Disparities in access to care in marginalized populations

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The current article reviews recent literature related to three groups whose health is affected by barriers to the healthcare system: refugee and immigrant populations; youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning; and those with mental health problems.

Recent findings

Refugee and immigrant populations are increasing worldwide, and recent work has focused on improving their access to mental, dental, and preventive care. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning youth have unique healthcare needs but frequently lack a support system and may not be forthcoming about their sexuality or sex identity. A rising number of children are being diagnosed with mental health disorders, but due to multiple factors, youth are not receiving the care they need.

Summary

Pediatric healthcare providers should be aware of the unique challenges faced by youth displaced from their country of origin, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender or are questioning their sexuality or sex identity, and who struggle with mental health disorders. Toolkits, other educational resources, and novel technological advances can assist pediatricians in ensuring optimal health care of these at-risk groups.

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