OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: Aboriginals constitute a substantial portion of the population of Northern Alberta. Determinants such as poverty and education can compound health-care accessibility barriers experienced by Aboriginals compared to non-Aboriginals. A diabetes care enhancement study involved the collection of baseline and follow-up data on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal patients with known type 2 diabetes in two rural communities in Northern Alberta. Analyses were conducted to determine any demographic or clinical differences existing between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. METHODS: 394 diabetes patients were recruited from the Peace and Keeweetinok Lakes health regions. 354 self-reported whether or not they were Aboriginal; a total of 94 self-reported being Aboriginal. Baseline and follow-up data were collected through interviews, standardized physical assessments, laboratory testing and self-reporting questionnaires (RAND-12 and HUI3). RESULTS: Aboriginals were younger, with longer duration of diabetes, more likely to be female, and less likely to have completed high school. At baseline, self-reported health status was uniformly worse, but the differences disappeared with adjustments for sociodemographic confounders, except for perceived mental health status. Aboriginals considered their mental health status to be worse than non-Aboriginals at baseline. Some aspects of health utilization were also different. DISCUSSION: While demographics were different and some utilization differences existed, overall this analysis demonstrates that "Aboriginality" does not contribute to diabetes outcomes when adjusted for appropriate variables.
This study piloted a knowledge translation (KT) intervention promoting evidence-based home care through social interaction. A total of 33 providers organized into 5 heterogeneous, geographically defined action groups participated in 5 researcher-facilitated meetings based on the participatory action model. The KT evidence reflects an empowering partnership approach to service delivery. Exploratory investigation included quantitative pre-post measurement of outcomes and qualitative description of data, presented herein. The critical reflections of the groups reveal macro-, meso-, and micro-level barriers to and facilitators of KT as well as recommendations for achieving KT. Insights gleaned from the findings have informed the evolution of the KT intervention to engage all 3 levels in addressing barriers and facilitators, with a conscious effort to transcend "push" and "pull" tendencies and enact transformative leadership. The findings suggest the merit of a more prolonged longitudinal investigation with expanded participation.
This study aimed to (1) explore whether quality of life (QOL) is more associated with satisfaction with social participation (SP) than with level of accomplishment in SP and (2) examine respective correlates of accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP.
A cross-sectional design was used with a convenience sample of 155 older adults (mean age=73.7; 60% women) having various levels of activity limitations. Accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP (dependent variables) were estimated with the social roles items of the assessment of life habits. Potential correlates were human functioning components.
Correlations between QOL and accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP did not differ (P=0.71). However, best correlates of accomplishment level and satisfaction with SP were different. Higher accomplishment level of SP was best explained by younger age, activity level perceived as stable, no recent stressing event, better well-being, higher activity level, and fewer obstacles in "Physical environment and accessibility" (R2=0.79). Greater satisfaction with SP was best explained by activity level perceived as stable, better self-perceived health, better well-being, higher activity level, and more facilitators in "Social support and attitudes" (R2=0.51).
With some exceptions, these best correlates may be positively modified and thus warrant special attention in rehabilitation interventions.
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To address concerns about disruptions in the continuity of health care delivered to residents in three remote aboriginal communities in northern Ontario, Canada, the local health authority initiated a study in collaboration with the department of Health Canada responsible for ensuring that aboriginal reserves receive mandatory health services, and an inter-disciplinary team of researchers from two universities. The study focussed on the delivery of oncology, diabetes and mental health care, specifically, as well as systems issues such as recruitment and retention of health human resources and financial costs. The paper discusses the procedures involved, the benefits derived and the challenges encountered in doing this as a community driven participatory action research project. It also summarizes the findings that led to community formulated policy and program recommendations.
This study evaluates the use of in-person focus groups and online engagement within the context of a large public engagement initiative conducted in rural Newfoundland.
Participants were surveyed about their engagement experience and demographic information. Pre and post key informant interviews were also conducted with organizers of the initiative.
Of the 111 participants in the focus groups, 97 (87%) completed evaluation surveys; as did 23 (88%) out of 26 online engagement participants. Overall, focus group participants were positive about their involvement, with 87.4% reporting that they would participate in a similar initiative. Online participation was below expectations and these participants viewed their experience less positively than in-person participants. Organizers viewed the engagement initiative and the combined use of online and in-person engagement positively.
This study presents a real-world example of the use of two methods of engagement. It also highlights the importance of the successful execution of whatever engagement mechanism is selected.
The framework project of the Advisory Committee on Cancer Control (ACOCC), National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC), was based on the NCIC/ACOCC conceptual framework for bridging the gap between research and action. The project was carried out under the auspices of the Sociobehavioural Cancer Research Network (SCRN) of the NCIC. It focused on 3 research areas of cancer control research: smoking control, palliative care and screening for breast cancer. In this introductory paper, the criteria and methodology used for the framework project are described, the main features of the framework are outlined and the definitions of terms used in the framework are summarized. It was expected that the framework project would lead to a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the NCIC/ACOCC conceptual framework. The project was also expected to assist the SCRN in its ongoing efforts to develop and refine an action-oriented research agenda.
In the fall of 2007, the Government of Quebec set up a Public Consultation on Living Conditions of Seniors. Fifty sessions were held in 26 cities across all 17 regions of the province. More than 4000 seniors attended the sessions and 275 briefs were received from scientists and associations. Three themes were identified in the report published in 2008: supporting seniors and their caregivers, reinforcing the place of seniors in society, and preventing problems associated with aging (suicide, abuse, addictions). The main actions that I recommended included: Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement to prevent poverty; Modifying pension plans and working conditions to allow for progressive retirement; Making a major investment in home care to provide access to services regardless of place of residence; Introducing an Autonomy Support Benefit and autonomy insurance program for financing services to support people with disabilities; Generalizing an Integrated Service Delivery Network providing services to frail older people; Better training for professionals in gerontology. I also recommended setting up a National Policy on Seniors to align all government departments and agencies, municipalities and the private sector around a vision, objectives and a set of actions for improving the integration of seniors in an aging society. This would contribute to a more equitable, interdependent and wiser society. Unfortunately, the Government did not support these recommendations. It is now time for scientists to get involved in leading policy on seniors and in the political arena.
Population-wide sodium reduction strategies encourage consumer participation in lowering dietary sodium. This study aims to measure and rank consumers’ level of engagement in following 23 recommendations to reduce dietary sodium and to compare variation in level of consumers’ engagement by sociodemographic sub-groups. The study included 869 randomly selected participants of an online food panel survey from Ontario during November and December 2010. Rasch modelling was used for the analysis. Consumers were less likely to be engaged in 9 out of the 23 recommendations, in particular those related to avoiding foods higher in sodium and implementing sodium reduction strategies while eating in restaurants. Higher level of consumers’ engagement was observed in relation to food preparation practices, including use of low sodium ingredients. In comparison to the relevant reference group, men, older individuals, with lower educational level, single, and those who do not prepare food from scratch showed an overall lower level of engagement in following recommendations to lowering dietary sodium, particularly related to avoiding processed foods. These data provide novel insights and can inform public education campaigns, and highlight the need for interventions and programs targeted at the food supply that can assist consumers in lowering their sodium intake.