The implications for society of increasing life span to 120 years can only be guessed, but comparing the diversity of responses to aging in different countries may give insights into the possible effect. A European Union-funded study of the recipients of community care services in 11 European countries illustrates how such studies can help identify some of the issues. The study, made possible by the availability of a multidimensional standardized assessment for community care, illustrates how diversity of social and political history and culture results in widely different patterns of dependency in those cared for at home, different levels of formal care, and informal caregiver burden. There is wide variation in living arrangements, marital status, and dependency between countries. The average age of recipients of community care is approximately 82, regardless of the average age of the national population. In Italy, which has the oldest population in Europe, dependency in people supported at home in extended families is high, with little formal care and significant levels of informal caregiver burden. In contrast the Nordic countries have lower levels of dependency and greater proportions of people with no informal caregiver. In Germany, informal caregiver burden may be related to the regulatory mechanisms rather than dependency and levels of formal care. With a life expectancy of 120, it will be these 80-year-olds who will be caring for their parents. Although humankind is resourceful, it will require a unified approach to aging to overcome the challenging diversity in our societies.
To develop a methodology and an instrument that allow the simultaneous rapid and systematic examination of the broad public health context, the health care systems, and the features of disease-specific programmes.
Drawing on methodologies used for rapid situational assessments of vertical programmes for tackling communicable disease, we analysed programmes for the control human of immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and their health systems context in three regions in the Russian Federation. The analysis was conducted in three phases: first, analysis of published literature, documents and routine data from the regions; second, interviews with key informants, and third, further data collection and analysis. Synthesis of findings through exploration of emergent themes, with iteration, resulted in the identification of the key systems issues that influenced programme delivery.
We observed a complex political economy within which efforts to control HIV sit, an intricate legal environment, and a high degree of decentralization of financing and operational responsibility. Although each region displays some commonalities arising from the Soviet traditions of public health control, there are considerable variations in the epidemiological trajectories, cultural responses, the political environment, financing, organization and service delivery, and the extent of multisectoral work in response to HIV epidemics.
Within a centralized, post-Soviet health system, centrally directed measures to enhance HIV control may have varying degrees of impact at the regional level. Although the central tenets of effective vertical HIV programmes may be present, local imperatives substantially influence their interpretation, operationalization and effectiveness. Systematic analysis of the context within which vertical programmes are embedded is necessary to enhance understanding of how the relevant policies are prioritized and translated to action.
This paper discusses theoretical, methodological and political problems in the field of health promotion research. It argues that these problems result from a partial and contradictory appropriation of the discourse of new social movements. Politically, the health promotion movement is largely confined within the state, rather than the expression of a social movement against the state. The direction of health promotion research and policy is, therefore, caught in the bureaucratic logic of "trapped administrators", and results in contradictory emphases on problems like the development of "health promotion indicators", which show little result in informing a broader but coherent conceptualization of health, let alone in effecting change in health policy and outcomes. Such political problems reflect parallel confusions about theory and methodology. Theoretically, the field relies heavily on a critique of bio-medical science, but fails to move beyond a rhetorical outline of an alternative to systematic arguments about what promotes health. In this regard, the literature on health promotion remains unaware of important conceptual developments in the social sciences, relies on imprecise specifications of major constructs like community empowerment, and has no conception of the state. Methodologically, the literature is influenced by contradictory epistemological tendencies which reflect a positivist inspiration (as in the search for indicators) and an anti-positivist emphasis on agency and social change through the collective action and the discursive reconstitution of social identity, value and meaning. In regard to these questions, this paper is critical of observers who suggest that the way ahead is to embrace post-modern research strategies.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Comment In: Can J Public Health. 1992 Nov-Dec;83(6):4601286452
Up to now, the Swedish health care system has been used as a model for comparisons with other developed nations, chiefly in Northern Europe and the United States. This article departs from the mainstream and poses that similarities along the political factor of corporatism warrant a comparative analysis between the Swedish and Mexican cases. The most widely accepted definitions and typologies of corporatism are reviewed. The arena of manpower policy is used to illustrate the effects of alternative modes of interest representation on health care organization. The final aim of this comparative exercise is to enrich the empirical basis required to build a theory about the complex determinants of health care systems. State corporatism has acted in Mexico largely unchecked by geographical interest representation, in contrast with Sweden where centralist and decentralist forces are more balanced. This finding helps to understand why Sweden and Mexico mark extreme points along the health equity continuum. The comparison underscores the need for Sweden to avoid the risk of weakening the equity basis of its health care system as it moves along its current reform. The importance of these transformations go beyond Sweden, since they will undoubtedly offer new models of thinking and acting for the rest of the world.
Of a large sample of patients with paranoid psychoses consecutively admitted to the Psychiatric Department, University of Oslo, during a period after World War II, 10 patients (6.3%, 9 women and 1 man) became ill through accusations of unpatriotic conduct during the war. The psychosis seemed precipitated in connection with legal procedures against the patient in 3 cases, and against close relatives in 2 patients. In 2 cases mixed precipitating events were present, while the psychosis in 3 cases had a connection with the woman being intimate with occupation soldiers. Discharge diagnosis according to DSM-III was schizophrenia (n = 2), schizophreniform disorder (n = 4), schizoaffective disorder (n = 1), major depressive disorder (n = 1), mania (n = 1), and atypical psychosis (n = 1). The patients have been followed up twice, with a mean 31 years of observation. Course and outcome varied, mostly according to the diagnosis. Most patients had a favorable global outcome, although they had a tendency to keep up their social isolation. None of the patients felt they had done anything wrong or regretted their behavior during the war.
Following the German occupation during the Second World War, about 92,000 Norwegian citizens were charged with treason and 18,000 sentenced to imprisonment. The prosecution of offenders turned out to be far more extensive and lead to higher social cost than anticipated at the outset. Norway's pre-war prisons were designed to accommodate about 2,000 inmates. With a wave of arrest amounting to 14,000 within a few weeks, it was necessary to establish temporary jails and prison camps staffed by inexperienced guards seconded from the resistance movement and Norwegian military personnel trained in Sweden during the war. A number of infringements of prisoners' civil rights occurred and are recorded in a report from the Director General of Public Prosecution. Medical supervision was very incomplete and accidental. The main prison camp was one of the few regular medical services. Despite the general partial amnesty of 1948, most of the prisoners released during the first post-war years had great problems assimilating into society. As additional punishment, most lost their jobs and certain citizen's rights for a number of years, others had homes and property confiscated, and many became welfare cases.
Comment In: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1999 Aug 20;119(19):289310494220