Recent research in the field of mental retardation has pointed to a better-defined population with exacting prevalence of the basic pathology and related disabilities. Advances in the areas of prevention and treatment have further reduced the prevalence and incidence of mental retardation. Current legislation and legislative procedures have led to a more equitable and fairer application of human rights to all citizens. However, discrepancies and ambiguities still remain with respect to interpretation of the spirit of the law as related to the retarded. Financial restraints and serious economic hardship have impacted on social and political attitudes and created two-tier systems of the rich and poor with the retarded referred to as "surplus population." This situation has, in turn, influenced the availability of resources, manpower, training, and research in this field. The future could be brighter if sociologic and philosophic changes parallel technologic advances. It is our duty and commitment to continue and further the developments in all spheres relevant to the retarded in order to maximize human potential whenever possible.
Advances in medical technology now permit children who need ventilator assistance to live at home rather than in hospitals or institutions. What does this ventilator-dependent life mean to children and their families? The impetus for this essay comes from a study of the moral experience of 12 Canadian families--parents, ventilator-dependent child, and well siblings. These families express great love for their children, take on enormous responsibilities for care, live with uncertainty, and attempt to create "normal" home environments. Nevertheless, they experience social isolation, sometimes even from their extended families and health care providers. Their lives are constrained in many ways. The challenges faced by parents of technology-dependent children raise questions of justice within society and within families.
This ethnographic study describes the results of a collaborative journaling process that occurred between a student and his instructor of a second-year social work communications course. Many questions from the student's and the instructor's perspectives are raised regarding accommodating the student with a severe speech impairment in a course that specifically focuses on communication skills. Preliminary recommendations are made for social work students and professionals with communication limitations, and for social work educators.
Although canadian seniors enjoy economic security and good health and have made substantial gains in recent decades, this well-being is not equally shared among socioeconomic groups and between men and women. As for younger age groups, income predicts health status in later life, but less powerfully. Potential alternative explanations include an overriding influence of the aging process, the subjective effects of income loss at retirement and the attenuation of the poverty gap owing to public retirement income. Older women are more likely to age in poverty than men, to live alone and to depend on inadequately resourced chronic health care and social services. These differences will hold as well for the next cohort of seniors in Canada. Addressing these disparities in health requires a comprehensive, multisectoral approach to health that is embodied in Canada's population health model. Application of this model to reduce these disparities is described, drawing upon the key strategies of the population health approach, recent federal government initiatives and actions recommended to the government by federal commissions.
Primary health care (PHC) renewal was designed explicitly to attend to the multidimensional factors impacting on health, including the social determinants of health. These determinants are central considerations in the development of integrated, cross-sectoral, and multi-jurisdictional policies such as those that inform models of shared mental health care for children. However, there are complex theoretical challenges in translating these multidimensional issues into policy. One of these is the rarely discussed interrelationships among the social determinants of health and identities such as race, gender, age, sexuality, and social class within the added confluence of geographic contexts. An intersectionality lens is used to examine the complex interrelationships among the factors affecting child mental health and the associated policy challenges surrounding PHC renewal. The authors argue that an understanding of the intersections of social determinants of health, identity, and geography is pivotal in guiding policy-makers as they address child mental health inequities using a PHC renewal agenda.
Erratum In: Can J Nurs Res. 2010 Dec;42(4):2 p preceding table of contents
The reinstatement of social activism as a central feature of nursing practice has been advocated by nursing scholars and is consistent with contemporary conceptualizations of primary health care and health promotion that are rooted in critical social theory's concept of empowerment. Advocacy oral history from a feminist postmodern perspective offers a method of research that has the potential and purpose to empower participants to transform their political and social realities and may, therefore, be considered social activism. A recent study of public health nurses who had experienced significant distress through the reduction and redirection of their practice is provided as an exemplar of advocacy oral history. Philosophies underpinning the research method and characteristics of feminist postmodern research are reviewed and implications for the use of this methodology for social activism in nursing are drawn.
This paper tests two competing hypotheses on the relationship between age, SES, and health inequality at the cohort/population level. The accumulation hypothesis predicts that the level of SES-based health inequality, and consequently the overall level of health inequality, within a cohort progressively increases as it ages. The divergence-convergence hypothesis predicts that these inequalities increase only up to early-old age then decrease. Data from a Canadian national health survey are used in this study, and are adjusted for SES-biases in mortality. Bootstrap methods are employed to assess the statistical precision and significance of the results. The Gini coefficient is used to estimate change in the overall level of health inequality with age, and the Concentration coefficient estimates the contribution of SES-based health inequalities to this change. Health is measured using the Health Utilities Index, and income and education provide the measure of SES. First, the findings show that the Gini coefficient progressively increases from 0.048 (95% CI: 0.045, 0.051) at ages 15-29 to 0.147 (95% CI: 0.131, 0.163) at ages 80+. Second, the data reveal that health inequalities between SES groups (Concentration coefficients for income and education) tend to follow a similar pattern of divergence. Together these findings provide support for the accumulation hypothesis. A notable implication of the study's findings is that the level of health inequality increases when compensating for age-specific socio-economic differences in mortality. These selective effects of mortality should be considered in future research on health inequalities and the lifecourse.