Exploring Public Understanding of Health Equity: Considering Christianity and the Implications for Health Equity-Related Communication
Presented by Margaret Tait
HSRP&A Doctoral Candidate
Division of Health Policy & Management
Government agencies, health care companies, and public health advocacy organizations alike are pursuing health equity. While definitions of and approaches to health equity vary, there is a common limitation of these efforts: minimal evidence of how to effectively communicate about health equity and what values, attitudes, and beliefs may be most salient to signal in communication. Communication about health equity that is poorly understood and fails to resonate misses the opportunity to motivate support for necessary health and social policy reform.
In this seminar, Tait will present research focusing on one segment of the population – Christians – and their views of health equity and support for health and social policy. Around 65% of the U.S. population identifies as a Christian and members of Congress increasingly appeal to Christian values in public policymaking. Despite this, little research has explored health equity-related attitudes and beliefs among individuals who identify as Christian. This seminar will include the results of a recent survey-based experiment testing the effects of messages that appeal to health equity on support for paid leave policy among Christians. This evidence is necessary to fill gaps in the academic and grey literatures of how to talk about health equity in ways that resonate with different segments of the population and motivate support for equitable health and social policy reform.