The Pew Internet Project‘s sample sizes for health surveys have been too small to do in-depth analysis on race/ethnicity and economic status. One challenge is that a significant portion of the respondent pool refuses to answer the household income question (the refusal rate can be as high as 20%). So we use education levels as a proxy.

But the Pew Internet Project and other groups do have resources to share regarding minority populations, however you want to define them.


Browse through all of the Project’s reports and presentations to see if we mention your particular research interest (older Americans, those with low access to technology, those living with disability, rural residents…)

Take a look at the chart on p. 4 in “Online Health Search 2006” (our most recent general-population report on health).

Download the raw data sets for the August 2006 survey and dig into the variables yourself (caution: you’ll need SPSS).

View our “access thermometers,” which show disparities in cell phone ownership, basic internet, and home broadband access. (Previously blogged about here.)

Our sister organization, the Pew Hispanic Center, is finishing up a report on Latino health knowledge, communication, and relationship to health care. Sign up for their email updates to get the early word on their research.

At the Information Therapy conference, I heard presentations from all sorts of entities who are serving the “underserved”: Silverlink, Eliza, John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, GroupHealth Cooperative, Healthwise, MedEncentive, and HHS.

I also met individuals who have on-the-ground knowledge about minority access to health care and health information: Warren Jones, who directs the Mississippi Institute for the Improvement of Geographical Minority Health; Janet Taylor, who blogs at Be Well in Color; Elisa Stomski of Anthem Blue Cross, who presented data about how Spanish-dominant Latinos have a “thirst” for information about cancer screenings and diabetes care; and Chris Gibbons, who said the de facto second opinion among African Americans is someone in their family — and health care should start where the patient is, not where the expert is.

Read George Lauer’s conference review for more details and examples. Stay tuned to the IxCenterBlog for updates on conference presentations — there was a whole day devoted to health disparities. Read what Ted Eytan has tagged “disparities” on his blog.

What other resources are available? What other minority groups should be on my radar screen? Please add to my list in the comments!

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