Health disparities associated with chronic illness experiences of black men demonstrate widespread, systematic failures to meet an urgent need. Well-established social and behavioral determinants that have led to health disparities among black men include racism, discrimination, and stress. While advocacy work that includes community-engagement and tailoring health promotion strategies have shown local impact, evidence shows the gaps are increasing. We suspect that failure to reduce current disparities may be due to conventional public health interventions and programs; therefore, we submit that innovative interventions, ones that embrace digital technologies and their ability to harness naturally occurring social networks within groups, like black men, have particular importance and deserve attention. This commentary characterizes the current literature on chronic illness among black men as well as health interventions that use digital technology, to build a case for expanding research in this area to reduce the overwhelming burden of chronic illness among black men.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Chanc E VanWinkle Orzell and Nicole Beaudoin and members of the Dartmouth Learning Lab for their comments on the early drafts of this commentary. The open access publishing fees for this article have been partially covered by the Texas A&M University Open Access to Knowledge Fund (OAKFund), supported by the University Libraries and the Office of the Vice President for Research.
© Stuart W Grande, Ledric D Sherman.
- Black men
- Chronic illness
- Digital health