Research help on health disparities, and health equity terms and history
June 14, 2014 12:31 PM   Subscribe

I am doing research on health disparities, and health equity. I would like to find out when the following terms were first used in the US, or in what fields/disciplines: Health Disparities, Health Inequities, Health Inequalities. I would also like to find references to historical works which talk about these concepts, although not using the exact phrases. The earliest mention of health disparities I have found thus far, with a reference librarian, is 1991 Whitehead. Although I know the term has been employed prior to this date. I also know that W.E.B DuBois has written about about health differences experienced by blacks in Philadelphia as compared to whites. And Engels has written about inequalities due to SES. However, I would like more sources, and the reference librarian and I are stumped. At this point, we are not finding what I am looking for in articles and therefore the reference librarian suggested I started looking in books, we are just not sure where to start. Thanks Hivemind! Any creative ideas to find this information are much appreciated!
posted by TRUELOTUS to Education (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So you looked at who DuBois, etc cited or referred to?

Have you tried searching in google books for those specific phrases?

Also JSTOR goes back pretty far and searches full text, so try that if you haven't.

You might try looking at older works about poverty and people who are poor. Who were the doctors and nurses working with poor people, whether in rural or urban areas?

Also, do you have access to a university library? You might try the database History of Science, Medicine, and Technology.

You might also try reading a bit about the history of epidemiology to see if that gets you anywhere.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2014

A search of Pubmed for the text word "health disparities" found this 1986 manuscript that uses the term right there in the abstract.

I'd try different variations of this strategy with your keywords, limiting to dates older than 1990 so that you don't have too much chaff to wade through. Google scholar found an article by Buehler et al in Public Health Reports from 1989.

Also, once you find an oldish reference, you could see if any of the authors of any of these pieces are still around, and just call or email them and ask!
posted by gubenuj at 1:15 PM on June 14, 2014

NIH has the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Library of Medicine -- perhaps reach out to them to see if try can help?
posted by NikitaNikita at 2:34 PM on June 14, 2014

Just started reading this 2013 release from University of Minnesota Press that might have some leads for you -- Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination by Alondra Nelson
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:22 PM on June 15, 2014

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