The client is placed in an environment where she can express herself through art. The art therapist facilitates the process of creation by offering guidance to the client. After the creative process, the reflective critique stage follows. In this stage, the components of the art are interpreted and their meaning and significance is deduced (Eisdell 11). The client is supposed to talk about her artwork and what it means to her with the therapist. She should elaborate on what ideas it stimulates and how she feels about the art. An important consideration in art therapy is that the client is not required to possess any artistic ability to participate in this form of therapy.

Art therapy can be used as a treatment for depression or to diagnose depression in the patient. When depression is suspected in a woman, art therapy can be used to detect the condition. Through art therapy, an investigation into the psychological distresses affecting the individual can be made (Hughes and Mann 613). The results of such an investigation are reviewed by the therapist to identify the presence of depressive symptoms. When used as a treatment option, art therapy seeks to bring about emotional changes in the woman. There is a joy that comes from expressing yourself through art. During art therapy, women are given the opportunity to experience this joy as they participate in the arts.

There is a relationship between depression and an individual’s level of self-esteem and confidence. Kapitan documents that individuals who have low self-esteem and confidence are more likely to suffer from depression (23). Such individuals have a hard time expressing their emotions and may end up bottling negative emotions. Art therapy is characterized by an increase in the self-esteem and confidence of the patient. This effect is desirable in depressed women since low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence contributes to the development of depression among some women.

Depression is partly caused by the failure by the individual to come to terms with her realities. This is based on the perception that depression is often linked to unresolved anger that the person keeps inside (Glasgow 29). Art therapy presents a platform through which the patient can express herself through art allowing the unconscious to surface. Through art therapy, art-based skills are used to help the person to come to terms with psychological, behavioral, and social stressors that are adversely affecting her health and well being.

Advantages of Using Art Therapy

A significant advantage of art therapy is that it helps the depressed woman to understand her own thought pattern and feelings. Hughes and Mann reveal that art therapy visibly shows the client how they are thinking and feeling thereby facilitating an acknowledgment of the issues facing the client (611). Through art therapy, the depressed woman can explore her inner world. This exploration is then visible to the therapist who can use the information provided to help the woman deal with her depression.

Art therapy has the advantage of being able to detect underlying issues that the client might be unwilling or unable to reveal through verbal therapy. Foster and Dorsey assert that art therapy makes it possible to uncover potential emotional issues with women who struggle to verbalize their concerns or feelings (301). By analyzing the drawing, it is possible to identify the client’s hidden thoughts and feelings and subsequently review them.

Art therapy helps alleviate depression among women by improving their thought process and decision making abilities. According to Glasgow, art therapy enhances the creativity of the woman and once this creativity is enhanced, her problem-solving abilities are also enhanced (29). Art has been proven to be an effective stress manager. Art therapy can produce a calming effect in the women, thereby contributing to the alleviation of the stress. The calmness brought about by art therapy reduces the somatic symptoms of depression in women.

Art therapy presents a way for women to connect with other women who might be going though the same condition. As the women engage in group art therapy, they interact with each other and get the opportunity to reconnect with the community (Glasgow 29). This is an important factor for depression causes people to withdraw and become lost in their thoughts.

Art therapy removes the need for pharmacological solutions to deal with depression. Without art therapy, women would rely on pharmacological means to treat the depression (Foster and Dorsey 295). Most drugs prescribed for depression have many undesirable side effects. In addition to this, drugs only reduce the symptoms of depression without addressing the causes of the condition. Art therapy can help women to discover the underlying causes of their depression and tackle these issues. Such a solution is more beneficial in the long run.

Disadvantages of Art Therapy

A significant demerit of art therapy is that it might be unhelpful when the patient is committed to producing good art products. When the client’s focus is on producing quality works of art, the therapeutic aspect of this method will not be achieved. Hughes and Mann confirm that avoiding focusing on the quality of the art is integral for the efficacy of art therapy as a psychological intervention tool (612).

Art therapy is culture-specific since the client’s cultural context influences her worldview. With this consideration, the art therapist requires knowledge of art that is relevant to the client’s culture if he/she is to be of use to the client. A therapist who is not familiar with the cultural context of the patient will not be able to utilize art to alleviate depression. This lack of universality makes art therapy unattractive in a multi-cultural setting (Kapitan 40).

When used as an analysis tool, art therapy suffers from a lack of scientific evidence. Kapitan reveals that in spite of many investigations, there are no well-replicated relationships between specific drawing signs and either personality or psychopathology of the patient (40). The validity and reliability of art therapy are therefore low since the technique is susceptible to the bias of the therapist. The same drawing by a client might be open to varying interpretations by different therapists. Eisdell agrees that in art therapy, the therapist attempts to make sense of the sometimes distorted images drawn from the patient (8). The effectiveness of art therapy has therefore been lowered since most professional interpretations concerning the thought patterns and feelings of the client are made in an intuitive manner.

In spite of the fact that art therapy does not require any artistic ability in the patient, some level of creativity is required. This might deter some women from benefiting from this form of therapy. Research by Bar-Sela et al. indicates that the creativity required in the artistic process is a limitation for many patients who may naturally lack creativity (983).

Reflections

Art therapy should be exploited when dealing with depressed women who have trouble communicating their issues. Art can be used to create a safe environment where the client can engage the therapist constructively. For art therapy to be beneficial to all women, it is important to engage in actions aimed at making the client comfortable with the art process. If this is not done, the client’s inhibitions regarding the art process will lead to a lack of involvement with art therapy. This involvement can be promoted by starting with trivial art works to familiarize the client with art work. This requires patience on the part of the therapist and the willingness to spend considerable amounts of time with the patient.

As noted in this paper, focus on the quality of the artwork might reduce the efficacy of art therapy as a tool to analyze or deal with depression. The art therapist should, therefore, encourage the patient to engage in spontaneous artistic expression without worrying about how well the creation looks. This can be achieved by presenting the art therapy session as a “breathing space,” during which the individual can focus away from their everyday routine and enjoy life. While engaging in art therapy, the individual expresses herself creatively in an uninhibited manner.

The efficacy of art therapy in reducing depression in women has been proven. However, its effectiveness as a tool for screening depression is yet unfounded. To cover for the inadequacies of art therapy as a screening tool for depression, other traditional verbal or written techniques for measuring depression should be used alongside art therapy.

Conclusion

Considering the high risk that women have for developing depression, it would be worthwhile to seek out all methods that can be helpful for women dealing with depression. This paper has reviewed the use of art therapy by depressed women. It has noted that there are many significant benefits that depressed women can enjoy this method. Art can be a resource for restoring and maintaining mental balance in the lives of women. Art therapy should, therefore, be exploited to benefit women who are suffering from depression. This will ensure that their emotional health is restored by alleviating depression.

Works Cited

Bar-Sela, Gil, Lily Atid, Danos Sara, Gabay Naomi and Epelbaum Ron. “Art therapy improved depression and influenced fatigue levels in cancer patients on chemotherapy.” Psycho-Oncology 16.1 (2007): 980–984. Web.

Eisdell, Nicolette. “A Conversational Model of art therapy.” Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice 78.1 (2005): 1–19. Web.

Foster, Susan and Dorsey Alvin. “The use of the human figure drawing with pregnant women.” Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 21.4 (2003): 293–307. Web.

Glasgow, Brown. “Dancing through Depression.” Herizons Summer 54.1(2006): 28-32. Web.

Hughes, Edward and Mann Alicia. “A pilot study assessing art therapy as a mental health intervention for subfertile women.” Hum. Reprod 26.3 (2011): 611-615. Web.

Kapitan, Lynn. Introduction to Art Therapy Research. NY: Taylor & Francis, 2010. Print.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Women and Depression Fact Sheet. 2009. Web.

Professionalism And Ethics: Impacts Of Computers, Ethical Obligations And Information Awareness

Negative Impacts of Computers

One of the first negative impacts of computers and their related software that I would like to discuss can be seen in the arguments of Nicholas Carr in his book “The Shallows.” In it, Carr presents readers with the notion that the traditional method of reading books, essays and various other written works are superior to what is offered today on the internet (Carr 10). For Carr, the internet is a medium based on the concept of interruption where multitasking and rapid-fire reading is the norm rather than curious oddities (Carr 14). Reading short articles, responding to emails and chatting at the same time has become so ubiquitous with internet usage that most people barely give it a second thought. On the other hand, as Carr explains, this has resulted in people losing the ability to enter into a slow, contemplative method of thinking normally associated with reading novels in print (Carr 20). A crowding out effect can be seen where people find it harder to concentrate on lengthy articles, books or essays and a growing preference has developed for short, rapid-fire articles which can be browsed within a few minutes. For Carr, the perceived value of the internet is one of human deterioration where people lose the ability for solitary, single-minded concentration in favor of rapid-fire multitasking. In essence, the argument of Carr represents the proliferation of thousands if not millions of websites solely devoted to brief articles that do not even reach the initial steps of literary heights reached by classical and modern-day literature found in various books, novels, and academic journals. The second negative impact of computers and their software comes in the form of the dissociative manner in which people communicate with one another and how people have begun to prefer emotionless convenience over traditional emotional conversations. The modern world can be described as a fast-paced and erratic environment where actions need to be done immediately unlike in previous eras where a person could take their time to think things through properly. As a result of this need to rapidly communicate, the internet has become a means by which people communicate with their loved ones, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances through email or even chatting. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that there has been a growing trend where people have begun to prefer the simple and immediate convenience of internet messaging rather than going to the person themselves and talking to them upfront. As a result, our society as a whole is continuing to foster an attitude of isolationism where simple face to face conversations are considered a slow and time-consuming action when the fast rapidity of the internet is preferable. The last of these negative impacts are seen in the creation of various MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), such software programs are intrinsically designed to capture person attention and keep it. The popular online RPG World of Warcraft has aspects that were designed by psychologists to encourage addiction to the game itself. Unfortunately not only has this resulted in people wasting their times online it has created an entire age group of individuals that define themselves not by what relationships they develop through regular social interaction but rather with the people they meet online which further fosters enhancement of the distinctly isolationist tendencies begun by trends in online internet messaging. The situation where people feel isolated and prefer online content rather what is present in the real world is similar to the concept of the red pill and blue pill from the movie “The Matrix.” In it the character Morpheus gives people the option to either see the truth or remain in a fantasy world; for many individuals devoted to online content, they would prefer to remain in their fantasies rather than accept reality. One method of preventing this would be to limit the overall time people can spend online however because most people are free to do what they want such a method is largely ineffective and to this day remains one of the leading causes for the continuing trend in social isolation. It is due to this that I have become disillusioned over the progress of technology as such I have become a technological pessimist rather than an optimist as a result of this continued trend of social isolation that continues to persist in our society as a result of computers and various software programs.

Ethical Obligations

There is one fact that remains true and unchanging in this ever-shifting world, and it is this: “not everything you read or see on the internet can be considered the cold hard fact.” For every fact that is posted online there are hundreds of other online articles that say and mean the exact opposite of what was stated. Ethical obligation towards the presentation of facts only applies when it deals with a professional presentation, project or paper that will be relied upon as a source of accurate information. Personal websites or blogs are not meant as a credible source of information despite various individuals claiming them to be so. In terms of ethical obligations, there does not seem to be anything particularly wrong in posting something inaccurate on a personal site so long as the readers understand that not everything they read is wholly accurate. The ethical obligation only comes into play when the website/websites in question are meant for other purposes beyond that of personal use such as a way to educate particular people about a topic. It is only then that some measure of ethical obligation does come into play, but there is no enforcing principle behind it.

Information Awareness

In his book “Cognitive Surplus” Clay Shirky explains that the internet acts as an open platform for a contribution where user-driven content and collaboration drives social and cultural development (Shirky 5). Collaborative efforts such as Wikipedia, Wiki’s and social networking sites such as blogs, twitter, and online message boards all contribute to utilizing the aptly named cognitive surplus towards creating an ever-increasing amount of user-driven content that contributes towards societal development. As such content available on facebook, twitter, myspace, etc., is considered a way in which a person either positively or negatively impacts societal development through his or her unique contributions (Shirky 15). A company needs to know this kind of information to better evaluate a person as a potential candidate for employment since what they contribute to society determines what they will contribute to the company. As such the practice of checking up on people to see if they are a positive force for society is in a way ethical since it does safeguard the integrity of the company. While a certain type of information should remain private, contributions of various individuals such as blog posts and twitter feeds are in the public domain, and as such, it is by their own choice that it becomes public, no one forced them to post it online.

Works Cited

Carr, Nicholas. What the Internet is Doing to our Brains The Shallows. New York:

Norton & Company, 2010. eBook.

Shirky, Clay. Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. New

York: Penguin Press, 2010. eBook.

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