An article published in Translational Behavioral Medicine explores the role of behavioral medicine in addressing climate change-related health inequities.
“Structural racism has led to longstanding health inequities for communities that have been subjected to marginalization. Climate change is exacerbating these longstanding health inequities for frontline communities – which are those communities that are hit first and worst by climate change,” said Kristi White, PHD, LP, ABPP, an assistant professor and clinical health psychologist at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “We as behavioral medicine professionals have an important role to play in addressing climate-related health inequities in our research, clinical and other professional practices.”
The article highlights six strategies with the greatest potential for addressing climate-related health inequities:
Adopt standards for the measurement and reporting of race as a sociopolitical construct in all behavioral medicine research and practices, including those directed at addressing climate change.
Operationalize the concept of structural racism in all behavioral medicine research and practices, including those directed at addressing climate change.
Incorporate environmental justice efforts into behavioral medicine research and practices.
Center the voices of communities targeted for marginalization in all behavioral medicine research and practices, including those that address climate and environmental justice.
Prioritize policy action on climate change and health equity.
Identify effective communication strategies to foster action on climate change and health equity issues.
Researchers say future studies should be aimed at dismantling structural racism, incorporating environmental justice efforts, and identifying effective communication strategies that promote action on climate change and health equity.
About the University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. We acknowledge that the U of M Medical School, both the Twin Cities campus and Duluth campus, is located on traditional, ancestral and contemporary lands of the Dakota and the Ojibwe, and scores of other Indigenous people, and we affirm our commitment to tribal communities and their sovereignty as we seek to improve and strengthen our relations with tribal nations. For more information about the U of M Medical School, please visit med.umn.edu.
Translational Behavioral Medicine
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The Role of Behavioral Medicine in Addressing Climate Change-Related Health Inequities
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