Research Topic

Health (in)Equity - examinations of the role of culture and trust

About this Research Topic

Cultural and linguistic diversity, socioeconomic differences in healthcare utilization, to the technologisation of health and degree of empowerment of patients to make their own decision, all these issues raised awareness on how inseparable health is from culturally affected perceptions of wellbeing and integration, and how understanding culture is imperative to the advancement of health worldwide. A comprehensive definition of “culture” in the context of public health was only recently provided by the Lancet Commissions defining culture “as the shared, overt and covert understandings that constitute conventions and practices, and the ideas, symbols, and concrete artifacts that sustain conventions and practices, and make them meaningful”. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has provided us with an insight on the role of trust in the relationship between culture and health. In fact, it is thought that the ‘epidemic of mistrust’ had indeed become a global crisis threatening to characterize public perceptions of healthcare.

The issue of trust and health was especially highlighted amongst those living in the most deprived regions, communities or neighborhood, as well as people from minority racial and ethnic communities. As such it is considered that past experiences and other forms of knowledge (including culture) influence the degree of current trust in another (such as in patient-doctor relationship). Thus, failure to adequately and timely address this issue may worsen health inequity and outcomes of vulnerable groups, which could be exacerbated during another future pandemic. If addressed timely, the development of health systems and approaches that are sensitive to cultural characteristics would result in building a feeling of trust and inclusion with multiple positive consequences for the health of the patients, their families and the communities in which they live.

This Research Topic will provide a contribution to the field by including articles that analyze health inequality and inequity through acknowledging the role of culture to the concepts of trust and health, such as health inequities, cultural determinants of health, understanding of wellbeing, cultural diversity in healthcare, cultural competence in healthcare, relationship centered care, etc.

Potential themes may include:
1. Cultural and social origins of health inequity
2. Impact of science and technology on wellbeing and trust in healthcare
3. Intra and Inter--cultural variations in the understanding and believes regarding health and trust
4. Impact of culture on health outcomes
5. Children and families of minority groups: a life-course approach to health disparities
6. addressing implicit bias in doctor-patient relationships
7. Diverse workforce – a key to bridging the “trust gap”?
8. Health equity leadership
9. Building health equity partnerships between communities and healthcare


Keywords: health, inequity, culture, trust, vulnerable groups, race, ethnicity, religion, health literacy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Cultural and linguistic diversity, socioeconomic differences in healthcare utilization, to the technologisation of health and degree of empowerment of patients to make their own decision, all these issues raised awareness on how inseparable health is from culturally affected perceptions of wellbeing and integration, and how understanding culture is imperative to the advancement of health worldwide. A comprehensive definition of “culture” in the context of public health was only recently provided by the Lancet Commissions defining culture “as the shared, overt and covert understandings that constitute conventions and practices, and the ideas, symbols, and concrete artifacts that sustain conventions and practices, and make them meaningful”. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has provided us with an insight on the role of trust in the relationship between culture and health. In fact, it is thought that the ‘epidemic of mistrust’ had indeed become a global crisis threatening to characterize public perceptions of healthcare.

The issue of trust and health was especially highlighted amongst those living in the most deprived regions, communities or neighborhood, as well as people from minority racial and ethnic communities. As such it is considered that past experiences and other forms of knowledge (including culture) influence the degree of current trust in another (such as in patient-doctor relationship). Thus, failure to adequately and timely address this issue may worsen health inequity and outcomes of vulnerable groups, which could be exacerbated during another future pandemic. If addressed timely, the development of health systems and approaches that are sensitive to cultural characteristics would result in building a feeling of trust and inclusion with multiple positive consequences for the health of the patients, their families and the communities in which they live.

This Research Topic will provide a contribution to the field by including articles that analyze health inequality and inequity through acknowledging the role of culture to the concepts of trust and health, such as health inequities, cultural determinants of health, understanding of wellbeing, cultural diversity in healthcare, cultural competence in healthcare, relationship centered care, etc.

Potential themes may include:
1. Cultural and social origins of health inequity
2. Impact of science and technology on wellbeing and trust in healthcare
3. Intra and Inter--cultural variations in the understanding and believes regarding health and trust
4. Impact of culture on health outcomes
5. Children and families of minority groups: a life-course approach to health disparities
6. addressing implicit bias in doctor-patient relationships
7. Diverse workforce – a key to bridging the “trust gap”?
8. Health equity leadership
9. Building health equity partnerships between communities and healthcare


Keywords: health, inequity, culture, trust, vulnerable groups, race, ethnicity, religion, health literacy


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 August 2021 Abstract
13 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 August 2021 Abstract
13 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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