05 February 2015

News and Information

Call for Papers for the 2015 National Indigenous Conferences
Inspired by the hugely successful staging of last year’s Indigenous Conferences in Cairns, the event organizers are now calling for papers for the five exciting events being launched this month with the  closing date of submitting paper on February 28, 2015.

The 2015 Indigenous Men’s and Indigenous Women’s Conferences will be held in Darwin on the 12th – 14th of September. Similarly, papers are also being called for the Indigenous Board of Directors Conference scheduled for the 19th – 21st of October and the 2015 National Indigenous Domestic Violence Conference to be held on 28th – 30th of October respectively. Both October events will be held at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort.
Furthermore, the 2015 National Indigenous Health Conference will be held in Cairns and scheduled for the 1st – 3rd December, 2015.

For more information, please visit the conference website at www.indigenousconferences.com or  contact us by email at adminics@iinet.net.au

The winner of the 2014 Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition is NSW freelance writer El Gibbs, whose essay, “A place to call home: housing security and mental health”, will be published by Inside Story.

Thirteen public interventions in Canada that have contributed to a reduction in health inequalities

In MontrĂ©al, social inequalities in health - differences in health status according to social class – persist, despite a significant decline in mortality over the past 20 years.
‘Those affected by social inequalities in health experience more health problems, because they are exposed to greater risks much earlier in life. If we can act upon these inequalities early on, we can influence the health of these individuals over a long period of time.’

A nursing module that has lots of links and reading material: http://lists.lib.plymouth.ac.uk/lists/B76FD1A5-654F-B906-4B80-55BE7A1A4765.html

Income inequality and health: A causal review Kate E. Pickett, Richard G. Wilkinson (email us if you want a copy of this paper)

Abstract: There is a very large literature examining income inequality in relation to health. Early reviews came to different interpretations of the evidence, though a large majority of studies reported that health tended to be worse in more unequal societies. More recent studies, not included in those reviews, provide substantial new evidence. Our purpose in this paper is to assess whether or not wider income differences play a causal role leading to worse health. We conducted a literature review within an epidemiological causal framework and inferred the likelihood of a causal relationship between income inequality and health (including violence) by considering the evidence as a whole. The body of evidence strongly suggests that income inequality affects population health and wellbeing. The major causal criteria of temporality, biological plausibility, consistency and lack of alternative explanations are well supported. Of the small minority of studies which find no association, most can be explained by income inequality being measured at an inappropriate scale, the inclusion of mediating variables as controls, the use of subjective rather than objective measures of health, or follow up periods which are too short. The evidence that large income differences have damaging health and social consequences is strong and in most countries inequality is increasing. Narrowing the gap will improve the health and wellbeingof populations.

Key points
  • Evidence that income inequality is associated with worse health is reviewed.
  • It meets established epidemiological and other scientific criteria for causality.
  • The causal processes may extend to violence and other problems with social gradients.
  • Reducing income inequality will improve population health and wellbeing.

Leaving no one behind: an agenda for equity
Watkins, Kevin; The Lancet. Volume 384, Issue 9961, 20 December 2014–2 January 2015, Pages 2248–2255. Published online: May 2014

Shortly before his death, Mahatma Gandhi offered a useful reflection that helps to cut through some of the complexity surrounding debates about equity. “Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest person you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be any use to them.” It’s a simple but compelling guide for policy makers concerned with combating extreme inequality. Something of the same spirit underpins the report of the High Level Panel established by the UN Secretary General to make recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda. Going beyond the identification of universal goals, the report calls for “a focus on the poorest and most marginalised” and a commitment to “leave no one behind” (panel). This approach is in-keeping with other work on the post-2015 agenda, including the Global Sustainable Development Report.2 Far more than the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—which were largely neutral on the issue of inequality—the High Level Panel report includes a wide-ranging social justice agenda. If adopted by governments and backed by national policy commitments and a new global partnership, the Panel’s agenda could put exclusion, inequality, and marginalisation at the centre of the post-2015 development framework.  click here

Health and Disability: Partnerships in Health care
Jane Tracy, Rachael McDonald; Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities Jan 2015, 28, 22–32; Article first published online: 22 DEC 2014

Abstract: Background: Despite awareness of the health inequalities experienced by people with intellectual disability, their health status remains poor. Inequalities in health outcomes are manifest in higher morbidity and rates of premature death. Contributing factors include the barriers encountered in accessing and receiving highquality health care. Aims: This paper outlines health inequalities experienced by people with intellectual disability and focuses on the opportunities medical education provides to address these. Strategies to ensure that health professional education is inclusive of and relevant to people with disabilities are highlighted. Conclusions: The barriers experienced by people with intellectual disabilities to the receipt of high-quality health care include the attitudes, knowledge and skills of doctors. Improving medical education to ensure doctors are better equipped is one strategy to address these barriers. Improving health enhances quality of life, enables engagement and optimizes opportunities to participate in and contribute to the social and economic life of communities. click here.

9. Health Disparities, Social Determinants of Health, and Health Insurance
Rosalyn W. Stewart, Valerie G. Hardcastle, and Aaron Zelinsky; World Medical & Health Policy, Volume 6, Issue 4, pages 483-492

Abstract: We are concerned that providing insurance for the previously uninsured will be seen as a panacea for resolving health disparities, for the social environment makes a tremendous difference in health outcomes. A careful examination of the factors involved in the social determinants of health shows that health insurance plays only a small role in alleviating health disparities. In this commentary, we highlight the complexity of the problem of the social determinants of health and health disparities in the United States by comparing two neighborhoods in Baltimore City and by examining hypertension and mental health disorders. click here

10. Dorling, D., The mother of underlying causes – economic ranking and health inequality, Social Science & Medicine (2015), doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.01.008. Paper available on request – please email us if you can’t access it. Shared by Michael Bentley.
Wilkinson and Pickett’s findings, first published on-line in 2005 have helped to reveal the strong relationships between economic inequality and poor health outcomes in affluent nations. Their initial findings are reminiscent of the early evidence that smoking among groups of doctors increased the likelihood of members of each group dying of lung cancer. The strong correlation between smoking and cancer was understood long before a specific cause was clearly outlined.
In this paper (Pickett and Wilkinson 2015), published ten year after the initial announcement of their findings, the authors bring together the beginnings of a case of there being plausible underlying biological and related casual explanations for why people in more economically unequal affluent countries suffer worse health. They suggest that ‘Inequality is increasing in most regions of the world, rapidly in most rich countries over the past three decades’. However, income inequality has increased much faster in the UK and USA than in most other affluent nations and it has fallen in some countries (Dorling, 2014). To continue reading....view online or email us for the article.

Also worth a read...

·         Critical Public Health 25th anniversary issue: free for one month - http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ccph20/current
·         The political determinants of health—10 years on: Let me know if you want to access this but can’t: http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h81
·         WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data: Social determinants of mental health. http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/gulbenkian_paper_social_determinants_of_mental_health/en/
·         Why Income Inequality Damages Us All: The causal processes (video) - Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgc-x78lVvE
·         The Link between Inequality and Population Health in Low and Middle Income Countries: Policy Myth or Social Reality? http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0115109&representation=PDF