Category Archives: IJHS 5 (1) – Public Health

IJHS volume 5, issue 1: special issue on Public Health 2015

Foreward – Volume 5, Issue 1

Health care for all, a human right and priority, is an ideal yet ambitious goal. As an integral part of human life since the beginning of civilization, public health agencies have made significant strides towards ensuring health on both a local and global level. At its core, the field of public health strives to prevent disease and promote health among communities and populations. Largely influenced by surveillance data, which direct the establishment of public health policies, the field of public health research has grown and has tremendous potential. Furthermore, the shift towards more objective and empirical methods of testing, contrary to subjective opinion and experience, has opened up a gateway to new avenues of knowledge. Never before has public health research reignited the desire to ask questions and seek answers. With the advent of technology and globalization, this research can now be interpreted through a multifaceted lens and applied in culturally, socially, and environmentally appropriate ways. From tracking epidemics to developing vaccines, public health research will continue to inspire evidence-based policies and encourage both new and experienced researchers to look towards a brighter, healthier future.

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The value of summer studentships to help shape undergraduate career trajectories

Authors: Rachael PageZachary FerraroKaren Fung Kee Fung

Abstract

Education level can have a substantial impact on disease risk and is considered a determinant of health. Quality learning experiences, both in- and outside the classroom, may encourage trainees to pursue higher education. Consequently, this could facilitate improvements in personal development and indirectly impact their outlook, motivation, and health status. Thus, students who have positive learning experiences may be more likely to have improved mental and physical health, and be motivated to apply their learnings in a way that positively impacts the health and well-being of others. Summer studentships are an integral part of stimulating students’ interest in science and medicine, and can direct future career endeavours. Many find summer placements beneficial as they give trainees the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to real-world settings in order to better prepare them for life after undergrad. This commentary aims to inform aspiring medical students of the pros and cons of summer studentships, provide advice on how to overcome challenges they may be faced with during their work term, and encourage trainees to pursue these opportunities to further complement their education so they can develop the necessary skills to help others in the future.

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The Promise of a Qualitative Case Study Approach for Research on Caregiver Involvement in Inpatient Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Authors: Kaylee Eady and Katherine Moreau

Abstract

Purpose: To demonstrate that, theoretically, a qualitative case study approach holds substantial promise for conducting research on caregiver involvement in inpatient traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation.

Methods: Narrative reviews of the TBI rehabilitation and case study literature are presented to explain our rationale for advocating the use of a qualitative case study approach for research in this area.

Results: We found that there are four interconnected reasons why this research approach is well suited for investigating caregiver involvement in inpatient TBI rehabilitation. More specifically, a qualitative case study approach allows us to: (a) address the context of inpatient TBI rehabilitation; (b) account for the complexity of caregiver involvement; (c) adapt research to the practical and ethical needs of TBI inpatients and their caregivers; and (d) create research that is congruent with family-centered theory.

Conclusion: A qualitative case study approach has the ability to address the complexity and context that surrounds caregiver involvement in inpatient TBI rehabilitation. A case study approach is also congruent with the characteristics of inpatient rehabilitation settings and can take into consideration family-centered theory, which is instrumental to understanding caregiver involvement.

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The unpredictable prognosis of Medicare – A book review on Chronic condition: Why Canada’s health-care system needs to be dragged into the 21st century by Jeffrey Simpson

Author: Kelly Brennan

Canadians cherish their health-care system. In fact, polls reveal Medicare is among the top most important national symbols and takes part in defining what it means to be Canadian (Mendelsohn, 2002). Why is it then, that Canada has one of the most expensive health-care systems, but some of the worst health outcomes when looking at comparable country’s health systems? (Skinner & Rovere, 2012). A politicians’ worst financial nightmare is formed when health-care budgets exponentially outgrow government revenues and calls for more efficient services compete with an intolerance for higher taxes. Incorporating the demographics of an aging population and the restrictions on privately funded health-care services supports why the subject is not a very popular one (Simpson, 2012).

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Ebola in West Africa: The Impact of Social Determinants

Auteure: Audrey Caron 

Résumé

(An English translation will be available soon)

Depuis plus d’un an, l’Afrique de l’Ouest fait face à la plus importante épidémie d’Ebola de son histoire. Cet essai présente les divers déterminants sociaux de la santé qui ont eu un impact sur l’ampleur de cette crise. L’environnement, la culture et les services de santé sont les facteurs prédominants du développement de cette épidémie, qui a fait des milliers de morts. Ces déterminants ont joué un rôle tant dans le déclenchement de l’épidémie et la transmission du virus, que dans l’étendue de celle-ci. Depuis plusieurs années, il est admis que les déterminants sociaux sont des facteurs très essentiels dans la prévention des problèmes de santé. En effet, ils permettent d’améliorer en amont les capacités des communautés et les conditions de vie des populations, ainsi que de réduire les inégalités sociales en santé. Il est donc important de les considérer afin de permettre l’endiguement de la crise et prévenir une autre catastrophe.

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Electronic Health Records: Patient Care Quality

Author: Rebecca Xu

Abstract

The advancement of technology has led to its integration in widespread fields, impacting areas such as communications, heavily. While there is concern that the introduction of information technology into healthcare renders the medical practice impersonal, its implementation has a positive effect on patient care quality. The exchange of health information via an electronic medium, such as the electronic health record (EHR), is known as health information technology (HIT) and has been the focus of many studies. Many supporters of HIT promote the benefits associated with the general rise in technology, such as the increase in convenience and efficiency of information storage; but others are hesitant, often citing privacy and security breaches as primary concerns. Studies show that despite various initial qualms about EHR integration, once the integration is complete, the quality of patient care increases.

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A preliminary study between romantic attachment and pain catastrophizing among individuals living with chronic pain

Authors: Marie-Eve Martel, Marie-France Lafontaine, Christine Levesque

Abstract

The objective of the current preliminary study is to examine the perception of support received by the romantic partner as a mediator of the relationship between the patient’s romantic attachment (anxiety over abandonment and avoidance of intimacy) and pain catastrophizing, as well as direct links between these variables. The sample consists of 46 adults who live with daily chronic pain and that have been in a relationship for at least 6 months. Participants completed the Experiences in Close Relationships, the Perceived Responsiveness Scale and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale. Results indicate that the more an individual has an insecure attachment, the less he will perceive support from his partner and that anxiety over abandonment is associated to greater pain catastrophizing.

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