Surveys of dental health among Aboriginal children in Canada, using scales such as the Decayed, Missing, and Filled Teeth (DMFT) score, indicate that Aboriginal children have 2 to 3 times poorer oral health compared with other populations. A remote First Nations community approached requested assistance in addressing the health of their children. The objective was to work with the community to improve oral health and knowledge among school children. The hypothesis formulated was that after 3 years of the program there would be a significant decrease in dmft/DMFT (primary/permanent) score.
This was a cross-sectional study of all school-aged children in a small, remote First Nations community. Pre- and post- intervention evaluation of oral health was conducted by a dentist not involved in the study. The intervention consisted of a school-based program with daily brush-ins, fluoride application, educational presentations, and a recognition/incentive scheme.
Twenty-six children were assessed prior to the intervention, representing 45% of the 58 children then in the community. All 40 children in the community were assessed following the intervention. Prior to the intervention, 8% of children were cavity free. Following 3 years of the intervention, 32% were cavity free. Among the 13 children assessed both pre- and post-intervention, dmft/DMFT score improved significantly (p
Sustainable food systems are those in which diverse foods are produced in close proximity to a market. A dynamic, adaptive knowledge base that is grounded in local culture and geography and connected to outside knowledge resources is essential for such food systems to thrive. Sustainable food systems are particularly important to remote and Aboriginal communities, where extensive transportation makes food expensive and of poorer nutritional value. The Learning Garden program was developed and run with two First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario. With this program, the team adopted a holistic and experiential model of learning to begin rebuilding a knowledge base that would support a sustainable local food system. The program involved a series of workshops held in each community and facilitated by a community-based coordinator. Topics included cultivated gardening and forest foods. Results of survey data collected from 20 Aboriginal workshop participants are presented, revealing a moderate to low level of baseline knowledge of the traditional food system, and a reliance on the mainstream food system that is supported by food values that place convenience, ease, and price above the localness or cultural connectedness of the food. Preliminary findings from qualitative data are also presented on the process of learning that occurred in the program and some of the insights we have gained that are relevant to future adaptations of this program.
BACKGROUND: In Sweden, the incidence of malignant melanoma of the skin is rapidly increasing, and the disease is now one of the ten most common tumor types. The objectives were to apply multimedia techniques to increase public knowledge about malignant melanoma and its risk factors, to increase awareness of preventive measures, and to make people more disposed to change their sunbathing habits. METHODS: A trilingual (Swedish, English, and German) multimedia program was developed for two target groups, health care personnel and the general public, with a total of >500 "pages" in each language. User reactions were studied on-site at a municipal pharmacy and library, where the program was available in a kiosk with touch-screen. RESULTS: Practically all 274 users interviewed found the program easy to use and understand. 92% identified one or more of the recommendations given. 66% found the program information "worrying," and 29%--mainly young women-instantly declared that they were going to change their sun-exposure behaviors. No correlation to skin type was found. CONCLUSIONS: A multimedia program of the present design seems to be a useful tool for health promotion.
This paper describes some of our personal efforts to launch research projects that address public health issues of interest to geographers in the United States, Canada and Britain. In pressing these agendas we have found through our experiences that there are personal and disciplinary costs associated with activism. We describe the loss of identity with geography; the frustration of trying to persuade bench scientists, corporate representatives, and government officials of the importance of our work; the loss of research time and contact with both our academic colleagues and students.
This paper describes the follow-up phase of a pilot collaborative initiative between the University of Papua New Guinea and James Cook University aimed at determining the relevance of an Indigenous Australian Family Wellbeing (FWB) empowerment program in the context of Papua New Guinea (PNG). It describes opportunities and challenges involved in adapting and sustaining the FWB approach to the PNG context. Two evaluation questionnaires were administered to 60 course participants.
Findings revealed that the course was relevant, adaptable and could readily be integrated with other health programs. In the context of PNG's target to meet its United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015, the Family Wellbeing approach offers an innovative approach to enhance existing health and community development initiatives.
Tobacco use among American Indian youth is a disproportionately significant problem. We adapted and modified an existing web-based and youth-focused tobacco control program to make it appropriate for young urban American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). The results of the focus group indicate that AI/AN youth were very receptive to the use of a web-based Zine-style intervention tool. They wanted the look and feel of the website to be more oriented toward their cultural images. Future research should examine if successful programs for reducing non-ceremonial tobacco use among urban AI/AN youth can keep young irregular smokers from becoming adult smokers.
Self-efficacy has been found to be an important precondition for behavioral change in sedentary people. The current study examined the effectiveness and added value of including a 15-minute self-efficacy coaching at the start of a 12-week lifestyle physical activity (PA) program.
Participants were randomly assigned to a standard-intervention group (without additional self-efficacy coaching, N = 116) or extra-intervention group (with additional self-efficacy coaching, N = 111). Body mass index (BMI), cardiovascular fitness, self-reported PA, and self-efficacy beliefs were assessed at baseline and immediately after the intervention period. Perceived adherence to the PA program was assessed postintervention.
At posttest, a significant increase in cardiovascular fitness and decrease in BMI were found in both groups. Significant intervention effects emerged on PA behavior, self-efficacy, and program adherence, in favor of the extra-intervention group. Self-efficacy mediated the intervention effect on program adherence whereas no evidence was found for its role as mediator of PA change.
Adding a 15-minute self-efficacy coaching at the start of a lifestyle PA program is a promising strategy to enhance the intervention effects on PA behavior, self-efficacy beliefs, and program adherence. However, the role of self-efficacy as mediator of the intervention effect on in PA was not fully supported.
A substantial challenge in addressing adolescent tobacco use is that smoking behaviors occur in complex environments that involve the school setting and larger community context.
This study provides an integrated description of factors from the school and community environment that affect youth smoking and explains variation in individual smoking behaviors both within and across schools/communities.
Data were collected from 82 randomly sampled secondary schools in five Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Labrador) during the 2003-2004 school year. Cross-sectional data were obtained from students; school administrators (school-based tobacco control policies and programs); and from observations in the community. In 2009, hierarchic logistic regression was used to model the role of individual, school, and community variables in predicting student smoking outcomes.
Students who attended a school with a focus on tobacco prevention (OR=0.87, 95% CI=0.81, 0.94) and stronger policies prohibiting tobacco use (OR=0.92, 95% CI=0.88, 0.97) were less likely to smoke than students who attended a school without these characteristics. A student was more likely to smoke if a greater number of students smoked on the school periphery (OR=1.25, 95% CI=1.07, 1.47). Within the community, price per cigarette (OR=0.91, 95% CI=0.84, 0.99) and immigrants (OR=0.99, 95% CI=0.98, 0.99) were inversely related to students' smoking status.
The results suggest that school and community characteristics account for variation in smoking levels across schools. Based on the current findings, the ideal school setting that supports low student smoking levels is located in a neighborhood where the cost of cigarettes is high, provides tobacco prevention education, and has a policy prohibiting smoking.
Comment In: Am J Prev Med. 2010 Dec;39(6):609-1021084083
To evaluate the impact of a smoke-free class competition in elementary schools in Québec, Canada before widespread dissemination of the program across the province.
In a quasiexperimental study design, 843 students in 27 schools exposed to "Mission TNT.06" were compared to 1213 students in 57 matched comparison schools. Baseline data were collected in grade 6 prior to implementation of the program. Follow-up data were collected in grade 7 after students had transitioned to secondary school.
The program improved knowledge about the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, but had no impact on knowledge about the harmful effects of smoking, attitudes about the acceptability of cigarettes, beliefs about the tobacco industry, or self-efficacy to resist peer pressure to smoke. After exposure to the program, intervention students were more likely to misreport their smoking status and to report unfavourable attitudes about classmates who smoke.
Mission TNT.06 may encourage young smokers to misreport their smoking status and to marginalise classmates who smoke. These findings prompted recommendations to conduct more in-depth evaluation of the smoke-free class competition before widespread dissemination of the program across the province.