Preventive services have the potential to reduce health disparities; however, these services are underutilized, particularly among the underserved. Patients with low socioeconomic status and racial and ethnic minorities experience significant health disparities related to cancer and infectious and chronic diseases but face multilevel challenges accessing preventive care. The purpose of this article is to enhance understanding of preventive service utilization among underserved patients by providing an ecological framework that addresses factors at multiple levels that influence patient care. In addition to factors that directly impact the patient, the framework incorporates influences on the patient's experience of the health system.
School for the Science of Health Care Delivery, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix.
Correspondence: Bettie Coplan, MPAS, PA-C, School for the Science of Health Care Delivery, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, 550 North 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The author thanks Professor Elizabeth Reifsnider, PhD, RN, WHNP, PHCNS-BC, FAAN, for her editorial guidance and support.
The author declares no conflict of interest.