Long-term measures to reduce tobacco consumption in Australia have had differential effects in the population. The prevalence of smoking in Aboriginal peoples is currently more than double that of the non-Aboriginal population. Aboriginal Health Workers are responsible for providing primary health care to Aboriginal clients including smoking cessation programs. However, Aboriginal Health Workers are frequently smokers themselves, and their smoking undermines the smoking cessation services they deliver to Aboriginal clients. An understanding of the barriers to quitting smoking experienced by Aboriginal Health Workers is needed to design culturally relevant smoking cessation programs. Once smoking is reduced in Aboriginal Health Workers, they may then be able to support Aboriginal clients to quit smoking.
We undertook a fundamental qualitative description study underpinned by social ecological theory. The research was participatory, and academic researchers worked in partnership with personnel from the local Aboriginal health council. The barriers Aboriginal Health Workers experience in relation to quitting smoking were explored in 34 semi-structured interviews (with 23 Aboriginal Health Workers and 11 other health staff) and 3 focus groups (n = 17 participants) with key informants. Content analysis was performed on transcribed text and interview notes.
Aboriginal Health Workers spoke of burdensome stress and grief which made them unable to prioritise quitting smoking. They lacked knowledge about quitting and access to culturally relevant quitting resources. Interpersonal obstacles included a social pressure to smoke, social exclusion when quitting, and few role models. In many workplaces, smoking was part of organisational culture and there were challenges to implementation of Smokefree policy. Respondents identified inadequate funding of tobacco programs and a lack of Smokefree public spaces as policy level barriers. The normalisation of smoking in Aboriginal society was an overarching challenge to quitting.
Aboriginal Health Workers experience multilevel barriers to quitting smoking that include personal, social, cultural and environmental factors. Multidimensional smoking cessation programs are needed that reduce the stress and burden for Aboriginal Health Workers; provide access to culturally relevant quitting resources; and address the prevailing normalisation of smoking in the family, workplace and community.
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Research with Pride (RwP) was a community-student collaborative initiative to promote and build capacity for community-based research exploring health and wellness in lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) communities. The event took place at University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) in September 2009, and engaged over 100 students, community members and academic researchers in a full day of discussion, learning and networking. RwP was initiated by a group of graduate students in Health Promotion who identified a gap in resources addressing LGBTQ health, facilitating their further learning and work in this area. By engaging in a partnership with a community service organization serving LGBTQ communities in downtown Toronto, RwP emerges as a key example of the role of community-student partnerships in the pursuit of LGBTQ health promotion. This paper will describe the nature of this partnership, outline its strengths and challenges and emphasize the integral role of community-student partnerships in health promotion initiatives.
Previous studies in Sweden have detected socioeconomic inequities in access to healthcare services. However, there is limited information regarding access in younger populations. The aim of this study was to explore vertical and horizontal inequities in access to healthcare services in young adults in the north of Sweden.
The study used data from the Health on Equal Terms survey (age group 16-24 years, n = 2726) for the health and healthcare variables and from national registers for the sociodemographic characteristics. Self-rated healthcare utilization was measured as visits to general practitioners, youth clinics and nurses. Crude and multivariable binomial regression analysis, stratified by sex, was used to assess vertical equity, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, and horizontal equity, adjusting for need variables.
Vertical inequity was detected for all three healthcare services (youth clinics, general practitioners and nurses), with variations for men and women. Horizontal inequities were also found for both men and women in relation to all three healthcare services.
These findings suggest that both vertical and horizontal inequities in access exist for young people in northern Sweden and that the associations between sociodemographic characteristics and healthcare utilization are complex and need further investigation.
Canada provides universal health insurance to all citizens, whereas 47 million Americans are uninsured. There has not been a study comparing access to emergency operative care between the 2 countries. As both countries contemplate changes in health care delivery, such comparisons are needed to guide health policy decisions. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not there is a difference in access to emergency operative care between Canada and the United States.
All patients diagnosed with acute appendicitis from 2001 to 2005 were identified in the Canadian Institute for Health Information database and the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Severity of appendicitis was determined by ICD-9 codes. Patients were further characterized by age, gender, insurance status, race, and socioeconomic status (SES; income). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the odds of appendiceal perforation at different levels of SES in each country.
There were 102,692 Canadian patients and 276,890 American patients with acute appendicitis. In Canada, there was no difference in the odds of perforation between income levels. In the United States, there was a significant, inverse relationship between income level and the odds of perforation. The odds of perforation in the lowest income quartile were significantly higher than the odds of perforation in the highest income bracket (odds ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-1.24).
The results suggest that access to emergency operative care is related to SES in the United States, but not in Canada. This difference could result from the concern over the ability to pay medical bills or the lack of a stable relationship with a primary care provider that can occur outside of a universal health care system.
To determine reproductive services offered to lesbian patients by Canadian fertility clinics, policies of practice, ease of access to these services, and sensitivity of clinics to this population of patients.
Survey sent to assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinic directors.
Academic medical center, university-based ethics institute.
The percentage of Canadian fertility clinics that will provide reproductive services to lesbian patients; services offered; the presence of clinic policies on lesbian care; and the presence on web sites of heteronormative material.
Completed surveys were received from 71% (24/34) of clinics. All clinics surveyed provided reproductive services to lesbian patients, with the exception of one clinic. Five of 24 (21%) clinics have a written policy on care for lesbian patients; 29% (7/24) will provide services to lesbian patients without prior investigations. All clinics will offer IUI and cycle monitoring to lesbian patients. Twenty-three of 24 clinics (96%) will offer IVF services when required. Fourteen of 32 clinic web sites (44%) make mention of lesbian patients and 27% (8/30) have heteronormative information only.
Lesbians encounter several barriers to accessing reproductive services in Canada. Addressing these issues could improve experiences of lesbian women and couples seeking care at fertility clinics.
Ethnic disparities in access to health care and health outcomes are well documented. It is unclear whether similar differences exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people with chronic kidney disease in Canada. We determined whether access to care differed between status Aboriginal people (Aboriginal people registered under the federal Indian Act) and non-Aboriginal people with chronic kidney disease.
We identified 106 511 non-Aboriginal and 1182 Aboriginal patients with chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m(2)). We compared outcomes, including hospital admissions, that may have been preventable with appropriate outpatient care (ambulatory-care-sensitive conditions) as well as use of specialist services, including visits to nephrologists and general internists.
Aboriginal people were almost twice as likely as non-Aboriginal people to be admitted to hospital for an ambulatory-care-sensitive condition (rate ratio 1.77, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.46-2.13). Aboriginal people with severe chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate
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Access to health care for undocumented migrant children and pregnant women confronts human rights and professional values with political and institutional regulations that limit services. In order to understand how health care professionals deal with these diverging mandates, we assessed their attitudes toward providing care to this population. Clinicians, administrators, and support staff (n = 1,048) in hospitals and primary care centers of a large multiethnic city responded to an online survey about attitudes toward access to health care services. Analysis examined the role of personal and institutional correlates of these attitudes. Foreign-born respondents and those in primary care centers were more likely to assess the present access to care as a serious problem, and to endorse broad or full access to services, primarily based on human rights reasons. Clinicians were more likely than support staff to endorse full or broad access to health care services. Respondents who approved of restricted or no access also endorsed health as a basic human right (61.1%) and child development as a priority (68.6%). A wide gap separates attitudes toward entitlement to health care and the endorsement of principles stemming from human rights and the best interest of the child. Case-based discussions with professionals facing value dilemmas and training on children's rights are needed to promote equitable practices and advocacy against regulations limiting services.
The public health care systems in the Nordic countries provide high quality care almost free of charge to all citizens. However, social inequalities in health persist. Previous research has, for example, documented substantial educational inequalities in cancer survival. We investigate to what extent this may be driven by differential access to and utilization of high quality treatment options. Quasi-experimental evidence based on the establishment of regional cancer wards indicates that (i) highly educated individuals utilized centralized specialized treatment to a greater extent than less educated patients and (ii) the use of such treatment improved these patients' survival.