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Vulnerable Populations in the United States

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7778-8
300 pages
November 2004, Jossey-Bass
Vulnerable Populations in the United States (0787977780) cover image


" . . . an excellent primer for undergraduates and graduate students interested in vulnerable populations and health disparities." -- New England Journal of Medicine, July 7, 2005

"I have reviewed a number of books looking for meaningful content to help my students understand and work with vulnerable populations. This is the most comprehensive, yet understandable book on the topic." -- Doody's Reviews, 2005

". . .combines thoughtful, coherent theory with a large amount of information available in a single source. It will prove to be a valuable resource for policymakers, researchers, teachers, and students alike for years to come." -- Journal of the American Medical Association, April 20, 2005

Vulnerable Populations in the United States offers in-depth data on access to care, quality of care, and health status and updates and summarizes what is currently known regarding the pathways and mechanisms linking vulnerability with poor health and health care outcomes. Written by Leiyu Shi and Gregory D. Stevens, this book provides a coherent, well-integrated, general framework for the scientific study of vulnerable populations—a framework that is compatible with the focus of public health policy and the Healthy People initiative. The comprehensive volume Vulnerable Populations in the United States

  • Discusses the determinants of vulnerability using a broad framework that includes both social and individual determinants.
  • Portrays the mechanisms whereby vulnerability influences access, quality, and health status.
  • Summarizes the literature and provides empirical evidence of disparities in health care access, quality, and outcome for vulnerable populations.
  • Focuses on influences of individual risk factors and multiple risk factors .
  • Reviews programs currently in place for vulnerable populations.
  • Instructors material available.

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Table of Contents

Figures, Tables, and Exhibits.


About the Authors.

1. A General Framework to Study Vulnerable Populations.

2. The Community Determinants and Mechanisms of Vulnerability.

3. Disparities in Health Care Access, Quality, and Health Status: The Influence of Individual Risk Factors.

4. Disparities in Health Care Access, Quality, and Health Status: The Influence of Multiple Risk Factors.

5. Current Strategies to Serve Vulnerable Populations.

6. Resolving Disparities in the United States.



Name Index. Subject Index.

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Author Information

Leiyu Shi is co-director of the Johns Hopkins Primary Care Policy at the Center for the Underserved. He is associate professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Gregory D. Stevens is a senior researcher with the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities.

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“The issue of health disparities in the United States requires a major refocusing on our health care system and social justice. Addressing those disparities requires new ideas and new directions. Shi and Stevens provide much-needed guidance to policymakers challenged with providing solutions to this embarrassing issue in the United States.”
--F. Douglas Scutchfield, MD, Peter P Bosomworth Professor of Health Services Research and Policy, University of Kentucky
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Related Websites / Extra

Vulnerable PopulationsVisit Leiyu Shi and Gregory D. Steven's personal website for more information on their book Vulnerable Populations.
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