To test the hypothesis that manual workers are at higher risk of death than are non-manual employees when living in municipalities with higher income inequality.
Hierarchical regression was used for the analysis were individuals were nested within municipalities according to the 1990 Swedish census. The outcome was all-cause mortality 1992-1998. The income measure at the individual level was disposable family income weighted against composition of family; the income inequality measure used at the municipality level was the Gini coefficient.
The study population consisted of 1 578 186 people aged 40-64 years in the 1990 Swedish census, who were being reported as unskilled or skilled manual workers, lower-, intermediate-, or high-level non-manual employees.
There was no significant association between income inequality at the municipality level and risk of death, but an expected gradient with unskilled manual workers having the highest risk and high-level non-manual employees having the lowest. However, in the interaction models the relative risk (RR) of death for high-level non-manual employees was decreasing with increasing income inequality (RR = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.63-0.93), whereas the corresponding risk for unskilled manual workers increased with increasing income inequality (RR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.06-1.46). The RRs for skilled manual, low- and medium- level non-manual employees were not significant. Controlling for income at the individual level did not substantially alter these findings, neither did potential confounders at the municipality level.
The findings suggest that there could be a differential impact from income inequality on risk of death, dependent on individuals' social position.
In 2000, with the implementation of Part III of the Adult Guardianship Act: Support and Assistance for Abused and Neglected Adults, British Columbia formally recognized the need to examine issues of decisional capacity of older adults within a context of abuse or neglect. Interestingly, however, although the test of capacity was clearly laid out under this piece of legislation, the potential influence that living in a situation of abuse or neglect may have on how the person makes decisions is not explicitly addressed. Similarly, this is a missing link throughout the literature discussing decisional capacity in older adults. This gap exists despite the fact that determining the "protection" needs of someone who is being abused and/or neglected often hinges directly on that person's decisional capacity. The purpose of this article is to examine the unique aspects associated with assessing and determining capacity for older adults who are living in a situation of abuse or neglect. The specific objectives are to: (a) examine how living in a situation of abuse or neglect may influence the determination of capacity and (b) explore the implications of conducting an assessment within a potentially abusive context. The legal notion of undue influence and the psychological concept of relational connection are introduced as potentially important for considering decision making within this context.
A number of studies have shown that poor self-rated health is more prevalent among people in poor, socially disadvantaged positions. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between self-rated health and social position in 10 deprived neighbourhoods.
A stratified random sample of 7,934 households was selected. Of these, 641 were excluded from the study because the residents had moved, died, or were otherwise unavailable. Of the net sample of 7,293 individuals, 1,464 refused to participate, 885 were not at home, and 373 did not participate for other reasons, resulting in an average response rate of 62.7%. Multiple logistic regression models were used to estimate the associations between the number of life resources and the odds of self-rated health and also between the type of neighbourhood and the odds of self-rated health.
The analysis shows that the number of life resources is significantly associated with having poor/very poor self-rated health for both genders. The results clearly suggest that the more life resources that an individual has, the lower the risk is of that individual reporting poor/very poor health.
The results show a strong association between residents' number of life resources and their self-rated health. In particular, residents in deprived rural neighbourhoods have much better self-rated health than do residents in deprived urban neighbourhoods, but further studies are needed to explain these urban/rural differences and to determine how they influence health.
Cites: Scand J Public Health. 2007;35(1):39-4717366086
Cites: Int J Epidemiol. 2007 Apr;36(2):348-5517182634
Health inequities among children in Sweden persist despite the country's well-developed welfare system and near universal access to the national child health care programme. A multisectoral extended home visiting intervention, based on the principles of proportionate universalism, has been carried out in a disadvantaged area since 2013. The present study investigates the content of the meetings between families and professionals during the home visits to gain a deeper understanding of how it relates to a health equity perspective on early childhood development.
Three child health care nurses documented 501 visits to the families of 98 children between 2013 and 2016. A qualitative data-driven conventional content analysis was performed on all data from the cycle of six visits per child, and a general content model was developed. Additional content analysis was carried out on the data from visits to families who experienced adverse situations or greater needs.
The analysis revealed that the home visits covered three main categories of content related to the health, care and development of the child; the strengthening of roles and relations within the new family unit; and the influence and support located in the broader external context around the family. The model of categories and sub-categories proved stable over all six visits. Families with extra needs received continuous attention to their additional issues during the visits, as well as the standard content described in the content model.
This study on home visiting implementation indicates that the participating families received programme content which covered all the domains of nurturing care as recommended by the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health and recent research. The content of the home visits can be understood to create enabling conditions for health equity effects. The intervention can be seen to represent a practical example of proportionate universalism.
Cites: BMC Public Health. 2011 Oct 20;11:821 PMID 22014291
Cites: BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 Jan 28;17 (1):91 PMID 28129751
Cycling is a major activity for adolescents in Canada and potential differences exist in bicycling-related risk and experience of injury by population subgroup. The overall aim of this study was to inform health equity interventions by profiling stratified analytic methods and identifying potential inequities associated with bicycle-related injury and the use of bicycle helmets among Canadian youth. The two objectives of this study were: (1) To examine national patterns in bicycle ridership and also bicycle helmet use among Canadian youth in a stratified analysis by potentially vulnerable population subgroups, and (2) To examine bicycling-related injury in the same population subgroups of Canadian youth in order to identify possible health inequities.
Data for this study were obtained from the 6th cycle (2009/10) of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, which is a general health survey that was completed by 26,078 students in grades 6-10 from 436 Canadian schools. Based on survey responses, we determined point prevalence for bicycle ridership, bicycle helmet use and relative risks for bicycling-related injury.
Three quarters of all respondents were bicycle riders (n=19,410). Independent factors associated with bicycle ridership among students include being male, being a younger student, being more affluent, and being a resident of a small town. Among bicycle riders, 43% (95%CI ± 0.6%) reported never wearing and 32% (± 0.6%) inconsistently wearing a helmet. Only 26% (± 0.5%) of students reported always wearing a bicycle helmet. Helmets were less frequently used among older students and there were also important patterns by sex, geographic location and socioeconomic status. Adjusting for all other demographic characteristics, boys reported 2.02-fold increase (95% CI: 1.61 to 1.90) and new immigrants a 1.35-fold increase (95%CI: 1.00 to1.82) in the relative risk of bicycling-related injury in the past 12 months, as compared to girls and students born in Canada. The relative risk of injury did not vary significantly by levels of socioeconomic status.
Troubling disparities exist in bicycle use, bicycle helmet use and bicycling-related injuries across specific population subgroups. Bicycle safety and injury prevention initiatives should be informed by disaggregated analyses and the context of bicycle-related health differences should be further examined.
Can we disentangle life course processes of accumulation, critical period and social mobility? An analysis of disadvantaged socio-economic positions and myocardial infarction in the Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Program.
The accumulation hypothesis would propose that the longer the duration of exposure to disadvantaged socio-economic position, the greater the risk of myocardial infarction. However there may be a danger of confounding between accumulation and possibly more complex combinations of critical periods of exposure and social mobility. The objective of this paper is to investigate the possibility of distinguishing between these alternatives. We used a population based case-control study (Stockholm Heart Epidemiology Programme) of all incident first events of myocardial infarction among men and women, living in the Stockholm region 1992-94. The analyses were restricted to men 53-70 years, 511 cases and 716 controls. From a full occupational history each subject was categorized as manual worker or non-manual at three stages of the life course, childhood (from parent's occupation), at the ages 25-29 and 51-55, resulting in 8 possible socio-economic trajectories. We found a graded response to the accumulation of disadvantaged socio-economic positions over the life course. However, we also found evidence for effects of critical periods and of social mobility. A conceptual analysis showed that there are, for theoretical reasons, only a limited number of trajectories available, too small to form distinct empirical categories of each hypothesis. The empirical task of disentangling the life course hypotheses of critical period, social mobility and accumulation is therefore comparable to the problem of separating age, period, and cohort effects. Accordingly, the interpretation must depend on prior knowledge of more specific causal mechanisms.
Previous studies have recognized the potential of mobile technology to improve health outcomes among underserved populations, but the challenges in conducting research into the use of mobile technology to improve health (mHealth) are not well understood. This manuscript identifies some of the most important challenges in conducting mHealth research with a sample of urban American Indian and Alaska Native mothers. We examined these challenges through an existing partnership with a community health agency. We conducted community consultations and a process monitoring phase for a pilot trial aimed at measuring the effect of a brief counselling session on participants' adherence to use of a mobile app. We identify generalizable challenges in administrative, technological, and logistical domains that will be useful foreknowledge to other investigators planning to conduct mHealth research with underserved populations.
International evidence shows that enhancement of primary health care (PHC) services for disadvantaged populations is essential to reducing health and health care inequities. However, little is known about how to enhance equity at the organizational level within the PHC sector. Drawing on research conducted at two PHC Centres in Canada whose explicit mandates are to provide services to marginalized populations, the purpose of this paper is to discuss (a) the key dimensions of equity-oriented services to guide PHC organizations, and (b) strategies for operationalizing equity-oriented PHC services, particularly for marginalized populations.
The PHC Centres are located in two cities within urban neighborhoods recognized as among the poorest in Canada. Using a mixed methods ethnographic design, data were collected through intensive immersion in the Centres, and included: (a) in-depth interviews with a total of 114 participants (73 patients; 41 staff), (b) over 900 hours of participant observation, and (c) an analysis of key organizational documents, which shed light on the policy and funding environments.
Through our analysis, we identified four key dimensions of equity-oriented PHC services: inequity-responsive care; trauma- and violence-informed care; contextually-tailored care; and culturally-competent care. The operationalization of these key dimensions are identified as 10 strategies that intersect to optimize the effectiveness of PHC services, particularly through improvements in the quality of care, an improved 'fit' between people's needs and services, enhanced trust and engagement by patients, and a shift from crisis-oriented care to continuity of care. Using illustrative examples from the data, these strategies are discussed to illuminate their relevance at three inter-related levels: organizational, clinical programming, and patient-provider interactions.
These evidence- and theoretically-informed key dimensions and strategies provide direction for PHC organizations aiming to redress the increasing levels of health and health care inequities across population groups. The findings provide a framework for conceptualizing and operationalizing the essential elements of equity-oriented PHC services when working with marginalized populations, and will have broad application to a wide range of settings, contexts and jurisdictions. Future research is needed to link these strategies to quantifiable process and outcome measures, and to test their impact in diverse PHC settings.
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Effective November 1, 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care de-insured, or delisted, routine eye examinations for Ontarians aged 20 to 64 years. We examined whether this delisting reduced Ontarians' access to eye care providers (ophthalmologists and optometrists).
Ontario respondents to the Canadian Community Health Survey in 2000/2001 (n = 39 234 before delisting) and 2007/2008 (n = 43 835 after delisting).
We compared utilization rates of eye care providers by Ontarians in a 12-month period in 2000/2001 to utilization rates in 2007/2008 using self-reported data.
Among Ontarians aged 40 to 64 years, utilization was significantly reduced (-7.2%, p 0.05) by those who had completed secondary school or higher education. A reduction of -5.4% was observed among Ontarians in the lowest income quintile in contrast to increased utilization in all other income groups (p > 0.05). Before delisting, the gap in utilization between people with and without a secondary school graduation certificate was 4.7%. This gap doubled to 11.2% after delisting (p 0.05). Cost was the likely barrier that resulted in this finding.
The use of eye care providers among socially disadvantaged Ontarians decreased significantly after vision care services were delisted. The effects of delisting appear to have caused an inequity in access to eye care providers, and that contradicts the objectives of the Canada Health Act.