Sample records for australian health policy

  1. Fragmentation in Australian Commonwealth and South Australian State policy on mental health and older people: A governmentality analysis. (United States)

    Oster, Candice; Henderson, Julie; Lawn, Sharon; Reed, Richard; Dawson, Suzanne; Muir-Cochrane, Eimear; Fuller, Jeffrey


    Mental health care for older people is a significant and growing issue in Australia and internationally. This article describes how older people's mental health is governed through policy discourse by examining Australian Commonwealth and South Australian State government policy documents, and commentaries from professional groups, advocacy groups and non-governmental organisations. Documents published between 2009 and 2014 were analysed using a governmentality approach, informed by Foucault. Discourses of 'risk', 'ageing as decline/dependence' and 'healthy ageing' were identified. Through these discourses, different neo-liberal governmental strategies are applied to 'target' groups according to varying risk judgements. Three policy approaches were identified where older people are (1) absent from policy, (2) governed as responsible, active citizens or (3) governed as passive recipients of health care. This fragmented policy response to older people's mental health reflects fragmentation in the Australian policy environment. It constructs an ambiguous place for older people within neo-liberal governmental rationality, with significant effects on the health system, older people and their carers.

  2. Commonalities and challenges: a review of Australian state and territory maternity and child health policies. (United States)

    Schmied, Virginia; Donovan, Jenny; Kruske, Sue; Kemp, Lynn; Homer, Caroline; Fowler, Cathrine


    Nurses and midwives play a key role in providing universal maternal, child and family health services in Australia. However, the Australian federation of states and territories has resulted in policy frameworks that differ across jurisdictions and services that are fragmented across disciplines and sectors. This paper reports the findings of a study that reviewed and synthesised current Australian service policy or frameworks for maternity and child health services in order to identify the degree of commonality across jurisdictions and the compatibility with international research on child development. Key maternity and child health service policy documents in each jurisdiction were sourced. The findings indicate that current policies were in line with international research and policy directions, emphasising prevention and early intervention, continuity of care, collaboration and integrated services. The congruence of policies suggests the time is right to consider the introduction of a national approach to universal maternal, child health services.

  3. The Role of Health Co-Benefits in the Development of Australian Climate Change Mitigation Policies (United States)

    Workman, Annabelle; Blashki, Grant; Karoly, David; Wiseman, John


    Reducing domestic carbon dioxide and other associated emissions can lead to short-term, localized health benefits. Quantifying and incorporating these health co-benefits into the development of national climate change mitigation policies may facilitate the adoption of stronger policies. There is, however, a dearth of research exploring the role of health co-benefits on the development of such policies. To address this knowledge gap, research was conducted in Australia involving the analysis of several data sources, including interviews carried out with Australian federal government employees directly involved in the development of mitigation policies. The resulting case study determined that, in Australia, health co-benefits play a minimal role in the development of climate change mitigation policies. Several factors influence the extent to which health co-benefits inform the development of mitigation policies. Understanding these factors may help to increase the political utility of future health co-benefits studies. PMID:27657098

  4. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: challenges for Australian health and medicine policies. (United States)

    Faunce, Thomas A; Townsend, Ruth


    Four formal rounds of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations took place in 2010. They involved over 200 officials from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Brunei, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia. Future negotiations officially are set to include three issues with public health and medicines policy implications for Australia and our region: ways to approach regulatory coherence and transparency; how to benefit multinational and small-medium enterprises; and multilateral investor-state dispute settlement. US-based multinational pharmaceutical companies are lobbying for TPPA provisions like those in the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, which reduce government cost-effectiveness regulatory control of pharmaceuticals, threatening equitable access to medicines. They also advocate increased TPPA intellectual monopoly privilege protection, which will further limit the development of Australian generic medicine enterprises and restrict patient access to cheap, bioequivalent prescription drugs. Of particular concern is that proposed TPPA multilateral investor-state dispute settlement procedures would allow US corporations (as well as those of other TPPA nations) to obtain damages against Australian governments through international arbitral proceedings if their investments are impeded by Australian public health and environment protection legislation.

  5. Increase in caesarean deliveries after the Australian Private Health Insurance Incentive policy reforms.

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    Kristjana Einarsdóttir

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Australian Private Health Insurance Incentive (PHII policy reforms implemented in 1997-2000 increased PHI membership in Australia by 50%. Given the higher rate of obstetric interventions in privately insured patients, the reforms may have led to an increase in surgical deliveries and deliveries with longer hospital stays. We aimed to investigate the effect of the PHII policy introduction on birth characteristics in Western Australia (WA. METHODS AND FINDINGS: All 230,276 birth admissions from January 1995 to March 2004 were identified from administrative birth and hospital data-systems held by the WA Department of Health. Average quarterly birth rates after the PHII introduction were estimated and compared with expected rates had the reforms not occurred. Rate and percentage differences (including 95% confidence intervals were estimated separately for public and private patients, by mode of delivery, and by length of stay in hospital following birth. The PHII policy introduction was associated with a 20% (-21.4 to -19.3 decrease in public birth rates, a 51% (45.1 to 56.4 increase in private birth rates, a 5% (-5.3 to -5.1 and 8% (-8.9 to -7.9 decrease in unassisted and assisted vaginal deliveries respectively, a 5% (-5.3 to -5.1 increase in caesarean sections with labour and 10% (8.0 to 11.7 increase in caesarean sections without labour. Similarly, birth rates where the infant stayed 0-3 days in hospital following birth decreased by 20% (-21.5 to -18.5, but rates of births with >3 days in hospital increased by 15% (12.2 to 17.1. CONCLUSIONS: Following the PHII policy implementation in Australia, births in privately insured patients, caesarean deliveries and births with longer infant hospital stays increased. The reforms may not have been beneficial for quality obstetric care in Australia or the burden of Australian hospitals.

  6. External factors affecting decision-making and use of evidence in an Australian public health policy environment. (United States)

    Zardo, Pauline; Collie, Alex; Livingstone, Charles


    This study examined external factors affecting policy and program decision-making in a specific public health policy context: injury prevention and rehabilitation compensation in the Australian state of Victoria. The aim was twofold: identify external factors that affect policy and program decision-making in this specific context; use this evidence to inform targeting of interventions aimed at increasing research use in this context. Qualitative interviews were undertaken from June 2011 to January 2012 with 33 employees from two state government agencies. Key factors identified were stakeholder feedback and action, government and ministerial input, legal feedback and action, injured persons and the media. The identified external factors were able to significantly influence policy and program decision-making processes: acting as both barriers and facilitators, depending on the particular issue at hand. The factors with the most influence were the Minister and government, lawyers, and agency stakeholders, particularly health providers, trade unions and employer groups. This research revealed that interventions aimed at increasing use of research in this context must target and harness the influence of these groups. This research provides critical insights for researchers seeking to design interventions to increase use of research in policy environments and influence decision-making in Victorian injury prevention and rehabilitation compensation.

  7. Measuring the health impact of human rights violations related to Australian asylum policies and practices: a mixed methods study

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    Mulholland Kim


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human rights violations have adverse consequences for health. However, to date, there remains little empirical evidence documenting this association, beyond the obvious physical and psychological effects of torture. The primary aim of this study was to investigate whether Australian asylum policies and practices, which arguably violate human rights, are associated with adverse health outcomes. Methods We designed a mixed methods study to address the study aim. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 71 Iraqi Temporary Protection Visa (TPV refugees and 60 Iraqi Permanent Humanitarian Visa (PHV refugees, residing in Melbourne, Australia. Prior to a recent policy amendment, TPV refugees were only given temporary residency status and had restricted access to a range of government funded benefits and services that permanent refugees are automatically entitled to. The quantitative results were triangulated with semi-structured interviews with TPV refugees and service providers. The main outcome measures were self-reported physical and psychological health. Standardised self-report instruments, validated in an Arabic population, were used to measure health and wellbeing outcomes. Results Forty-six percent of TPV refugees compared with 25% of PHV refugees reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of clinical depression (p = 0.003. After controlling for the effects of age, gender and marital status, TPV status made a statistically significant contribution to psychological distress (B = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3 to 0.71, p ≤ 0.001 amongst Iraqi refugees. Qualitative data revealed that TPV refugees generally felt socially isolated and lacking in control over their life circumstances, because of their experiences in detention and on a temporary visa. This sense of powerlessness and, for some, an implicit awareness they were being denied basic human rights, culminated in a strong sense of injustice. Conclusion Government asylum policies

  8. Problematizations in Health Policy

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    Carol Bacchi


    Full Text Available This article directs attention to the significance, for health promotion advocates, of reflecting on how “problems” are constituted, or brought into existence, as particular sorts of problems, within policies and policy proposals. To this end, it introduces a poststructural analytic strategy called “What’s the Problem Represented to be?” (WPR approach, and contrasts this perspective to the ways in which “problems” are commonly conceptualized in health policy analyses (e.g., “a problem stream,” “wicked problems”. Such a perspective offers a significant rethinking of the conventional emphasis on agenda setting and policy-making processes in considering the meaning of success or failure in health policy initiatives. The starting point is a close analysis of items that are “successful,” in the sense that they make the political agenda, to see how representations of “problems” within selected policies limit what is talked about as possible or desirable, or as impossible and undesirable. This form of analysis thus enables critical reflections on the substantive content of policy initiatives in health policy. The article takes a step back from policy process theories, frameworks, and models to offer reflections at the level of paradigms. Highlighting potential dangers and limitations in positivism, interpretivism, and critical realism, it uses international, Australian, and South Australian examples in health policy to explore what poststructural policy analysis contributes to understanding the broad political influences shaping contemporary modes of rule.

  9. The Asian currency crisis and the Australian health industry. (United States)

    Barraclough, S


    This article identifies linkages between the Australian health industry and the global economy. It discusses some of the consequences of the Asian currency crisis of 1997-98 for the Australian economy and health industry, with special emphasis upon exports. Devaluation of the Australian dollar will increase the cost of most pharmaceutical and medical imports, but may offer competitive advantages to some Australian exporters. The nascent engagement with Asia of many health industry enterprises is likely to be stifled. It is therefore important for Australian governments, as well as the Australian health industry, to provide intelligence and encouragement to those enterprises that wish to continue their engagement with Asia or resume it when economic equilibrium returns. Markets throughout the world must also be further developed. The crisis may therefore provide the stimulus for re-thinking and re-stating Australian health export policy.

  10. A new era in Australian migration policy. (United States)

    Birrell, R


    The discussion traces the evolution of Australian migration policy since 1975, arguing that the primary factor shaping policy has been interparty competition for influence within Australia's ethnic communities. Since late 1975 when the Liberal/National Country Party (LibNCP) Conservative Government returned to power, Australian immigration policy has moved in different directions from the previous post World War II experience. The demographic implications have been profound. In 1975 the LibNCP government returned to office committed to restoring an active migration program. By 1980-81 it had largely succeeded in this numerical goal. Australia's migration growth rate at .82% of the total population exceeded almost all other Western society. What was new, in comparison to previous policy, was the migrant selection system and source countries. By the time the government lost office in March 1983, family reunion had become the major migration program souce and Asia was rapidly becoming the dominant place of migrant origin. This emphasis on family reunion was not intended by government immigration planners but was a product of domestic political change and resultant new influences over migration policy. As to the increasing Asian component, it has mainly been an unintended consequence of the expansion in the family reunion program. Although the liberalization of family reunion eligibility has largely been designed to appease the major Southern European ethnic communities, few applications have been forthcoming from these countries. Asian applicants have been numerous. Labor government policy since March 1983 has shown remarkable continuity with that of the LibNCP both in its selection system and in the size of the migrant intake. The motivation for the commitment to immigration derived first from longstanding traditions within the Australian business community that Australia's economic growth and dynamism depended on rapid population growth. More specifically there

  11. Nexus between preventive policy inadequacies, workplace bullying, and mental health: Qualitative findings from the experiences of Australian public sector employees. (United States)

    Hurley, John; Hutchinson, Marie; Bradbury, Joanne; Browne, Graeme


    Public sector organizations have been shown to have high levels of workplace bullying, despite widespread adoption of zero-tolerance policy. Given the level of harm that stems from bullying, it has been suggested that it might be one of the most serious problems facing modern organizations. The qualitative findings from a large cross sectional study of public servants in Australia are reported in the present study. The results highlight palpable mental distress and illness stemming from exposure to workplace bullying. This distress was exacerbated by failures in prohibitive workplace procedures. Reporting bullying through formal organization processes did not lead to resolution of the problem; it instead highlighted feelings of powerlessness and mistrust. In light of the findings, we suggest that an alternative discourse is required, one that gives attention to enhancing employee resilience and self-healing behaviours to the emotional trauma of workplaces. Organizations might be better placed investing resources in fostering the resilience and emotional intelligence of their workforce, rather than continuing to invest resources in prohibitive policies that fail to address the problem. Employees should be supported to prioritize responsibility for their own mental health, rather than an overreliance on organizational responses.

  12. Policy Levers Key for Primary Health Care Organizations to Support Primary Care Practices in Meeting Medical Home Expectations: Comparing Leading States to the Australian Experience (United States)


    Abstract Several countries with highly ranked delivery systems have implemented locally-based, publicly-funded primary health care organizations (PHCOs) as vehicles to strengthen their primary care foundations. In the United States, state governments have started down a similar pathway with models that share similarities with international PHCOs. The objective of this study was to determine if these kinds of organizations were working with primary care practices to improve their ability to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and accessible patient-centered care that met quality, safety, and efficiency outcomes—all core attributes of a medical home. This qualitative study looked at 4 different PHCO models—3 from the United States and 1 from Australia—with similar objectives and scope. Primary and secondary data included semi-structured interviews with 26 PHCOs and a review of government documents. The study found that the 4 PHCO models were engaging practices to meet a number of medical home expectations, but the US PHCOs were more uniform in efforts to work with practices and focused on arranging services to meet the needs of complex patients. There was significant variation in level of effort between the Australian PHCOs. These differences can be explained through the state governments' selection of payment models and use of data frameworks to support collaboration and incentivize performance of both PHCOs and practices. These findings offer policy lessons to inform health reform efforts under way to better capitalize on the potential of PHCOs to support a high-functioning primary health foundation as an essential component to a reformed health system. PMID:26636485

  13. Status of costing hospital nursing work within Australian casemix activity-based funding policy. (United States)

    Heslop, Liza


    Australia has a long history of patient level costing initiated when casemix funding was implemented in several states in the early 1990s. Australia includes, to some extent, hospital payment based on nursing intensity adopted within casemix funding policy and the Diagnostic Related Group system. Costing of hospital nursing services in Australia has not changed significantly in the last few decades despite widespread introduction of casemix funding policy at the state level. Recent Commonwealth of Australia National Health Reform presents change to the management of the delivery of health care including health-care costing. There is agreement for all Australian jurisdictions to progress to casemix-based activity funding. Within this context, nurse costing infrastructure presents contemporary issues and challenges. An assessment is made of the progress of costing nursing services within casemix funding models in Australian hospitals. Valid and reliable Australian-refined nursing service weights might overcome present cost deficiencies and limitations.

  14. GLBTIQ Teachers in Australian Education Policy: Protections, Suspicions, and Restrictions (United States)

    Jones, Tiffany; Gray, Emily; Harris, Anne


    Recognition of human rights on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status by the United Nations has led to the development of new policies concerning homophobia and transphobia in educational contexts. This paper examines new Australian education policies impacting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer…

  15. Sexuality Education School Policy for Australian GLBTIQ Students (United States)

    Jones, Tiffany Mary; Hillier, Lynne


    Education is state-run in Australia, and within each of the eight states and territories there are both government and independent schooling systems. This paper details the position of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) students within Australian education policy documents nationally, focusing on the three largest…

  16. Australian Indigenous Higher Education: Politics, Policy and Representation (United States)

    Wilson, Katie; Wilks, Judith


    The growth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in Australian higher education from 1959 to the present is notable statistically, but below population parity. Distinct patterns in government policy-making and programme development, inconsistent funding and political influences, together with Indigenous representation during the…

  17. Measuring use of research evidence in public health policy: a policy content analysis


    Zardo, Pauline; Collie, Alex


    Background There are few Australian studies showing how research evidence is used to inform the development of public health policy. International research has shown that compensation for injury rehabilitation can have negative impacts on health outcomes. This study examined transport injury compensation policy in the Australian state of Victoria to: determine type and purpose of reference to information sources; and to identify the extent of reference to academic research evidence in transpo...

  18. Medication management policy, practice and research in Australian residential aged care: Current and future directions. (United States)

    Sluggett, Janet K; Ilomäki, Jenni; Seaman, Karla L; Corlis, Megan; Bell, J Simon


    Eight percent of Australians aged 65 years and over receive residential aged care each year. Residents are increasingly older, frailer and have complex care needs on entry to residential aged care. Up to 63% of Australian residents of aged care facilities take nine or more medications regularly. Together, these factors place residents at high risk of adverse drug events. This paper reviews medication-related policies, practices and research in Australian residential aged care. Complex processes underpin prescribing, supply and administration of medications in aged care facilities. A broad range of policies and resources are available to assist health professionals, aged care facilities and residents to optimise medication management. These include national guiding principles, a standardised national medication chart, clinical medication reviews and facility accreditation standards. Recent Australian interventions have improved medication use in residential aged care facilities. Generating evidence for prescribing and deprescribing that is specific to residential aged care, health workforce reform, medication-related quality indicators and inter-professional education in aged care are important steps toward optimising medication use in this setting.

  19. Federalism and health policy. (United States)

    Nathan, Richard P


    This paper presents a cyclical theory of U.S. federalism and social policy: Many social policy initiatives are tested and refined at the state level, especially during conservative periods, and later morph into national policies. The paper describes such federalism cycles and offers an interpretation of why and how they occur, focusing on Medicaid. State activism has preserved and expanded Medicaid through policy innovation and resistance to retrenchment, especially in conservative periods, by taking advantage of the flexibility the program provides. I conclude that Medicaid's incremental/partnership approach is appropriate and feasible to build on for a future expansion of health care coverage.

  20. The invisibilization of health promotion in Australian public health initiatives. (United States)

    O'Hara, Lily; Taylor, Jane; Barnes, Margaret


    The field of health promotion has arguably shifted over the past thirty years from being socially proactive to biomedically defensive. In many countries this has been accompanied by a gradual decline, or in some cases the almost complete removal of health promotion designated positions within Government health departments. The language or discourse used to describe the practice and discipline of health promotion is reflective of such changes. In this study, critical discourse analysis was used to determine the representation of health promotion as a practice and a discipline within 10 Australian Government weight-related public health initiatives. The analysis revealed the invisibilization of critical health promotion in favour of an agenda described as 'preventive health'. This was achieved primarily through the textual practices of overlexicalization and lexical suppression. Excluding document titles, there were 437 uses of the terms health promotion, illness prevention, disease prevention, preventive health, preventative health in the documents analysed. The term 'health promotion' was used sparingly (16% of total terms), and in many instances was coupled with the term 'illness prevention'. Conversely, the terms 'preventive health' and 'preventative health' were used extensively, and primarily used alone. The progressive invisibilization of critical health promotion has implications for the perceptions and practice of those identifying as health promotion professionals and for people with whom we work to address the social and structural determinants of health and wellbeing. Language matters, and the language and intent of critical health promotion will struggle to survive if its speakers are professionally unidentifiable or invisible.

  1. Differences between Irish and Australian psychiatric nurses' family-focused practice in adult mental health services

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    Grant, Anne


    Psychiatric nurses\\' practice with parents who have mental illness, their children and families is an important issue internationally. This study provides a comparison of Irish and Australian psychiatric nurses\\' family-focused practices in adult mental health services. Three hundred and forty three nurses across Ireland and 155 from Australia completed the Family Focused Mental Health Practice Questionnaire. Cross-country comparisons revealed significant differences, in terms of family-focused skill, knowledge, confidence and practice. Australian psychiatric nurses engaged in higher family-focused practice compared to Irish nurses. The comparative differences between countries may be attributable to differences in training, workplace support and policy.

  2. Mental health nurses' contributions to community mental health care: An Australian study. (United States)

    Heslop, Brett; Wynaden, Dianne; Tohotoa, Jenny; Heslop, Karen


    Australian mental health policy is focused on providing mental health care in the community setting and community mental health teams provide services to clients in a shared model with primary care. The historical literature reports that community mental health nurses' experience high levels of stress and are often allocated the most complex and challenging clients managed by the team. Yet information on their specific roles remains limited. This paper reports on research conducted at one Australian public mental health service to identify the components of the community mental health nursing role and to quantify the time nurses spent in each component during the study period. Six focus groups were conducted with community mental health nurses to identify their perceived role within the team. Data analysis identified 18 components of which 10 were related to direct clinical contact with clients and eight covered administrative and care coordination activities. A data collection tool based on the findings of the focus groups was designed and nurses recorded workload data on the tool in 15-min intervals over a 4-week period. Seventeen nurses collected 1528 hours of data. Internal coordination of care was identified as the top workload item followed by clinical documentation and national data collection responsibilities supporting the complexity of the community mental health nursing role. The high rating attached to the internal coordination of care role demonstrates an important contribution that community mental health nurses make to the functioning of the team and the delivery of quality mental health care.

  3. Population and health policies


    Schultz, T.Paul


    The program evaluation literature for population and health policies is in flux, with many disciplines documenting biological and behavioral linkages from fetal development to late life mortality, chronic disease, and disability, though their implications for policy remain uncertain. Both macro- and microeconomics seek to understand and incorporate connections between economic development and the demographic transition. The focus here is on research methods, findings, and questions that econo...

  4. Improving health promotion using quality improvement techniques in Australian Indigenous primary health care

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    Nikki ePercival


    Full Text Available While some areas of clinical health care are becoming adept at implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI projects, there has been limited experimentation of CQI in health promotion. In this study, we examined the impact of a CQI intervention on health promotion in four Australian Indigenous primary health care centres. Our study objectives were to: (a describe the scope and quality of health promotion activities; (b describe the status of health centre system support for health promotion activities; and (c introduce a CQI intervention and examine the impact on health promotion activities and health centres systems over two years. Baseline assessments showed sub-optimal health centre systems support for health promotion and significant evidence-practice gaps. After two annual CQI cycles, there were improvements in staff understanding of health promotion and systems for planning and documenting health promotion activities had been introduced. Actions to improve best practice health promotion, such as community engagement and intersectoral partnerships, were inhibited by the way health centre systems were organized, predominately to support clinical and curative services. These findings suggest that CQI can improve the delivery of evidence based health promotion by engaging front line health practitioners in decision making processes about the design/redesign of health centre systems to support the delivery of best practice health promotion. However, further and sustained improvements in health promotion will require broader engagement of management, senior staff and members of the local community to address organisational and policy level barriers.

  5. CAM practitioners in the Australian health workforce: an underutilized resource

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    Grace Sandra


    Full Text Available Abstract Background CAM practitioners are a valuable but underutilizes resource in Australian health care. Despite increasing public support for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM little is known about the CAM workforce. Apart from the registered professions of chiropractic, osteopathy and Chinese medicine, accurate information about the number of CAM practitioners in the workforce has been difficult to obtain. It appears that many non-registered CAM practitioners, although highly qualified, are not working to their full capacity. Discussion Increasing public endorsement of CAM stands in contrast to the negative attitude toward the CAM workforce by some members of the medical and other health professions and by government policy makers. The marginalisation of the CAM workforce is evident in prejudicial attitudes held by some members of the medical and other health professions and its exclusion from government policy making. Inconsistent educational standards has meant that non-registered CAM practitioners, including highly qualified and competent ones, are frequently overlooked. Legitimising their contribution to the health workforce could alleviate workforce shortages and provide opportunities for redesigned job roles and new multidisciplinary teams. Priorities for better utilisation of the CAM workforce include establishing a guaranteed minimum education standard for more CAM occupation groups through national registration, providing interprofessional education that includes CAM practitioners, developing courses to upgrade CAM practitioners' professional skills in areas of indentified need, and increasing support for CAM research. Summary Marginalisation of the CAM workforce has disadvantaged those qualified and competent CAM practitioners who practise evidence-informed medicine on the basis of many years of university training. Legitimising and expanding the important contribution of CAM practitioners could alleviate projected health

  6. Historical Construction and Australian Catholic Education: Accounting for School Funding Policy from the Cultural Politics of Australian Education (United States)

    Furtado, Michael


    This paper seeks to explain why the policy history of school funding in regard to Australian Catholic Education looks and sounds the way it does today through the production of a genealogy of the subject. The questions addressed are, first, why has the funding of Catholic schools in Australia become an occluded historical site since the 1970s,…

  7. Technologies, Democracy and Digital Citizenship: Examining Australian Policy Intersections and the Implications for School Leadership

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    Kathryn Moyle


    Full Text Available There are intersections that can occur between the respective peak Australian school education policy agendas. These policies include the use of technologies in classrooms to improve teaching and learning as promoted through the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians and the Australian Curriculum; and the implementation of professional standards as outlined in the Australian Professional Standard for Principals and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. These policies create expectations of school leaders to bring about change in classrooms and across their schools, often described as bringing about ‘quality teaching’ and ‘school improvement’. These policies indicate that Australian children should develop ‘democratic values’, and that school principals should exercise ‘democratic values’ in their schools. The national approaches to the implementation of these policies however, is largely silent on promoting learning that fosters democracy through education, or about making connections between teaching and learning with technologies, school leadership and living in a democracy. Yet the policies promote these connections and alignments. Furthermore, understanding democratic values, knowing what is a democracy, and being able to use technologies in democratic ways, has to be learned and practiced. Through the lens of the use of technologies to build digital citizenship and to achieve democratic processes and outcomes in schools, these policy complexities are examined in order to consider some of the implications for school leadership.

  8. Evolving Ideologies of the Intercultural in Australian Multicultural and Language Education Policy (United States)

    Liddicoat, Anthony J.


    Australia's language and multicultural policies have constructed the intercultural dimension of Australian identity and practice in a number of different ways relating to different community groups. This paper traces the evolution of multicultural policy from the 1970s until the present through the main national policy documents in order to…

  9. eHealth Policy

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    Capello, Fabio


    The rising of a new technological era has brought within it opportunities and threats the health systems worldwide have to deal with. In such a changed scenario the role of decision-makers is crucial to identify the real and perceived needs of the population and those areas on intervention in which eHealth can help to improve the quality and efficacy of care. Therefore, in-depth analysis of the state of the art both in industrialized and in developing countries is paramount. Many in fact are constraints that mine the designing and implementation of electronic systems for health. Only if policymakers understand the real implication of eHealth and the complexities of the human being, working model could be introduced. Otherwise the systems proposed will follow the same schemes that have produced failures so far. It implies also that the mutated role of the patient had to be known, together with his expectations and needs. Nevertheless, in a globalize world, a policy for eHealth have to consider also those facto...

  10. Research and health policy

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    Abu Bakar Suleiman


    Full Text Available Healthcare investment is critically important for thehealth and well-being of the population, and differenthealth systems are developed to meet the needs andpriorities of each country. What has become clear hasbeen that despite major advances in medicine, scienceand technology, there are major issues related toaccess and equity as well as quality and patient safetyin healthcare services. The issue of patient safety washighlighted by the reports of the Institute of Medicine,USA1,2 and this had received worldwide attention.It is also an irony that despite being in an age ofmajor advances in medicine, science and technology,with the acceptance of evidence-based medicine,so much of medicine and healthcare delivered is oflittle or no proven value. This poses a major challengeon health policy, and on how this can be addressed inany health reform process that focuses on improvingaccess, equity, efficiency and effectiveness in healthcareservices.

  11. Evidence-informed primary health care workforce policy: are we asking the right questions? (United States)

    Naccarella, Lucio; Buchan, Jim; Brooks, Peter


    Australia is facing a primary health care workforce shortage. To inform primary health care (PHC) workforce policy reforms, reflection is required on ways to strengthen the evidence base and its uptake into policy making. In 2008 the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute funded the Australian Health Workforce Institute to host Professor James Buchan, Queen Margaret University, UK, an expert in health services policy research and health workforce planning. Professor Buchan's visit enabled over forty Australian PHC workforce mid-career and senior researchers and policy stakeholders to be involved in roundtable policy dialogue on issues influencing PHC workforce policy making. Six key thematic questions emerged. (1) What makes PHC workforce planning different? (2) Why does the PHC workforce need to be viewed in a global context? (3) What is the capacity of PHC workforce research? (4) What policy levers exist for PHC workforce planning? (5) What principles can guide PHC workforce planning? (6) What incentives exist to optimise the use of evidence in policy making? The emerging themes need to be discussed within the context of current PHC workforce policy reforms, which are focussed on increasing workforce supply (via education/training programs), changing the skill mix and extending the roles of health workers to meet patient needs. With the Australian government seeking to reform and strengthen the PHC workforce, key questions remain about ways to strengthen the PHC workforce evidence base and its uptake into PHC workforce policy making.

  12. An ecological approach to health promotion in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. (United States)

    McDonald, Elizabeth; Bailie, Ross; Grace, Jocelyn; Brewster, David


    Poor environmental conditions and poor child health in remote Australian Aboriginal communities are a symptom of a disjuncture in the cultures of a disadvantaged (and only relatively recently enfranchised) minority population and a proportionally large, wealthy dominant immigrant population, problematic social policies and the legacy of colonialism. Developing effective health promotion interventions in this environment is a challenge. Taking an ecological approach, the objective of this study was to identify the key social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to poor hygiene in remote Aboriginal communities, and to determine approaches that will improve hygiene and reduce the burden of infection among children. The methods included a mix of quantitative and qualitative community-based studies and literature reviews. Study findings showed that a combination of crowding, non-functioning health hardware and poor standards of personal and domestic hygiene underlie the high burden of infection experienced by children. Also, models of health promotion drawn from developed and developing countries can be adapted for use in remote Australian Aboriginal community contexts. High levels of disadvantage in relation to social determinants of health underlie the problem of poor environmental conditions and poor child health in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. Measures need to be taken to address the immediate problems that impact on children's health-for example, by ensuring the availability of functional and adequate water and sanitation facilities-but these interventions are unlikely to have a major effect unless the underlying issues are also addressed.

  13. Reducing the health disparities of Indigenous Australians: time to change focus

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    Durey Angela


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Indigenous peoples have worse health than non-Indigenous, are over-represented amongst the poor and disadvantaged, have lower life expectancies, and success in improving disparities is limited. To address this, research usually focuses on disadvantaged and marginalised groups, offering only partial understanding of influences underpinning slow progress. Critical analysis is also required of those with the power to perpetuate or improve health inequities. In this paper, using Australia as a case example, we explore the effects of ‘White’, Anglo-Australian cultural dominance in health service delivery to Indigenous Australians. We address the issue using race as an organising principle, underpinned by relations of power. Methods Interviews with non-Indigenous medical practitioners in Western Australia with extensive experience in Indigenous health encouraged reflection and articulation of their insights into factors promoting or impeding quality health care to Indigenous Australians. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. An inductive, exploratory analysis identified key themes that were reviewed and interrogated in light of existing literature on health care to Indigenous people, race and disadvantage. The researchers’ past experience, knowledge and understanding of health care and Indigenous health assisted with data interpretation. Informal discussions were also held with colleagues working professionally in Indigenous policy, practice and community settings. Results Racism emerged as a key issue, leading us to more deeply interrogate the role ‘Whiteness’ plays in Indigenous health care. While Whiteness can refer to skin colour, it also represents a racialized social structure where Indigenous knowledge, beliefs and values are subjugated to the dominant western biomedical model in policy and practice. Racism towards Indigenous patients in health services was institutional and interpersonal. Internalised

  14. Appropriate Health Promotion for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demaio, Alessandro Rhyll; Drysdale, Marlene; de Courten, Maximilian


    Health promotion for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their people has generally had limited efficacy and poor sustainability. It has largely failed to recognise and appreciate the importance of local cultures and continues to have minimal emphasis on capacity...... building, community empowerment and local ownership. Culturally-Appropriate Health Promotion is a framework of principles developed in 2008 with the World Health Organization (Geneva) and Global Alliance for Health Promotion. It guides community-focused health promotion practice built on and shaped...... by the respect, understanding and utilisation of local knowledge and culture. Culturally-Appropriate Health Promotion is not about ‘targeting’, ‘intervening’ or ‘responding’. Rather, it results in health program planners and policy-makers understanding, respecting, empowering and collaborating with communities...

  15. Assessing the impact of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement on Australian and global medicines policy

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    Searles Andrew


    Full Text Available Abstract On 1 January 2005, a controversial trade agreement entered into force between Australia and the United States. Though heralded by the parties as facilitating the removal of barriers to free trade (in ways not achievable in multilateral fora, it also contained many trade-restricting intellectual property provisions and others uniquely related to altering pharmaceutical regulation and public health policy in Australia. The latter appear to have particularly focused on the world-respected process of federal government reimbursement after expert cost-effectiveness evaluation, popularly known as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme ('PBS'. It remains uncertain what sort of impacts – if any – the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement ('AUSFTA' will have on PBS processes such as reference pricing and their important role in facilitating equitable and affordable access to essential medicines. This is now the field of inquiry for a major three year Australian Research Council ('ARC'-funded study bringing together a team of senior researchers in regulatory theory from the Australian National University and pharmacoeconomics from the University of Newcastle. The project proposes to monitor, assess and analyse the real and potential impacts of the AUSFTA in this area, providing Australian policy-makers with continuing expertise and options. To the extent that the AUSFTA medicines provisions may represent animportant precedent in a global strategy by industry oncost-effectiveness evaluation of pharmaceuticals, the study will also beof great interest to policy makers in other jurisdictions.

  16. Oral health policies in Brazil

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    Gilberto Alfredo Pucca Junior


    Full Text Available Since Oral Health policies in Brazil have been constructed according to circumstances and possibilities, they should be understood within a given context. The present analysis contextualizes several issues of the Brazilian Oral Health Policy, called "Smiling Brazil", and describes its present stage of development. Today it involves re-organizing basic oral health care by deploying Oral Health Teams within the Family Health strategy, setting up Centers of Dental Specialists within an Oral Health network as a secondary care measure, setting up Regional Laboratories of Dental Prosthesis and a more extensive fluoridation of the public water supply.

  17. Evaluation of Health in All Policies: concept, theory and application. (United States)

    Baum, Fran; Lawless, Angela; Delany, Toni; Macdougall, Colin; Williams, Carmel; Broderick, Danny; Wildgoose, Deborah; Harris, Elizabeth; Mcdermott, Dennis; Kickbusch, Ilona; Popay, Jennie; Marmot, Michael


    This article describes some of the crucial theoretical, methodological and practical issues that need to be considered when evaluating Health in All Policies (HiAP) initiatives. The approaches that have been applied to evaluate HiAP in South Australia are drawn upon as case studies, and early findings from this evaluative research are provided. The South Australian evaluation of HiAP is based on a close partnership between researchers and public servants. The article describes the South Australian HiAP research partnership and considers its benefits and drawbacks in terms of the impact on the scope of the research, the types of evidence that can be collected and the implications for knowledge transfer. This partnership evolved from the conduct of process evaluations and is continuing to develop through joint collaboration on an Australian National Health & Medical Research Council grant. The South Australian research is not seeking to establish causality through statistical tests of correlations, but instead by creating a 'burden of evidence' which supports logically coherent chains of relations. These chains emerge through contrasting and comparing findings from many relevant and extant forms of evidence. As such, program logic is being used to attribute policy change to eventual health outcomes. The article presents the preliminary program logic model and describes the early work of applying the program logic approach to HiAP. The article concludes with an assessment of factors that have accounted for HiAP being sustained in South Australia from 2008 to 2013.

  18. Inclusive pedagogy in Australian universities: A review of current policies and professional development activities

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    Danielle Hitch


    Full Text Available This article reports on activities undertaken by Australian universities to support academic staff to provide inclusive teaching. The findings of two lines of inquiry are reported - a desktop audit of the presence of inclusive teaching or universal design for learning (UDL in publically available policies and procedures documents, and a survey of the methods adopted to build staff capacity to provide inclusive teaching and learning. Just over a third (34.21% of Australian universities referred to inclusive teaching or UDL in their policies and procedures. A wide range of current practices in professional development for inclusive teaching was reported, with the most frequent being one-off workshops focussing on accommodating specific groups of students. Improved institutional support through policies, procedures and professional development would enable Australian higher education teachers to provide quality inclusive teaching to all students.

  19. A review of linked health data in Australian nephrology. (United States)

    Kotwal, Sradha; Webster, Angela C; Cass, Alan; Gallagher, Martin


    Linked health data bring together data about one person from varying sources such as administrative health datasets, death registries and clinical registries using a process that maintains patient privacy. Linked health data have been used for burden of disease estimates and health-care planning and is being increasingly use as a research methodology to study health service utilisation and patient outcomes. Within Australian nephrology, there has been limited understanding and use of linked health data so far, but we expect that with the increasing availability of data and the growing complexity of health care, the use of such data will expand. This is especially pertinent for the growing elderly population with advanced kidney disease, who are poorly represented in other types of research studies. This article summarizes the history of linked health data in Australia, the nature of available datasets in Australia, the methods of access to these data, privacy and ethical issues, along with strengths, limitations and implications for the future.

  20. The Challenging Australian Policy Context for University Engagement (United States)

    Barker, Karen


    Despite the current broad agreement amongst Australian universities that engagement is now a core activity, the implications of that commitment are yet to be fully realised. The difficulties many universities face in articulating engagement as a strategic priority begin with the conceptual and definitional issues around the third mission and its…

  1. Mental health triage nursing: an Australian perspective. (United States)

    Sands, N


    This paper presents the findings of a doctoral research project that involved a state-wide investigation into mental health triage nursing in Victoria, Australia. Mental health triage is a specialized domain of nursing practice that has emerged within the context of wider mental health reform in the State. The overall aim of the study was to produce a comprehensive definition and description of psychiatric triage nursing in Victoria. Methodological triangulation was used in the design of the study to enable the use of both survey (n = 139) and semi-structured interview (n = 21) data collection methods. Mental health triage nursing was found to be a complex, stressful role that involves high levels of responsibility, clinical decision making, and multiple role functions, many of which overlap into areas of practice previously the exclusive domain of medicine, such as assessment, diagnosis, and referral. The paper raises discussion on contemporary professional issues of concern to mental health triage nursing, and concludes with recommendations for the future development of the discipline.

  2. Australian Higher Education Policy and Inclusion of People with Disabilities: A Review (United States)

    Hartley, Judy


    Written from the perspective of a disability practitioner and equity manager working in the Australian tertiary education sector for over twenty-five years, this paper reviews some of the significant social, equity, and education policy developments and associated legislation, which have influenced the inclusion of people with disabilities in…

  3. Policy Change and Its Effect on Australian Community-Based Natural Resource Management Practices (United States)

    Cooke, Penelope R.; Hemmings, Brian C.


    The authors of this article report on a qualitative study of Australian community-based natural resource management groups known as Landcare groups. They discuss how four Landcare groups contributed to sustainability practices and how a policy change implemented in 2003 influenced the efforts of the groups to remain active in their activities.…

  4. School Policies on Bullying and Cyberbullying: Perspectives across Three Australian States (United States)

    Chalmers, Caitlin; Campbell, Marilyn Anne; Spears, Barbara A; Butler, Des; Cross, Donna; Slee, Phillip; Kift, Sally


    Background: Despite decades of research, bullying in all its forms is still a significant problem within schools in Australia, as it is internationally. Anti-bullying policies and guidelines are thought to be one strategy as part of a whole school approach to reduce bullying. However, although Australian schools are required to have these…

  5. Corrosive places, inhuman spaces: mental health in Australian immigration detention. (United States)

    McLoughlin, Pauline; Warin, Megan


    Since their establishment in 1992, Australian Immigration Detention Centres have been the focus of increasing concern due to allegations of their serious impact on the mental health of asylum seekers. Informed by Foucault's treatise on surveillance and the phenomenological work of Casey, this paper extends the current clinical data by examining the architecture and location of detention centres, and the complex relationships between space, place and mental health. In spatialising these relationships, we argue that Immigration Detention Centres operate not only as Panopticons, but are embodied by asylum seekers as 'anti-places': as places that mediate and constitute thinned out and liminal experiences. In particular, it is the embodied effects of surveillance and suspended liminality that impact on mental health. An approach which locates the embodiment of place and space as central to the poor mental health of asylum seekers adds an important dimension to our understandings of (dis)placement and mental health in the lives of the exiled.

  6. A Country Specific Approach To IFRS Accounting Policy Choice In The European, Australian And Turkish Context


    Nalan Akdogan; Can Ozturk


    IAS 8 defines the concept of accounting policy as "the specific principles, bases, conventions, rules and practices applied by an entity in preparing and presenting financial statements". Within the framework of this concept, this research that is derived from International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) contributes to the accounting literature by focusing on the alternative accounting policies' debate related to presentation and recognition issues in the European, Australian and Turkis...

  7. Health policy and case management. (United States)

    Mark, D D


    The purpose of this article is to analyze the performance of and support for case management using a policy framework in order to increase case managers' awareness of policy making and facilitate successful planning for future policy initiatives. Feldstein's (1996) theory of opposing legislative outcomes indicates that legislation can be viewed on a continuum, ranging from legislation that meets the needs of the public to legislation considered to be in the self-interest of the participants and legislators. The current health care system requires that case managers working for publicly funded health care organizations balance the need for stewardship of U.S. tax dollars and the health care needs of consumers. It is apparent from the literature that case managers are successfully achieving this balance. However, certain conditions should exist that allow for case manager decision-making that promotes effective and efficient utilization of health care resources. Case managers must work within the context of the health care policy environment. Realizing that it is more likely that the conflicts between stewardship and the provision of health care services will continue, case managers' knowledge and influence regarding policy making becomes imperative in order to ensure that these conflicting goals do not become mutually exclusive.

  8. 'Disease, disaster and despair'? The presentation of health in low- and middle-income countries on Australian television.

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    Michelle Imison

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In high-income nations mainstream television news remains an important source of information about both general health issues and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs. However, research on news coverage of health in LMICs is scarce. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The present paper examines the general features of Australian television coverage of LMIC health issues, testing the hypotheses that this coverage conforms to the general patterns of foreign news reporting in high-income countries and, in particular, that LMIC health coverage will largely reflect Australian interests. We analysed relevant items from May 2005 - December 2009 from the largest health-related television dataset of its kind, classifying each story on the basis of the region(s it covered, principal content relating to health in LMICs and the presence of an Australian reference point. LMICs that are culturally proximate and politically significant to Australia had higher levels of reportage than more distant and unengaged nations. Items concerning communicable diseases, injury and aspects of child health generally consonant with 'disease, disaster and despair' news frames predominated, with relatively little emphasis given to chronic diseases which are increasingly prevalent in many LMICs. Forty-two percent of LMIC stories had explicit Australian content, such as imported medical expertise or health risk to Australians in LMICs. SIGNIFICANCE: Media consumers' perceptions of disease burdens in LMICs and of these nations' capacity to identify and manage their own health priorities may be distorted by the major news emphasis on exotic disease, disaster and despair stories. Such perceptions may inhibit the development of appropriate policy emphases in high-income countries. In this context, non-government organisations concerned with international development may find it more difficult to strike a balance between crises and enduring issues in their health programming and

  9. Australia’s Indigenous ill–health and national social policy implications


    März, Angelika


    This paper describes the current state of health and socio-economic status of the Indigenous people of Australia and reports and discusses social policy measures that have been taken by the Commonwealth government to improve Indigenous health since the late 1980s. The health of Indigenous people is far worse than that of other Australians. Immediate causes of Indigenous ill–health are a poor environmental health infrastructure and housing conditions, inadequate access to health services and a...

  10. Will the new Australian health privacy law provide adequate protection? (United States)

    Bomba, David; Hallit, George


    Amendments to the original Privacy Act (1988) come at a key point in time, as a national medical record system looms on the Australian horizon. Changes to The Privacy Act have the potential to define a level of information privacy prior to the implementation of such a system. We have therefore collected expert opinions on the ability of the Health Privacy Guidelines (enacted in December 2001 under The Privacy Act and hereafter more specifically known as Health Privacy Legislation) to ensure the privacy and security of patient information. We conclude that the legislation is flawed in its capacity to withstand an increasingly corporatised health sector. Deficiencies in consent requirements, together with feeble enforcement capabilities, mean The Legislation cannot effectively ensure that personally identifiable information will not end up in corporate third party hands. To significantly bolster the new legislation, we argue that it should be supplemented with explicit health data legislation and privacy auditing.

  11. Health Reform Requires Policy Capacity

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    Pierre-Gerlier Forest


    Full Text Available Among the many reasons that may limit the adoption of promising reform ideas, policy capacity is the least recognized. The concept itself is not widely understood. Although policy capacity is concerned with the gathering of information and the formulation of options for public action in the initial phases of policy consultation and development, it also touches on all stages of the policy process, from the strategic identification of a problem to the actual development of the policy, its formal adoption, its implementation, and even further, its evaluation and continuation or modification. Expertise in the form of policy advice is already widely available in and to public administrations, to well-established professional organizations like medical societies and, of course, to large private-sector organizations with commercial or financial interests in the health sector. We need more health actors to join the fray and move from their traditional position of advocacy to a fuller commitment to the development of policy capacity, with all that it entails in terms of leadership and social responsibility

  12. Gender, intoxication and the developing brain: Problematisations of drinking among young adults in Australian alcohol policy. (United States)

    Manton, Elizabeth; Moore, David


    In this article, we draw on recent scholarly work in the poststructuralist analysis of policy to consider how policy itself functions as a key site in the constitution of alcohol 'problems', and the political implications of these problematisations. We do this by examining Australian alcohol policy as it relates to young adults (18-24 years old). Our critical analysis focuses on three national alcohol policies (1990, 2001 and 2006) and two Victorian state alcohol policies (2008 and 2013), which together span a 25-year period. We argue that Australian alcohol policies have conspicuously ignored young adult men, despite their ongoing over-representation in the statistical 'evidence base' on alcohol-related harm, while increasingly problematising alcohol consumption amongst other population subgroups. We also identify the development of a new problem representation in Australian alcohol policy, that of 'intoxication' as the leading cause of alcohol-related harm and rising hospital admissions, and argue that changes in the classification and diagnosis of intoxication may have contributed to its prioritisation and problematisation in alcohol policy at the expense of other forms of harm. Finally, we draw attention to how preliminary and inconclusive research on the purported association between binge drinking and brain development in those under 25 years old has been mobilised prematurely to support calls to increase the legal purchasing age from 18 to 21 years. Our critical analysis of the treatment of these three issues - gender, intoxication, and brain development - is intended to highlight the ways in which policy functions as a key site in the constitution of alcohol 'problems'.

  13. Culture, history, and health in an Australian aboriginal community: the case of utopia. (United States)

    Anderson, Heather; Kowal, Emma


    The poor health of Indigenous Australians is well established. However, the health of residents of one remote community in the Northern Territory of Australia called Utopia has been found recently to be much better than expected. In this article, we draw on historical anthropological research to explain this finding. We trace how cultural and social structures were maintained through changing eras of government policy from the 1930s, and show how these structures strengthened psychosocial determinants of health. We argue that the mainstream psychosocial determinants of social cohesion and self-efficacy are usefully reconceptualized in an Indigenous context as connectedness to culture and land, and collective efficacy, respectively. Continuity of cultural and social structures into the 1940s was facilitated by a combination of factors including the relatively late colonial occupation, the intercultural practices typical of the pastoral industry, the absence of a mission or government settlement, and the individual personalities and histories of those connected to Utopia.

  14. Implementing US-style anti-fraud laws in the Australian pharmaceutical and health care industries. (United States)

    Faunce, Thomas A; Urbas, Gregor; Skillen, Lesley


    This article critically analyses the prospects for introducing United States anti-fraud (or anti-false claims) laws in the Australian health care setting. Australian governments spend billions of dollars each year on medicines and health care. A recent report estimates that the money lost to corporate fraud in Australia is growing at an annual rate of 7%, but that only a third of the losses are currently being detected. In the US, qui tam provisions - the component of anti-fraud or anti-false claims laws involving payments to whistleblowers - have been particularly successful in providing critical evidence allowing public prosecutors to recover damages for fraud and false claims made by corporations in relation to federal and state health care programs. The US continues to strengthen such anti-fraud measures and to successfully apply them to a widening range of areas involving large public investment. Australia still suffers from the absence of any comprehensive scheme that not only allows treble damages recovery for fraud on the public purse, but crucially supports such actions by providing financial encouragement for whistleblowing corporate insiders to expose evidence of fraud. Potential areas of application could include direct and indirect government expenditure on health care service provision, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, defence, carbon emissions compensation and tobacco-related illness. The creation in Australia of an equivalent to US anti-false claims legislation should be a policy priority, particularly in a period of financial stringency.

  15. Health promotion in Australian multi-disciplinary primary health care services: case studies from South Australia and the Northern Territory. (United States)

    Baum, Fran; Freeman, Toby; Jolley, Gwyn; Lawless, Angela; Bentley, Michael; Värttö, Kaisu; Boffa, John; Labonte, Ronald; Sanders, David


    This paper reports on the health promotion and disease prevention conducted at Australian multi-disciplinary primary health care (PHC) services and considers the ways in which the organizational environment affects the extent and type of health promotion and disease prevention activity. The study involves five PHC services in Adelaide and one in Alice Springs. Four are managed by a state health department and two by boards of governance. The study is based on an audit of activities and on 68 interviews conducted with staff. All the sites undertake health promotion and recognize its importance but all report that this activity is under constant pressure resulting from the need to provide services to people who have health problems. We also found an increased focus on chronic disease management and prevention which prioritized individuals and behavioural change strategies rather than addressing social determinants affecting whole communities. There was little health promotion work that reflected a salutogenic approach to the creation of health. Most activity falls under three types: parenting and child development, chronic disease prevention and mental health. Only the non-government organizations reported advocacy on broader policy issues. Health reform and consequent reorganizations were seen to reduce the ability of some services to undertake health promotion. The paper concludes that PHC in Australia plays an important role in disease prevention, but that there is considerable scope to increase the amount of community-based health promotion which focuses on a salutogenic view of health and which engages in community partnerships.

  16. ICT Adoption Policy of Australian and Croatian SMEs

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    Hazbo Skoko


    Full Text Available Many SMEs are currently adopting information and communication technology (ICT and services based on it. However, there is little systematic research into how they are doing this and what are the organisational and environmental factors associated with this adoption. In this article, the authors build the model of ICT adoption in Australian and Croatian SMEs, founded on premises that SMEs are the main economic developing factor in all modern economies and that the adoption and the use of ICT represents the fundamental source of competitiveness and the basis for their survival on the world market. By applying Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA and Boolean algebra, the authors developed a model of necessary and sufficient factors for ICT adoption by SMEs in Australia and Croatia.

  17. Exploring Australian health promotion and environmental sustainability initiatives. (United States)

    Patrick, Rebecca; Kingsley, Jonathan


    Issue addressed Health promotion practitioners have important roles in applying ecosystem approaches to health and actively promoting environmental sustainability within community-level practice. The present study identified the nature and scope of health promotion activities across Australia that tackle environmental sustainability. Methods A mixed-method approach was used, with 82 participants undertaking a quantitative survey and 11 undertaking a qualitative interview. Purposeful sampling strategies were used to recruit practitioners who were delivering community-level health promotion and sustainability programs in Australia. The data were analysed thematically and interpretation was guided by the principles of triangulation. Results Study participants were at various stages of linking health promotion and environmental sustainability. Initiatives focused on healthy and sustainable food, active transport, energy efficiency, contact with nature and capacity building. Conclusion Capacity building approaches were perceived as essential to strengthening this field of practice. Healthy and sustainable food and active transport were suitable platforms for simultaneously promoting community health and sustainability. There was potential for expansion of programs that emphasise contact with nature and energy issues, as well as interventions that emphasise systems thinking and interdisciplinary approaches. So what? It was promising that Australian health promotion programs have started to address complexity rather than single issues, as evidenced by explicit engagement with environmental sustainability. However, more effort is required to enable a shift towards ecosystem approaches to health.

  18. A Country Specific Approach To IFRS Accounting Policy Choice In The European, Australian And Turkish Context

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    Nalan Akdogan


    Full Text Available IAS 8 defines the concept of accounting policy as "the specific principles, bases, conventions, rules and practices applied by an entity in preparing and presenting financial statements". Within the framework of this concept, this research that is derived from International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS contributes to the accounting literature by focusing on the alternative accounting policies' debate related to presentation and recognition issues in the European, Australian and Turkish context and concludes that there is an influence of local accounting policies over IFRS practice in Turkey and this influence still exists in Europe and Australia. This shows that as long as diversity in accounting policies of IFRS is present, entities are expected to be inclined to select their local accounting policies by leading to comparability of financial statements within the country rather than between countries in the IFRS context.

  19. Indigenous Australian dental health: a brief review of caries experience. (United States)

    Martin-Iverson, N; Pacza, T; Phatouros, A; Tennant, M


    The indigenous community in Australia is an at risk population for oral diseases such as dental caries. The majority of communities are isolated and dental services in these areas are limited. Oral hygiene standards are poor and this combined with a diet rich in refined carbohydrates has led to high incidences of dental caries. In addition, diabetes, which is related to obesity (and a diet high in sugar and fat) has been linked to increases in oral disease. Caries prevalence was found to be low in areas where fluoridation levels in the water were high. The fact that the fluoride supplementation appears to improve oral health to a significant degree suggests that implementation of fluoride treatment programmes for school children and, where viable, fluoridation of water sources would be appropriate. In addition, dental education programmes should receive high priority. As with the rest of the community, these preventive measures will result in less need for emergency dental treatment in the future, better oral health for the community and reduced financial burden on the State. It is under these circumstances that oral health planners and providers must, in consultation with the relevant community representatives, develop appropriate mechanisms to address the needs of this group. The development of strategies that integrate with the plethora of general health strategies currently being implemented is just one means of achieving improved oral health outcomes for indigenous Australians.

  20. Buying best value health care: Evolution of purchasing among Australian private health insurers. (United States)

    Willcox, Sharon


    Since 1995 Australian health insurers have been able to purchase health services pro-actively through negotiating contracts with hospitals, but little is known about their experience of purchasing. This paper examines the current status of purchasing through interviews with senior managers representing all Australian private health insurers. Many of the traditional tools used to generate competition and enhance efficiency (such as selective contracting and co-payments) have had limited use due to public and political opposition. Adoption of bundled case payment models using diagnosis related groups (DRGs) has been slow. Insurers cite multiple reasons including poor understanding of private hospital costs, unfamiliarity with DRGs, resistance from the medical profession and concerns about premature discharge. Innovation in payment models has been limited, although some insurers are considering introduction of volume-outcome purchasing and pay for performance incentives. Private health insurers also face a complex web of regulation, some of which appears to impede moves towards more efficient purchasing.

  1. Building health systems capacity in global health graduate programs: reflections from Australian educators. (United States)

    Negin, Joel; Martiniuk, Alexandra; Morgan, Chris; Davies, Philip; Zwi, Anthony


    There has been increasing focus on the role of health systems in low and middle-income countries. Despite this, very little evidence exists on how best to build health systems program and research capacity in educational programs. The current experiences in building capacity in health systems in five of the most prominent global health programs at Australian universities are outlined. The strengths and weaknesses of various approaches and techniques are provided along with examples of global practice in order to provide a foundation for future discussion and thus improvements in global health systems education.

  2. Macropsychology, policy, and global health. (United States)

    MacLachlan, Malcolm


    In this article I argue for the development of a macro perspective within psychology, akin to that found in macroeconomics. Macropsychology is the application of psychology to factors that influence the settings and conditions of our lives. As policy concerns the strategic allocation of resources—who gets what and why?—it should be an area of particular interest for macropsychology. I review ways in which psychology may make a contribution to policy within the field of global health. Global health emphasizes human rights, equity, social inclusion, and empowerment; psychology has much to contribute to these areas, both at the level of policy and practice. I review the sorts of evidence and other factors that influence policymakers, along with the content, process, and context of policymaking, with a particular focus on the rights of people with disabilities in the low- and middle-income countries of Africa and Asia. These insights are drawn from collaborations with a broad range of practitioners, governments, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector and researchers. Humanitarian work psychology is highlighted as an example of a new area of psychology that embraces some of the concerns of macropsychology. The advent of "big data" presents psychology with an opportunity to ask new types of questions, and these should include "understanding up," or how psychological factors can contribute to human well-being, nationally and globally.

  3. Phylodiversity to inform conservation policy: An Australian example. (United States)

    Laity, Tania; Laffan, Shawn W; González-Orozco, Carlos E; Faith, Daniel P; Rosauer, Dan F; Byrne, Margaret; Miller, Joseph T; Crayn, Darren; Costion, Craig; Moritz, Craig C; Newport, Karl


    Phylodiversity measures summarise the phylogenetic diversity patterns of groups of organisms. By using branches of the tree of life, rather than its tips (e.g., species), phylodiversity measures provide important additional information about biodiversity that can improve conservation policy and outcomes. As a biodiverse nation with a strong legislative and policy framework, Australia provides an opportunity to use phylogenetic information to inform conservation decision-making. We explored the application of phylodiversity measures across Australia with a focus on two highly biodiverse regions, the south west of Western Australia (SWWA) and the South East Queensland bioregion (SEQ). We analysed seven diverse groups of organisms spanning five separate phyla on the evolutionary tree of life, the plant genera Acacia and Daviesia, mammals, hylid frogs, myobatrachid frogs, passerine birds, and camaenid land snails. We measured species richness, weighted species endemism (WE) and two phylodiversity measures, phylogenetic diversity (PD) and phylogenetic endemism (PE), as well as their respective complementarity scores (a measure of gains and losses) at 20 km resolution. Higher PD was identified within SEQ for all fauna groups, whereas more PD was found in SWWA for both plant groups. PD and PD complementarity were strongly correlated with species richness and species complementarity for most groups but less so for plants. PD and PE were found to complement traditional species-based measures for all groups studied: PD and PE follow similar spatial patterns to richness and WE, but highlighted different areas that would not be identified by conventional species-based biodiversity analyses alone. The application of phylodiversity measures, particularly the novel weighted complementary measures considered here, in conservation can enhance protection of the evolutionary history that contributes to present day biodiversity values of areas. Phylogenetic measures in conservation

  4. Health services utilisation disparities between English speaking and non-English speaking background Australian infants

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    Chen Jack


    Full Text Available Abstract Background To examine the differences in health services utilisation and the associated risk factors between infants from non-English speaking background (NESB and English speaking background (ESB within Australia. Methods We analysed data from a national representative longitudinal study, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC which started in 2004. We used survey logistic regression coupled with survey multiple linear regression to examine the factors associated with health services utilisation. Results Similar health status was observed between the two groups. In comparison to ESB infants, NESB infants were significantly less likely to use the following health services: maternal and child health centres or help lines (odds ratio [OR] 0.56; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.40-0.79; maternal and child health nurse visits (OR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.49-0.95; general practitioners (GPs (OR 0.58; 95% CI, 0.40-0.83; and hospital outpatient clinics (OR 0.54; 95% CI, 0.31-0.93. Multivariate analysis results showed that the disparities could not be fully explained by the socioeconomic status and language barriers. The association between English proficiency and the service utilised was absent once the NESB was taken into account. Maternal characteristics, family size and income, private health insurance and region of residence were the key factors associated with health services utilisation. Conclusions NESB infants accessed significantly less of the four most frequently used health services compared with ESB infants. Maternal characteristics and family socioeconomic status were linked to health services utilisation. The gaps in health services utilisation between NESB and ESB infants with regard to the use of maternal and child health centres or phone help, maternal and child health nurse visits, GPs and paediatricians require appropriate policy attentions and interventions.

  5. An Australian example of translating psychological research into practice and policy: where we are and where we need to go

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliza eWerner-Seidler


    Full Text Available Research findings from psychological science have identified interventions that will benefit human health. However, these findings are not often incorporated into practice-based settings or used to inform policy, in part, due to methodological and contextual limitations. A strategic approach is required if we are to find a way to facilitate the translation of these findings into areas that will offer genuine impact on health. There is an overwhelming focus on conducting more clinical trials, without consideration of how to ensure that findings from such trials make it to the patients or populations for whom they were intended. The aim of this paper is to outline how the Black Dog Institute, an Australian medical research institute, has created a framework designed to facilitate the translation of research findings into practice-based community settings, and how these findings can be used to inform policy. We propose that the core strategies adopted at the Black Dog Institute to prioritise and implement a translational program will be useful to institutes and organisations worldwide to augment the impact of their work. We provide several examples of how our research has been implemented in practice-based settings at a community-level, and how we have used research in psychology as a platform to inform policy change.

  6. Uncovering Hidden Dimensions of Australian Early Childhood Policy History: Insights from Interviews with Policy "Elites" (United States)

    Logan, Helen; Sumsion, Jennifer; Press, Frances


    This article considers the value of elite interviews as a frequently overlooked methodology in investigations of policymaking in early childhood education and care (ECEC). We contextualise the discussion within a study that examines constructions of quality in Australian ECEC policymaking between 1972 and 2009. We conclude that, despite their…

  7. From 'White Australia' to 'part of Asia': recent shifts in Australian immigration policy towards the region. (United States)

    Jupp, J


    This article examines migration policy in Australia with reference to the "White Australia" policy prior to 1975 and the multicultural policy thereafter. Mass immigration has not caused major social tensions. Mass tourism has been welcomed. Australian attitudes have changed from fear of massive numbers of Asians and mass poverty and ignorance to multiculturalism. Suspicious attitudes toward Asians, however, are still present among a minority of Australians. The most influential arguments against Asians are the concerns about employment of new arrivals and the environmental impact of an increasing population. Although there are many cultural differences, Australia is linked to Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines in that all have a history of British or American influence. Educated Indians and Sri Lankans are linked to Australians by their common language and Christian religion. The integration of Asians in the business and financial community holds the potential for economic gain over the years. The author finds that the Australian relationship to Asia is more acceptable in public arenas than the comparable changing relationship between Britain and Europe. The roots of a Whites-only policy extend back to 1901, when the Commonwealth Immigration Restriction Act was ratified. The exclusion of non-European immigrants was not specified in the law. The mechanism for exclusion was included in the law. Undesirable immigrants could be excluded. Under mass migration programs after 1947 the population of non-English speaking Europeans increased. By 1973 government shifted from an assimilationist approach to a multicultural approach due to pressure from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Numerous historical events occurring during 1942-80 drew Australia out of its isolationist position in the world. At present about 25% of the total population are of non-British origin. Over 900,000 would have been excluded under the old migration policy. In 1991, 665,315 persons were born

  8. Childhood Diabesity: International Applications for Health Education and Health Policy (United States)

    Pinzon-Perez, Helda; Kotkin-Jaszi, Suzanne; Perez, Miguel A.


    Health policy has a direct impact on health education initiatives, health care delivery, resource allocation, and quality of life. Increasing rates in the epidemics of obesity and obesity-dependent diabetes mellitus (aka diabesity) suggest that health policy changes should be included in health education and disease prevention strategies. Health…

  9. A framework to support team-based models of primary care within the Australian health care system. (United States)

    Naccarella, Lucio; Greenstock, Louise N; Brooks, Peter M


    Health systems with strong primary care orientations are known to be associated with improved equity, better access for patients to appropriate services at lower costs, and improved population health. Team-based models of primary care have emerged in response to health system challenges due to complex patient profiles, patient expectations and health system demands. Successful team-based models of primary care require a combination of interprofessional education and learning; organisational and management policies and systems; and practice support systems. To ensure evidence is put into practice, we propose a framework comprising five domains (theory, implementation, infrastructure, sustainability and evaluation) to assist policymakers, educators, researchers, managers and health professionals in supporting team-based models of primary care within the Australian health care system.

  10. Understanding health policy leaders’ training needs (United States)

    Smith, L. Lerissa; Volny Darko, Renée; McKool, Marissa; Yan, Fengxia; Heiman, Harry


    Purpose We assessed the training needs of health policy leaders and practitioners across career stages; identified areas of core content for health policy training programs; and, identified training modalities for health policy leaders. Methods We convened a focus group of health policy leaders at varying career stages to inform the development of the Health Policy Leaders’ Training Needs Assessment tool. We piloted and distributed the tool electronically. We used descriptive statistics and thematic coding for analysis. Results Seventy participants varying in age and stage of career completed the tool. “Cost implications of health policies” ranked highest for personal knowledge development and “intersection of policy and politics” ranked highest for health policy leaders in general. “Effective communication skills” ranked as the highest skill element and “integrity” as the highest attribute element. Format for training varied based on age and career stage. Conclusions This study highlighted the training needs of health policy leaders personally as well as their perceptions of the needs for training health policy leaders in general. The findings are applicable for current health policy leadership training programs as well as those in development. PMID:28333982

  11. An Innovation Systems Assessment of the Australian Biofuel Industry. Policy and Private Sector Implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielsen, Jason D.


    A strong biofuel industry in Australia has the potential to provide numerous benefits to the nation and its peoples. The benefits include; reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and harmful particulate matter, a boost to rural development goals, enhanced fuel security and a lower balance of payments. For biofuels to be seriously considered as alternatives to traditional petroleum based automotive fuels they must be economically viable. The findings from a series of Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) investigations suggest that ethanol and biodiesel production would be economically viable, in the Australian context, with oil prices in the range of 30-40 USD a barrel. Despite the price of oil being in or above this range for over two years a strong home grown biofuel industry has failed to develop in Australia. The purpose of this master's thesis therefore is to identify the critical issues facing biofuel industry development in Australian and to propose possible policy and private sector strategies for dealing with them. The analysis was done in the following three steps; the first was to map the development of the ethanol and biodiesel industries, the second was to analyse the performance of the industries overtime and the third was to identify the mechanisms which have either induced or blocked their growth. The strategies proposed by this thesis were derived from analysing the inducing and blocking mechanisms and the related issues. The innovation systems approach was chosen because of its ability to provide insights into key industry players, their network interactions and the institutional setup within which they work together to develop, diffuse and use their products. The data needed for the analysis stated above included information related to the development, diffusion and use of ethanol and biodiesel; that is, details about the industry actors and their activities, industry networks, product standards, excise arrangements

  12. Leprosy: International Public Health Policies and Public Health Eras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niyi Awofeso


    Full Text Available Public health policies continue to play important roles in national and international health reforms. However, the influence and legacies of the public health eras during which such policies are formulated remain largely underappreciated. The limited appreciation of this relationship may hinder consistent adoption of public health policies by nation-states, and encumber disinvestment from ineffective or anachronistic policies. This article reviews seven public health eras and highlights how each era has influenced international policy formulation for leprosy control—“the fertile soil for policy learning”. The author reiterates the role of health leadership and health activism in facilitating consistency in international health policy formulation and implementation for leprosy control.

  13. The case of national health promotion policy in Australia: where to now? (United States)

    Smith, James A; Crawford, Gemma; Signal, Louise


    Issue addressed Over the last three decades there has been an incremental investment in health promotion and prevention across Australia; yet, the Commonwealth Government and some state/territory governments have more recently instigated funding cuts in health promotion and prevention. This paper argues that the role of health promotion is critical in contemporary Australia and discusses strategies needed to move forward within the context of recent disinvestments. Discussion Key areas of concern relating to recent health promotion and prevention disinvestment in Australia include the abolishment of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency, the cessation of the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health and significant cuts to Indigenous programs. These changes pose a significant threat to the health, economic and social well being of Australians and the region, particularly those that are most vulnerable. Conclusions Future health promotion and prevention efforts will require strategic leadership and action to enhance the promotion of health equity in Australia over the coming decades. We call on governments to (re)invest in health promotion and prevention both in and outside the health sector so that health promotion professionals can continue their advocacy efforts aimed at articulating their professional place in improving population health. So what? Recent changes to national health promotion and prevention policy are detrimental to the health and well being of the Australian population, particularly those most vulnerable. Sound planning to revitalise and refocus health promotion action in Australia is urgently required.

  14. Music Therapy, Social Policy and Ecological Models: A Located Example of Music in Australian Schools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Hew Dale Crooke


    Full Text Available While music therapy courses rarely cover the finer points of social policy, a basic knowledge of how this system of governance works can be highly beneficial for those wanting to maximise their presence and impact in a given field. Taking an ecological approach, this article presents how music therapy as a discipline and practise can be seen as located within a structure of policy. Further, it illustrates how understanding this structure can help practitioners and researchers capitalise on the opportunities they provide, and work around the barriers they impose. It does this by providing a background of the ecological model approach, and discussing how this approach can be useful for thinking about the relationship between music therapy and social policy. It then uses the policy situation surrounding music in Australian schools to give a grounded example of how understanding this situation can help position music therapy to meet key policy goals at national and localised levels. It is hoped that increased awareness, and an example of how it can be applied, will empower music therapists to learn about policies in their specific areas, and capitalise on the opportunities they provide.

  15. Research That Counts: OECD Statistics and "Policy Entrepreneurs" Impacting on Australian Adult Literacy and Numeracy Policy (United States)

    Black, Stephen; Yasukawa, Keiko


    This paper analyses research that has impacted on Australia's most recent national policy document on adult literacy and numeracy, the National Foundation Skills Strategy (NFSS). The paper draws in part on Lingard's 2013 paper, "The impact of research on education policy in an era of evidence-based policy", in which he outlines the…

  16. Investigating the health implications of social policy initiatives at the local level: study design and methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carey Gemma E


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In this paper we present the research design and methods of a study that seeks to capture local level responses to an Australian national social policy initiative, aimed at reducing inequalities in the social determinants of health. Methods/Design The study takes a policy-to-practice approach and combines policy and stakeholder interviewing with a comparative case study analysis of two not-for-profit organisations involved in the delivery of federal government policy. Discussion Before the health impacts of broad-scale policies, such as the one described in this study, can be assessed at the population level, we need to understand the implementation process. This is consistent with current thinking in political science and social policy, which has emphasised the importance of investigating how, and if, policies are translated into operational realities.

  17. Enacting Critical Health Literacy in the Australian Secondary School Curriculum: The Possibilities Posed by e-Health (United States)

    McCuaig, Louise; Carroll, Kristie; Macdonald, Doune


    The teaching of health literacy in school-based health education (SBHE) is of international interest, yet there is less ready access to how conceptions of health literacy can be operationalised in school programmes. More specifically, while articulated in curriculum documents such as the incoming Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical…

  18. Structural impediments to TQM in Australian health care. (United States)

    Degeling, P; Carnegie, M


    The culture of quality called for by total quality management (TQM) has much to recommend it. Australian experience, however, suggests that it is not something that can easily be added to the profession-based structures and cultures prevailing in most Australian hospitals. Implementing TQM is not just a matter of advocating it. The institutional transformation implied by TQM requires additional action on multiple fronts, both internal and external to the hospital.

  19. The productive techniques and constitutive effects of 'evidence-based policy' and 'consumer participation' discourses in health policy processes. (United States)

    Lancaster, K; Seear, K; Treloar, C; Ritter, A


    For over twenty years there have been calls for greater 'consumer' participation in health decision-making. While it is recognised by governments and other stakeholders that 'consumer' participation is desirable, barriers to meaningful involvement nonetheless remain. It has been suggested that the reifying of 'evidence-based policy' may be limiting opportunities for participation, through the way this discourse legitimates particular voices to the exclusion of others. Others have suggested that assumptions underpinning the very notion of the 'affected community' or 'consumers' as fixed and bounded 'policy publics' need to be problematised. In this paper, drawing on interviews (n = 41) with individuals closely involved in Australian drug policy discussions, we critically interrogate the productive techniques and constitutive effects of 'evidence-based policy' and 'consumer participation' discourses in the context of drug policy processes. To inform our analysis, we draw on and combine a number of critical perspectives including Foucault's concept of subjugated knowledges, the work of feminist theorists, as well as recent work regarding conceptualisations of emergent policy publics. First, we explore how the subject position of 'consumer' might be seen as enacted in the material-discursive practices of 'evidence-based policy' and 'consumer participation' in drug policy processes. Secondly, we consider the centralising power-effects of the dominant 'evidence-based policy' paradigm, and how resistance may be thought about in this context. We suggest that such interrogation has potential to recast the call for 'consumer' participation in health policy decision-making and drug policy processes.

  20. How Did Youth Mental Health Make It Onto Australia’s 2011 Federal Policy Agenda?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harvey A. Whiteford


    Full Text Available The 2011 Australian federal budget included a large investment in youth mental health and early intervention services. In this article, we focus on the critical role of agenda setting in the preceding 4 years to examine how and why these services were given such a high priority at this time. We undertook a systematic review of relevant literature, including parliamentary Hansard transcripts from the House of Representatives and Senate, the final reports of all available parliamentary committees, government policy documents, other pertinent documents held by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging, and media reports from five widely circulated Australian publications/news outlets. We used Kingdon’s multiple streams framework to structure analysis. We highlight three factors that were influential in getting youth mental health issues onto the policy agenda: (a the strategic use of quantitative evidence to create a publicly visible “problem,” (b the marshalling of the “public” to create pressure on government, and (c the role of serendipity. Overall, we found the decision to prioritize youth mental health resulted from a combination of advocacy for a well-articulated policy solution by high-profile, influential policy entrepreneurs, and political pressure caused by an up swell of national support for mental health reform. Our findings highlight the socio-political factors that influence agenda setting and health policy formulation. They raise important ethical and strategic issues in utilizing research evidence to change policy.

  1. Students Seeking Help for Mental Health Problems: Do Australian University Websites Provide Clear Pathways? (United States)

    Laws, Thomas A.; Fiedler, Brenton A.


    Mental health problems in young Australians continue to be a major public health issue. Studying at university can generate social pressures particularly for youth, which have been associated with the onset of a mental illness or a worsening of an existing condition. Many universities provide health services to support students with health…

  2. Health inequalities, physician citizens and professional medical associations: an Australian case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naccarella Lucio


    Full Text Available Abstract Background As socioeconomic health inequalities persist and widen, the health effects of adversity are a constant presence in the daily work of physicians. Gruen and colleagues suggest that, in responding to important population health issues such as this, defining those areas of professional obligation in contrast to professional aspiration should be on the basis of evidence and feasibility. Drawing this line between obligation and aspiration is a part of the work of professional medical colleges and associations, and in doing so they must respond to members as well as a range of other interest groups. Our aim was to explore the usefulness of Gruen's model of physician responsibility in defining how professional medical colleges and associations should lead the profession in responding to socioeconomic health inequalities. Methods We report a case study of how the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is responding to the issue of health inequalities through its work. We undertook a consultation (80 interviews with stakeholders internal and external to the College and two focus groups with general practitioners and program and policy review of core programs of College interest and responsibility: general practitioner training and setting of practice standards, as well as its work in public advocacy. Results Some strategies within each of these College program areas were seen as legitimate professional obligations in responding to socioeconomic health inequality. However, other strategies, while potentially professional obligations within Gruen's model, were nevertheless contested. The key difference between these lay in different moral orientations. Actions where agreement existed were based on an ethos of care and compassion. Actions that were contested were based on an ethos of justice and human rights. Conclusion Colleges and professional medical associations have a role in explicitly leading a debate about values

  3. A model for training public health workers in health policy: the Nebraska Health Policy Academy. (United States)

    Brandert, Kathleen; McCarthy, Claudine; Grimm, Brandon; Svoboda, Colleen; Palm, David; Stimpson, Jim P


    There is growing recognition that health goals are more likely to be achieved and sustained if programs are complemented by appropriate changes in the policies, systems, and environments that shape their communities. However, the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to create and implement policy are among the major needs identified by practitioners at both the state and local levels. This article describes the structure and content of the Nebraska Health Policy Academy (the Academy), a 9-month program developed to meet the demand for this training. The Academy is a competency-based training program that aims to increase the capacity of Nebraska's state and local public health staff and their community partners to use public health policy and law as a public health tool. Our initiative allows for participation across a large, sparsely populated state; is grounded in adult learning theory; introduces the key principles and practices of policy, systems, and environmental change; and is offered free of charge to the state's public health workforce. Challenges and lessons learned when offering workforce development on public health policy efforts are discussed.

  4. Enhancing the Resilience of the Australian National Electricity Market: Taking a Systems Approach in Policy Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barry Newell


    Full Text Available As the complexity and interconnectedness of present-day social-ecological systems become steadily more apparent, there is increasing pressure on governments, policy makers, and managers to take a systems approach to the challenges facing humanity. However, how can this be done in the face of system complexity and uncertainties? In this paper we briefly discuss practical ways that policy makers can take up the systems challenge. We focus on resilience thinking, and the use of influence diagrams, causal-loop diagrams, and system archetypes. As a case study, set in the context of the climate-energy-water nexus, we use some of these system concepts and tools to carry out an initial exploration of factors that can affect the resilience of the Australian National Electricity Market. We stress the need for the electricity sector to prepare for the impacts of global change by encouraging innovation and diversity, supporting modularity and redundancy, and embracing the need for a policy making approach that takes account of the dynamics of the wider social-ecological system. Finally, taking a longer term view, we conclude by recommending that policy makers work to reduce reliance on conventional market mechanisms, institute continuing cross-sector dialogue, and promote basic education in system dynamics.

  5. Making the most of open windows: establishing health in all policies in South Australia. (United States)

    Kickbusch, Ilona; Williams, Carmel; Lawless, Angela


    Significant improvements in population health are likely to arise when the social determinants ofhealth are addressed. This creates a challenge for health systems, as the policy levers to influence the determinants largely lie outside of their direct control. Health agencies have been attempting to develop responses that affect these policy levers with mixed success. Success often requires particular conditions or "windows of opportunity" to be present before even small systemic change can be made. The government of South Australia has developed a practical, policy-oriented response to address the determinants of health--Health in All Policies--and has been successfully working across government for the past five years, using a policy learning process to implement this approach. This article will focus on how the South Australian Health in All Policies initiative started and the conditions that enabled South Australia to establish a centralized governance structure, harness a group of cross-sector policy entrepreneurs, and conduct health lens projects across a range of policy issues. The authors will comment on the nature of these conditions and their relevance for other governments struggling to reduce the burden of chronic disease and growing health budgets by addressing the social determinants of health.

  6. Health and Wellness Policy Ethics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank J. Cavico


    Full Text Available This perspective is an ethical brief overview and examination of “wellness” policies in the modern workplace using practical examples and a general application of utilitarianism. Many employers are implementing policies that provide incentives to employees who lead a “healthy” lifestyle. The authors address how these policies could adversely affect “non-healthy” employees. There are a wide variety of ethical issues that impact wellness policies and practices in the workplace. The authors conclude that wellness programs can be ethical, while also providing a general reflective analysis of healthcare challenges in order to reflect on the externalities associated with such policies in the workplace.

  7. NAPLAN and the Role of Edu-Business: New Governance, New Privatisations and New Partnerships in Australian Education Policy (United States)

    Hogan, Anna


    This paper provides a critical analysis of the edu-businesses currently working in partnership with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority to deliver the Commonwealth government policy initiative of the National Assessment Program--Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). These emerging public--private partnerships (PPPs) exemplify…

  8. Health in all policies as a priority in Finnish health policy: a case study on national health policy development. (United States)

    Melkas, Tapani


    This article describes national level development towards a Health in All Policies approach in Finland over the past four decades. In the early 1970s, improving public health became a political priority, and the need to influence key determinants of health through sectors beyond the health sector became evident. The work began with policy on nutrition, smoking and accident prevention. Intersectoral health policy was developed together with the World Health Organization (WHO). When Finland joined the European Union in 1995, some competencies were delegated to the EU which complicated national intersectoral work. The priority in the EU is economy, but the Constitution's requirement to protect health in all policies gives legal backing for including health consideration in the EU-level work. To promote that, Finland adopted 'Health in All Policies' (HiAP) as the health theme for its EU Presidency in 2006. The intersectoral work on health has developed from tackling single health problems, through large-scale programmes, further to systematic work based on legislation and permanent structures. In the 2000s, work at local level was strengthened by introducing more focused and tighter legislation and by providing expert support for implementation. Recently, emphasis has been on broad objectives and Governmental intersectoral programmes, and actors outside the administrative machinery. Great improvements in the population health have been gained over the past few decades. However, health inequalities across social groups have remained unacceptably large. Major decisions on economic policy with varying impacts by the social groups have been made without health impact assessment, or ignoring assessments conducted.

  9. Review of Australian health economic evaluation – 245 interventions: what can we say about cost effectiveness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mortimer Duncan


    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is an increasing body of published cost-utility analyses of health interventions which we sought to draw together to inform research and policy. Methods To achieve consistency in costing base and policy context, study scope was limited to Australian-based cost-effectiveness analyses. Through a comprehensive literature review we identified 245 health care interventions that met our study criteria. Results The median cost-effectiveness ratio was A$18,100 (~US$13,000 per QALY/DALY/LY (quality adjusted life year gained or, disability adjusted life year averted or life year gained. Some modalities tended to perform worse, such as vaccinations and diagnostics (median cost/QALY $58,000 and $68,000 respectively, than others such as allied health, lifestyle, in-patient interventions (median cost/QALY/DALY/LY all at ~A$9,000~US$6,500. Interventions addressing some diseases such as diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance or alcohol and drug dependence tended to perform well (median cost/QALY/DALY/LY 25 years (median cost/QALY/DALY/LY Conclusion For any given condition, modality or setting there are likely to be examples of interventions that are cost effective and cost ineffective. It will be important for decision makers to make decisions based on the individual merits of an intervention rather than rely on broad generalisations. Further evaluation is warranted to address gaps in the literature and to ensure that evaluations are performed in areas with greatest potential benefit.

  10. Framing health and foreign policy: lessons for global health diplomacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Labonté Ronald


    Full Text Available Abstract Global health financing has increased dramatically in recent years, indicative of a rise in health as a foreign policy issue. Several governments have issued specific foreign policy statements on global health and a new term, global health diplomacy, has been coined to describe the processes by which state and non-state actors engage to position health issues more prominently in foreign policy decision-making. Their ability to do so is important to advancing international cooperation in health. In this paper we review the arguments for health in foreign policy that inform global health diplomacy. These are organized into six policy frames: security, development, global public goods, trade, human rights and ethical/moral reasoning. Each of these frames has implications for how global health as a foreign policy issue is conceptualized. Differing arguments within and between these policy frames, while overlapping, can also be contradictory. This raises an important question about which arguments prevail in actual state decision-making. This question is addressed through an analysis of policy or policy-related documents and academic literature pertinent to each policy framing with some assessment of policy practice. The reference point for this analysis is the explicit goal of improving global health equity. This goal has increasing national traction within national public health discourse and decision-making and, through the Millennium Development Goals and other multilateral reports and declarations, is entering global health policy discussion. Initial findings support conventional international relations theory that most states, even when committed to health as a foreign policy goal, still make decisions primarily on the basis of the 'high politics' of national security and economic material interests. Development, human rights and ethical/moral arguments for global health assistance, the traditional 'low politics' of foreign policy, are

  11. Framing health and foreign policy: lessons for global health diplomacy. (United States)

    Labonté, Ronald; Gagnon, Michelle L


    Global health financing has increased dramatically in recent years, indicative of a rise in health as a foreign policy issue. Several governments have issued specific foreign policy statements on global health and a new term, global health diplomacy, has been coined to describe the processes by which state and non-state actors engage to position health issues more prominently in foreign policy decision-making. Their ability to do so is important to advancing international cooperation in health. In this paper we review the arguments for health in foreign policy that inform global health diplomacy. These are organized into six policy frames: security, development, global public goods, trade, human rights and ethical/moral reasoning. Each of these frames has implications for how global health as a foreign policy issue is conceptualized. Differing arguments within and between these policy frames, while overlapping, can also be contradictory. This raises an important question about which arguments prevail in actual state decision-making. This question is addressed through an analysis of policy or policy-related documents and academic literature pertinent to each policy framing with some assessment of policy practice. The reference point for this analysis is the explicit goal of improving global health equity. This goal has increasing national traction within national public health discourse and decision-making and, through the Millennium Development Goals and other multilateral reports and declarations, is entering global health policy discussion. Initial findings support conventional international relations theory that most states, even when committed to health as a foreign policy goal, still make decisions primarily on the basis of the 'high politics' of national security and economic material interests. Development, human rights and ethical/moral arguments for global health assistance, the traditional 'low politics' of foreign policy, are present in discourse but do

  12. The Australian Defence Force Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study: design and methods.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooff, M.V.; McFarlane, A.C.; Davies, C.E.; Searle, A.K.; Fairweather-Schmidt, A.K.; Verhagen, A.F.; Benassi, H.; Hodson, S.E.


    BACKGROUND: The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study (MHPWS) is the first study of mental disorder prevalence in an entire military population. OBJECTIVE: The MHPWS aims to establish mental disorder prevalence, refine current ADF mental health screening methods

  13. Australian Curriculum Reform II: Health and Physical Education (United States)

    Lynch, Timothy


    It is implied by governing organizations that Australia is presently experiencing its first national curriculum reform, when as the title suggests it is the second. However, until now Australian states and territories have been responsible for the education curriculum delivered within schools. The present national curriculum reform promises one…

  14. Active Social Policy Meets the Discipline of the Australian Marketplace: The Outcomes of Mobile Policies (United States)

    Zoellner, Don


    Many advanced market democracies pursue social justice by bundling together a range of programmes represented as active social policy. Northern European exemplars sanction employment as an economic and social citizen's civic obligation, promote lifelong learning and place welfare payments as a last resort. In the United States, market-based…

  15. Office of Rural Health Policy (United States)

    ... Information Hub Rural Health Research Gateway Rural Community Health Gateway White House Rural Council  Eligibility Analyzer Contact Us Subscribe to FORHP weekly announcement for rural health grantees and stakeholders by e-mail Subscribe to ...

  16. Australian Research Council

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    @@ Introduction The Australian Research Council(ARC) is the Australian Government's main agency for allocating research funding to academics and researchers in Australian universities.Its mission is to deliver policy and programs that advance Australian research and innovation globally and benefit the community.

  17. Trajectories of Mental Health over 16 Years amongst Young Adult Women: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (United States)

    Holden, Libby; Ware, Robert S.; Lee, Christina


    This article used data from 5,171 young women participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, a nationally representative longitudinal cohort study, to identify longitudinal trajectory patterns of mental health across 6 surveys over 16 years of early adulthood, from age 18-23 to age 34-39. In addition, we identified both…

  18. Assessment of health risks of policies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ádám, Balázs, E-mail: [Unit for Health Promotion Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Vej 9, DK-6700 Esbjerg (Denmark); Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 9, H-4012 Debrecen (Hungary); Molnár, Ágnes, E-mail: [Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 9, H-4012 Debrecen (Hungary); Centre for Research on Inner City Health, Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael' s Hospital, Victoria 209, Rm. 3-26.22, M5B 1C6 Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Ádány, Róza, E-mail: [Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 9, H-4012 Debrecen (Hungary); Bianchi, Fabrizio, E-mail: [Unit of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Bitenc, Katarina, E-mail: [National Institute of Public Health, Trubarjeva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia); Chereches, Razvan, E-mail: [Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, Babes-Bolyai University, Strada Mihail Kogalniceanu 1, 3400 Cluj (Romania); Cori, Liliana, E-mail: [Unit of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Fehr, Rainer, E-mail: [NRW Centre for Health, Westerfeldstr. 35-37, 33611 Bielefeld (Germany); Kobza, Joanna, E-mail: [Public Health Department, Silesian Medical University, 18 Medykow Street, 40-752 Katowice (Poland); Kollarova, Jana, E-mail: [Department of Health Promotion, Regional Public Health Authority, Ipelska 1, 04011 Kosice (Slovakia); and others


    The assessment of health risks of policies is an inevitable, although challenging prerequisite for the inclusion of health considerations in political decision making. The aim of our project was to develop a so far missing methodological guide for the assessment of the complex impact structure of policies. The guide was developed in a consensual way based on experiences gathered during the assessment of specific national policies selected by the partners of an EU project. Methodological considerations were discussed and summarized in workshops and pilot tested on the EU Health Strategy for finalization. The combined tool, which includes a textual guidance and a checklist, follows the top-down approach, that is, it guides the analysis of causal chains from the policy through related health determinants and risk factors to health outcomes. The tool discusses the most important practical issues of assessment by impact level. It emphasises the transparent identification and prioritisation of factors, the consideration of the feasibility of exposure and outcome assessment with special focus on quantification. The developed guide provides useful methodological instructions for the comprehensive assessment of health risks of policies that can be effectively used in the health impact assessment of policy proposals. - Highlights: • Methodological guide for the assessment of health risks of policies is introduced. • The tool is developed based on the experiences from several case studies. • The combined tool consists of a textual guidance and a checklist. • The top-down approach is followed through the levels of the full impact chain. • The guide provides assistance for the health impact assessment of policy proposals.

  19. International institutions and China's health policy. (United States)

    Huang, Yanzhong


    This article examines the role of international institutional actors in China's health policy process. Particular attention is paid to three major international institutional actors: the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Through process tracing and comparative case studies, the article looks at how international institutions contribute to policy change in China and seeks to explain different outcomes in the relationship between international institutions and China's health policies. It finds that despite the opaque and exclusive authoritarian structure in China, international institutions play a significant role in the country's domestic health governance. By investing their resources and capabilities selectively and strategically, international institutions can change the preferences of government policy makers, move latent public health issues to the government's agenda, and affect the timing of government action and the content of policy design. Furthermore, the study suggests that different outcomes in the relationship between China's health policies and global health governance can be explained through the seriousness of the externalities China faces.

  20. Multilevel modelling and public health policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leyland, Alastair H.; Groenewegen, Peter P.


    Background: Multilevel modelling is a statistical technique that extends ordinary regression analysis to the situation where the data are hierarchical. Such data form an increasingly common evidence base for public health policy, and as such it is important that policy makers should be aware of this

  1. Multilevel modelling and public health policy.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leyland, A.H.; Groenewegen, P.P.


    BACKGROUND: Multilevel modelling is a statistical technique that extends ordinary regression analysis to the situation where the data are hierarchical. Such data form an increasingly common evidence base for public health policy, and as such it is important that policy makers should be aware of this

  2. Economic rationalisation of health behaviours: the dangers of attempting policy discussions in a vacuum. (United States)

    Reilly, Rachel; Rowley, Kevin; Luke, Joanne; Doyle, Joyce; Ritte, Rebecca; O'Shea, Rebekah; Brown, Alex


    When analysing the health behaviours of any group of people, understanding the constraints and possibilities for individual agency as shaped by the broader societal context is critical. In recent decades, our understanding of the ways in which physical and social environments influence health and health behaviours has expanded greatly. The authors of a recent analysis of Australian Aboriginal health data using an economic 'rational choice model,' published in this journal, claim to make a useful contribution to policy discussions relating to Aboriginal health, but neglect context. By doing so, they neglect the very factors that determine the success or failure of policy change. Notwithstanding the technical sophistication of the analyses, by ignoring most relevant determinants of health, the conclusions misrepresent the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and therefore risk perpetuating harm, rather than improving health.

  3. Seven Foundational Principles of Population Health Policy. (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Dru; Bhatt, Jay


    In 2016, Keyes and Galea issued 9 foundational principles of population health science and invited further deliberations by specialists to advance the field. This article presents 7 foundational principles of population health policy whose intersection with health care, public health, preventive medicine, and now population health, presents unique challenges. These principles are in response to a number of overarching questions that have arisen in over a decade of the authors' collective practice in the public and private sectors, and having taught policy within programs of medicine, law, nursing, and public health at the graduate and executive levels. The principles address an audience of practitioners and policy makers, mindful of the pressing health care challenges of our time, including: rising health-related expenditures, an aging population, workforce shortages, health disparities, and a backdrop of inequities rooted in social determinants that have not been adequately translated into formal policies or practices among the key stakeholders in population health. These principles are meant to empower stakeholders-whether it is the planner or the practitioner, the decision maker or the dedicated caregiver-and inform the development of practical tools, research, and education.

  4. Health inequality - determinants and policies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diderichsen, Finn; Andersen, Ingelise; Manual, Celie;


    The review ”Health inequality – determinants and policies” identifies key-areas to be addressed with the aim to reduce the social inequality in health. The general life expectancy has steadily been increasing, but the data reveals marked social inequalities in health as well as life expectancy....... The review seeks to identify the causes of this social inequality. The analysis finds 12 areas of great importance for the inequality in health. This is i.e. early child development, schooling and education, the health behavior of the population, and the role of the health system. Within each of the 12 areas...

  5. Health and development: some concerns about South Africa's health policy. (United States)

    Head, J


    This critique of South Africa's health policy opens by noting that the World Health Organization's definition of health as "a state of complete physical mental and social well-being" recognizes that health is synonymous with development. Specific areas of concern are then identified as 1) the consequences for health and development of South Africa's emphasis on reducing the budget deficit, 2) the implications of maintaining a private health sector, and 3) the absence of health policy implementation planning. The analysis opens with a look at Mozambique's experience in setting up a health service after independence (between 1976 and 1980). Next, the unique features of South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy are identified as the rapid migration of people to industrial centers for work, the continuing residence of the powerful European population, and an international context that limits opportunities to promote growth through social democratic policies. The implications of these factors to the health policy are that social inequalities will continue to exist because the health policy fails to delineate how health services will be provided to large urban areas and maintains a two-tier system. It is critical to nationalize the public sector and to involve health workers in the reform process.

  6. Associations between Indigenous Australian oral health literacy and self-reported oral health outcomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamieson Lisa M


    Full Text Available Abstract Objectives To determine oral health literacy (REALD-30 and oral health literacy-related outcome associations, and to calculate if oral health literacy-related outcomes are risk indicators for poor self-reported oral health among rural-dwelling Indigenous Australians. Methods 468 participants (aged 17-72 years, 63% female completed a self-report questionnaire. REALD-30 and oral health literacy-related outcome associations were determined through bivariate analysis. Multivariate modelling was used to calculate risk indicators for poor self-reported oral health. Results REALD-30 scores were lower among those who believed teeth should be infrequently brushed, believed cordial was good for teeth, did not own a toothbrush or owned a toothbrush but brushed irregularly. Tooth removal risk indicators included being older, problem-based dental attendance and believing cordial was good for teeth. Poor self-rated oral health risk indicators included being older, healthcare card ownership, difficulty paying dental bills, problem-based dental attendance, believing teeth should be brushed infrequently and irregular brushing. Perceived need for dental care risk indicators included being female and problem-based dental attendance. Perceived gum disease risk indicators included being older and irregular brushing. Feeling uncomfortable about oro-facial appearance risk indicators included problem-based dental attendance and irregular brushing. Food avoidance risk indicators were being female, difficulty paying dental bills, problem-based dental attendance and irregular brushing. Poor oral health-related quality of life risk indicators included difficulty paying dental bills and problem-based dental attendance. Conclusions REALD-30 was significantly associated with oral health literacy-related outcomes. Oral health literacy-related outcomes were risk indicators for each of the poor self-reported oral health domains among this marginalised population.

  7. An Innovation Systems Assessment of the Australian Biofuel Industry. Policy and Private Sector Implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielsen, Jason D.


    A strong biofuel industry in Australia has the potential to provide numerous benefits to the nation and its peoples. The benefits include; reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and harmful particulate matter, a boost to rural development goals, enhanced fuel security and a lower balance of payments. For biofuels to be seriously considered as alternatives to traditional petroleum based automotive fuels they must be economically viable. The findings from a series of Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) investigations suggest that ethanol and biodiesel production would be economically viable, in the Australian context, with oil prices in the range of 30-40 USD a barrel. Despite the price of oil being in or above this range for over two years a strong home grown biofuel industry has failed to develop in Australia. The purpose of this master's thesis therefore is to identify the critical issues facing biofuel industry development in Australian and to propose possible policy and private sector strategies for dealing with them. The analysis was done in the following three steps; the first was to map the development of the ethanol and biodiesel industries, the second was to analyse the performance of the industries overtime and the third was to identify the mechanisms which have either induced or blocked their growth. The strategies proposed by this thesis were derived from analysing the inducing and blocking mechanisms and the related issues. The innovation systems approach was chosen because of its ability to provide insights into key industry players, their network interactions and the institutional setup within which they work together to develop, diffuse and use their products. The data needed for the analysis stated above included information related to the development, diffusion and use of ethanol and biodiesel; that is, details about the industry actors and their activities, industry networks, product standards, excise arrangements

  8. Arctic health policy: contribution of scientific data. (United States)

    Berner, James E; Gilman, Andrew


    In Western Hemisphere arctic regions, scientific findings in humans, wildlife, and the environment have resulted in major governmental policy formulations. Government policy resulted in establishment of an effective international organization to address scientifically identified problems, including health disparities in arctic indigenous populations. Western scientific data and indigenous knowledge from initial international programs led to international agreements restricting certain persistent organic pollutants. In recent years, scientific data, and indigenous traditional knowledge, have resulted in governmental policy in the United States, Canada, and Nordic countries that includes the full participation of indigenous residents in defining research agendas, interpreting data, communicating information, and local community policy formulation.

  9. Health Policies and Economic Blocks


    André Medici; Bernardo Barros Weaver


    This paper analyzes the roles of health goods and services markets within the regional integration process. It is a known fact that the consolidation of integrated markets is slower regarding social goods and services (as health and education) than among other goods and services (e.g. durable and non-durable consumption goods). The paper discusses the nature of the health sector and its global dimension, showing the peculiar features of health goods and services marked by economic complexity ...

  10. Consistency of denominator data in electronic health records in Australian primary healthcare services: enhancing data quality. (United States)

    Bailie, Ross; Bailie, Jodie; Chakraborty, Amal; Swift, Kevin


    The quality of data derived from primary healthcare electronic systems has been subjected to little critical systematic analysis, especially in relation to the purported benefits and substantial investment in electronic information systems in primary care. Many indicators of quality of care are based on numbers of certain types of patients as denominators. Consistency of denominator data is vital for comparison of indicators over time and between services. This paper examines the consistency of denominator data extracted from electronic health records (EHRs) for monitoring of access and quality of primary health care. Data collection and analysis were conducted as part of a prospective mixed-methods formative evaluation of the Commonwealth Government's Indigenous Chronic Disease Package. Twenty-six general practices and 14 Aboriginal Health Services (AHSs) located in all Australian States and Territories and in urban, regional and remote locations were purposively selected within geographically defined locations. Percentage change in reported number of regular patients in general practices ranged between -50% and 453% (average 37%). The corresponding figure for AHSs was 1% to 217% (average 31%). In approximately half of general practices and AHSs, the change was ≥ 20%. There were similarly large changes in reported numbers of patients with a diagnosis of diabetes or coronary heart disease (CHD), and Indigenous patients. Inconsistencies in reported numbers were due primarily to limited capability of staff in many general practices and AHSs to accurately enter, manage, and extract data from EHRs. The inconsistencies in data required for the calculation of many key indicators of access and quality of care places serious constraints on the meaningful use of data extracted from EHRs. There is a need for greater attention to quality of denominator data in order to realise the potential benefits of EHRs for patient care, service planning, improvement, and policy. We

  11. Health economics and health policy: experiences from New Zealand. (United States)

    Cumming, Jacqueline


    Health economics has had a significant impact on the New Zealand health system over the past 30 years. In this paper, I set out a framework for thinking about health economics, give some historical background to New Zealand and the New Zealand health system, and discuss examples of how health economics has influenced thinking about the organisation of the health sector and priority setting. I conclude the paper with overall observations about the role of health economics in health policy in New Zealand, also identifying where health economics has not made the contribution it could and where further influence might be beneficial.

  12. How far can systematic reviews inform policy development for "wicked" rural health service problems? (United States)

    Humphreys, John S; Kuipers, Pim; Wakerman, John; Wells, Robert; Jones, Judith A; Kinsman, Leigh D


    Policy makers and researchers increasingly look to systematic reviews as a means of connecting research and evidence more effectively with policy. Based on Australian research into rural and remote primary health care services, we note some concerns regarding the suitability of systematic review methods when applied to such settings. It suggests that rural and other health services are highly complex and researching them is akin to dealing with "wicked" problems. It proposes that the notion of "wicked" problems may inform our understanding of the issues and our choice of appropriate methods to inform health service policy. Key issues including the complexity of health services, methodological limitations of traditional reviews, the nature of materials under review, and the importance of the service context are highlighted. These indicate the need for broader approaches to capturing relevant evidence. Sustained, collaborative synthesis in which complexity, ambiguity and context is acknowledged is proposed as a way of addressing the wicked nature of these issues.

  13. Life Transitions and Mental Health in a National Cohort of Young Australian Women (United States)

    Lee, Christiana; Gramotnev, Helen


    Young adulthood, a time of major life transitions and risk of poor mental health, may affect emotional well-being throughout adult life. This article uses longitudinal survey data to examine young Australian women's transitions across 4 domains: residential independence, relationships, work and study, and motherhood. Changes over 3 years in…

  14. Use of Equipment and Respite Services and Caregiver Health among Australian Families Living with Rett Syndrome (United States)

    Urbanowicz, Anna; Downs, Jenny; Bebbington, Ami; Jacoby, Peter; Girdler, Sonya; Leonard, Helen


    This study assessed factors that could influence equipment and respite services use among Australian families caring for a girl/woman with Rett syndrome and examined relationships between use of these resources and the health of female caregivers. Data was sourced from questionnaires completed by families (n=170) contributing to the Australian…

  15. Drug utilization and health policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Godman, Brian; Kwon, Hye Young; Bennie, Marion;


    Pharmaceutical policy is a complex arena that works at various levels (cross-national, national, regional and local) and through various actors. It can be defined as the conscious attempt by public officials to achieve certain objectives through a set of laws, rules, procedures and incentives. Th...

  16. Public health workforce: challenges and policy issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beaglehole Robert


    Full Text Available Abstract This paper reviews the challenges facing the public health workforce in developing countries and the main policy issues that must be addressed in order to strengthen the public health workforce. The public health workforce is diverse and includes all those whose prime responsibility is the provision of core public health activities, irrespective of their organizational base. Although the public health workforce is central to the performance of health systems, very little is known about its composition, training or performance. The key policy question is: Should governments invest more in building and supporting the public health workforce and infrastructure to ensure the more effective functioning of health systems? Other questions concern: the nature of the public health workforce, including its size, composition, skills, training needs, current functions and performance; the appropriate roles of the workforce; and how the workforce can be strengthened to support new approaches to priority health problems. The available evidence to shed light on these policy issues is limited. The World Health Organization is supporting the development of evidence to inform discussion on the best approaches to strengthening public health capacity in developing countries. WHO's priorities are to build an evidence base on the size and structure of the public health workforce, beginning with ongoing data collection activities, and to map the current public health training programmes in developing countries and in Central and Eastern Europe. Other steps will include developing a consensus on the desired functions and activities of the public health workforce and developing a framework and methods for assisting countries to assess and enhance the performance of public health training institutions and of the public health workforce.

  17. Professional Assistance in Implementing School Health Policies (United States)

    Boot, Nicole; van Assema, Patricia; Hesdahl, Bert; de Vries, Nanne


    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of a school health promotion (SHP) advisor in the implementation of the six steps of the Dutch "Schoolbeat" approach, aimed at establishing health promotion policies and activities in secondary schools. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 80 school board members, and 18…

  18. Evaluating Diabetes Health Policies Using Natural Experiments (United States)

    Ackermann, Ronald T.; Duru, O. Kenrik; Albu, Jeanine B.; Schmittdiel, Julie A.; Soumerai, Stephen B.; Wharam, James F.; Ali, Mohammed K.; Mangione, Carol M.; Gregg, Edward W.


    The high prevalence and costs of type 2 diabetes makes it a rapidly evolving focus of policy action. Health systems, employers, community organizations, and public agencies have increasingly looked to translate the benefits of promising research interventions into innovative polices intended to prevent or control diabetes. Though guided by research, these health policies provide no guarantee of effectiveness and may have opportunity costs or unintended consequences. Natural experiments use pragmatic and available data sources to compare specific policies to other policy alternatives or predictions of what would likely have happened in the absence of any intervention. The Natural Experiments for Translation in Diabetes (NEXT-D) Study is a network of academic, community, industry, and policy partners, collaborating to advance the methods and practice of natural experimental research, with a shared aim of identifying and prioritizing the best policies to prevent and control diabetes. This manuscript describes the NEXT-D Study group's multi-sector natural experiments in areas of diabetes prevention or control as case examples to illustrate the selection, design, analysis, and challenges inherent to natural experimental study approaches to inform development or evaluation of health policies. PMID:25998925

  19. A Dental Education Perspective on Dental Health Policy. (United States)

    Morris, Alvin L.


    Two issues related to dental health policy are examined: the contribution of dental education to the process by which dental health policy is established, and the nature of dental education's response to established policies. (MLW)

  20. Manifestations of integrated public health policy in Dutch municipalities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, D.; Harting, J.; van Oers, H.; Schuit, J.; de Vries, N.; Stronks, K.


    Integrated public health policy (IPHP) aims at integrating health considerations into policies of other sectors. Since the limited empirical evidence available may hamper its further development, we systematically analysed empirical manifestations of IPHP, by placing policy strategies along a contin

  1. Manifestations of integrated public health policy in Dutch municipalities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, D.; Harting, J.; van Oers, J.A.M.; Schuit, J.; Stronks, K.


    Integrated public health policy (IPHP) aims at integrating health considerations into policies of other sectors. Since the limited empirical evidence available may hamper its further development, we systematically analysed empirical manifestations of IPHP, by placing policy strategies along a contin

  2. Health, nutrition, and public policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frenk, J.; Coutre, le J.; Bladeren, van P.J.; Blum, S.


    The relationship between health and the economy is complex and hardly a matter of unidirectional cause and consequence. With health increasingly being understood as a stimulus for the economy, nutrition directly assumes the status of an economic identifier. This paper discusses the growing complexit


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch


    @@ 1 Introduction At present, there is a myriad of contradictions between international illicit drug policy and good, evidence-based public health policy. Largely to blame are the unrealistic goals which policymakers set themselves ten years ago when Pino Arlacchi, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), announced plans to create a drug-free world' and to eliminate or significantly reduce the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008[1].

  4. Strategies for piloting a breast health promotion program in the Chinese-Australian population. (United States)

    Koo, Fung Kuen; Kwok, Cannas; White, Kate; D'Abrew, Natalie; Roydhouse, Jessica K


    In Australia, women from non-English-speaking backgrounds participate less frequently in breast cancer screening than English-speaking women, and Chinese immigrant women are 50% less likely to participate in breast examinations than Australian-born women. Chinese-born Australians comprise 10% of the overseas-born Australian population, and the immigrant Chinese population in Australia is rapidly increasing. We report on the strategies used in a pilot breast health promotion program, Living with Healthy Breasts, aimed at Cantonese-speaking adult immigrant women in Sydney, Australia. The program consisted of a 1-day education session and a 2-hour follow-up session. We used 5 types of strategies commonly used for cultural targeting (peripheral, evidential, sociocultural, linguistic, and constituent-involving) in a framework of traditional Chinese philosophies (Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism) to deliver breast health messages to Chinese-Australian immigrant women. Creating the program's content and materials required careful consideration of color (pink to indicate femininity and love), symbols (peach blossoms to imply longevity), word choice (avoidance of the word death), location and timing (held in a Chinese restaurant a few months after the Chinese New Year), communication patterns (the use of metaphors and cartoons for discussing health-related matters), and concern for modesty (emphasizing that all presenters and team members were female) to maximize cultural relevance. Using these strategies may be beneficial for designing and implementing breast cancer prevention programs in Cantonese-speaking Chinese immigrant communities.

  5. The global workforce shortages and the migration of medical professions: the Australian policy response. (United States)

    Smith, Saxon D


    Medical migration sees the providers of medical services (in particular medical practitioners) moving from one region or country to another. This creates problems for the provision of public health and medical services and poses challenges for laws in the nation state and for laws in the global community.There exists a global shortage of healthcare professionals. Nation states and health rights movements have been both responsible for, and responsive to, this global community shortage through a variety of health policy, regulation and legislation which directly affects the migration of medical providers. The microcosm responses adopted by individual nation states, such as Australia, to this workforce shortage further impact on the global workforce shortage through active recruitment of overseas-trained healthcare professionals. "Push" and "pull" factors exist which encourage medical migration of healthcare professionals. A nation state's approach to health policy, regulation and legislation dramatically helps to create these "push factors" and "pull factors". A co-ordinated global response is required with individual nation states being cognisant of the impact of their health policy, regulations and legislation on the global community through the medical migration of healthcare professionals.

  6. Global health: governance and policy development. (United States)

    Kelley, Patrick W


    Global health policy is now being influenced by an ever-increasing number of nonstate and non-intergovernmental actors to include influential foundations, multinational corporations, multi-sectoral partnerships, and civil society organizations. This article reviews how globalization is a key driver for the ongoing evolution of global health governance. It describes the massive increases in bilateral and multilateral investments in global health and it highlights the current global and US architecture for performing global health programs. The article closes describing some of the challenges and prospects that characterize global health governance today.

  7. Recognizing rhetoric in health care policy analysis. (United States)

    Russell, Jill; Greenhalgh, Trisha; Byrne, Emma; McDonnell, Janet


    Critiques of the 'naïve rationalist' model of policy-making abound in the sociological and political science literature. Yet academic debate on health care policy-making continues to be couched in the dominant discourse of evidence-based medicine, whose underlying assumptions--that policies are driven by facts rather than values and these can be clearly separated; that 'evidence' is context-free, can be objectively weighed up and placed unproblematically in a 'hierarchy'; and that policy-making is essentially an exercise in decision science--have constrained both thinking and practice. In this paper, drawing on theoretical work from political science and philosophy, and innovative empirical work in the health care sector, we argue that health care is well overdue for a re-defining of what policy-making is. Policy-making is the formal struggle over ideas and values, played out by the rhetorical use of language and the enactment of social situations. While the selection, evaluation and implementation of research evidence are important in the policy-making process, they do not equate to that process. The study of argument in the construction of policy has the potential to illuminate dimensions of the process that are systematically occluded when policy-making is studied through a naïve rationalist lens. In particular, a rhetorical perspective highlights the struggle over ideas, the 'naming and framing' of policy problems, the centrality of audience and the rhetorical use of language in discussion to increase the audience's adherence to particular framings and proposals. Rhetorical theory requires us to redefine what counts as 'rationality'--which must extend from what is provably true (by logic) and probably true (by Bayesian reasoning) to embrace, in addition, that which is plausibly true (i.e. can convince a reasonable audience). Future research into health care policy-making needs to move beyond the study of 'getting evidence into practice' and address the

  8. Privacy policies for health social networking sites. (United States)

    Li, Jingquan


    Health social networking sites (HSNS), virtual communities where users connect with each other around common problems and share relevant health data, have been increasingly adopted by medical professionals and patients. The growing use of HSNS like Sermo and PatientsLikeMe has prompted public concerns about the risks that such online data-sharing platforms pose to the privacy and security of personal health data. This paper articulates a set of privacy risks introduced by social networking in health care and presents a practical example that demonstrates how the risks might be intrinsic to some HSNS. The aim of this study is to identify and sketch the policy implications of using HSNS and how policy makers and stakeholders should elaborate upon them to protect the privacy of online health data.

  9. Health, lifestyle and gender influences on aging well: An Australian longitudinal analysis to guide health promotion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hal eKendig


    Full Text Available A primary societal goal for aging is enabling older people to continue to live well as long as possible. The evidence base around aging well (‘healthy’, ‘active’ and ‘successful’ aging has been constructed mainly from academic and professional conceptualizations of mortality, morbidity, functioning, and psychological well-being with some attention to lay views. Our study aims to inform action on health promotion to achieve aging well as conceptualized by qualitative research identifying what older Australians themselves value most: continuing to live as long as possible in the community with independence in daily living, and good self-rated health and psychological well-being. Multivariate survival analyses from the Melbourne Longitudinal Studies on Healthy Ageing (MELSHA program found that important threats to aging well for the total sample over a 12 year period were chronological age, multi-morbidity, low perceived social support, low nutritional score, and being underweight. For men, threats to aging well were low strain, perceived inadequacy of social activity, and being a current smoker. For women, urinary incontinence, low physical activity and being underweight were threats to aging well. The findings indicate that healthy lifestyles can assist aging well, and suggest the value of taking gender into account in health promotion strategies.

  10. Sugar sweetened beverage consumption by Australian children: Implications for public health strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hafekost Katherine


    Full Text Available Abstract Background High consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs has been linked to unhealthy weight gain and nutrition related chronic disease. Intake of SSB among children remains high in spite of public health efforts to reduce consumption, including restrictions on marketing to children and limitations on the sale of these products in many schools. Much extant literature on Australian SSB consumption is out-dated and lacks information on several key issues. We sought to address this using a contemporary Australian dataset to examine purchase source, consumption pattern, dietary factors, and demographic profile of SSB consumption in children. Methods Data were from the 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, a representative random sample of 4,834 Australian children aged 2-16 years. Mean SSB intake by type, location and source was calculated and logistic regression models were fitted to determine factors associated with different levels of consumption. Results SSB consumption was high and age-associated differences in patterns of consumption were evident. Over 77% of SSB consumed was purchased via supermarkets and 60% of all SSB was consumed in the home environment. Less than 17% of SSB was sourced from school canteens and fast food establishments. Children whose parents had lower levels of education consumed more SSB on average, while children whose parents had higher education levels were more likely to favour sweetened juices and flavoured milks. Conclusions SSB intake by Australian children remains high and warrants continued public health attention. Evidence based and age-targeted interventions, which also recognise supermarkets as the primary source of SSB, are recommended to reduce SSB consumption among children. Additionally, education of parents and children regarding the health consequences of high consumption of both carbonated and non-carbonated SSBs is required.

  11. The effect of social support on the health of Indigenous Australians in a metropolitan community. (United States)

    Waterworth, Pippa; Rosenberg, Michael; Braham, Rebecca; Pescud, Melanie; Dimmock, James


    The factors driving the disparity in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians continue to be poorly understood. Despite this, studies confirm that social connections are a very important part of Indigenous life, and it is likely these connections play an important role in influencing health outcomes among this population. Examining the support provided by social connections in relation to health behaviour may assist our understanding of health outcomes among Indigenous Australians. The current study is focused on exploring Indigenous participants' impressions of their social network and social support using Participatory Action Research methodology and qualitative methods. The objective was to identify the influence of social support on the health outcomes of Indigenous people within a Western Australian metropolitan community. Seventeen members of the community were interviewed during the study. The participants had extensive social networks that mainly comprised members of their kinship group. The consequences of this social network included: (1) the positive effects of social support from bonded relationships; (2) the negative effects of social support produced by over-obligation and unidirectional support involving bonded relationships; (3) limited or inadequate social support caused by withdrawal from bonded relationships; (4) lack of social support from bridging relationships; and (5) a strong desire for connection and a sense of belonging.

  12. Students' Multilingual Resources and Policy-in-Action: An Australian Case Study (United States)

    French, Mei


    In the context of increasing linguistic and cultural diversity in Australian schools, it is important to consider the value of students' multilingual resources for learning. This paper reports on an ethnographic case study conducted in an Australian metropolitan secondary school where the student body represented more than 40 cultures and…

  13. 78 FR 42945 - Health Information Technology Policy Committee Vacancy (United States)


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE Health Information Technology Policy Committee Vacancy AGENCY: Government Accountability Office... Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (Health...

  14. 78 FR 24749 - Health Information Technology Policy Committee Appointment (United States)


    ... OFFICE Health Information Technology Policy Committee Appointment AGENCY: Government Accountability... Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Health Information Technology Policy Committee to make recommendations on the implementation of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure to the...

  15. 77 FR 27774 - Health Information Technology Policy Committee Vacancy (United States)


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE Health Information Technology Policy Committee Vacancy AGENCY: Government Accountability Office... Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (Health...

  16. Health policy perception and health behaviours: a multilevel analysis and implications for public health psychology.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lengerke, T. von; Vinck, J.; Rütten, A.; Reitmeir, P.; Abel, T.; Kannas, L.; Lüschen, G.; Rodríguez Diaz, J.A.; Zee, J. van der


    Associations of health policy perception with health behaviours are analysed. Policy perception is differentiated in information about programmes and appraisal of health policy’s contribution to policy goals, and conceptualized on the level of: (1) individuals; and (2) populations (as a social clima

  17. Acceptability of participatory social network analysis for problem-solving in Australian Aboriginal health service partnerships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fuller Jeffrey


    Full Text Available Abstract Background While participatory social network analysis can help health service partnerships to solve problems, little is known about its acceptability in cross-cultural settings. We conducted two case studies of chronic illness service partnerships in 2007 and 2008 to determine whether participatory research incorporating social network analysis is acceptable for problem-solving in Australian Aboriginal health service delivery. Methods Local research groups comprising 13–19 partnership staff, policy officers and community members were established at each of two sites to guide the research and to reflect and act on the findings. Network and work practice surveys were conducted with 42 staff, and the results were fed back to the research groups. At the end of the project, 19 informants at the two sites were interviewed, and the researchers conducted critical reflection. The effectiveness and acceptability of the participatory social network method were determined quantitatively and qualitatively. Results Participants in both local research groups considered that the network survey had accurately described the links between workers related to the exchange of clinical and cultural information, team care relationships, involvement in service management and planning and involvement in policy development. This revealed the function of the teams and the roles of workers in each partnership. Aboriginal workers had a high number of direct links in the exchange of cultural information, illustrating their role as the cultural resource, whereas they had fewer direct links with other network members on clinical information exchange and team care. The problem of their current and future roles was discussed inside and outside the local research groups. According to the interview informants the participatory network analysis had opened the way for problem-solving by “putting issues on the table”. While there were confronting and ethically

  18. Global health diplomacy: advancing foreign policy and global health interests. (United States)

    Michaud, Josh; Kates, Jennifer


    Attention to global health diplomacy has been rising but the future holds challenges, including a difficult budgetary environment. Going forward, both global health and foreign policy practitioners would benefit from working more closely together to achieve greater mutual understanding and to advance respective mutual goals.

  19. 澳大利亚反兴奋剂政策研究%Research on Australian Anti-doping Policies

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    研究目的:体育运动中泛滥的兴奋剂问题,已经成为阻碍世界体育可持续的重要问题,各国纷纷启动对反兴奋剂政策的立法问题,研究澳大利亚反兴奋剂政策具有一定的比较借鉴意义。研究方法:文献资料法、逻辑分析法等。研究结果和结论:澳大利亚反兴奋剂政策得到了参议院调查委员会的支持,澳大利亚政府通过体育和休闲内阁会议,进一步支持澳大利亚反兴奋剂组织的政策立法活动,建立澳大利亚国家精英运动员药检机制,对涉及体育运动中的兴奋剂问题实行严厉监管。%Research Objectives:the anti-doping issue which is rampant in various sports has become an important issue that blocks the sustainable development of global sports. Many countries have started to establish legislation for anti-doping policies. To some extent, it is significant to study Australian anti-doping policies for comparison and reference. Research method: searching document literates and logical analysis online. Research result and conclusion:Australian anti-doping policies are supported by the Investigation Committee of the Senate. Through the cabinet council of sports and leisure, Australian government further supports policy legislation activities Australian Anti-doping Agency organizes, and establishes the drug test mechanism for Australian elite athletes and conducts strict supervision on the anti-doping issues in sports.

  20. Does Further Education in Adulthood Improve Physical and Mental Health among Australian Women? A Longitudinal Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh Tooth

    Full Text Available We analyzed whether further education in young adult and mid-life [adult educational mobility] influences physical functioning and depressive symptoms in women.14247 women born 1973-78 (younger cohort and 13715 women born 1946-51 (mid-aged cohort from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health were followed for 14-16 years. Measures were the Short-Form 36 Health Survey physical functioning subscale (SF-36 PF and Centre for Epidemiologic Studies 10-item Depression Scale (CESD-10. Linear mixed modelling, accounting for time varying covariates, assessed the influence of further education on physical functioning and depressive symptoms over time. Sensitivity analysis to assess the impact of missing data was conducted using multiple imputation.Compared to younger women with a pre-existing high level of education, women gaining further education (up to age 39 years from low levels had lower SF-36 PF scores (poorer physical functioning (fully adjusted beta estimates (95%CIs -1.52 (-2.59, -0.44 while those gaining further education from middle to high levels showed equivalent SF-36 PF scores (-0.08 (-0.61, 0.44. A similar pattern was shown for CESD-10 scores (0.78 (0.29, 1.25; -0.02 (-0.26, 0.21, respectively where higher scores represented more depressive symptoms. For mid-age women, further education from a middle to high level resulted in equivalent SF-36 PF scores (-0.61 (-1.93,0.71 but higher CESD-10 scores (0.49 (0.11, 0.86, compared to highly educated women.Women who delay further education until they are aged between their 40s and 60s can improve or maintain their physical functioning but may have missed the critical time to minimise depressive symptomatology. Public health policy should focus on encouraging women to upgrade their educational qualifications earlier in life in order to potentially offset the negative associations between their initial lower socio-economic position class of origin and their mental health.

  1. Integrating the issues of global and veterinary public health into the veterinary education curriculum: an Australian perspective. (United States)

    Fenwick, S G; Robertson, L; Wilks, C R


    This article discusses the integration of global and veterinary public health issues into the Australian veterinary curriculum. Formal veterinary education in Australia has a history of over 100 years and veterinarians have played a major role in the control of zoonotic and transboundary diseases for an even longer period. Australia is the largest exporter of red meat and live animals in the world. Therefore, educating veterinarians to promote and ensure food safety and animal welfare is prominent in Australian veterinary curricula. Veterinary degrees are accredited to allow Australian graduates to work professionally overseas, including in the United Kingdom and United States of America, and, in recent years, globalisation of the student body at Australian veterinary schools has occurred. For this reason, an appropriately broad curriculum is required to produce graduates who are able to address challenges in veterinary public health throughout the world. A Public Health University Network has been established to harmonise the veterinary public health curricula at the various veterinary schools and to develop the 'Australian veterinary public health philosophy', with its links to global issues and the 'One World, One Health' concept. Finally, conclusions are drawn on the implications of veterinary public health teaching in Australia and the preparation of Australian graduates for the global profession.

  2. The Politics and Analytics of Health Policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Calum R. Paton


    Full Text Available Let us start with an example of health policy analysis in action. Within that category of countries loosely known as ‘the West’, quite basic differences exist in attitudes to health policy and also actual health policy. Comparing the US with mainland Europe and indeed Canada, for example, one perceives a difference in attitude on the part of the majority towards collectivism and individualism in access to, provision of and financing of healthcare. The explanation for policy and system differences—for example, between the US healthcare system(s and the various NHSs of the UK countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—is commonly framed in terms of ‘ideology’ but there are also ‘institutional’ explanations (1. Additionally, however, popular attitudes or ‘values’ may be taken as autonomous ‘inputs’ into the explanation (e.g. ‘American values prevent the enactment of an NHS’ or, at least in part, derived from or influenced by institutional reality. If, for example, there is no chance of a bill to establish an NHS or a comprehensive system of public health insurance passing in Washington, then reformers over time trim not only their legislative ambitions, but also their very way of thinking about the issue.

  3. Ethics and health promotion practice: exploring attitudes and practices in Western Australian health organisations. (United States)

    Reilly, T; Crawford, G; Lobo, R; Leavy, J; Jancey, J


    Issue addressed Evidence-informed practice underpinned by ethics is fundamental to developing the science of health promotion. Knowledge and application of ethical principles are competencies required for health promotion practice. However, these competencies are often inconsistently understood and applied. This research explored attitudes, practices, enablers and barriers related to ethics in practice in Western Australian health organisations. Methods Semistructured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 health promotion practitioners, purposefully selected to provide a cross-section of government and non-government organisations. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and then themed. Results The majority of participants reported consideration of ethics in their practice; however, only half reported seeking Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) approval for projects in the past 12 months. Enablers identified as supporting ethics in practice and disseminating findings included: support preparing ethics applications; resources and training about ethical practice; ability to access HRECs for ethics approval; and a supportive organisational culture. Barriers included: limited time; insufficient resourcing and capacity; ethics approval not seen as part of core business; and concerns about academic writing. Conclusion The majority of participants were aware of the importance of ethics in practice and the dissemination of findings. However, participants reported barriers to engaging in formal ethics processes and to publishing findings. So what? Alignment of evidence-informed and ethics-based practice is critical. Resources and information about ethics may be required to support practice and encourage dissemination of findings, including in the peer-reviewed literature. Investigating the role of community-based ethics boards may be valuable to bridging the ethics-evidence gap.

  4. The Relationship between Dietary Patterns and Metabolic Health in a Representative Sample of Adult Australians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucinda K. Bell


    Full Text Available Studies assessing dietary intake and its relationship to metabolic phenotype are emerging, but limited. The aims of the study are to identify dietary patterns in Australian adults, and to determine whether these dietary patterns are associated with metabolic phenotype and obesity. Cross-sectional data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 Australian Health Survey was analysed. Subjects included adults aged 45 years and over (n = 2415. Metabolic phenotype was determined according to criteria used to define metabolic syndrome (0–2 abnormalities vs. 3–7 abnormalities, and additionally categorized for obesity (body mass index (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 vs. BMI <30 kg/m2. Dietary patterns were derived using factor analysis. Multivariable models were used to assess the relationship between dietary patterns and metabolic phenotype, with adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, socio-economic indexes for areas, physical activity and daily energy intake. Twenty percent of the population was metabolically unhealthy and obese. In the fully adjusted model, for every one standard deviation increase in the Healthy dietary pattern, the odds of having a more metabolically healthy profile increased by 16% (odds ratio (OR 1.16; 95% confidence interval (CI: 1.04, 1.29. Poor metabolic profile and obesity are prevalent in Australian adults and a healthier dietary pattern plays a role in a metabolic and BMI phenotypes. Nutritional strategies addressing metabolic syndrome criteria and targeting obesity are recommended in order to improve metabolic phenotype and potential disease burden.

  5. Globalisation, rural restructuring and health service delivery in Australia: policy failure and the role of social work? (United States)

    Alston, Margaret


    The impacts of globalisation and rural restructuring on health service delivery in rural Australia have been significant. In the present paper, it is argued that declining health service access represents a failure of policy. Rural communities across the world are in a state of flux, and Australia is no different: rural communities are ageing at faster rates than urban communities and young people are out-migrating in large numbers. During the past 5 years, rural Australia has also experienced a severe and widespread drought that has exacerbated rural poverty, and impacted on the health and well-being of rural Australians. Australian governments have responded to globalising forces by introducing neoliberal policy initiatives favouring market solutions and championing the need for self-reliance among citizens. The result for rural Australia has been a withdrawal of services at a time of increased need. This paper addresses the social work response to these changes.

  6. Education and Health Care Policies in Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziblim Abukari


    Full Text Available Education and health care policies in Ghana since independence have been universalist in approach providing free universal health care and free basic and tertiary education until the early 1980s. Precipitated primarily by a severe drought, stagnant economic growth, mismanagement, and political instability, Ghana undertook major economic reforms with prodding from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in a bid to salvage the economy. These economic measures included cost recovery and cutback spending in education and health sectors. However, in recent years, purposive targeted interventions have been pursued to address inequalities in education and health care. These new programs include the Education Capitation Grant, school feeding program, and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS, which are propelling Ghana toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The prospects of these programs in addressing disparities in access to education and health care in the country and recommendations for improved delivery are discussed.

  7. Transport policy and health inequalities: a health impact assessment of Edinburgh's transport policy. (United States)

    Gorman, D; Douglas, M J; Conway, L; Noble, P; Hanlon, P


    Health impact assessment (HIA) can be used to examine the relationships between inequalities and health. This HIA of Edinburgh's transport policy demonstrates how HIA can examine how different transport policies can affect different population groupings to varying degrees. In this case, Edinburgh's economy is based on tourism, financial services and Government bodies. These need a good transport infrastructure, which maintains a vibrant city centre. A transport policy that promotes walking, cycling and public transport supports this and is also good for health. The HIA suggested that greater spend on public transport and supporting sustainable modes of transport was beneficial to health, and offered scope to reduce inequalities. This message was understood by the City Council and influenced the development of the city's transport and land-use strategies. The paper discusses how HIA can influence public policy.

  8. Human resources for health policies: a critical component in health policies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dussault Gilles


    Full Text Available Abstract In the last few years, increasing attention has been paid to the development of health policies. But side by side with the presumed benefits of policy, many analysts share the opinion that a major drawback of health policies is their failure to make room for issues of human resources. Current approaches in human resources suggest a number of weaknesses: a reactive, ad hoc attitude towards problems of human resources; dispersal of accountability within human resources management (HRM; a limited notion of personnel administration that fails to encompass all aspects of HRM; and finally the short-term perspective of HRM. There are three broad arguments for modernizing the ways in which human resources for health are managed: • the central role of the workforce in the health sector; • the various challenges thrown up by health system reforms; • the need to anticipate the effect on the health workforce (and consequently on service provision arising from various macroscopic social trends impinging on health systems. The absence of appropriate human resources policies is responsible, in many countries, for a chronic imbalance with multifaceted effects on the health workforce: quantitative mismatch, qualitative disparity, unequal distribution and a lack of coordination between HRM actions and health policy needs. Four proposals have been put forward to modernize how the policy process is conducted in the development of human resources for health (HRH: • to move beyond the traditional approach of personnel administration to a more global concept of HRM; • to give more weight to the integrated, interdependent and systemic nature of the different components of HRM when preparing and implementing policy; • to foster a more proactive attitude among human resources (HR policy-makers and managers; • to promote the full commitment of all professionals and sectors in all phases of the process. The development of explicit human resources

  9. Navigating public health chemicals policy in Australia: a policy maker's and practitioner's guide. (United States)

    Capon, Adam; Smith, Wayne; Gillespie, James A


    Chemicals are ubiquitous in everyday life. Environmental health practitioners rely on a complex web of regulators and policy bodies to ensure the protection of public health, yet few understand the full extent of this web. A lack of understanding can hamper public health response and impede policy development. In this paper we map the public health chemicals policy landscape in Australia and conclude that an understanding of this system is essential for effective environmental health responses and policy development.

  10. E-Mental Health Innovations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: A Qualitative Study of Implementation Needs in Health Services (United States)

    Dingwall, Kylie M; Sweet, Michelle; Nagel, Tricia


    Background Electronic mental health (e-mental health) interventions offer effective, easily accessible, and cost effective treatment and support for mental illness and well-being concerns. However, e-mental health approaches have not been well utilized by health services to date and little is known about their implementation in practice, particularly in diverse contexts and communities. Objective This study aims to understand stakeholder perspectives on the requirements for implementing e-mental health approaches in regional and remote health services for Indigenous Australians. Methods Qualitative interviews were conducted with 32 managers, directors, chief executive officers (CEOs), and senior practitioners of mental health, well-being, alcohol and other drug and chronic disease services. Results The implementation of e-mental health approaches in this context is likely to be influenced by characteristics related to the adopter (practitioner skill and knowledge, client characteristics, communication barriers), the innovation (engaging and supportive approach, culturally appropriate design, evidence base, data capture, professional development opportunities), and organizational systems (innovation-systems fit, implementation planning, investment). Conclusions There is potential for e-mental health approaches to address mental illness and poor social and emotional well-being amongst Indigenous people and to advance their quality of care. Health service stakeholders reported that e-mental health interventions are likely to be most effective when used to support or extend existing health services, including elements of client-driven and practitioner-supported use. Potential solutions to obstacles for integration of e-mental health approaches into practice were proposed including practitioner training, appropriate tool design using a consultative approach, internal organizational directives and support structures, adaptations to existing systems and policies

  11. Clinicians and their cameras: policy, ethics and practice in an Australian tertiary hospital. (United States)

    Burns, Kara; Belton, Suzanne


    Medical photography illustrates what people would prefer to keep private, is practiced when people are vulnerable, and has the power to freeze a moment in time. Given it is a sensitive area of health, lawful and ethical practice is paramount. This paper recognises and seeks to clarify the possibility of widespread clinician-taken medical photography in a tertiary hospital in northern Australia, examining the legal and ethical implications of this practice. A framework of Northern Territory law, state Department of Health policy and human rights theory were used to argue the thesis. Clinicians from 13 purposively chosen wards were asked to participate in an anonymous survey and confidential in-depth interviews. Questions were generated from the literature and local knowledge on the topics of 'occurrence', 'image use', 'quality of consent', 'cameras and technology', 'confidentiality', 'data storage and security', 'hospital policy and law' and 'cultural issues'. One hundred and seventy surveys and eights interviews were analysed using descriptive statistics and theme and content analysis, then triangulated for similarity, difference and unique responses. Forty-eight percent of clinicians surveyed take medical photographs, with the majority using hospital-owned cameras. However, one-fifth of clinicians reported photographing with personal mobile phones. Non-compliance with written consent requirements articulated in policy was endemic, with most clinicians surveyed obtaining only verbal consent. Labeling, storage, copyright and cultural issues were generally misunderstood, with a significant number of clinicians risking the security of patient information by storing images on personal devices. If this tertiary hospital does not develop a clinical photography action plan to address staff lack of knowledge, and noncompliance with policy and mobile phone use, patients' data is at risk of being distributed into the public domain where unauthorised publication may cause

  12. Public health nutrition and food policy. (United States)

    Caraher, Martin; Coveney, John


    Food in its many manifestations allows us to explore the global control of health and to examine the ways in which food choice is moulded by many interests. The global food market is controlled by a small number of companies who operate a system that delivers 'cheap' food to the countries of the developed world. This 'cheap' food comes at a price, which externalises costs to the nation state in terms of health consequences (diabetes, coronary heart disease and other food-related diseases) and to the environment in terms of pollution and the associated clean-up strategies. Food policy has not to any great extent dealt with these issues, opting instead for an approach based on nutrition, food choice and biomedical health. Ignoring wider elements of the food system including issues of ecology and sustainability constrains a broader understanding within public health nutrition. Here we argue that public health nutrition, through the medium of health promotion, needs to address these wider issues of who controls the food supply, and thus the influences on the food chain and the food choices of the individual and communities. Such an upstream approach to food policy (one that has been learned from work on tobacco) is necessary if we are seriously to influence food choice.

  13. Approaches to dog health education programs in Australian rural and remote Indigenous communities: four case studies. (United States)

    Constable, S E; Dixon, R M; Dixon, R J; Toribio, J-A


    Dog health in rural and remote Australian Indigenous communities is below urban averages in numerous respects. Many Indigenous communities have called for knowledge sharing in this area. However, dog health education programs are in their infancy, and lack data on effective practices. Without this core knowledge, health promotion efforts cannot progress effectively. This paper discusses a strategy that draws from successful approaches in human health and indigenous education, such as dadirri, and culturally respectful community engagement and development. Negotiating an appropriate education program is explored in its practical application through four case studies. Though each case was unique, the comparison of the four illustrated the importance of listening (community consultation), developing and maintaining relationships, community involvement and employment. The most successful case studies were those that could fully implement all four areas. Outcomes included improved local dog health capacity, local employment and engagement with the program and significantly improved dog health.

  14. 78 FR 7784 - Health Information Technology Policy Committee Nomination Letters (United States)


    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE Health Information Technology Policy Committee Nomination Letters AGENCY: Government... Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Health Information Technology Policy...

  15. Sleep apnoea in Australian men: disease burden, co-morbidities, and correlates from the Australian longitudinal study on male health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chamara Visanka Senaratna


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Obstructive sleep apnoea is a common disorder with under-rated clinical impact, which is increasingly being recognised as having a major bearing on global disease burden. Men are especially vulnerable and become a priority group for preventative interventions. However, there is limited information on prevalence of the condition in Australia, its co-morbidities, and potential risk factors. Methods We used data from 13,423 adult men included in the baseline wave of Ten to Men, an Australian national study of the health of males, assembled using stratified cluster sampling with oversampling from rural and regional areas. Those aged 18–55 years self-completed a paper-based questionnaire that included a question regarding health professional-diagnosed sleep apnoea, physical and mental health status, and health-related behaviours. Sampling weights were used to account for the sampling design when reporting the prevalence estimates. Odds ratios were used to describe the association between health professional-diagnosed sleep apnoea and potential correlates while adjusting for age, country of birth, and body-mass index (BMI. Results Prevalence of self-reported health professional-diagnosed sleep apnoea increased from 2.2 % in age 18–25 years to 7.8 % in the age 45–55 years. Compared with those without sleep apnoea, those with sleep apnoea had significantly poorer physical, mental, and self-rated health as well as lower subjective wellbeing and poorer concentration/remembering (p < 0.001 for all. Sleep apnoea was significantly associated with older age (p < 0.001, unemployment (p < 0.001, asthma (p = 0.011, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/chronic bronchitis (p = 0.002, diabetes (p < 0.001, hypercholesterolemia (p < 0.001, hypertension (p < 0.001, heart attack (p < 0.001, heart failure (p < 0.001, angina (p < 0.001, depression (p < 0.001, post-traumatic stress disorder (p

  16. Cancellation of Nongroup Health Insurance Policies (United States)


    1302 Essential Health Benefits (X) √ §1302 Minimum Actuarial Value (X) √ §1302 Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limits (X) √ Source: CRS analysis of ACA...also not possible to develop reliable estimates on the number of individuals who renewed policies through “early renewal” or who will be offered...must provide at least 30 days’ prior notice to the individual before coverage may be rescinded. Source: CRS analysis of relevant federal law and

  17. The contribution of research to Australian policy responses to heroin dependence 1990-2001: a personal retrospection. (United States)

    Hall, Wayne


    Periodic public concern about heroin use has been a major driver of Australian drug policy in the four decades since heroin use was first reported. The number of heroin-dependent people in Australia has increased from several hundreds in the late 1960s to around 100,000 by the end of the 1990s. In this paper I do the following: (1) describe collaborative research on heroin dependence that was undertaken between 1991 and 2001 by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre; (2) discuss the contribution that this research may have made to the formulation of policies towards the treatment of heroin dependence during a period when the policy debate crystallized around the issue of whether or not Australia should conduct a controlled trial of heroin prescription; and (3) reflect on the relationships between research and policy-making in the addictions field, specifically on the roles of investigator-initiated and commissioned research, the interface between researchers, funders and policy-makers; and the need to be realistic about the likely impact of research on policy and practice.

  18. Social capital to strengthen health policy and health systems. (United States)

    Ogden, Jessica; Morrison, Ken; Hardee, Karen


    This article recounts the development of a model for social capital building developed over the course of interventions focused on HIV-related stigma and discrimination, safe motherhood and reproductive health. Through further engagement with relevant literature, it explores the nature of social capital and suggests why undertaking such a process can enhance health policy and programmes, advocacy and governance for improved health systems strengthening (HSS) outcomes. The social capital process proposed facilitates the systematic and effective inclusion of community voices in the health policy process-strengthening programme effectiveness as well as health system accountability and governance. Because social capital building facilitates communication and the uptake of new ideas, norms and standards within and between professional communities of practice, it can provide an important mechanism for integration both within and between sectors-a process long considered a 'wicked problem' for health policy-makers. The article argues that the systematic application of social capital building, from bonding through bridging into linking social capital, can greatly enhance the ability of governments and their partners to achieve their HSS goals.

  19. Risk indicators for severe impaired oral health among indigenous Australian young adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberts-Thomson Kaye F


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Oral health impairment comprises three conceptual domains; pain, appearance and function. This study sought to: (1 estimate the prevalence of severe oral health impairment as assessed by a summary oral health impairment measure, including aspects of dental pain, dissatisfaction with dental appearance and difficulty eating, among a birth cohort of Indigenous Australian young adults (n = 442, age range 16-20 years; (2 compare prevalence according to demographic, socio-economic, behavioural, dental service utilisation and oral health outcome risk indicators; and (3 ascertain the independent contribution of those risk indicators to severe oral health impairment in this population. Methods Data were from the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC study, a prospective longitudinal investigation of Aboriginal individuals born 1987-1990 at an Australian regional hospital. Data for this analysis pertained to Wave-3 of the study only. Severe oral health impairment was defined as reported experience of toothache, poor dental appearance and food avoidance in the last 12 months. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate effects of demographic, socio-economic, behavioural, dental service utilisation and clinical oral disease indicators on severe oral health impairment. Effects were quantified as odds ratios (OR. Results The percent of participants with severe oral health impairment was 16.3 (95% CI 12.9-19.7. In the multivariate model, severe oral health impairment was associated with untreated dental decay (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.6-9.6. In addition to that clinical indicator, greater odds of severe oral health impairment were associated with being female (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.6, being aged 19-20 years (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.6, soft drink consumption every day or a few days a week (OR 2.6, 95% 1.2-5.6 and non-ownership of a toothbrush (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.4. Conclusions Severe oral health impairment was prevalent among this population. The findings

  20. The territorial logic in brazilian health policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Cristina Lopes Brevilheri


    Full Text Available This article aims to reflect on the territorial dimension has been addressed in the current Brazilian health policy. Provides an initial approximation of the theoretical discussion about the category territory and its implications for social policy. Then we analyze how this category was included in the principles and guidelines of the National Health System, deployed in key programs and normative instruments of health policy from 1990. It is concluded that: the territorial dimension was present from conception through SUS guideline regionalization of activities and services. In the main programs implemented in the 1990s, the territorial dimension had a character cutouts geographical and normative instruments gave centrality to the process of decentralization. However, from the 2000s, the regionalization strategy, pointing to the territorial perspective, gains greater significance. However, we still need to overcome the logic purely political-administrative and act so as to identify the real needs of the people, their potential, diversity and particularities, towards "used territory" referred to Milton Santos.

  1. Making Things Happen: Community Health Nursing and the Policy Arena. (United States)

    Williams, Carolyn A.


    It is important that nurses, particularly those who consider themselves community health nursing specialists, assign a high priority to participation in the formation of health policy and broader public policy. To put subsequent remarks about policy into perspective, it is useful to consider the case for seeing community health nursing as…

  2. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Nutrition (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports study results in the following areas, as they relate to nutrition: (1) Health Education; (2) Health Services and Mental Health and…

  3. The Politics of Healthy Policies: Redesigning health impact assessment to integrate health in public policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.P.M. Bekker (Marleen)


    textabstractPublic health issues, such as obesity, lung disease from air pollution or mental health complaints from living in an unsafe neighbourhood, are complex, intractable policy problems. The causes are dispersed at the individual and the collective level among different societal sector

  4. Policy Capacity for Health Reform: Necessary but Insufficient: Comment on "Health Reform Requires Policy Capacity". (United States)

    Adams, Owen


    Forest and colleagues have persuasively made the case that policy capacity is a fundamental prerequisite to health reform. They offer a comprehensive life-cycle definition of policy capacity and stress that it involves much more than problem identification and option development. I would like to offer a Canadian perspective. If we define health reform as re-orienting the health system from acute care to prevention and chronic disease management the consensus is that Canada has been unsuccessful in achieving a major transformation of our 14 health systems (one for each province and territory plus the federal government). I argue that 3 additional things are essential to build health policy capacity in a healthcare federation such as Canada: (a) A means of "policy governance" that would promote an approach to cooperative federalism in the health arena; (b) The ability to overcome the "policy inertia" resulting from how Canadian Medicare was implemented and subsequently interpreted; and (c) The ability to entertain a long-range thinking and planning horizon. My assessment indicates that Canada falls short on each of these items, and the prospects for achieving them are not bright. However, hope springs eternal and it will be interesting to see if the July, 2015 report of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation manages to galvanize national attention and stimulate concerted action.

  5. Personalised Medicine: A New Approach to Improving Health in Indigenous Australian Populations. (United States)

    Rae, Kym M; Grimson, Steve; Pringle, Kirsty G


    Personalised medicine is a newly emerging field with much to offer to all populations in improved clinical treatment options. Since the 1970s, clinicians and researchers have all been working towards improving the health of Indigenous Australians. However, there has been little research on the impact of genetics on Indigenous health, how genetic and environmental factors interact to contribute to poor health in Indigenous people, and how genetic factors specific to Indigenous people affect their responses to particular treatments. This short review highlights the urgent need for more genetic studies specific to Indigenous people in order to provide more appropriate care and to improve health outcomes. This paper explores why genetic work with Indigenous communities has been limited, how personalised medicine could benefit Indigenous communities, and highlights a number of specific instances in which personalised medicine has been critical for improving morbidity and mortality in other high-risk groups. In order to take the next step in advancing the health of Indigenous peoples, targeted research into the genetic factors behind chronic diseases is critically needed. This research may allow clinicians a better understanding of how genetic factors interact with environmental factors to influence an Indigenous Australian's individual risk of disease, prognosis, and response to therapies. It is hoped that this knowledge will produce clinical interventions that will help deliver clearly targeted, more appropriate care to this at-risk population.

  6. Condliff v North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust: can human rights redress inequities in United Kingdom and Australian cost-containment-driven health care reforms? (United States)

    Townsend, Ruth; Faunce, Thomas


    A recent case from the English Court of Appeal (R (on the application of Condliff) v North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust [2011] EWCA Civ 910, concerning denial by a regional health care rationing committee of laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity) demonstrates the problems of attempting to rely post hoc on human rights protections to ameliorate inequities in health care reforms that emphasise institutional budgets rather than universal access. This column analyses the complexities of such an approach in relation to recent policy debates and legislative reform of the health systems in the United Kingdom and Australia. Enforceable human rights, such as those available in the United Kingdom to the patient Tom Condliff, appear insufficient to adequately redress issues of inequity promoted by such "reforms". Equity may fare even worse under Australian cost-containment health care reforms, given the absence of relevant enforceable human rights in that jurisdiction.

  7. Global health in foreign policy--and foreign policy in health? Evidence from the BRICS. (United States)

    Watt, Nicola F; Gomez, Eduardo J; McKee, Martin


    Amidst the growing literature on global health, much has been written recently about the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) countries and their involvement and potential impact in global health, particularly in relation to development assistance. Rather less has been said about countries' motivations for involvement in global health negotiations, and there is a notable absence of evidence when their motivations are speculated on. This article uses an existing framework linking engagement in global health to foreign policy to explore differing levels of engagement by BRICS countries in the global health arena, with a particular focus on access to medicines. It concludes that countries' differing and complex motivations reinforce the need for realistic, pragmatic approaches to global health debates and their analysis. It also underlines that these analyses should be informed by analysis from other areas of foreign policy.

  8. Key Challenges for Tertiary Education Policy and Research--An Australian Perspective (United States)

    Goedegebuure, Leo; Schoen, Marian


    Australia has had a mixed history in the way in which policy research has related to higher education policy. Recognising a history of policy-related research and to some extent research-informed policy-making, Australia has followed the trend of other New Public Management-driven systems of de-emphasising policy-oriented independent research. In…

  9. Improving adolescent health policy: incorporating a framework for assessing state-level policies. (United States)

    Brindis, Claire D; Moore, Kristin


    Many US policies that affect health are made at the state, not the federal, level. Identifying state-level policies and data to analyze how different policies affect outcomes may help policy makers ascertain the usefulness of their public policies and funding decisions in improving the health of adolescent populations. A framework for describing and assessing the role of federal and state policies on adolescent health and well-being is proposed; an example of how the framework might be applied to the issue of teen childbearing is included. Such a framework can also help inform analyses of whether and how state and federal policies contribute to the variation across states in meeting adolescent health needs. A database on state policies, contextual variables, and health outcomes data can further enable researchers and policy makers to examine how these factors are associated with behaviors they aim to impact.

  10. The Australian Defence Force Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study: design and methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miranda Van Hooff


    Full Text Available Background: The Australian Defence Force (ADF Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study (MHPWS is the first study of mental disorder prevalence in an entire military population. Objective: The MHPWS aims to establish mental disorder prevalence, refine current ADF mental health screening methods, and identify specific occupational factors that influence mental health. This paper describes the design, sampling strategies, and methodology used in this study. Method: At Phase 1, approximately half of all regular Navy, Army, and Air Force personnel (n=24,481 completed self-report questionnaires. At Phase 2, a stratified sub-sample (n=1,798 completed a structured diagnostic interview to detect mental disorder. Based on data from non-responders, data were weighted to represent the entire ADF population (n=50,049. Results: One in five ADF members met criteria for a 12-month mental disorder (22%. The most common disorder category was anxiety disorders (14.8%, followed by affective (9.5% and alcohol disorders (5.2%. At risk ADF sub-groups were Army personnel, and those in the lower ranks. Deployment status did not have an impact on mental disorder rates. Conclusion: This study has important implications for mental health service delivery for Australian and international military personnel as well as contemporary veterans.

  11. [Therapeutic abortion, unjustified absence in health policy]. (United States)

    Chávez-Alvarado, Susana


    Although abortion for health reasons is not considered a crime in Peru, the State does not allow its inclusion in public policy, thus violating women's right to terminate a pregnancy when it affects their health. When examining the article in the Criminal Code which decriminalizes this type of abortion, provisions are identified which protect women and set the conditions to offer this type of service. This document sets the debate about the arguments used by the Peruvian State for not approving a therapeutic abortion protocol which would regulate the provision and financing of therapeutic abortion in public services, and explains why this obligation should be complied with, based on the conceptual framework of "health exception" In addition, it presents two cases brought before the judicial court in which the Peruvian State was found guilty of violating the human rights of two adolescents to whom a therapeutic abortion was denied.

  12. Drought, drying and climate change: emerging health issues for ageing Australians in rural areas. (United States)

    Horton, Graeme; Hanna, Liz; Kelly, Brian


    Older Australians living in rural areas have long faced significant challenges in maintaining health. Their circumstances are shaped by the occupations, lifestyles, environments and remoteness which characterise the diversity of rural communities. Many rural regions face threats to future sustainability and greater proportions of the aged reside in these areas. The emerging changes in Australia's climate over the past decade may be considered indicative of future trends, and herald amplification of these familiar challenges for rural communities. Such climate changes are likely to exacerbate existing health risks and compromise community infrastructure in some instances. This paper discusses climate change-related health risks facing older people in rural areas, with an emphasis on the impact of heat, drought and drying on rural and remote regions. Adaptive health sector responses are identified to promote mitigation of this substantial emerging need as individuals and their communities experience the projected impact of climate change.

  13. From heterogeneity to harmonization? Recent trends in European health policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Gerlinger


    Full Text Available In the European Union (EU, health policy and the institutional reform of health systems have been treated primarily as national affairs, and health care systems within the EU thus differ considerably. However, the health policy field is undergoing a dynamic process of Europeanization. This process is stimulated by the orientation towards a more competitive economy, recently inaugurated and known as the Lisbon Strategy, while the regulatory requirements of the European Economic and Monetary Union are stimulating the Europeanization of health policy. In addition, the so-called open method of coordination, representing a new mode of regulation within the European multi-level system, is applied increasingly to the health policy area. Diverse trends are thus emerging. While the Lisbon Strategy goes along with a strategic upgrading of health policy more generally, health policy is increasingly used to strengthen economic competitiveness. Pressure on Member States is expected to increase to contain costs and promote market-based health care provision.

  14. Public Health and International Drug Policy (United States)

    Csete, Joanne; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Kazatchkine, Michel; Altice, Frederick; Balicki, Marek; Buxton, Julia; Cepeda, Javier; Comfort, Megan; Goosby, Eric; Goulão, João; Hart, Carl; Horton, Richard; Kerr, Thomas; Lajous, Alejandro Madrazo; Lewis, Stephen; Martin, Natasha; Mejía, Daniel; Mathiesson, David; Obot, Isidore; Ogunrombi, Adeolu; Sherman, Susan; Stone, Jack; Vallath, Nandini; Vickerman, Peter; Zábranský, Tomáš; Beyrer, Chris


    Executive summary In September 2015, the member states of the United Nations endorsed sustainable development goals (SDG) for 2030 that aspire to human rights-centered approaches to ensuring the health and well-being of all people. The SDGs embody both the UN Charter values of rights and justice for all and the responsibility of states to rely on the best scientific evidence as they seek to better humankind. In April 2016, these same states will consider control of illicit drugs, an area of social policy that has been fraught with controversy, seen as inconsistent with human rights norms, and for which scientific evidence and public health approaches have arguably played too limited a role. The previous UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in 1998 – convened under the theme “a drug-free world, we can do it!” – endorsed drug control policies based on the goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production, and trafficking of illicit drugs. This goal is enshrined in national law in many countries. In pronouncing drugs a “grave threat to the health and well-being of all mankind,” the 1998 UNGASS echoed the foundational 1961 convention of the international drug control regime, which justified eliminating the “evil” of drugs in the name of “the health and welfare of mankind.” But neither of these international agreements refers to the ways in which pursuing drug prohibition itself might affect public health. The “war on drugs” and “zero-tolerance” policies that grew out of the prohibitionist consensus are now being challenged on multiple fronts, including their health, human rights, and development impact. The Johns Hopkins – Lancet Commission on Drug Policy and Health has sought to examine the emerging scientific evidence on public health issues arising from drug control policy and to inform and encourage a central focus on public health evidence and outcomes in drug policy debates, such as the important deliberations of

  15. The Evolution of the Student as a Customer in Australian Higher Education: A Policy Perspective (United States)

    Pitman, Tim


    In 2014, the Australian Federal Government attempted to de-regulate higher education fees so as to allow universities to set their own tuition fees. The associated public debate offer critical insights into how the identity of a student as a "customer" of higher education is understood and deployed when developing higher education…

  16. Health policy implications of the holistic health movement. (United States)

    Salmon, J W; Berliner, H S


    A forthright rebellion against the philosophical and clinical orientations of scientific medicine has occurred in the United States during the 1970s. This rebellion includes a growing number of people engaged in self-care practices in attempts to alter their health status through "lifestyle" adjustments, as well as a diverse amalgamation of practitioners (both medical and otherwise), who offer a wide range of therapies outside the mainstream of modern medical practice. Holistic health care has lately become the rubric under which these therapies are grouped. Scientific medicine is the term commonly used to refer to procedures officially sanctioned by the organized medical profession. In the late 19th century, scientific medicine emerged as an advance beyond allopathic medicine after germ theory provided an explanation and, later treatment for infectious diseases. Financial support by private philantropic foundations came in the wake of the Flexner Report on medical education, which provoked a reorganization of medical education in the United States. The subsequent hegemony of scientific medicine thus became assured. To date, few policy analysts have attempted to assess holism and its health policy implications. This article delineates several of the more important policy issues raised by the holistic movement, a phenomenon that represents a challenge to the present organization of health care institutions as well as to scientific medicine.

  17. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Asthma (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief contains information on asthma relative to health education, physical education and activity, and health services. Included is data on the…

  18. Complementary Medicine Health Literacy among a Population of Older Australians Living in Retirement Villages: A Mixed Methods Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline A. Smith


    Full Text Available Background. Older Australians are consumers of high levels of complementary medicines. The aim of this study was to examine health literacy in a population of older Australians related to their use of complementary medicine. Methods. A two-phase sequential mixed method design incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods was used in this study. The first phase consisted of a cross-sectional survey using a validated health literacy questionnaire and follow-up interviews with 11 residents of retirement villages. Interviews explored low scoring domains on the health literacy questionnaire. Results. Health literacy competencies scored higher for the domains of having sufficient information to manage their health; felt understood and supported by health care providers; actively managed their health; and having social support for health. Three health literacy domains scored low including appraisal of health information; ability to find good information; and navigating the health care system. The findings suggest that participants had different experiences navigating the health care system to access information and services relating to complementary medicines. Two themes of “trust” and “try and see” provide insight into how this group of older Australians appraised health information in relation to complementary medicines. Conclusions. With a focus on self-care there is a need for improved health literacy skills.

  19. Complementary Medicine Health Literacy among a Population of Older Australians Living in Retirement Villages: A Mixed Methods Study. (United States)

    Smith, Caroline A; Chang, Esther; Brownhill, Suzanne; Barr, Kylie


    Background. Older Australians are consumers of high levels of complementary medicines. The aim of this study was to examine health literacy in a population of older Australians related to their use of complementary medicine. Methods. A two-phase sequential mixed method design incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods was used in this study. The first phase consisted of a cross-sectional survey using a validated health literacy questionnaire and follow-up interviews with 11 residents of retirement villages. Interviews explored low scoring domains on the health literacy questionnaire. Results. Health literacy competencies scored higher for the domains of having sufficient information to manage their health; felt understood and supported by health care providers; actively managed their health; and having social support for health. Three health literacy domains scored low including appraisal of health information; ability to find good information; and navigating the health care system. The findings suggest that participants had different experiences navigating the health care system to access information and services relating to complementary medicines. Two themes of "trust" and "try and see" provide insight into how this group of older Australians appraised health information in relation to complementary medicines. Conclusions. With a focus on self-care there is a need for improved health literacy skills.

  20. Complementary Medicine Health Literacy among a Population of Older Australians Living in Retirement Villages: A Mixed Methods Study (United States)

    Chang, Esther; Brownhill, Suzanne; Barr, Kylie


    Background. Older Australians are consumers of high levels of complementary medicines. The aim of this study was to examine health literacy in a population of older Australians related to their use of complementary medicine. Methods. A two-phase sequential mixed method design incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods was used in this study. The first phase consisted of a cross-sectional survey using a validated health literacy questionnaire and follow-up interviews with 11 residents of retirement villages. Interviews explored low scoring domains on the health literacy questionnaire. Results. Health literacy competencies scored higher for the domains of having sufficient information to manage their health; felt understood and supported by health care providers; actively managed their health; and having social support for health. Three health literacy domains scored low including appraisal of health information; ability to find good information; and navigating the health care system. The findings suggest that participants had different experiences navigating the health care system to access information and services relating to complementary medicines. Two themes of “trust” and “try and see” provide insight into how this group of older Australians appraised health information in relation to complementary medicines. Conclusions. With a focus on self-care there is a need for improved health literacy skills. PMID:27429638

  1. Towards health in all policies for childhood obesity prevention. (United States)

    Hendriks, Anna-Marie; Kremers, Stef P J; Gubbels, Jessica S; Raat, Hein; de Vries, Nanne K; Jansen, Maria W J


    The childhood obesity epidemic can be best tackled by means of an integrated approach, which is enabled by integrated public health policies, or Health in All Policies. Integrated policies are developed through intersectoral collaboration between local government policy makers from health and nonhealth sectors. Such intersectoral collaboration has been proved to be difficult. In this study, we investigated which resources influence intersectoral collaboration. The behavior change wheel framework was used to categorize motivation-, capability-, and opportunity-related resources for intersectoral collaboration. In-depth interviews were held with eight officials representing 10 non-health policy sectors within a local government. Results showed that health and non-health policy sectors did not share policy goals, which decreased motivation for intersectoral collaboration. Awareness of the linkage between health and nonhealth policy sectors was limited, and management was not involved in creating such awareness, which reduced the capability for intersectoral collaboration. Insufficient organizational resources and structures reduced opportunities for intersectoral collaboration. To stimulate intersectoral collaboration to prevent childhood obesity, we recommend that public health professionals should reframe health goals in the terminology of nonhealth policy sectors, that municipal department managers should increase awareness of public health in non-health policy sectors, and that flatter organizational structures should be established.

  2. Towards Health in All Policies for Childhood Obesity Prevention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna-Marie Hendriks


    Full Text Available The childhood obesity epidemic can be best tackled by means of an integrated approach, which is enabled by integrated public health policies, or Health in All Policies. Integrated policies are developed through intersectoral collaboration between local government policy makers from health and nonhealth sectors. Such intersectoral collaboration has been proved to be difficult. In this study, we investigated which resources influence intersectoral collaboration. The behavior change wheel framework was used to categorize motivation-, capability-, and opportunity-related resources for intersectoral collaboration. In-depth interviews were held with eight officials representing 10 non-health policy sectors within a local government. Results showed that health and non-health policy sectors did not share policy goals, which decreased motivation for intersectoral collaboration. Awareness of the linkage between health and nonhealth policy sectors was limited, and management was not involved in creating such awareness, which reduced the capability for intersectoral collaboration. Insufficient organizational resources and structures reduced opportunities for intersectoral collaboration. To stimulate intersectoral collaboration to prevent childhood obesity, we recommend that public health professionals should reframe health goals in the terminology of nonhealth policy sectors, that municipal department managers should increase awareness of public health in non-health policy sectors, and that flatter organizational structures should be established.

  3. Globalisation, health and foreign policy: emerging linkages and interests (United States)

    Owen, John Wyn; Roberts, Olivia


    A discussion of the growing links between the issues of globalisation, health and foreign policy. This article examines the effect this has on health, development and foreign policy communities in the UK and internationally and considers what steps the policy community must take to address the challenges and opportunities of this new relationship. PMID:16053520

  4. Manifestations of integrated public health policy in Dutch municipalities. (United States)

    Peters, Dorothee; Harting, Janneke; van Oers, Hans; Schuit, Jantine; de Vries, Nanne; Stronks, Karien


    Integrated public health policy (IPHP) aims at integrating health considerations into policies of other sectors. Since the limited empirical evidence available may hamper its further development, we systematically analysed empirical manifestations of IPHP, by placing policy strategies along a continuum of less-to-more policy integration, going from intersectoral action (IA) to healthy public policy (HPP) to health in all policies (HiAP). Our case study included 34 municipal projects of the Dutch Gezonde Slagkracht Programme (2009-15), which supports the development and implementation of IPHP on overweight, alcohol and drug abuse, and smoking. Our content analysis of project application forms and interviews with all project leaders used a framework approach involving the policy strategies and the following policy variables: initiator, actors, policy goals, determinants and policy instruments. Most projects showed a combination of policy strategies. However, manifestations of IPHP in overweight projects predominantly involved IA. More policy integration was apparent in alcohol/drugs projects (HPP) and in all-theme projects (HiAP). More policy integration was related to broad goal definitions, which allowed for the involvement of actors representing several policy sectors. This enabled the implementation of a mix of policy instruments. Determinants of health were not explicitly used as a starting point of the policy process. If a policy problem justifies policy integration beyond IA, it might be helpful to start from the determinants of health (epidemiological reality), systematically transform them into policy (policy reality) and set broad policy goals, since this gives actors from other sectors the opportunity to participate.

  5. Healthy public policy--is health impact assessment the cornerstone? (United States)

    Metcalfe, O; Higgins, C


    The 8th International Health Impact Assessment Conference, entitled 'Healthy public policy--is health impact assessment the cornerstone?', was hosted by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH). At the event, IPH sponsored a keynote speech to set the context of the conference and outline the importance of healthy public policy. This article presents an overview of healthy public policy and the barriers to its adoption in policy-making. Health impact assessment is one such tool to overcome the barriers, and the authors recommend the methodology as the cornerstone to healthy public policy.

  6. A single competency-based education and training and competency-based career framework for the Australian health workforce: discussing the potential value add. (United States)

    Brownie, Sharon Mary; Thomas, Janelle


    This brief discusses the policy implications of a research study commissioned by Health Workforce Australia (HWA) within its health workforce innovation and reform work program. The project explored conceptually complex and operationally problematic concepts related to developing a whole-of-workforce competency-based education and training and competency-based career framework for the Australian health workforce and culminated with the production of three reports published by HWA. The project raised important queries as to whether such a concept is desirable, feasible or implementable - in short what is the potential value add and is it achievable? In setting the scene for discussion, the foundation of the project's genesis and focus of the study are highlighted. A summary of key definitions related to competency-based education and training frameworks and competency-based career frameworks are provided to further readers' commonality of understanding. The nature of the problem to be solved is explored and the potential value-add for the Australian health workforce and its key constituents proposed. The paper concludes by discussing relevance and feasibility issues within Australia's current and changing healthcare context along with the essential steps and implementation realities that would need to be considered and actioned if whole-of-workforce frameworks were to be developed and implemented.

  7. [The ALANAM statement on public health policy]. (United States)

    Goic, Alejando; Armas, Rodolfo


    The ALANAM (Association of Latin American National Academies of Medicine) statement on public health policy, issued following its 19th Congress, held October 28–30, 2010, in Santiago, Chile, declares that cardiovascular diseases, cancer, accidents and violence are the leading causes of death in the region, while in several of its member nations, emergent and re-emergent infectious diseases, malnutrition, and mother-child illnesses remain prevalent. The statement calls attention to the lack of functioning water supply and sewage systems in many villages and rural areas. After describing the social causes of the present state of public health in Latin America (poverty levels reaching upwards of 44% of the total population, or some 110 million people), it calls on governments, first, to spare no efforts in the task of eradicating extreme poverty in the short-term, and poverty in the long-term. Second, considering that about 15 million 3-to-6 year-olds have no access to education, it recommends extending educational services to these children, and to improve the quality of existing pre-school and primary education. Third, the statement calls for universal health care coverage and for equal access to good quality medical care for everyone, and for programs aimed at promoting healthy personal habits and self-care. In this regard, it also recommends that disease prevention programs be sustained over time, that national sanitary objectives be defined, and that its results be periodically reviewed. Fourth, it recommends that primary health care be extended to everyone, and that it be enhanced by improving coverage and coordination with secondary and tertiary level health care institutions. The statement lays special stress on the need for adopting public health policies aimed at lowering the cost of medicines; to this end, it calls for the creation of an official list of generic drugs. The statement ends by calling on governments to support public health research as a

  8. Effects of acculturation on lifestyle and health status among older Vietnam-born Australians. (United States)

    Tran, Duong Thuy; Jorm, Louisa; Johnson, Maree; Bambrick, Hilary; Lujic, Sanja


    Vietnamese immigrants represent a substantial culturally and linguistically diverse population of Australia, but little is known about the health-related effects of acculturation in this population. This study investigated the relationship between measures of acculturation and lifestyle behaviors and health status among 797 older Vietnam-born Australians who participated in the 45 and Up Study ( The findings suggested that higher degrees of acculturation were associated with increased consumption of red meat, white meat, and seafood; higher levels of physical activities; and lower prevalence of overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and smoking (in men). Targeted health messages could emphasize eating more vegetables, avoiding smoking and alcohol drinking, and increasing levels of physical activity.

  9. Policy Capacity Is Necessary but Not Sufficient; Comment on “Health Reform Requires Policy Capacity”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheldon Gen


    Full Text Available Policy capacity focuses on the managerial and organizational abilities to inform policy decisions with sound research and analysis, and facilitate policy implementation with operational efficiency. It stems from a view of the policy process that is rational and positivistic, in which optimal policy choices can be identified, selected, and implemented with objectivity. By itself, however, policy capacity neglects the political aspects of policy-making that can dominate the process, even in health policies. These technical capabilities are certainly needed to advance reforms in health policies, but they are not sufficient. Instead, they must be complemented with public engagement and policy advocacy to ensure support from the public that policies are meant to serve.

  10. Corporate philanthropy, lobbying, and public health policy. (United States)

    Tesler, Laura E; Malone, Ruth E


    To counter negative publicity about the tobacco industry, Philip Morris has widely publicized its philanthropy initiatives. Although corporate philanthropy is primarily a public relations tool, contributions may be viewed as offsetting the harms caused by corporate products and practices. That such donations themselves have harmful consequences has been little considered. Drawing on internal company documents, we explored the philanthropy undertaken as part of Philip Morris's PM21 image makeover. Philip Morris explicitly linked philanthropy to government affairs and used contributions as a lobbying tool against public health policies. Through advertising, covertly solicited media coverage, and contributions to legislators' pet causes, Philip Morris improved its image among key voter constituencies, influenced public officials, and divided the public health field as grantees were converted to stakeholders.

  11. Radiation protection policies to protect public health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Muckerheide, J. [Commonwealth Massachusetts, Needham, MA (United States)


    Scientific data from plant, animal, and human populations more strongly find radiation essential to life, i.e., suppressing background radiation is debilitating and that moderately enhanced radiation doses have positive effects, than that low-moderate radiation dose has adverse effects. {close_quote} Federal radiation protection policy will be in the public interest and save hundreds of billions of dollars at no public health cost when known dose effects to exposed populations are applied to ensure no adverse health effects, with safety margins, and when appropriate research is funded (and public benefits from new radiation and nuclear science and technology applications are enabled) at the sole cost of reduced federal power and influence.

  12. Adapting public policy theory for public health research: A framework to understand the development of national policies on global health. (United States)

    Jones, Catherine M; Clavier, Carole; Potvin, Louise


    National policies on global health appear as one way that actors from health, development and foreign affairs sectors in a country coordinate state action on global health. Next to a burgeoning literature in which international relations and global governance theories are employed to understand global health policy and global health diplomacy at the international level, little is known about policy processes for global health at the national scale. We propose a framework of the policy process to understand how such policies are developed, and we identify challenges for public health researchers integrating conceptual tools from political science. We developed the framework using a two-step process: 1) reviewing literature to establish criteria for selecting a theoretical framework fit for this purpose, and 2) adapting Real-Dato's synthesis framework to integrate a cognitive approach to public policy within a constructivist perspective. Our framework identifies multiple contexts as part of the policy process, focuses on situations where actors work together to make national policy on global health, considers these interactive situations as spaces for observing external influences on policy change and proposes policy design as the output of the process. We suggest that this framework makes three contributions to the conceptualisation of national policy on global health as a research object. First, it emphasizes collective action over decisions of individual policy actors. Second, it conceptualises the policy process as organised interactive spaces for collaboration rather than as stages of a policy cycle. Third, national decision-making spaces are opportunities for transferring ideas and knowledge from different sectors and settings, and represent opportunities to identify international influences on a country's global health policy. We discuss two sets of challenges for public health researchers using interdisciplinary approaches in policy research.

  13. Extending transaction cost economics: towards a synthesised approach for analysing contracting in health care markets with experience from the Australian private sector. (United States)

    Donato, Ronald


    Transaction cost economics (TCE) has been the dominant economic paradigm for analysing contracting, and the framework has been applied in a number of health care contexts. However, TCE has particular limitations when applied to complex industry settings and there have been calls to extend the framework to incorporate dynamic theories of industrial organisation, specifically the resource-based view (RBV). This paper analyses how such calls for theoretical pluralism are particularly germane to health care markets and examines whether a combined TCE-RBV provides a more comprehensive approach for understanding the nature of contractual arrangements that have developed within the Australian private health care sector and its implications for informing policy. This Australian case study involved a series of interviews with 14 senior contracting executives from the seven major health funds (i.e. 97% of the insured population) and seven major private hospital groups (i.e. 73% of the private hospital beds). Study findings reveal that both the TCE perspective with its focus on exchange hazards, and the RBV approach with its emphasis on the dynamic nature of capabilities, each provide a partial explanation of the developments associated with contracting between health funds and hospital groups. For a select few organisations, close inter-firm relational ties involving trust and mutual commitment attenuate complex exchange hazards through greater information sharing and reduced propensity to behave opportunistically. Further, such close relational ties also provide denser communication channels for creating and transmitting more complex information enabling organisations to tap into each other's complementary resources and capabilities. For policymakers, having regard to both TCE and RBV considerations provides the opportunity to apply competition policy beyond the current static notions of efficiency and welfare gains, and cautions policymakers against specifying ex ante the

  14. Types of social media (Web 2.0) used by Australian allied health professionals to deliver early twenty-first-century practice promotion and health care. (United States)

    Usher, Wayne


    Types of social media (Web 2.0) usage associated with eight of Australia's major allied health professions (AHPs, n = 935) were examined. Australian AHPs are interacting with Web 2.0 technologies for personal use but are failing to implement such technologies throughout their health professions to deliver health care. Australian AHPs are willing to undertake online educational courses designed to up skill them about how Web 2.0 may be used for practice promotion and health care delivery in the early twenty-first century. Participants in this study indicated that educational courses that were offered online would be the preferred mode of delivery.

  15. China’s National Health Policies: An Ontological Analysis (United States)

    Dai, Guobin; Deng, Fang; Ramaprasad, Arkalgud; Syn, Thant


    The health care system in China is facing a multitude of challenges owing to the changing demographics of the country, the evolving economics of health care, and the emerging epidemiology of health as well as diseases. China’s many national health care policies are documented in Chinese text documents. It is necessary to map the policies synoptically, systemically, and systematically to discover their emphases and biases, assess them, and modify them in the future. Using a logically constructed ontology of health care policies based on the common bodies of knowledge as a lens, we map the current policies to reveal their ‘bright’, ‘light’, and ‘blind/blank’ spots. The ontological map will help (a) develop a roadmap for future health care policies in China, and (b) compare and contrast China’s health care policies with other countries’. PMID:28210417

  16. Oral health policy forum: developing dental student knowledge and skills for health policy advocacy. (United States)

    Yoder, Karen M; Edelstein, Burton L


    This article describes the planning, sequential improvements, and outcomes of Indiana University School of Dentistry's annual Oral Health Policy Forum. This one-day forum for fourth-year dental students was instituted in 2005 with the Indiana Dental Association and the Children's Dental Health Project to introduce students to the health policy process and to encourage their engagement in advocacy. Following a keynote by a visiting professor, small student groups develop arguments in favor and in opposition to five oral health policy scenarios and present their positions to a mock or authentic legislator. The "legislator" critiques these presentations, noting both effective and ineffective approaches, and the student deemed most effective by fellow students receives a gift award. During the afternoon, students tour the Indiana State House, observe deliberations, and meet with legislators. In 2009, 92 percent of students reported a positive impression of the forum, up from 60 percent in 2005. Half (49 percent) in 2009 indicated that they were more inclined to become involved with the political process following the forum, up from 21 percent in 2005. Dental students' feedback became increasingly positive as the program was refined and active learning opportunities were enhanced. This model for engaging students in policy issues important to their professional careers is readily replicable by other dental schools.

  17. Status, challenges and facilitators of consumer involvement in Australian health and medical research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Girgis Afaf


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The emergent international practice of involving consumers in health research is driven, in part, by the growing share of health research that can only be applied in and emerge from knowledge that is shaped by human values and societal contexts. This is the first investigation of its kind to identify the current prevalence, challenges, enabling factors and range of approaches to consumer involvement in health and medical research in Australia. Methods A nation-wide survey of research funding organisations and organisations that conduct research was performed during 2008-2009. Results Marked variation in consumer involvement experience and perceptions exists between research funders and researchers. Research funders were over eight times more likely than organisations conducting research to involve consumers in identifying research needs and prioritising research topics. Across both groups, practical and time constraints were reported as key challenges to involving consumers, while guidelines on consumer involvement and evidence of effect were the most important potential enablers. More than a third of research organisations indicated that when consumer involvement was a condition of research funding, it was an important facilitator of involvement. Conclusion It is no longer simply enough to keep society informed of important scientific breakthroughs. If Australian health research is to take into account important social contexts and consequences, it must involve consumers. A set of minimum consumer involvement standards and associated guidelines, that are agreed and routinely adopted, could ensure that consumers and the Australian community they represent, are given an opportunity to shed light on experiences and local circumstance, and express views and concerns relevant to health research.

  18. The 2003 Australian Breast Health Survey: survey design and preliminary results

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    Favelle Simone


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Breast Health Surveys, conducted by the National Breast Cancer Centre (NBCC in 1996 and 2003, are designed to gain insight into the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of a nationally representative sample of Australian women on issues relevant to breast cancer. In this article, we focus on major aspects of the design and present results on respondents' knowledge about mammographic screening. Methods The 2003 BHS surveyed English-speaking Australian women aged 30–69 without a history of breast cancer using computer-assisted telephone interviewing. Questions covered the following themes: knowledge and perceptions about incidence, mortality and risk; knowledge and behaviour regarding early detection, symptoms and diagnosis; mammographic screening; treatment; and accessibility and availability of information and services. Respondents were selected using a complex sample design involving stratification. Sample weights against Australian population benchmarks were used in all statistical analyses. Means and proportions for the entire population and by age group and area of residence were calculated. Statistical tests were conducted using a level of significance of 0.01. Results Of the 3,144 respondents who consented to being interviewed, 138 (4.4% had a previous diagnosis of breast cancer and were excluded leaving 3,006 completed interviews eligible for analysis. A majority of respondents (61.1% reported ever having had a mammogram and 29.1% identified mammography as being the best way of finding breast cancer. A majority of women (85.9% had heard of the BreastScreen Australia (BSA program, the national mammographic screening program providing free biennial screening mammograms, with 94.5% believing that BSA attendance was available regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms. There have been substantial gains in women's knowledge about mammographic screening over the seven years between the two surveys. Conclusion The

  19. Culture for Language Learning in Australian Language-in-Education Policy (United States)

    Liddicoat, Anthony J.


    Australia's language-in-education policy documents have consistently included references to the place of "culture" in language teaching. This paper seeks to examine how the major national policies conceptualise culture and interculturality in relationship to languages education. For each policy, this study will analyse the language focus, the…

  20. Teacher Education Research and Education Policy-Makers: An Australian Perspective (United States)

    White, Simone


    As teacher educators, we want our research to be influential in contributing to educational policy and practice, but there remains little understanding about ways in which teacher educators might more productively engage with each other and policy-makers so as to maximise their research impact. Drawing on an empirical study and policy document…

  1. Parent-reported Mental Health Problems and Mental Health Services Use in South Australian School-aged Children

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    Jing Wu


    Full Text Available Background:Monitoring and reporting childhood mental health problems and mental health services utilization over time provide important information to identify mental health related issues and to guide early intervention. This paper aims to describe the recent prevalence of parent-reported mental health problems among South Australian (SA children; to identify mental health problems associated characteristics; and to describe mental health services utilization and its related characteristics among this population. Methods:Parent-reported mental health problems were assessed against the first item of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. School-aged children were randomly sampled monthly and data were collected using a surveillance system between 2005 and 2015. Associations between mental health problems and various factors were analysed using univariable analysis and multivariable logistic regression modelling. Results:Prevalence of parent-reported mental health problems among children was 9.1% and 9.3% for children aged 5 to 11 years and children aged 12 to 15 years, respectively. No change in prevalence was observed during the past decade. Mental health problems were associated with male sex, long-term illness or pain, negative school experiences, not living with biological parents, and living in a rental dwelling. Less than half (48.7% of the children with mental health problems received professional help. An increasing trend was found in mental health services utilisation among children aged 5 to 15 years. Utilization of mental health services was associated with male sex, older age, long-term illness or pain, and feeling unhappy at school. Conclusion:This study reports the prevalence of parent-reported mental and mental health services utilisation among SA school-aged children. Identified characteristics associated with mental health problems and mental health services utilisation provide useful information for the planning of

  2. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Overview (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. SHPPS 2006 was designed to answer the following questions: (1) What are the characteristics of each school health program component at the state,…

  3. Family Economic Security Policies and Child and Family Health. (United States)

    Spencer, Rachael A; Komro, Kelli A


    In this review, we examine the effects of family economic security policies (i.e., minimum wage, earned income tax credit, unemployment insurance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) on child and family health outcomes, summarize policy generosity across states in the USA, and discuss directions and possibilities for future research. This manuscript is an update to a review article that was published in 2014. Millions of Americans are affected by family economic security policies each year, many of whom are the most vulnerable in society. There is increasing evidence that these policies impact health outcomes and behaviors of adults and children. Further, research indicates that, overall, policies which are more restrictive are associated with poorer health behaviors and outcomes; however, the strength of the evidence differs across each of the four policies. There is significant diversity in state-level policies, and it is plausible that these policy variations are contributing to health disparities across and within states. Despite increasing evidence of the relationship between economic policies and health, there continues to be limited attention to this issue. State policy variations offer a valuable opportunity for scientists to conduct natural experiments and contribute to evidence linking social policy effects to family and child well-being. The mounting evidence will help to guide future research and policy making for evolving toward a more nurturing society for family and child health and well-being.

  4. Australians with osteoarthritis: satisfaction with health care providers and the perceived helpfulness of treatments and information sources

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    Basedow M


    Full Text Available Martin Basedow,1 Peter Hibbert,1 Tamara Hooper,1 William Runciman,1 Adrian Esterman,2 1School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, 2School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the satisfaction of Australian patients who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA with their health care providers and the perceived helpfulness of treatments and information sources. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was conducted with a sample of 560 Australian patients who suffer from OA with questions about satisfaction with health care providers and the helpfulness of different treatment options and information sources. Logistic regression models were used to assess potential predictors of satisfaction. Thematic analysis was undertaken for attitudinal factors associated with satisfaction. Results: A total of 435 participants returned questionnaires (response rate 78%. Most respondents were highly satisfied with the care provided by their general practitioner (GP (84%, communication with their GP (88%, time spent with their GP (84%, and their ability to talk freely with their GP about their medical problem (93%, but less satisfied with their ability to talk freely about associated emotional problems (77%. Satisfaction with pharmacists (80%, rheumatologists (76%, and orthopedic surgeons (72% was high. Joint replacement surgery (91%, prescription anti-inflammatory medications (66%, aids and assistive devices (65%, intra-articular injections (63%, and prescription painkiller medications (62% were perceived as effective treatments. Less highly rated treatments were exercise (48%, physiotherapy (43%, and complementary medicines (29%. A majority of patients were satisfied with the information to manage their OA (65%. From the multivariable logistic regression analysis, four GP satisfaction factors were found to be predictors of overall satisfaction with GP care: the amount

  5. Private health insurance and quality of life: perspectives of older Australians with multiple chronic conditions. (United States)

    Jeon, Yun-Hee; Black, Annie; Govett, Janelle; Yen, Laurann; McRae, Ian


    A qualitative study was conducted to explore in-depth issues relating to the health costs of chronic illness as identified in a previous study. A key theme that emerged from interviews carried out was the benefits and challenges of private health insurance (PHI) membership, and choices older Australians with multimorbidity make in accessing health services, with and without PHI. This is the focus of this paper. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 40 older people with multiple chronic conditions. Data were analysed using content analysis. Key motivators for maintaining PHI included: fear of an inability to access timely health care; the opportunity to exercise choice in service provider; a belief of being 'better off' both medically and financially, which was often ill-founded; and the core values of self reliance and independence. Most described financial pressure caused by rising PHI premiums as well as other out-of-pocket health related expenses. Many older people who can ill afford PHI still struggle to maintain it, potentially at the cost of their quality of life, based on beliefs about costs of health care that they have never properly assessed. The findings highlight the degree to which people whose resources are constrained are prepared to go to maintain access to private hospital care. Attention should be given to assisting older people to make informed and valid choices of health insurance derived from the facts, rather than being based on fear and assumptions.

  6. Policy networks across portfolio boundaries: An analysis of integrated public health policy in Dutch municipalities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, D.T.J.M.


    Regardless efforts by the (municipal) public health sector, public health still faces major problems. The involvement of other policy sectors is generally assumed as necessary. Because, in contrast to the public health sector, they have policy instruments to address the environmental determinants of

  7. Inclusion of vulnerable groups in health policies: Regional policies on health priorities in Africa

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    Margie Schneider


    Full Text Available Background: If access to equitable health care is to be achieved for all, policy documents must mention and address in some detail different needs of groups vulnerable to not accessing such health care. If these needs are not addressed in the policy documents, there is little chance that they will be addressed at the stage of implementation.Objectives: This paper reports on an analysis of 11 African Union (AU policy documents to ascertain the frequency and the extent of mention of 13 core concepts in relation to 12 vulnerable groups, with a specific focus on people with disabilities.Method: The paper applied the EquiFrame analytical framework to the 11 AU policy documents. The 11 documents were analysed in terms of how many times a core concept was mentioned and the extent of information on how the core concept should be addressed at the implementation level. Each core concept mention was further analysed in terms of the vulnerable group in referred to.Results: The analysis of regional AU policies highlighted the broad nature of the reference made to vulnerable groups, with a lack of detailed specifications of different needs of different groups. This is confirmed in the highest vulnerable group mention being for ‘universal’. The reading of the documents suggests that vulnerable groups are homogeneous in their needs, which is not the case. There is a lack of recognition of different needs of different vulnerable groups in accessing health care.Conclusion: The need for more information and knowledge on the needs of all vulnerable groups is evident. The current lack of mention and of any detail on how to address needs of vulnerable groups will significantly impair the access to equitable health care for all.

  8. Positioning women's and children's health in African union policy-making: a policy analysis

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    Toure Kadidiatou


    Full Text Available Abstract Background With limited time to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, progress towards improving women's and children's health needs to be accelerated. With Africa accounting for over half of the world's maternal and child deaths, the African Union (AU has a critical role in prioritizing related policies and catalysing required investments and action. In this paper, the authors assess the evolution of African Union policies related to women's and children's health, and analyze how these policies are prioritized and framed. Methods The main method used in this policy analysis was a document review of all African Union policies developed from 1963 to 2010, focusing specifically on policies that explicitly mention health. The findings from this document review were discussed with key actors to identify policy implications. Results With over 220 policies in total, peace and security is the most common AU policy topic. Social affairs and other development issues became more prominent in the 1990s. The number of policies that mentioned health rose steadily over the years (with 1 policy mentioning health in 1963 to 7 in 2010. This change was catalysed by factors such as: a favourable shift in AU priorities and systems towards development issues, spurred by the transition from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union; the mandate of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights; health-related advocacy initiatives, such as the Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA; action and accountability requirements arising from international human rights treaties, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, and new health-funding mechanisms, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Prioritization of women's and children's health issues in AU policies has been framed primarily by human rights, advocacy and accountability considerations, more by economic and health frames

  9. Primary health care and equity: the case of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex Australians. (United States)

    Rosenstreich, Gabi; Comfort, Jude; Martin, Paul


    The current period of health reform in Australia offers an opportunity for positive actions to be taken to address the significant challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and other sexuality, sex and gender diverse (LGBTI) people face in the health system. This paper provides analysis of why this group should be considered a priority health group using a social determinants of health framework, which has, to date, largely been ignored within primary health care policy reform in Australia. Several key areas of the primary health care reform package are considered in relation to LGBTI health and well-being. Practical suggestions are provided as to how the primary health care sector could contribute to reducing the health inequities affecting LGBTI people. It is argued that care needs to be taken to ensure the reform process does not further marginalise this group.

  10. Reviewing and reforming policy in health enterprise information security (United States)

    Sostrom, Kristen; Collmann, Jeff R.


    Health information management policies usually address the use of paper records with little or no mention of electronic health records. Information Technology (IT) policies often ignore the health care business needs and operational use of the information stored in its systems. Representatives from the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center, TRICARE and Offices of the Surgeon General of each Military Service, collectively referred to as the Policies, Procedures and Practices Work Group (P3WG), examined military policies and regulations relating to computer-based information systems and medical records management. Using a system of templates and matrices created for the purpose, P3WG identified gaps and discrepancies in DoD and service compliance with the proposed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Standard. P3WG represents an unprecedented attempt to coordinate policy review and revision across all military health services and the Office of Health Affairs. This method of policy reform can identify where changes need to be made to integrate health management policy and IT policy in to an organizational policy that will enable compliance with HIPAA standards. The process models how large enterprises may coordinate policy revision and reform across broad organizational and work domains.

  11. Reference genotype and exome data from an Australian Aboriginal population for health-based research. (United States)

    Tang, Dave; Anderson, Denise; Francis, Richard W; Syn, Genevieve; Jamieson, Sarra E; Lassmann, Timo; Blackwell, Jenefer M


    Genetic analyses, including genome-wide association studies and whole exome sequencing (WES), provide powerful tools for the analysis of complex and rare genetic diseases. To date there are no reference data for Aboriginal Australians to underpin the translation of health-based genomic research. Here we provide a catalogue of variants called after sequencing the exomes of 72 Aboriginal individuals to a depth of 20X coverage in ∼80% of the sequenced nucleotides. We determined 320,976 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and 47,313 insertions/deletions using the Genome Analysis Toolkit. We had previously genotyped a subset of the Aboriginal individuals (70/72) using the Illumina Omni2.5 BeadChip platform and found ~99% concordance at overlapping sites, which suggests high quality genotyping. Finally, we compared our SNVs to six publicly available variant databases, such as dbSNP and the Exome Sequencing Project, and 70,115 of our SNVs did not overlap any of the single nucleotide polymorphic sites in all the databases. Our data set provides a useful reference point for genomic studies on Aboriginal Australians.


    Schuftan, Claudio


    The author here distills his long-time personal experience with the deleterious effects of globalization on health and on the health sector reforms embarked on in many of the more than 50 countries where he has worked in the last 25 years. He highlights the role that the "human right to health" framework can and should play in countering globalization's negative effects on health and in shaping future health policy. This is a testimonial article.

  13. Developing a public health policy-research nexus: an evaluation of Nurse Practitioner models in aged care. (United States)

    Prosser, Brenton; Clark, Shannon; Davey, Rachel; Parker, Rhian


    A frustration often expressed by researchers and policy-makers in public health is an apparent mismatch between respective priorities and expectations for research. Academics bemoan an oversimplification of their work, a reticence for independent critique and the constant pressure to pursue evaluation funding. Meanwhile, policy-makers look for research reports written in plain language with clear application, which are attuned to current policy settings and produced quickly. In a context where there are calls in western nations for evidence based policy with stronger links to academic research, such a mismatch can present significant challenges to policy program evaluation. The purpose of this paper is to present one attempt to overcome these challenges. Specifically, the paper describes the development of a conceptual framework for a large-scale, multifaceted evaluation of an Australian Government health initiative to expand Nurse Practitioner models of practice in aged care service delivery. In doing so, the paper provides a brief review of key points for the facilitation of a strong research-policy nexus in public health evaluations, as well as describes how this particular evaluation embodies these key points. As such, the paper presents an evaluation approach which may be adopted and adapted by others undertaking public health policy program evaluations.

  14. Australian Children with Special Health Care Needs: Social-Emotional and Learning Competencies in the Early Years (United States)

    Whiteford, Chrystal; Walker, Sue; Berthelsen, Donna


    This study examined the relationship between special health care needs and social-emotional and learning competence in the early years, reporting on two waves of data from the Kindergarten Cohort of "Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children" (LSAC). Six hundred and fifty children were identified through the…

  15. The inter-section of political history and health policy in Asia--the historical foundations for health policy analysis. (United States)

    Grundy, John; Hoban, Elizabeth; Allender, Steve; Annear, Peter


    One of the challenges for health reform in Asia is the diverse set of socio-economic and political structures, and the related variability in the direction and pace of health systems and policy reform. This paper aims to make comparative observations and analysis of health policy reform in the context of historical change, and considers the implications of these findings for the practice of health policy analysis. We adopt an ecological model for analysis of policy development, whereby health systems are considered as dynamic social constructs shaped by changing political and social conditions. Utilizing historical, social scientific and health literature, timelines of health and history for five countries (Cambodia, Myanmar, Mongolia, North Korea and Timor Leste) are mapped over a 30-50 year period. The case studies compare and contrast key turning points in political and health policy history, and examines the manner in which these turning points sets the scene for the acting out of longer term health policy formation, particularly with regard to the managerial domains of health policy making. Findings illustrate that the direction of health policy reform is shaped by the character of political reform, with countries in the region being at variable stages of transition from monolithic and centralized administrations, towards more complex management arrangements characterized by a diversity of health providers, constituency interest and financing sources. The pace of reform is driven by a country's institutional capability to withstand and manage transition shocks of post conflict rehabilitation and emergence of liberal economic reforms in an altered governance context. These findings demonstrate that health policy analysis needs to be informed by a deeper understanding and questioning of the historical trajectory and political stance that sets the stage for the acting out of health policy formation, in order that health systems function optimally along their own

  16. Psychiatric and Medical Health Care Policies in Juvenile Detention Facilities (United States)

    Pajer, Kathleen A.; Kelleher, Kelly; Gupta, Ravindra A.; Rolls, Jennifer; Gardner, William


    A study aims to examine the existing health care policies in U.S. juvenile detention centres. The results conclude that juvenile detention facilities have many shortfalls in providing care for adolescents, particularly mental health care.

  17. Mitigation and health: Climate policy not so costly (United States)

    Buonocore, Jonathan


    Climate change mitigation can benefit human health by reducing air pollution. Research now shows that the economic value of health improvements can substantially outweigh mitigation costs, and that more flexible policies could have higher benefits.

  18. Speaking Back to Educational Policy: Why Social Inclusion Will Not Work for "Disadvantaged" Australian Schools (United States)

    Smyth, John


    The Labor government in Australia has recently embarked on an extremely ambitious program of social inclusion for the most marginalized groups in society. Drawing upon the approach of "policy scholarship" this paper examines some federal government "policy texts" to describe what has occurred and asks questions about what is meant by the social…

  19. Speaking Back to Educational Policy: Why Social Inclusion Will Not Work for "Disadvantaged" Australian Schools (United States)

    Smyth, John


    The Labor government in Australia has recently embarked on an extremely ambitious program of social inclusion for the most marginalized groups in society. Drawing upon the approach of "policy scholarship" this paper examines some federal government "policy texts" to describe what has occurred and asks questions about what is…

  20. Increasing HPV vaccination through policy for public health benefit. (United States)

    Brandt, Heather M; Pierce, Jennifer Young; Crary, Ashley


    Vaccines against specific types of human papillomavirus (HPV) linked to cancer and other diseases have been met with mixed acceptance globally and in the United States. Policy-level interventions have been shown to be effective in increasing public health benefit. Government policies and mandates may result in improved HPV vaccination coverage and reduced disease burden, and alternative policies that improve unhindered access to HPV vaccination may allow success as well. The purpose of this commentary is to summarize policy efforts to maximize the public health benefit of HPV vaccination. We examine selected examples of HPV vaccination policy in global contexts and in the United States.

  1. How federalism shapes public health financing, policy, and program options. (United States)

    Ogden, Lydia L


    In the United States, fiscal and functional federalism strongly shape public health policy and programs. Federalism has implications for public health practice: it molds financing and disbursement options, including funding formulas, which affect allocations and program goals, and shapes how funding decisions are operationalized in a political context. This article explores how American federalism, both fiscal and functional, structures public health funding, policy, and program options, investigating the effects of intergovernmental transfers on public health finance and programs.

  2. There is no health without mental health: are we educating Australian nurses to care for the health consumer of the 21st century? (United States)

    Wynaden, Dianne


    One in five Australians has a diagnosable mental illness and the impact of the illness on the individual, their family, and the community is significant. Since comprehensive nursing was introduced in the 1980s there have been repeated concerns raised regarding the preparedness of graduates from Australian undergraduate nursing programs to care for people who have a mental illness. In 2009, despite a recent comprehensive national review of the mental health/illness content in pre-registration curricula, these concerns remain. The nursing profession must have a responsibility to the global community to ensure that registered nurses are educated to meet evolving health challenges and the needs of the health consumer in the 21st Century. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the prevalence and impact of mental illness on health care outcomes in all settings and to challenge the profession to acknowledge that mental health nursing content must be a core area of all undergraduate curricula. A nationally coordinated response to address the long standing identified deficits in the educational preparation of comprehensive nurses is now a priority to ensure that nurses remain a major stakeholder group in the delivery of health care and key health informants and decision makers within the global health care arena.

  3. Corporate philanthropy, political influence, and health policy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary J Fooks

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC provides a basis for nation states to limit the political effects of tobacco industry philanthropy, yet progress in this area is limited. This paper aims to integrate the findings of previous studies on tobacco industry philanthropy with a new analysis of British American Tobacco's (BAT record of charitable giving to develop a general model of corporate political philanthropy that can be used to facilitate implementation of the FCTC. METHOD: Analysis of previously confidential industry documents, BAT social and stakeholder dialogue reports, and existing tobacco industry document studies on philanthropy. RESULTS: The analysis identified six broad ways in which tobacco companies have used philanthropy politically: developing constituencies to build support for policy positions and generate third party advocacy; weakening opposing political constituencies; facilitating access and building relationships with policymakers; creating direct leverage with policymakers by providing financial subsidies to specific projects; enhancing the donor's status as a source of credible information; and shaping the tobacco control agenda by shifting thinking on the importance of regulating the market environment for tobacco and the relative risks of smoking for population health. Contemporary BAT social and stakeholder reports contain numerous examples of charitable donations that are likely to be designed to shape the tobacco control agenda, secure access and build constituencies. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Tobacco companies' political use of charitable donations underlines the need for tobacco industry philanthropy to be restricted via full implementation of Articles 5.3 and 13 of the FCTC. The model of tobacco industry philanthropy developed in this study can be used by public health advocates to press for implementation of the FCTC and provides a basis for analysing the political effects of

  4. Policy Capacity in the Learning Healthcare System; Comment on “Health Reform Requires Policy Capacity”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Gardner


    Full Text Available Pierre-Gerlier Forest and his colleagues make a strong argument for the need to expand policy capacity among healthcare actors. In this commentary, I develop an additional argument in support of Forest et al view. Forest et al rightly point to the need to have embedded policy experts to successfully translate healthcare reform policy into healthcare change. Translation of externally generated innovation policy into local solutions is only one source of healthcare system change. We also need to build learning healthcare systems that can discover new health solutions at the frontline of care. Enhanced policy capacity staffing in those organizations will be key to building continuously learning health systems.

  5. Relationships between Psychosocial Resilience and Physical Health Status of Western Australian Urban Aboriginal Youth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrina D Hopkins

    Full Text Available Psychosocial processes are implicated as mediators of racial/ethnic health disparities via dysregulation of physiological responses to stress. Our aim was to investigate the extent to which factors previously documented as buffering the impact of high-risk family environments on Aboriginal youths' psychosocial functioning were similarly beneficial for their physical health status.We examined the relationship between psychosocial resilience and physical health of urban Aboriginal youth (12-17 years, n = 677 drawn from a representative survey of Western Australian Aboriginal children and their families. A composite variable of psychosocial resilient status, derived by cross-classifying youth by high/low family risk exposure and normal/abnormal psychosocial functioning, resulted in four groups- Resilient, Less Resilient, Expected Good and Vulnerable. Separate logistic regression modeling for high and low risk exposed youth revealed that Resilient youth were significantly more likely to have lower self-reported asthma symptoms (OR 3.48, p<.001 and carer reported lifetime health problems (OR 1.76, p<.04 than Less Resilient youth.The findings are consistent with biopsychosocial models and provide a more nuanced understanding of the patterns of risks, resources and adaptation that impact on the physical health of Aboriginal youth. The results support the posited biological pathways between chronic stress and physical health, and identify the protective role of social connections impacting not only psychosocial function but also physical health. Using a resilience framework may identify potent protective factors otherwise undetected in aggregated analyses, offering important insights to augment general public health prevention strategies.

  6. The South Australian Allied Health Workforce survey: helping to fill the evidence gap in primary health workforce planning. (United States)

    Whitford, Deirdre; Smith, Tony; Newbury, Jonathan


    There is a lack of detailed evidence about the allied health workforce to inform proposed health care reforms. The South Australian Allied Health Workforce (SAAHW) survey collected data about the demographic characteristics, employment, education and recruitment and retention of allied health professionals in South Australia. The SAAHW questionnaire was widely distributed and 1539 responses were received. The average age of the sample was 40 years; males were significantly older than females, the latter making up 82% of respondents. Three-quarters of the sample worked in the city; 60% worked full time and the remainder in part-time, casual or locum positions. 'Work-life balance' was the most common attraction to respondents' current jobs and 'Better career prospects' the most common reason for intending to leave. Practice in a rural location was influenced by rural background and rural experience during training. A greater proportion of Generation Y (1982-2000) respondents intended to leave within 2 years than Generation X (1961-81) or Baby Boomers (1943-60). Most respondents were satisfied with their job, although some reported lack of recognition of their knowledge and skills. Systematic, robust allied health workforce data are required for integrated and sustainable primary health care delivery.

  7. Modelling the effect of hydrological change on estuarine health: An Australian Perspective. (Invited) (United States)

    Bruce, L. C.; Adiyanti, S.; Ruibal, A. L.; Hipsey, M. R.


    Estuaries provide an important role in the filtering and transformation of carbon and nutrients from coastal catchments into the marine environment. Global trends including climate change, increased population, industrialization and agriculture have led to the rapid deterioration of estuarine ecosystems across the world. Within the Australian context, a particular concern is how changes to hydrological regimes, due to both water diversions and climate variability, are contributing to increased stress and consequent decline in estuarine health. In this study we report the modeling output of five Australian estuaries, each with different hydrological regimes and alternative management issues relating to altered hydrology: 1) The Yarra River estuary is a highly urbanized system, also receiving agriculturally derived nutrients, where the concern is the role of periodic hypoxia in reducing the assimilation capacity of nitrogen and thus increased risk of algal blooms forming in the coastal environment; 2) The upper Swan River estuary in Western Australia, which experiences persistent anoxia and hypoxia brought about by reduced flows has led to the commissioning of several oxygenation plants to alleviate stress on biodiversity and overall estuarine health; 3) The health of the Caboolture estuary in Queensland has deteriorated in the past decade with the aim of model development to quantify the various sources of surface and groundwater derived nutrients; 4) The construction of an additional channel to increase flushing in the Peel Harvey estuary in Western Australia was designed to control persistent harmful algal blooms; and 5) The Lower River Murray estuary experienced a prolonged drought that led to the development of acid sulfate soils and acid drainage deteriorating water quality. For these applications we applied 3-D hydrodynamic-biogeochemical models to determine underlying relationships between altered flow regimes, increased temperatures and the response of

  8. The impact of social science research on health policy. (United States)

    Orosz, E


    The relationship between research and health policy is discussed from a policy process perspective, describing communication problems in the course of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Policy process is often expected by researchers to be rational, having logical sequence of steps and the objective evaluation of alternatives based on scientific knowledge. In fact, policies are often formulated without clear problem identification or based on wrong assumption. The timing of research and policy-making differs. Policy-makers need to respond quickly. Evaluations may be regarded by politicians as embarrassing if they point to a need for significant change. It is not satisfactory to consider only research and policy-making: their relationship is influenced by the media, different interest groups and by the general public. Health policy formulation is embedded in the general policy environment of particular societies. Some countries have a long tradition of consensus-building, while in others health reforms have been formulated and introduced in a centralized way. Traditional bio-medical thinking influences health policy-makers. The importance of social and political acceptability tends to be overlooked. The paper emphasizes that we are experiencing an era of scarcity of resources and growing tension concerning allocation decisions. Existing institutions provide insufficient incentives for policy-makers and researchers to promote public dialogue about such issues. The paper concludes that there is a need for new approaches to policy development and implementation, new structures in policy-making, changes in research financing and co-operation between disciplines and new structures for public participation in policy-making. Research should facilitate more open and democratic dialogue about policy options and the consequences of alternative choices.

  9. Differences in Dietary Preferences, Personality and Mental Health in Australian Adults with and without Food Addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracy Burrows


    Full Text Available Increased obesity rates, an evolving food supply and the overconsumption of energy dense foods has led to an increase in research exploring addictive eating behaviours. This study aimed to investigate food addiction in a sample of Australian adults using the revised Yale Food Addiction Survey (YFAS 2.0 tool and how it is associated with dietary intake, personality traits and mental health issues. Australian adults were invited to complete an online survey that collected information including: demographics, dietary intake, depression, anxiety, stress and personality dimensions including impulsivity, sensation seeking, hopelessness and anxiety sensitivity. A total of 1344 individuals were recruited with the samples comprising 75.7% female, mean age 39.8 ± 13.1 years (range 18–91 years and body mass index BMI 27.7 ± 9.5. Food addiction was identified in 22.2% of participants using the YFAS 2.0 tool, which classified the severity of food addiction as “mild” in 0.7% of cases, “moderate” in 2.6% and “severe” in 18.9% of cases. Predictors of severe food addiction were female gender (odds ratio (OR 3.65 95% CI 1.86–7.11 and higher levels of soft drink OR 1.36 (1.07–1.72, confectionary consumption and anxiety sensitivity 1.16 (1.07–1.26. Overall people with “severe” (OR 13.2, 5.8–29.8 or extremely severe depressive symptoms (OR 15.6, range 7.1–34.3 had the highest odds of having severe food addiction. The only variable that reduced the odds of having severe food addiction was vegetable intake. The current study highlights that addictive food behaviours are associated with a complex pattern of poor dietary choices and a clustering with mental health issues, particularly depression.

  10. Differences in Dietary Preferences, Personality and Mental Health in Australian Adults with and without Food Addiction (United States)

    Burrows, Tracy; Hides, Leanne; Brown, Robyn; Dayas, Christopher V; Kay-Lambkin, Frances


    Increased obesity rates, an evolving food supply and the overconsumption of energy dense foods has led to an increase in research exploring addictive eating behaviours. This study aimed to investigate food addiction in a sample of Australian adults using the revised Yale Food Addiction Survey (YFAS) 2.0 tool and how it is associated with dietary intake, personality traits and mental health issues. Australian adults were invited to complete an online survey that collected information including: demographics, dietary intake, depression, anxiety, stress and personality dimensions including impulsivity, sensation seeking, hopelessness and anxiety sensitivity. A total of 1344 individuals were recruited with the samples comprising 75.7% female, mean age 39.8 ± 13.1 years (range 18–91 years) and body mass index BMI 27.7 ± 9.5. Food addiction was identified in 22.2% of participants using the YFAS 2.0 tool, which classified the severity of food addiction as “mild” in 0.7% of cases, “moderate” in 2.6% and “severe” in 18.9% of cases. Predictors of severe food addiction were female gender (odds ratio (OR) 3.65 95% CI 1.86–7.11) and higher levels of soft drink OR 1.36 (1.07–1.72), confectionary consumption and anxiety sensitivity 1.16 (1.07–1.26). Overall people with “severe” (OR 13.2, 5.8–29.8) or extremely severe depressive symptoms (OR 15.6, range 7.1–34.3) had the highest odds of having severe food addiction. The only variable that reduced the odds of having severe food addiction was vegetable intake. The current study highlights that addictive food behaviours are associated with a complex pattern of poor dietary choices and a clustering with mental health issues, particularly depression. PMID:28294965

  11. Consumer involvement in the South Australian state policy for planned home birth. (United States)

    Newman, Lareen; Hood, Jo


    Two consumer representatives were participants in the development of their state government's Policy for Planned Birth At Home in South Australia. It was released in November 2007 to guide staff in public hospital and community midwifery programs, and the first hospital-based home birth service is commencing in February 2009. Consumer experiences of policy development and perceived benefits of consumer involvement for policy and transparency processes are described. Inclusion of consumers widely and actively during development and reform of maternity care is essential if real consumer participation is to occur and contribute to care that is truly woman-centered.

  12. Promoting LGBT health and wellbeing through inclusive policy development. (United States)

    Mulé, Nick J; Ross, Lori E; Deeprose, Barry; Jackson, Beth E; Daley, Andrea; Travers, Anna; Moore, Dick


    In this paper we argue the importance of including gender and sexually diverse populations in policy development towards a more inclusive form of health promotion. We emphasize the need to address the broad health and wellbeing issues and needs of LGBT people, rather than exclusively using an illness-based focus such as HIV/AIDS. We critically examine the limitations of population health, the social determinants of health (SDOH), and public health goals, in light of the lack of recognition of gender and sexually diverse individuals and communities. By first acknowledging the unique health and social care needs of LGBT people, then employing anti-oppressive, critical and intersectional analyses we offer recommendations for how to make population health perspectives, public health goals, and the design of public health promotion policy more inclusive of gender and sexual diversity. In health promotion research and practice, representation matters. It matters which populations are being targeted for health promotion interventions and for what purposes, and it matters which populations are being overlooked. In Canada, current health promotion policy is informed by population health and social determinants of health (SDOH) perspectives, as demonstrated by Public Health Goals for Canada. With Canada's multicultural makeup comes the challenge of ensuring that diverse populations are equitably and effectively recognized in public health and health promotion policy.

  13. New norms new policies: Did the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence scheme encourage new thinking about promoting well-being and Health in All Policies? (United States)

    Baum, Fran; Lawless, Angela; MacDougall, Colin; Delany, Toni; McDermott, Dennis; Harris, Elizabeth; Williams, Carmel


    Health systems have long been criticised for focussing on curing rather than preventing disease. This paper examines to what extent the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence (ATiR) scheme contributed to the change in norms whereby promoting well-being and a strategy to achieve this - Health in All Policies (HiAP)--was adopted by the South Australian (SA) State Government from 2007. The data presented in this paper are drawn from a five year (2012-2016) detailed mixed methods case study of the SA HiAP initiative which involved document analysis, interviews and workshops with public servants and political actors. We adapt the framework used by Finnemore and Sikkink (1998) which explains how norm changes can lead to political changes in international affairs. We also use Kingdon's concept of policy entrepreneurs to determine whether these ideas moved to an implementable initiative with the help of both a specific ATiR program on HiAP and the broader TiR scheme which promoted a series of innovations relevant to health. The process involved the ATiR reinforcing the work of local norm entrepreneurs with that of powerful external policy entrepreneurs, adapting the discourse about the value of prevention and promoting well-being so that it fitted with the dominant economic one. The powerful organisational platform of the ATiR, which was under the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and linked to the South Australian Strategic Plan (SASP) was used to advance these ideas. The case study offers important lessons for other jurisdictions on how to shift policy to encourage intersectoral approaches to health.

  14. Perspectives of Australian nursing directors regarding educational preparation for mental health nursing practice. (United States)

    Happell, Brenda; McAllister, Margaret


    There is an ongoing global shortage of mental health nurses. Within Australia, the principal strategy of offering a postgraduate education programme with various incentives to encourage nurses back to study has not been successful. This has led to the consideration of radical alternatives, including the return to pre-registration specialisation in mental health. The successful introduction of this strategy would require the full support of industry partners. To date, the voice of industry has not been heard in relation to this issue. The aim of this paper is to present the views of an Australian sample of mental health nursing directors regarding the resources and other factors required, should undergraduate specialist programmes in mental health be developed, to ensure they are relevant and likely to be successful. A qualitative exploratory research project was undertaken to explore the perspectives and opinions of industry partners. In-depth interviews were conducted with nursing directors (n = 12) in Queensland Australia. Five main themes were identified: relationships with universities; clinical placement preparation and support; workplace culture; facilitators and preceptors; and practical student learning. Genuine collaboration between the two organisations was considered crucial for delivering a quality programme and providing the required support for students. Transformative leadership could inform this collaboration by promoting acknowledgement of and respect for differences.

  15. Mental health policy--stumbling in the dark? (United States)

    Crosbie, David W


    Over the past 15 years, governments have agreed to a series of National Mental Health Plans. These national strategies and plans have set goals and discussed the importance of monitoring and evaluation. Despite this ongoing national collaborative framework, Australia's mental health policy lacks real accountability and relies largely on limited mental health service systems data. The lack of outcome data represents a critical gap in knowledge for mental health policy, planning and practice. Resistance from current stakeholders and a lack of investment in research and monitoring capacity are preventing more rigorous ongoing monitoring of mental health policy. The new Rudd Government appears to be shifting the emphasis towards measuring the outcomes of national policy in health, housing and employment. Measuring such outcomes will guide government decision making and ultimately improve mental health services.

  16. Economic crisis and health policy in the Netherlands. (United States)

    Juffermans, P


    Beginning with a brief historical overview of health policy in the Netherlands from 1945-1960 (a period of restoration of the capitalist economy after World War II) until 1960-1970 (a period of capitalist expansion), this paper discusses the health policy of the Dutch state under the present conditions of economic crisis. The main characteristics of this policy are growing state intervention, reorganization of the decision-making process, deinstitutionalization of health care, a laissez-faire policy with regard to services in the so-called first echelon of the health sector, reprivatization of health costs, and an ideological emphasis on individual responsibility for health and self-care. The paper concludes with a discussion of the various strategies proposed for the health sector by the Left and the connection between prevention and social struggle.

  17. [Developing a national health policy: a realistic ambition]. (United States)

    Lopez, Alain


    The current national health policy in France is almost impossible to pin down and define, spread as it is across thirty or so schemes and a hundred or so targets set by a law adopted in 2004. Yet the current legislation defines the national health policy as a standard reference for public policies developed and implemented by the Ministry of Health and associated bodies. In addition, the current policy involves little consultation and is not systematically monitored and evaluated. Developing an interdepartmental health policy combining several intervention strategies and using different regulation tools may seem like an impossible task. It may also seem somewhat imprudent when it claims to define priorities and strategies. In order to overcome these difficulties and inherent contradictions, we need to develop a policy based on three key elements (a strategy, plans and policies, and policy decentralization and devolution). However, it is not enough to merely develop a framework; it is also important to define the steering and oversight plan, the consultation process and a monitoring and evaluation system. The foundations of a policy based on these principles have already been laid. The authorities simply need to continue along the lines of recent policy developments, including the creation of regional agencies (ARS), the creation of a national steering committee, and the various public health plans developed over the last 20 years.

  18. Retaining physicians in Lithuania: integrating research and health policy. (United States)

    Starkiene, Liudvika; Macijauskiene, Jurate; Riklikiene, Olga; Stricka, Marius; Padaiga, Zilvinas


    Many of the strategic planning studies worldwide have made recommendations to the policy makers on the steps to be taken in eliminating the perceived shortages of physician workforce or in improving their distribution and retention. Policy makers have also considered various policy interventions to ensure adequate numbers of physicians. This study reviewed the research evidence and health policy decisions taken from 2000 to 2010 in Lithuania and evaluated the chronological links over time between scientific recommendations and policy decisions. From the analysis it would seem that Lithuania's success in retaining physicians between 2000 and 2010 was influenced by the timely implementation of particular research recommendations, such as increased salaries and increased enrolment to physician training programmes. In addition were the health policy interventions such as health sector reform, change in the legal status of medical residents and establishment of professional re-entry programmes. Based on this evidence it is recommended that policy makers in Lithuania as well as in other countries should consider comprehensive and systematic health policy approaches that combine and address various aspects of physician training, retention, geographic mal-distribution and emigration. Implementation of such an inclusive policy however is impossible without the integration of research into strategic decision making in workforce planning and effective health policy interventions.

  19. Social determinants of health and health equity policy research: exploring the use, misuse, and nonuse of policy analysis theory. (United States)

    Embrett, Mark G; Randall, G E


    Despite a dramatic growth in SDH/HE (social determinants of health/health equity) public policy research and demonstrated government interest in promoting equity in health policies, health inequities are actually growing among some populations and there is little evidence that "healthy public policies" are being adopted and implemented. Moreover, these issues are typically failing to even reach governments' policy agendas, which is a critical step towards serious debate and the identification of policy options. This systematic review pursues three main objectives. First, is to identify barriers to SDH/HE issues reaching the government policy agenda. Second, to evaluate the characteristics of peer-reviewed research articles that utilize common policy analysis theories. And third, to determine the extent to which the SDH/HE literature utilizes common policy analysis theories. Our systematic review, conducted in June 2012, identified 6200 SDH/HE related articles in the peer-reviewed literature; however, only seven articles explicitly used a commonly recognized policy analysis theory to inform their analysis. Our analysis revealed that the SDH/HE policy literature appears to be focused on advocacy rather than analysis and that the use of policy analysis theory is extremely limited. Our results also suggest that when such theories are incorporated into an analysis they are often not comprehensively employed. We propose explanations for this non-use and misuse of policy analysis theory, and conclude that researchers may have greater influence in helping to get SDH/HE issues onto government policy agendas if they gain a greater understanding of the policy process and the value of incorporating policy analysis theories into their research. Using a policy analysis lens to help identify why healthy public policies are typically not being adopted is an important step towards moving beyond advocacy to understanding and addressing some of the political barriers to reforms.

  20. Stressful life events, social health issues and low birthweight in an Australian population-based birth cohort: challenges and opportunities in antenatal care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sutherland Georgina A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Investment in strategies to promote 'a healthy start to life' has been identified as having the greatest potential to reduce health inequalities across the life course. The aim of this study was to examine social determinants of low birthweight in an Australian population-based birth cohort and consider implications for health policy and health care systems. Methods Population-based survey distributed by hospitals and home birth practitioners to >8000 women six months after childbirth in two states of Australia. Participants were women who gave birth to a liveborn infant in Victoria and South Australia in September/October 2007. Main outcome measures included stressful life events and social health issues, perceived discrimination in health care settings, infant birthweight. Results 4,366/8468 (52% of eligible women returned completed surveys. Two-thirds (2912/4352 reported one or more stressful life events or social health issues during pregnancy. Women reporting three or more social health issues (18%, 768/4352 were significantly more likely to have a low birthweight infant ( Conclusions There is a window of opportunity in antenatal care to implement targeted preventive interventions addressing potentially modifiable risk factors for poor maternal and infant outcomes. Developing the evidence base and infrastructure necessary in order for antenatal services to respond effectively to the social circumstances of women's lives is long overdue.

  1. Controlling equine influenza: policy networks and decision-making during the 2007 Australian equine influenza outbreak. (United States)

    Schemann, K; Gillespie, J A; Toribio, J-A L M L; Ward, M P; Dhand, N K


    Rapid, evidence-based decision-making is critical during a disease outbreak response; however, compliance by stakeholders is necessary to ensure that such decisions are effective - especially if the response depends on voluntary action. This mixed method study evaluated technical policy decision-making processes during the 2007 outbreak of equine influenza in Australia by identifying and analysing the stakeholder network involved and the factors driving policy decision-making. The study started with a review of the outbreak literature and published policy documents. This identified six policy issues regarding policy modifications or differing interpretations by different state agencies. Data on factors influencing the decision-making process for these six issues and on stakeholder interaction were collected using a pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 24 individuals representing 12 industry and government organizations. Quantitative data were analysed using social network analysis. Qualitative data were coded and patterns matched to test a pre-determined general theory using a method called theory-oriented process-tracing. Results revealed that technical policy decisions were framed by social, political, financial, strategic and operational considerations. Industry stakeholders had influence through formal pre-existing channels, yet specific gaps in stakeholder interaction were overcome by reactive alliances formed during the outbreak response but outside the established system. Overall, the crisis management system and response were seen as positive, and 75-100% of individuals interviewed were supportive of, had interest in and considered the outcome as good for the majority of policy decisions, yet only 46-75% of those interviewed considered that they had influence on these decisions. Training to increase awareness and knowledge of emergency animal diseases (EADs) and response systems will improve stakeholder

  2. Health care models guiding mental health policy in Kenya 1965 - 1997

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    Jenkins Rachel


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mental health policy is needed to set the strategy and direction for the provision of mental health services in a country. Policy formulation does not occur in a vacuum, however, but is influenced by local and international factors in the health sector and other sectors. Methods This study was carried out in 1997 to examine the evolution of mental health policy in Kenya between 1965 and 1997 in the context of changing international concepts of health and development. Qualitative content analysis of policy documents was combined with interviews of key policy makers. Results The study showed that during the period 1965-1997 the generic health policy in Kenya changed from one based on the Medical Model in the 1960s and 1970s to one based on the Primary Health Care Model in the late 1970s and the 1980s and finally to one based on the Market Model of health care in the 1990s. The mental health policy, on the other hand, evolved from one based on the Medical Model in the 1960s to one based on the Primary Health Care Model in the 1990s, but did not embrace the Market Model of health care. This resulted in a situation in the 1990s where the mental health policy was rooted in a different conceptual model from that of the generic health policy under which it was supposed to be implemented. This "Model Muddlement" may have impeded the implementation of the mental health policy in Kenya. Conclusions Integration of the national mental health policy with the general health policy and other sector policies would be appropriate and is now underway.

  3. [Human rights, an opportunity for public policies in health]. (United States)

    Franco-Giraldo, Alvaro; Alvarez-Dardet, Carlos


    Human rights outlined a better scenario for public policies in health. For it requires intersectoral and interdisciplinary approach. This article emphasizes the perspective of public health policies based on human rights, clarifies the relationship of public policies with the exercise of human rights, beyond the right to health. It recognizes the need to implement genuinely democratic and participatory mechanisms. It considers the universal declaration of human rights and other institutional expressions about the same as the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, discusses the ranking of the same and defend its entirety on the determinants of health through its cohesion and political factor. It defines a framework for public health and human rights that trend by strengthening social rights, as a new area of operation, based on public policies to address the determinants of health, upholding social justice, beyond the health field and the biological and behavioural risk factors to decisions arising from political power, exceeds medical solutions and access to health services. In conclusion, it promoting respect for human rights by greater understanding of them and strengthens the importance of indirect health policies (such as food, environment and health, violence gender) and the role of international policies in the global world.

  4. Are migrants health policies aimed at improving access to quality healthcare? An analysis of Spanish policies. (United States)

    Vázquez, María Luisa; Terraza-Núñez, Rebeca; S-Hernández, Silvia; Vargas, Ingrid; Bosch, Lola; González, Andrea; Pequeño, Sandra; Cantos, Raquel; Martínez, Juan Ignacio; López, Luís Andrés


    Although until April 2012, all Spanish citizens regardless of their origin, residence status and work situation were entitled to health care, available evidence suggested inadequate access for immigrants. Following the Aday and Andersen model, we conducted an analysis of policy elements that affect immigrants' access to health care in Spain, based on documentary analysis of national policies and selected regional policies related to migrant health care. Selected documents were (a) laws and plans in force at the time containing migrant health policies and (b) evaluations. The analysis included policy principles, objectives, strategies and evaluations. Results show that the national and regional policies analyzed are based on the principle that health care is a right granted to immigrants by law. These policies include strategies to facilitate access to health care, reducing barriers for entry to the system, for example simplifying requirements and raising awareness, but mostly they address the necessary qualities for services to be able to attend to a more diverse population, such as the adaptation of resources and programs, or improved communication and training. However, limited planning was identified in terms of their implementation, necessary resources and evaluation. In conclusion, the policies address relevant barriers of access for migrants and signal improvements in the health system's responsiveness, but reinforcement is required in order for them to be effectively implemented.

  5. Social and health policies or interventions to tackle health inequalities in European cities : a scoping review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pons-Vigues, Mariona; Diez, Elia; Morrison, Joana; Salas-Nicas, Sergio; Hoffmann, Rasmus; Burstrom, Bo; van Dijk, Jitse P.; Borrell, Carme


    Background: Health inequalities can be tackled with appropriate health and social policies, involving all community groups and governments, from local to global. The objective of this study was to carry out a scoping review on social and health policies or interventions to tackle health inequalities

  6. Food and beverage policies and public health ethics. (United States)

    Resnik, David B


    Government food and beverage policies can play an important role in promoting public health. Few people would question this assumption. Difficult questions can arise, however, when policymakers, public health officials, citizens, and businesses deliberate about food and beverage policies, because competing values may be at stake, such as public health, individual autonomy, personal responsibility, economic prosperity, and fairness. An ethically justified policy strikes a reasonable among competing values by meeting the following criteria: (1) the policy serves important social goal(s); (2) the policy is likely to be effective at achieving those goal(s); (3) less burdensome options are not likely to be effective at achieving the goals; (4) the policy is fair.

  7. Preventative Therapeutics: A Study of Risk and Prevention in Australian Mental Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew McLachlan


    Full Text Available his study investigates the preventative therapeutics of two major Australian mental health organisations - beyondblue and The Black Dog Institute. The aim of this study is to examine how the resilience-based programs of both organisations reconfigure clinical and preventative expertise into new forms of ‘anticipatory action' (Anderson 2010. First, this article situates beyondblue and the Black Dog Institute within their historical contexts to consider how issues of risk and protection have become essential to mental health care today. Second, it examines the institutional practices of beyondblue and the Black Dog Institute and the role of clinical and preventative expertise as enacted forms of authority. Finally, this study investigates the intellectual and biokeeping technologies promoted through both organisations“ resilience-based pedagogies. The view taken in this study is that such technologies actively participate in the making of new therapeutic cultures and practices. Moreover, as biomarkers continue to act as indicators of future states of ‘unhealth' (Dumit 2012: 112, biokeeping technologies will continue to act as essential elements in the governmentality of mental health and wellbeing.

  8. Balancing public health, trade and intellectual monopoly privileges: recent Australian IP legislation and the TPPA. (United States)

    Vines, Tim; Crow, Kim; Faunce, Thomas


    Over the past year, several significant reforms to Australia's intellectual property regime have been proposed and passed by Parliament. The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 (Cth) made various improvements to Australian patent law, including an improved threshold for patentability, greater clarity around "usefulness" requirements, and the introduction of an experimental use exemption from infringement. Another Bill, the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2012 (Cth), currently out for public consultation, would implement a 2003 decision of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) General Council and the 2005 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health (Doha Declaration). If enacted, this Bill would facilitate equitable access to essential medicines by amending the compulsory licensing regime set out in the Patents Act 1990 (Cth). The underlying intention of this Bill--meeting public health goals outlined in the 2005 Doha Declaration--stands in juxtaposition to proposed reforms to intellectual property standards pursuant to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade and Investment Agreement (TPPA) that Australia is involved in. Although at a preliminary stage, leaked drafts of relevant intellectual property provisions in the TPPA suggest a privileging of patent monopoly privileges over public health goals. This column weighs the sentiments of the proposed Bill against those of the proposed provisions in the TPPA.

  9. Farmers sun exposure, skin protection and public health campaigns: An Australian perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christel Smit-Kroner


    Full Text Available Non-melanoma skin cancer is a common and costly cancer in agricultural populations. Prevention and early detection are an effective way to decrease the burden of disease and associated costs. To examine sun exposure and skin protection practices in agricultural workers and farmers a thematic review of the literature between 1983 and 2014 was undertaken. Comparison between studies was complicated by differences in study design, definitions of skin protection, and analytic methods used. Farmers are the most exposed to harmful ultraviolet (UV radiation of all outdoor workers and the level of reported skin protection by farmers is suboptimal. Years of public health campaigns have failed to adequately address farmers' specific needs. Increased rates of skin cancer and subsequent higher costs are expected. Estimates of sun exposure and skin protection practice indicate that protective clothing is the most promising avenue to improve on farmers' skin protection. Early detection needs to be part of public health campaigns. This review explores the quantitative data about Australian farmers and their skin protective behaviours. We investigate what the documented measurable effect of the public health campaign Slip!Slop!Slap! has had on agricultural workers and farmers and make recommendations for future focus.

  10. A different route to health: implications of transport policies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dora, Carlos [World Health Organisation, European Centre for Environment and Health, Rome (Italy)


    This paper presents a review of the health implications of transport policies covering the health benefits of walking and cycling, the high level of accidents and injuries related to cars, the impact of road transport on climate change and air pollution, the noise factor, and psychosocial effects due to busy streets discouraging walking and cycling. The need to evaluate the health costs of transport policies is examined. (uk)

  11. The evolution of health-policy making in Italy. (United States)

    France, George; Taroni, Francesco


    An analysis of the dynamics of health care policy in Italy suggests that in recent years the pace of change in the health care system has accelerated. Although the basic features of universalism, comprehensiveness, and funding from general taxation have remained remarkably constant, the capacity to innovate policy tools and their settings and to take account of domestic and international experience seems to have increased. The political will and capacity to combat entrenched interests may also have increased, although implementation is still weak. The imperative to contain public expenditure has heavily conditioned health policy and will continue to do so. This has occurred mainly at the national level, but as the principal locus of health-policy making progressively shifts to the regions, so too will the constraining effect of this imperative move downward. If the decentralization process continues, problems could arise due to interregional differences in capacities to formulate and implement appropriate policies and to tackle special interest groups.

  12. Economics and Health Reform: Academic Research and Public Policy. (United States)

    Glied, Sherry A; Miller, Erin A


    Two prior studies, conducted in 1966 and in 1979, examined the role of economic research in health policy development. Both concluded that health economics had not been an important contributor to policy. Passage of the Affordable Care Act offers an opportunity to reassess this question. We find that the evolution of health economics research has given it an increasingly important role in policy. Research in the field has followed three related paths over the past century-institutionalist research that described problems; theoretical research, which proposed relationships that might extend beyond existing institutions; and empirical assessments of structural parameters identified in the theoretical research. These three strands operating in concert allowed economic research to be used to predict the fiscal and coverage consequences of alternative policy paths. This ability made economic research a powerful policy force. Key conclusions of health economics research are clearly evident in the Affordable Care Act.

  13. Are Sexual and Reproductive Health Policies Designed for All?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ivanova, Olena; Dræbel, Tania; Tellier, Siri


    for them to influence decisions related to their health, and also to exercise their rights. This paper presents the findings from a study that explored how vulnerable groups and principles of human rights are incorporated into national sexual and reproductive health (SRH) policies of 4 selected countries...... in this study. Content analysis of SRH policies was performed using the EquiFrame analytical framework. RESULTS: The study revealed that vulnerable groups and core principles of human rights are differently addressed in SRH policies within 4 studied countries. The opinions of policy-makers on the importance...

  14. Smokers' recall of Australian graphic cigarette packet warnings & awareness of associated health effects, 2005-2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quester Pascale G


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2006, Australia introduced graphic cigarette packet warnings. The new warnings include one of 14 pictures, many depicting tobacco-related pathology. The warnings were introduced in two sets; Set A in March and Set B from November. This study explores their impact on smokers' beliefs about smoking related illnesses. This study also examines the varying impact of different warnings, to see whether warnings with visceral images have greater impact on smokers' beliefs than other images. Methods Representative samples of South Australian smokers were interviewed in four independent cross-sectional omnibus surveys; in 2005 (n = 504, 2006 (n = 525, 2007 (n = 414 and 2008 (n = 464. Results Unprompted recall of new graphic cigarette warnings was high in the months following their introduction, demonstrating that smokers' had been exposed to them. Smokers also demonstrated an increase in awareness about smoking-related diseases specific to the warning messages. Warnings that conveyed new information and had emotive images demonstrated greater impact on recall and smokers' beliefs than more familiar information and less emotive images. Conclusions Overall graphic pack warnings have had the intended impact on smokers. Some have greater impact than others. The implications for policy makers in countries introducing similar warnings are that fresh messaging and visceral images have the greatest impact.

  15. Constructing public oral health policies in Brazil: issues for reflection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catharina Leite Matos Soares


    Full Text Available This paper addresses the construction of public oral health policies in Brazil by reviewing the available literature. It includes a discussion of the social responses given by the Brazilian State to oral health policies and the relationship of these responses with the ideological oral health movements that have developed globally, and that have specifically influenced oral health policies in Brazil. The influence of these movements has affected a series of hegemonic practices originating from both Market Dentistry and Preventive and Social Dentistry in Brazil. Among the state activities that have been set into motion, the following stand out: the drafting of a law to regulate the fluoridation of the public water supply, and the fluoridation of commercial toothpaste in Brazil; epidemiological surveys to analyze the status of the Brazilian population's oral health; the inclusion of oral health in the Family Health Strategy (Estratégia de Saúde da Família - ESF; the drawing up of the National Oral Health Policy, Smiling Brazil (Brasil Sorridente. From the literature consulted, the progressive expansion of state intervention in oral health policies is observed. However, there remains a preponderance of hegemonic "dental" practices reproduced in the Unified Public Health Service (Sistema Único de Saúde - SUS and the Family Health Strategy.

  16. Health care policy development: a critical analysis model. (United States)

    Logan, Jean E; Pauling, Carolyn D; Franzen, Debra B


    This article describes a phased approach for teaching baccalaureate nursing students critical analysis of health care policy, including refinement of existing policy or the foundation to create new policy. Central to this approach is the application of an innovative framework, the Grand View Critical Analysis Model, which was designed to provide a conceptual base for the authentic learning experience. Students come to know the interconnectedness and the importance of the model, which includes issue selection and four phases: policy focus, colleagueship analysis, evidence-based practice analysis, and policy analysis and development.

  17. Citizenship, Civic Education and Politics: The Education Policy Context for Young Australian Citizens (United States)

    Haigh, Yvonne; Murcia, Karen; Norris, Lindy


    Citizenship education in Australia is embedded throughout the school curriculum. Despite a coherent policy context for the inclusion of citizenship and civic education at all levels of schooling, the links between education and civic minded citizens are tenuous. This paper explores these connections by drawing on the views of participants in an…

  18. Reinterpreting Higher Education Quality in Response to Policies of Mass Education: The Australian Experience (United States)

    Pitman, Tim


    This article explores the relationship between mass education, higher education quality and policy development in Australia in the period 2008-2014, during which access to higher education was significantly increased. Over this time, which included a change of national government, the discursive relationship between mass higher education and…

  19. Constructions of Social Inclusion within Australian Early Childhood Education and Care Policy Documents (United States)

    Wong, Sandie; Turner, Kay


    Social inclusion discourses have been powerful in informing early childhood policy contexts, both internationally and in Australia (the context of the current study) for the past decade or so. But little research has examined the productive aspects of social inclusion discourses particularly within early childhood education and care (ECEC) policy…

  20. Implementing health policy: lessons from the Scottish Well Mens policy initiative

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flora Douglas


    Full Text Available Background: Little is known about how health professionals translate national government health policy directives into action. This paper examines that process using the so-called Well Men's Services (WMS policy initiative as a ‘real world’ case study. The WMS were launched by the Scottish Government to address men's health inequalities. Our analysis aimed to develop a deeper understanding of policy implementation as it naturally occurred, used an analytical framework that was developed to reflect the ‘rational planning' principles health professionals are commonly encouraged to use for implementation purposes. Methods and materials: A mixed-methods qualitative enquiry using a data archive generated during the WMS policy evaluation was used to critically analyze (post hoc the perspectives of national policy makers, and local health and social care professionals about the: (a ‘policy problem’, (b interventions intended to address the problem, and (c anticipated policy outcomes. Results and conclusions: This analysis revealed four key themes: (1 ambiguity regarding the policy problem and means of intervention; (2 behavioral framing of the policy problem and intervention; (3 uncertainty about the policy evidence base and outcomes, and; (4 a focus on intervention as outcome. This study found that mechanistic planning heuristics (as a means of supporting implementation fails to grapple with the indeterminate nature of population health problems. A new approach to planning and implementing public health interventions is required that recognises the complex and political nature of health problems; the inevitability of imperfect and contested evidence regarding intervention, and, future associated uncertainties.

  1. Framing and the health policy process: a scoping review. (United States)

    Koon, Adam D; Hawkins, Benjamin; Mayhew, Susannah H


    Framing research seeks to understand the forces that shape human behaviour in the policy process. It assumes that policy is a social construct and can be cast in a variety of ways to imply multiple legitimate value considerations. Frames provide the cognitive means of making sense of the social world, but discordance among them forms the basis of policy contestation. Framing, as both theory and method, has proven to generate considerable insight into the nature of policy debates in a variety of disciplines. Despite its salience for understanding health policy debates; however, little is known about the ways frames influence the health policy process. A scoping review using the Arksey and O'Malley framework was conducted. The literature on framing in the health sector was reviewed using nine health and social science databases. Articles were included that explicitly reported theory and methods used, data source(s), at least one frame, frame sponsor and evidence of a given frame's effect on the health policy process. A total of 52 articles, from 1996 to 2014, and representing 12 countries, were identified. Much of the research came from the policy studies/political science literature (n = 17) and used a constructivist epistemology. The term 'frame' was used as a label to describe a variety of ideas, packaged as values, social problems, metaphors or arguments. Frames were characterized at various levels of abstraction ranging from general ideological orientations to specific policy positions. Most articles presented multiple frames and showed how actors advocated for them in a highly contested political process. Framing is increasingly an important, yet overlooked aspect of the policy process. Further analysis on frames, framing processes and frame conflict can help researchers and policymakers to understand opaque and highly charged policy issues, which may facilitate the resolution of protracted policy controversies.

  2. Public health understandings of policy and power: lessons from INSITE. (United States)

    Fafard, Patrick


    Drug addiction is a major public health problem, one that is most acutely felt in major cities around the globe. Harm reduction and safe injection sites are an attempt to address this problem and are at the cutting edge of public health policy and practice. One of the most studied safe injection sites is INSITE located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Using INSITE as a case study, this paper argues that knowledge translation offers a limited framework for understanding the development of public health policy. This paper also argues that the experience of INSITE suggests that science and social justice, the meta-ideas that lie at the core of the public health enterprise, are an inadequate basis for a theory of public health policy making. However, on a more positive note, INSITE also shows the value of concepts drawn from the ways in which political science analyzes the policy process.

  3. Meeting the challenge: using policy to improve children's health. (United States)

    Brush, Charles Adam; Kelly, Maggie M; Green, Denise; Gaffney, Marcus; Kattwinkel, John; French, Molly


    We reflect on the proceedings of a symposium at a conference of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. We present examples of bridging the gap between science and policy to achieve improvements in children's health through case studies in early hearing detection and intervention, folic acid fortification to prevent birth defects, sleep positioning recommendations to reduce infant mortality, and workplace lactation support programs. We discuss case studies that present different policy strategies (public health law and voluntary practices) for improving public health. These case studies demonstrate both the power of policy as a tool for improving children's health and the challenges of communicating public health research to policy decisionmakers.

  4. Health impact assessment of transport policies in Rotterdam

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tobollik, Myriam; Keuken, Menno; Sabel, Clive E;


    BACKGROUND: Green house gas (GHG) mitigation policies can be evaluated by showing their co-benefits to health. METHOD: Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was used to quantify co-benefits of GHG mitigation policies in Rotterdam. The effects of two separate interventions (10% reduction of private vehicle......: The evaluation of planned interventions, related to climate change policies, targeting only the transport sector can result in small co-benefits for health, if the analysis is limited to air pollution and noise. This urges to expand the analysis by including other impacts, e.g. physical activity and well...

  5. Policy and evidence in Canadian health human resources planning. (United States)

    Wilson, C Ruth


    The health human resources supply in Canada swings reactively between over- and under-supply. There are numerous policy actors in this arena, each of whom could contribute to good data collection and an agreed-on process for decision-making. This could form the basis for evidence-informed policy. Absent these tools for pan-Canadian health human resources policy development, smaller health jurisdictions are experimenting with quality improvement initiatives which, when properly evaluated, can discover useful methods of aligning patient and community needs with healthcare resources.

  6. Psychometric testing of the Jefferson Scale of Empathy Health Profession Students' version with Australian paramedic students. (United States)

    Williams, Brett; Brown, Ted; Boyle, Malcolm; Dousek, Simon


    Evidence now suggests that improved empathic behaviors can have a positive impact on healthcare outcomes. Therefore, having psychometrically-sound empathy scales is important for healthcare educators. In this study, the factor structure of the 20-item Jefferson Scale Empathy-Health Profession Students' version, when completed by a group of undergraduate paramedic students from a large Australian university, was investigated. Data from the Scale completed by 330 paramedic students were analyzed using principal components analysis followed by a maximum likelihood confirmatory factor analysis to test goodness of fit to the sample data. Two factors emerged from the principal components analysis, "compassionate care" and "perspective taking", accounting for 44.2% of the total variance. The 17-item two-factor model produced good model fit and good reliability estimates. Three of the original items did not fit the model. Results from the confirmatory factor analysis suggest that the 17-item Jefferson Scale Empathy-Health Profession Students' version is a valid and reliable measure for undergraduate paramedic students' empathy levels.

  7. Stress and health-promoting attributes in Australian, New Zealand, and Chilean dental students. (United States)

    Gambetta-Tessini, Karla; Mariño, Rodrigo; Morgan, Mike; Evans, Wendell; Anderson, Vivienne


    This study investigated stress levels and health-promoting attributes (sense of coherence, social support, and coping strategies) in dental students using a Salutogenic approach. All dental students (n=2,049) from two Australian universities, two Chilean universities, and one New Zealand university were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. The questionnaire covered sociodemographic and career choice questions, Perceived Stress Scale, Orientation to Life Questionnaire, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and Brief COPE scale. A total of 897 students participated, for a 44 percent response rate. Students' mean age was 22.1 (SD=2.7). The majority were females (59.3 percent). Students reported moderate stress, moderate sense of coherence (SOC), and high levels of social support. Significant differences in the SOC scores by country were reported. The linear regression model for stress explained 44 percent of the variance, in which SOC and social support are negatively associated with stress and the use of maladaptive coping strategies positively predicts high stress. These findings confirm that health-promoting attributes were negatively related to stress in these dental students. This is an initial approach to guide academics in the creation of Salutogenic programs that optimize students' chances to successfully cope with stress.

  8. Mental health first aid responses of the public: results from an Australian national survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kitchener Betty A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The prevalence of mental disorders is so high that members of the public will commonly have contact with someone affected. How they respond to that person (the mental health first aid response may affect outcomes. However, there is no information on what members of the public might do in such circumstances. Methods In a national survey of 3998 Australian adults, respondents were presented with one of four case vignettes and asked what they would do if that person was someone they had known for a long time and cared about. There were four types of vignette: depression, depression with suicidal thoughts, early schizophrenia, and chronic schizophrenia. Verbatim responses to the open-ended question were coded into categories. Results The most common responses to all vignettes were to encourage professional help-seeking and to listen to and support the person. However, a significant minority did not give these responses. Much less common responses were to assess the problem or risk of harm, to give or seek information, to encourage self-help, or to support the family. Few respondents mentioned contacting a professional on the person's behalf or accompanying them to a professional. First aid responses were generally more appropriate in women, those with less stigmatizing attitudes, and those who correctly identified the disorder in the vignette. Conclusions There is room for improving the range of mental health first aid responses in the community. Lack of knowledge of mental disorders and stigmatizing attitudes are important barriers to effective first aid.

  9. Success Factors Associated with Health Information Systems Implementation: A study of an Australian Regional Hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmine Sellitto


    Full Text Available This paper identifies five factors from the literature that are important for the successful implementation of health information systems (HIS. The HIS factors identified include stakeholder engagement, the support of management and local champions, understanding HIS imposed change, user training and the impact of government incentives. The paper further explored the introduction of a commonly used HIS (Medical Director® in a regional Australian hospital and used the implementation factors as a guide for reporting stakeholder perceptions of the system. The implementation of the HIS in view of the systems users was a failure with all factors except the training issues poorly addressed. The study also reports the practicalities encountered with the system’s introduction and documents several new operational factors that were found to be associated with HIS implementation. Overall, the factors provided a sound criterion on which to judge the implementation performance (success or otherwise of the HIS. The factors identified have the potential to be used as a guide by others who are engaged with information systems in the health area.

  10. Making sense of the global health crisis: policy narratives, conflict, and global health governance. (United States)

    Ney, Steven


    Health has become a policy issue of global concern. Worried that the unstructured, polycentric, and pluralist nature of global health governance is undermining the ability to serve emergent global public health interests, some commentators are calling for a more systematic institutional response to the "global health crisis." Yet global health is a complex and uncertain policy issue. This article uses narrative analysis to explore how actors deal with these complexities and how uncertainties affect global health governance. By comparing three narratives in terms of their basic assumptions, the way they define problems as well as the solutions they propose, the analysis shows how the unstructured pluralism of global health policy making creates a wide scope of policy conflict over the global health crisis. This wide scope of conflict enables effective policy-oriented learning about global health issues. The article also shows how exclusionary patterns of cooperation and competition are emerging in health policy making at the global level. These patterns threaten effective learning by risking both polarization of the policy debate and unanticipated consequences of health policy. Avoiding these pitfalls, the analysis suggests, means creating global health governance regimes that promote openness and responsiveness in deliberation about the global health crisis.

  11. The California Health Policy Research Program - supporting policy making through evidence and responsive research. (United States)

    Roby, Dylan H; Jacobs, Ken; Kertzner, Alex E; Kominski, Gerald F


    This article explores the creation, design, and execution of a university-based collaboration to provide responsive research and evidence to a group of diverse health care, labor, and consumer stakeholders through convening a funded series of deliberative meetings, research briefs, peer-reviewed journal articles, ad hoc data analyses, and policy analyses. Funded by the California Endowment, the California Health Policy Research Program was created by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The collaboration not only allowed new research and analyses to be used by stakeholders and policy makers in decision making but also allowed university researchers to receive input on the important health policy issues of the day. The guidance of stakeholders in the research and policy analysis process was vital in driving meaningful results during an important time in health policy making in California. The manuscript discusses lessons learned in building relationships with stakeholders; meeting research and analytic needs; engaging stakeholders and policy makers; building capacity for quick-turnaround data collection and analysis, dissemination and publication; and maintaining the collaboration.

  12. Informed policies for Europe’s health workforce of tomorrow.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Batenburg, R.


    Although it is widely acknowledged that health workforce planning is critical for health care systems, it is probably one of the least strategically planned resources. One could argue that there are good reasons for this: demand and supply of the health labour market are in constant flux, and policy

  13. Sun Protection Policies of Australian Primary Schools in a Region of High Sun Exposure (United States)

    Harrison, S. L.; Garzón-Chavez, D. R.; Nikles, C. J.


    Queensland, Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer globally. Predetermined criteria were used to score the comprehensiveness of sun protection policies (SPP) of primary schools across Queensland. SPP were sought for schools in 10 regions (latitude range 16.3°S-28.1°S) from 2011 to 2014. Of the 723 schools sampled, 90.9% had a written SPP…

  14. Health policy--why research it and how: health political science. (United States)

    de Leeuw, Evelyne; Clavier, Carole; Breton, Eric


    The establishment of policy is key to the implementation of actions for health. We review the nature of policy and the definition and directions of health policy. In doing so, we explicitly cast a health political science gaze on setting parameters for researching policy change for health. A brief overview of core theories of the policy process for health promotion is presented, and illustrated with empirical evidence. The key arguments are that (a) policy is not an intervention, but drives intervention development and implementation; (b) understanding policy processes and their pertinent theories is pivotal for the potential to influence policy change; (c) those theories and associated empirical work need to recognise the wicked, multi-level, and incremental nature of elements in the process; and, therefore, (d) the public health, health promotion, and education research toolbox should more explicitly embrace health political science insights. The rigorous application of insights from and theories of the policy process will enhance our understanding of not just how, but also why health policy is structured and implemented the way it is.

  15. Mental health literacy as a function of remoteness of residence: an Australian national study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorm Anthony F


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although there have been many population studies of mental health literacy, little is known about the mental health literacy of people who reside in rural areas. This study sought to determine the impact of remoteness on public knowledge of depression and schizophrenia. Methods The mental health literacy of residents of major cities, inner regional, and outer-remote (including outer regional, remote, and very remote regions were compared using data from a 2003–04 Australian national survey of the mental health literacy of 3998 adults. Measures included the perceived helpfulness of a range of professionals, non-professionals and interventions, and the causes, prognosis, and outcomes after treatment for four case vignettes describing depression, depression with suicidal ideation, early schizophrenia and chronic schizophrenia. Participant awareness of Australia's national depression initiative and depression in the media, their symptoms of depression and exposure to the conditions depicted in the vignettes were also compared. Results Mental health literacy was similar across remoteness categories. However, inner regional residents showed superior identification of the disorders depicted in the suicidal ideation and chronic schizophrenia vignettes. They were also more likely to report having heard of Australia's national depression health promotion campaign. Conversely, they were less likely than major city residents to rate the evidence-based treatment of psychotherapy helpful for depression. Both inner regional and outer-remote residents were less likely to rate psychologists as helpful for depression alone. The rural groups were more likely to rate the non-evidence based interventions of drinking and painkillers as helpful for a depression vignette. In addition, outer-remote residents were more likely to identify the evidence based treatment of antipsychotics as harmful for early schizophrenia and less likely to endorse

  16. Ibobbly mobile health intervention for suicide prevention in Australian Indigenous youth: a pilot randomised controlled trial (United States)

    Shand, Fiona; Ridani, Rebecca; Mackinnon, Andrew; De La Mata, Nicole; Christensen, Helen


    Objectives Rates of youth suicide in Australian Indigenous communities are 4 times the national youth average and demand innovative interventions. Historical and persistent disadvantage is coupled with multiple barriers to help seeking. Mobile phone applications offer the opportunity to deliver therapeutic interventions directly to individuals in remote communities. The pilot study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-help mobile app (ibobbly) targeting suicidal ideation, depression, psychological distress and impulsivity among Indigenous youth in remote Australia. Setting Remote and very remote communities in the Kimberley region of North Western Australia. Participants Indigenous Australians aged 18–35 years. Interventions 61 participants were recruited and randomised to receive either an app (ibobbly) which delivered acceptance-based therapy over 6 weeks or were waitlisted for 6 weeks and then received the app for the following 6 weeks. Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome was the Depressive Symptom Inventory—Suicidality Subscale (DSI-SS) to identify the frequency and intensity of suicidal ideation in the previous weeks. Secondary outcomes were the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) and the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS-11). Results Although preintervention and postintervention changes on the (DSI-SS) were significant in the ibobbly arm (t=2.40; df=58.1; p=0.0195), these differences were not significant compared with the waitlist arm (t=1.05; df=57.8; p=0.2962). However, participants in the ibobbly group showed substantial and statistically significant reductions in PHQ-9 and K10 scores compared with waitlist. No differences were observed in impulsivity. Waitlist participants improved after 6 weeks of app use. Conclusions Apps for suicide prevention reduce distress and depression but do not show significant reductions on suicide ideation or impulsivity. A feasible

  17. Health in All Policies? The case of policies to promote bicycle use in the Netherlands. (United States)

    den Broeder, Lea; Scheepers, Eline; Wendel-Vos, Wanda; Schuit, Jantine


    To gather insight on how Health in All Policies (HiAP) is applied in practice, we carried out a case study on transport policies intended to stimulate a shift from car use to bicycling. We reviewed 3 years (2010, 2011, and 2012) of national budgets and policy documents in the Netherlands, followed by two focus group sessions and a second round of document analysis. We found to our surprise, given the country's history of bicycle promotion, that no HiAP approaches for bicycle promotion remain in place in national transport policies. The Netherlands may face serious challenges in the near future for facilitating bicycle use. Inclusion of health goals requires that the health sector work towards acquiring a better understanding of core values in other sector's policies.

  18. The Relationship between School Health Councils and School Health Policies and Programs in US Schools (United States)

    Brener, Nancy D.; Kann, Laura; McManus, Tim; Stevenson, Beth; Wooley, Susan F.


    This study analyzed data from the School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) 2000 to examine the relationship between school health councils and selected school health policies and programs. SHPPS 2000 collected data from faculty and staff in a nationally representative sample of schools. About two-thirds (65.7%) of US schools have school…

  19. Building bridges between health economics research and public policy evaluation. (United States)

    Debrand, Thierry; Dourgnon, Paul


    The Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé (IRDES) Workshop on Applied Health Economics and Policy Evaluation aims at disseminating health economic research's newest findings and enhancing the community's capacity to address issues that are relevant to public policy. The 2010 program consisted of 16 articles covering a vast range of topics, such as health insurance, social health inequalities and health services research. While most of the articles embedded theoretical material, all had to include empirical material in order to favor more applied and practical discussions and results. The 2010 workshop is to be the first of a series of annual workshops in Paris gathering together researchers on health economics and policy evaluation. The next workshop is to be held at IRDES in June 2011.

  20. Engaging trainees in shaping the future of health policy. (United States)

    Atkinson, Stephen; Sachedina, Nabihah; King, Judith; Mak, Matthew; Morganstein, Louise; Mytton, Oliver T; Thomas, Justyn


    This paper presents an analysis of the views and ideas generated at a recent health policy discussion for doctors in training. This provides an illustration of the creativity and enthusiasm that trainees can bring to the policy sphere by providing unique insights and a fresh perspective.

  1. Environmental Public Health Policy for Asbestos in Schools: Unintended Consequences. (United States)

    Corn, Jacqueline Karnell

    This book explores the history of asbestos in schools and buildings and how this issue shaped the development of public health policy. It provides insight into past policy including how and why action was taken and who caused it to be taken; it also offers guidance for the scientific and regulatory communities in the future. While explaining…

  2. Local enactments of national health promotion policies: A Danish case

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wimmelmann, Camilla Lawaetz


    organisational levels. Visiting, observing and interviewing 15 policy workers from 10 municipalities during a two-year period, this study investigated what happened to a Danish national health promotion policy as it was put into practice and managed in the Danish municipalities. The analysis reveals...

  3. Multinational surveys for monitoring eHealth policy implementations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilstad, Heidi; Faxvaag, Arild; Hyppönen, Hannele;


    Development of multinational variables for monitoring eHealth policy implementations is a complex task and requires multidisciplinary, knowledgebased international collaboration. Experts in an interdisciplinary workshop identified useful data and pitfalls for comparative variable development...

  4. Functional Foods in Macedonia: Consumers’ Perspective and Public Health Policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Spiroski


    Conclusion: On average, Macedonian consumers have a positive attitude and high expectations of functional foods. Public health policies still lag when compared to comprehensive approach of the food industry in market placement of these products.

  5. Tobacco control, global health policy and development: towards policy coherence in global governance. (United States)

    Collin, Jeff


    The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) demonstrates the international political will invested in combating the tobacco pandemic and a newfound prominence for tobacco control within the global health agenda. However, major difficulties exist in managing conflicts with foreign and trade policy priorities, and significant obstacles confront efforts to create synergies with development policy and avoid tensions with other health priorities. This paper uses the concept of policy coherence to explore congruence and inconsistencies in objectives, policy, and practice between tobacco control and trade, development and global health priorities. Following the inability of the FCTC negotiations to satisfactorily address the relationship between trade and health, several disputes highlight the challenges posed to tobacco control policies by multilateral and bilateral agreements. While the work of the World Bank has demonstrated the potential contribution of tobacco control to development, the absence of non-communicable diseases from the Millennium Development Goals has limited scope to offer developing countries support for FCTC implementation. Even within international health, tobacco control priorities may be hard to reconcile with other agendas. The paper concludes by discussing the extent to which tobacco control has been pursued via a model of governance very deliberately different from those used in other health issues, in what can be termed 'tobacco exceptionalism'. The analysis developed here suggests that non-communicable disease (NCD) policies, global health, development and tobacco control would have much to gain from re-examining this presumption of difference.

  6. Availability and quality of mobile health app privacy policies. (United States)

    Sunyaev, Ali; Dehling, Tobias; Taylor, Patrick L; Mandl, Kenneth D


    Mobile health (mHealth) customers shopping for applications (apps) should be aware of app privacy practices so they can make informed decisions about purchase and use. We sought to assess the availability, scope, and transparency of mHealth app privacy policies on iOS and Android. Over 35,000 mHealth apps are available for iOS and Android. Of the 600 most commonly used apps, only 183 (30.5%) had privacy policies. Average policy length was 1755 (SD 1301) words with a reading grade level of 16 (SD 2.9). Two thirds (66.1%) of privacy policies did not specifically address the app itself. Our findings show that currently mHealth developers often fail to provide app privacy policies. The privacy policies that are available do not make information privacy practices transparent to users, require college-level literacy, and are often not focused on the app itself. Further research is warranted to address why privacy policies are often absent, opaque, or irrelevant, and to find a remedy.

  7. Improving the care of older persons in Australian prisons using the Policy Delphi method. (United States)

    Patterson, Karen; Newman, Claire; Doona, Katherine


    There are currently no internationally recognised and approved processes relating to the care of older persons with dementia in prison. This research aimed to develop tools and procedures related to managing the care of, including the identification and assessment of, older persons with dementia who are imprisoned in New South Wales, Australia. A modified approach to the Policy Delphi method, using both surveys and facilitated discussion groups, enabled experts to come together to discuss improving the quality of care provision for older persons with dementia in prison and achieve research aims.

  8. Policy for therapeutic acupuncture in an academic health center: a model for standard policy development. (United States)

    Myklebust, Monica; Colson, James; Kaufman, Jacqueline; Winsauer, Jeffery; Zhang, Yu Quin; Harris, Richard E


    Acupuncture as a therapeutic modality offers multiple applications. Its effectiveness coupled with its general acceptance by conventional health care professionals makes it one of the first complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities to be incorporated in an integrative approach to care. However, few centers that offer acupuncture have written standard policies to regulate its use. This lack of standard policies may impede provision of quality care, serve as a barrier to cross-institutional data collection and clinical application of that data, and may put health care professionals and institutions at risk when credentialing or malpractice liability has not been clearly addressed. Here we present a policy for acupuncture, created by a diverse group of health care professionals at the University of Michigan Health System. It may function as a generalizable template for standard policy development by institutions incorporating acupuncture.

  9. Gold Medal for Finnish Health in All Policies Book

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ray Lewis


    Full Text Available This article is a review of the book “Health in All Policies: Seizing opportunities, implementing policies” edited by Kimmo Leppo, Eeva Ollila, Sebastián Peña, Matthias Wismar, and Sarah Cook. This book (printed and online publication was published by the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland in 2013 (1. The book is freely available at The main features, structure, and highlighted contents of the book are briefly sketched out in this review. The book promotes understanding of a Health in All Policies (HiAP approach, the history, and the scientific evidence of effectiveness available to apply the HiAP concept in order to overcome challenges faced by policy-makers. HiAP is a relatively novel approach which arises from the traditional idea that health is not only medicine (2. The book offers lessons to policy-makers and managers on how to apply the HiAP approach. It further highlights the health sector’s role in developing healthy public policies. In addition, the book provides examples of structures to foster collaboration, coherence, and participation among stakeholders from different government portfolios and responsibilities. The book further provides invaluable insights for politicians, researchers, and civil society advocates.

  10. Rethinking the evaluation and measurement of Health in all policies. (United States)

    Bauman, Adrian E; King, Lesley; Nutbeam, Don


    Current international attention to Health in all policies (HiAP) has its origins in a more sophisticated understanding of the impact of public policies on health, and a recognition that policies across government have an impact on the social and environmental determinants of health and related inequalities in health. As an emerging field, there has been limited attention focused on comprehensive approaches to the evaluation of HiAP to date, and the research focus around HiAP has mainly examined the processes of cross-sectoral policy development, rather than their health-related impacts or outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to explore issues in assessing the implementation of HiAP and describe an expanded evaluation framework for assessing the potential intermediate and end-point effects of HiAP actions, using a planning logic model for 'complex programs'. This meets the needs of public sector policy-makers who express an interest in understanding the relationship between HiAP and health-related and social outcomes. The paper proposes applying a contribution analysis method to estimate and model the anticipated impacts of HiAP policies on intermediate and longer term outcomes, in advance of empirical studies of these outcomes, and as an innovative input into HiAP and evaluation planning. A broader long-term evaluation framework will enhance the political saliency of HiAP initiatives, especially from governments considering HiAP approaches in financially constrained environments.

  11. Let's dance: Organization studies, medical sociology and health policy. (United States)

    Currie, Graeme; Dingwall, Robert; Kitchener, Martin; Waring, Justin


    This Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine investigates the potential for positive inter-disciplinary interaction, a 'generative dance', between organization studies (OS), and two of the journal's traditional disciplinary foundations: health policy and medical sociology. This is both necessary and timely because of the extent to which organizations have become a neglected topic within medical sociology and health policy analysis. We argue there is need for further and more sustained theoretical and conceptual synergy between OS, medical sociology and health policy, which provides, on the one-hand a cutting-edge and thought-provoking basis for the analysis of contemporary health reforms, and on the other hand, enables the development and elaboration of theory. We emphasize that sociologists and policy analysts in healthcare have been leading contributors to our understanding of organizations in modern society, that OS enhances our understanding of medical settings, and that organizations remain one of the most influential actors of our time. As a starting point to discussion, we outline the genealogy of OS and its application to healthcare settings. We then consider how medical sociology and health policy converge or diverge with the concerns of OS in the study of healthcare settings. Following this, we focus upon the material environment, specifically the position of business schools, which frames the generative dance between OS, medical sociology and health policy. This sets the context for introducing the thirteen articles that constitute the Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine.

  12. Family policy and inequalities in health in different welfare states. (United States)

    Fosse, Elisabeth; Bull, Torill; Burström, Bo; Fritzell, Sara


    This article focuses on differences in health and welfare outcomes for families with children in three European countries, discussed in relation to national policies for child and family welfare. Data consist of policy documents and cross-national surveys. The document analysis was based on policy documents that described government policies. The statistical analyses utilize data from the European Social Survey. For the analyses in this article, a sub-sample of child families was selected from the countries Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Data showed that England's policy has mainly addressed socially disadvantaged groups and areas. Sweden and Slovenia are mainly developing universal policies. The United Kingdom has high scores for subjective general health, but a steep income gradient in the population. Parents in England experience the highest level of at-risk-of-poverty. Sweden generally scores well on health outcomes and on level of at-risk-of-poverty, and the gradient in self-rated general health is the mildest. Slovenia has the weakest economy, but low levels of inequality and low child at-risk-for-poverty scores. The Slovenian example suggests that not only the level of economic wealth, but also its distribution in the population, has bearings on health and life satisfaction, not least on the health of children.

  13. Behavioral economics and health policy: understanding Medicaid's failure. (United States)

    Richman, Barak D


    This Article employs a behavioral economic analysis to understand why Medicaid has failed to improve the health outcomes of its beneficiaries. It begins with a formal economic model of health care consumption and then systematically incorporates a survey of psychosocial variables to formulate explanations for persistent health disparities. This methodology suggests that consulting the literature in health psychology and intertemporal decision theory--empirical sources generally excluded from orthodox economic analysis--provides valuable material to explain certain findings in health econometrics. More significantly, the lessons from this behavioral economic approach generate useful policy considerations for Medicaid policymakers, who largely have neglected psychosocial variables in implementing a health insurance program that rests chiefly on orthodox economic assumptions. The Article's chief contributions include an expansion of the behavioral economic approach to include a host of variables in health psychology, a behavioral refinement of empirical health economics, a behavioral critique of Medicaid policy, and a menu of suggested Medicaid reforms.

  14. Health and foreign policy: influences of migration and population mobility. (United States)

    Macpherson, Douglas W; Gushulak, Brian D; Macdonald, Liane


    International interest in the relationship between globalization and health is growing, and this relationship is increasingly figuring in foreign policy discussions. Although many globalizing processes are known to affect health, migration stands out as an integral part of globalization, and links between migration and health are well documented. Numerous historical interconnections exist between population mobility and global public health, but since the 1990s new attention to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases has promoted discussion of this topic. The containment of global disease threats is a major concern, and significant international efforts have received funding to fight infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome). Migration and population mobility play a role in each of these public health challenges. The growing interest in population mobility's health-related influences is giving rise to new foreign policy initiatives to address the international determinants of health within the context of migration. As a result, meeting health challenges through international cooperation and collaboration has now become an important foreign policy component in many countries. However, although some national and regional projects address health and migration, an integrated and globally focused approach is lacking. As migration and population mobility are increasingly important determinants of health, these issues will require greater policy attention at the multilateral level.

  15. Assessing the impact of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement on Australian and global medicines policy


    Searles Andrew; Drahos Peter; Henry David; Doran Evan; Faunce Thomas; Pekarsky Brita; Neville Warwick


    Abstract On 1 January 2005, a controversial trade agreement entered into force between Australia and the United States. Though heralded by the parties as facilitating the removal of barriers to free trade (in ways not achievable in multilateral fora), it also contained many trade-restricting intellectual property provisions and others uniquely related to altering pharmaceutical regulation and public health policy in Australia. The latter appear to have particularly focused on the world-respec...

  16. Population and Australian development assistance. (United States)

    Jones, R


    Australia's position on international population issues is consistent with the major international statements on population: the World Population Plan of Action (1974), the Mexico City Declaration (1984), and the Amsterdam Declaration (1989). Australia's policy emphasizes the importance of population policies as an integral part of social, economic, and cultural development aimed at improving the quality of life of the people. Factors that would promote smaller families include improving economic opportunities, old-age security, education and health (particularly for women), as well as improving the accessibility and quality of family planning services. The quality of care approach is directly complementary to the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB)'s Women-In-Development Policy and its Health Policy, which stresses the theme of Women And Their Children's Health (WATCH). Australia's support for population programs and activities has increased considerably over the last few years. Total assistance for the year 1990/91 was around $7 million out of a total aid program of $1216 million. In recent years AIDAB has funded family planning activities or health projects with family planning components in a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region. In the South Pacific region AIDAB has funded a reproductive health video project taking into consideration the cultural sensitivities and customs of the peoples of the region. AIDAB has supported a UN Population Fund project in Thailand that aims to strengthen the capacity of the National Statistical Office to collect population data. The US currently accounts for around 40% of all population-related development assistance to improve the health of women and children through family planning. The other major donors are Japan, the Scandinavian countries, and the Netherlands. Funding for population has been a relatively low percentage of overall development assistance budgets in OECD countries. In the

  17. The impact of Health Information Technology (I-HIT) Scale: the Australian results. (United States)

    Cook, Robyn; Foster, Joanne


    One of role of the nurse in the clinical setting is that of co-ordinating communication across the healthcare team. On a daily basis nurses interact with the person receiving care, their family members, and multiple care providers thus placing the nurse in the central position with access to a vast array of information on the person. Through this nurses have historically functioned as "information repositories". With the advent of Health Information Technology (HIT) tools there is a potential that HIT could impact interdisciplinary communication, practice efficiency and effectiveness, relationships and workflow in acute care settings [1][3]. In 2005, the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community developed the I-HIT Scale to measure the impact of HIT on the nursing role and interdisciplinary communication in USA hospitals. In 2007, nursing informatics colleagues from Australia, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and the USA formed a research collaborative to validate the I-HIT in six additional countries. This paper will discuss the background, methodology, results and implications from the Australian I-HIT survey of over 1,100 nurses. The results are currently being analyzed and will be presented at the conference.

  18. The Impact of Neurofibromatosis Type 1 on the Health and Wellbeing of Australian Adults. (United States)

    Crawford, Hilda A; Barton, Belinda; Wilson, Meredith J; Berman, Yemima; McKelvey-Martin, Valerie J; Morrison, Patrick J; North, Kathryn N


    The complications of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) are widespread, unpredictable and variable and each person's experience of this disorder is unique. However, few studies have addressed the impact of NF1 from an individual's perspective. This qualitative study aims to identify the ways in which NF1 impacts upon affected Australian adults. Sixty adults with NF1, with a range of disease severity and visibility participated in a semi-structured interview about the ways in which NF1 impacted upon their life and health. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. Results indicated that NF1 impacts upon affected adults in five major ways: 1) cosmetic burden of disease 2) learning difficulties 3) concerns about the risk of passing NF1 to offspring 4) uncertain disease progression, and 5) pain. Participants identified the aspects of NF1 that bothered them the most, creating a hierarchy of NF1 concerns within the cohort. Importantly, mildly affected adults shared many of the same concerns as those more severely affected. This study enhances our current understanding of the impact of NF1 in adulthood, and augments existing recommendations for the care of these patients.

  19. Stewardship in mental health policy: inspiration, influence, institution? (United States)

    Brown, Lawrence D; Isett, Kimberley R; Hogan, Michael


    The venerable but amorphous concept of stewardship has lately gained prominence in discussions of public policy and management and is sometimes offered as a "strategy" with a distinctive potential to mobilize effective public leadership in the service of broad social missions. In this article we explore how stewardship may be useful to the theory and practice of mental health policy, and, reciprocally, how examples from mental health policy may elucidate the dynamics of stewardship. After examining its key political ingredients--authority, advocacy, and analysis--we discuss the practical challenges in moving stewardship from moral inspiration to institutional reality.

  20. ACHESS – The Australian study of child health in same-sex families: background research, design and methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crouch Simon


    Full Text Available Abstract Background There are an increasing number of children in Australia growing up with same-sex attracted parents. Although children from same-sex parent families do in general perform well on many psychosocial measures recent research is beginning to consider some small but significant differences when these children are compared with children from other family backgrounds. In particular studies suggest that there is an association between the stigma that same-sex parent families experience and child wellbeing. Research to date lacks a holistic view with the complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of children not yet addressed. In addition, most studies have focused only on families with lesbian parents and have studied only small numbers of children. Methods/design The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS is a national study that aims to determine the complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of Australian children under the age 18 years with at least one parent who self identifies as being same-sex attracted. There will be a particular focus on the impact that stigma and discrimination has on these families. Parent and child surveys will be used to collect data and will be available both online and in paper form. Measures have been chosen whenever possible that have sound conceptual underpinnings, robust psychometric properties and Australian normative data, and include the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10. Discussion ACHESS aims to be the largest study of its kind and will for the first time produce a detailed quantitative analysis of Australian children with same-sex attracted parents. By inviting participants to take part in further research it will also establish a valuable cohort of children, and their families, to launch future waves of research that will help us better understand the health and

  1. Health Policy for Persons with Intellectual Disability: Experiences from Israel

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    Ilana Halperin


    Full Text Available Intellectual disability (ID is a life-long disability characterized by impaired cognitive and adaptive skills. Over the past few decades, a shift has occurred in the conceptualization and treatment of people with ID and research in health policy and health-care delivery has become increasingly global with a notable disparity between the developed and developing world. This review presents a literature overview of global health policy for ID with the intent to focus specifically on the policy and treatment within Israel. The methodology involved sites visits to care centers, discussions with stakeholders in health policy, and a literature review. We believe that Israel is in a unique position between a developed and developing culture. In particular, the distinct problems faced by the Arab and Bedouin community in terms of ID must be formally accounted for in Israel's future policies. Research from the developing world would be instructive to this end. The global approach in this presentation led to certain policy recommendations that take into account the uniqueness of Israel's position from a social, economic, religious, and demographic perspective. It is the hope that this paper will lead to an increased awareness of the challenges faced by persons with ID and their providers in all sectors of Israeli society and that the necessary policy recommendations will ultimately be adopted.

  2. Consumer's perceptions of Recovery-oriented mental health services: an Australian case-study analysis. (United States)

    Hungerford, Catherine; Fox, Catherine


    Recovery approaches to health care now feature in the mental health policies of many Western countries. There are, however, continuing challenges to the operationalization of these approaches. This study aimed to identify the nature of these challenges for a public mental health service organization located in a major urban center in southeastern Australia, where Recovery-oriented services have been implemented; and to develop recommendations to address these challenges. These aims were achieved by asking mental health consumers about their experiences of the implementation of Recovery-oriented services. Research participants described an uncertainty in health professionals and consumers alike about how to practice within a Recovery model, with many health professionals taking a "hands off" approach in the name of Recovery, rather than working in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders, including the community managed organizations. Solutions to these challenges included more targeted, practice-focused education for consumers and health professionals, with this education provided by consumer representatives. Insights derived from this research add to the growing body of evidence related to the implementation of Recovery-oriented services in Western countries.

  3. Draft national health policy 2015: A critical appraisal

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    Faruque U Ahmed


    Full Text Available Revising a health policy of any country is a periodic procedure dependent on the change of demographic profile, current health status of the population including epidemiological changes in disease prevalence pattern, and progress made under the earlier policies. Along with it, newer research revelation of the natural history of the existing and emerging health problems, availability of newer technology as well as changing sociopolitical commitment to improve the health status of the population are the driving forces in the change of policy. Draft National Health Policy (NHP 2015 is an attempt for the same. A review of the draft has been undertaken. The chapter on introduction is crisp and clear. Situation analysis of the draft is sketchy and without any reference of sources. Shifting the health goal is without any basis, and the objectives defined for the policy change are incongruous with the introduction. A detailed description does not give a clear picture but rather confuses the reader as it talks of comprehensive universal health-care services to be provided with a holistic concept but maximum emphasis is made in the implementation of a national program. Private health-care services are an area to reckon but except for mere references on the involvement in private-public mode, nothing concrete is observed, especially in the primary care level. Involvement envisaged in the secondary and tertiary levels is nebulous. The implementation health insurance program as well as regulatory mechanISM with the existing is also not defined exclusively in the context of a newer health policy.

  4. Adding home health care to the discussion on health information technology policy. (United States)

    Ruggiano, Nicole; Brown, Ellen L; Hristidis, Vagelis; Page, Timothy F


    The potential for health information technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care has resulted in several U.S. policy initiatives aimed at integrating health information technology into health care systems. However, home health care agencies have been excluded from incentive programs established through policies, raising concerns on the extent to which health information technology may be used to improve the quality of care for older adults with chronic illness and disabilities. This analysis examines the potential issues stemming from this exclusion and explores potential opportunities of integrating home health care into larger initiatives aimed at establishing health information technology systems for meaningful use.

  5. Applying Health in All Policies to obesity in South Australia. (United States)

    Newman, Lareen; Ludford, Isobel; Williams, Carmel; Herriot, Michele


    Public policy strategies impact on population health by acting on the effectiveness, availability and distribution of the social determinants of health. Reducing obesity and promoting healthy weight is a key focus of governments, health promoters and researchers, and can benefit from a systems approach with 'upstream' policy action beyond the health sector. Although the literature identifies many areas for hypothetical non-health policy action, and in particular relating to food and activity environments, few have identified practical, politically viable and relatively cost-free processes by which non-health sectors would want to commit to such action. This article details how the Government of South Australia used the Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach in the SA HiAP Healthy Weight Project. It mapped the core business and policy directions of 44 state departments against research on 'what works' to address obesity. Negotiations then developed high-level policy commitments to address factors promoting healthy weight which predominantly changed ways of working rather than requiring new expenditure and also assisted departments in meeting their own goals; departmental chief executives endorsed the commitments. By starting from departmental documents, and not restricting the project to departments with more 'obvious' obesity prevention potential, we gained commitment to a broader range of policy actions than identified elsewhere; for example, for prisons, environment and botanic gardens, housing and vocational education. The SA HiAP Healthy Weight Project provides one example of a workable, evidence-based systems approach to increase commitment to practical and politically viable opportunities across government to address the non-health environments supporting healthy weight.

  6. Life stress and suicidal ideation in Australian men – cross-sectional analysis of the Australian longitudinal study on male health baseline data

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    Dianne Currier


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Suicide is a leading cause of death in Australian males aged 18 to 55. Non-fatal suicidal behaviours and thoughts are indicators of increased risk for future suicide. Suicidal behaviour is complex and multi-determined. Research supports the involvement of stressful life events in suicide and suicidal behaviour, however the evidence regarding suicidal thoughts is less developed. This study investigates stressful life events in relation to suicidal ideation in a large cohort of adult males recruited into Ten to Men, the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health. Methods Baseline data from a national cohort of 13, 884 males aged 18–55 years on suicidal behaviour, psychiatric disorder and life events was used. Multivariable logistic regressions were conducted with current suicidal ideation as the outcome and 12 month life events, 12 month depression, anxiety and harmful/hazardous alcohol use, and socio-demographics as covariates. Further logistic regression models investigated the relative risk of life stress alone, depression/alcohol/anxiety alone and co-occurring life stress and depression/alcohol/anxiety. Results In multivariable models there was an independent contribution to suicidal ideation for six of 24 life events (ORs 1.27–1.95, 12 month depression (OR 4.49 harmful alcohol use (OR 1.38 and anxiety disorders (OR 1.27. Life events co-occurring with depression (OR 10.3 was higher risk than either alone (depression OR 6.6; life stress OR 2.6. There was a lesser effect for co-occurrence in the anxiety and harmful alcohol use models. Conclusion Life events appear to be related to suicidal ideation independent of depression, anxiety and harmful alcohol use in adult males, however if life events occur in the context of depression that risk is substantially increased.

  7. Social, state and political society: Reflections on Mental Health Policy

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    Sofia Laurentino


    Full Text Available This article intends to develop a historical, theoretical and critical debate about mental health, as a social policy, resulting from the dialectical relationship between state and civil society. The adopted methodology is qualitative, consisting on a bibliographical and reflexive review, through which it aims to evaluate positions of various authors on the subject. A discussion of the historical development of the Mental Health policy in Brazil was made, emphasizing the presence of various social movements, such as the Workers in Mental Health Movement, the Sanitary Reform Movement, the Psychiatric Reform Movement and the Anti-Asylum Movement. Therefore, it is verified that society has great ability to fight for effective social policies, in order to mitigate the destructive effects of capitalism. It is concluded that, although social policy is incapable of overcoming the social order, it includes significant changes to the recognition and assurance of rights to the people deprived of wealth and power in society.

  8. The Mass Media Influence on the Impact of Health Policy

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    Cătălin BABA


    Full Text Available The theme of this study is a distinct examination of the issues regarding health policy, social representations and mass media. The analysis of the mass media influence on the impact of health policy leads to a portrayal of the related programs and the way they are received by citizens through mass media. Owing to the mass media quality to be an indicator of democracy it is very important to study its role in setting people daily agenda considering how it is able to maintain and create trends merely through recurrent messages. The issues frequently conveyed by media industry influences citizens’ interest with regard to community, producing effects on public policy. We must bear in mind that the more persistent in media they are, the more relevant for community this issues will be. The authors of the study put forward a method through which diverse programmes can be analysed. A comparative analysis of mass media and citizens’ social representations and its findings provide information about the influence between them. According to agenda setting theory and many international studies on health policy the authors conclude that mass media institution highly influence the impact of the health policy in health. Moreover, it is important to mention that the impact refers to all the stages of a policy-making: beginning with the problem identification and ending with the evaluation of the implementation process.

  9. Values in Health Policy – A Concept Analysis

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    Lida Shams


    Full Text Available Background Despite the significant role “values” play in decision-making no definition or attributes regarding the concept have been provided in health policy-making. This study aimed to clarify the defining attributes of a concept of value and its irrelevant structures in health policy-making. We anticipate our findings will help reduce the semantic ambiguities associated with the use of “values” and other concepts such as principles, criteria, attitudes, and beliefs. Methods An extensive search of literature was carried out using electronic data base and library. The overall search strategy yielded about 1540 articles and 450 additional records. Based on traditional qualitative research, studies were purposefully selected and the coding of articles continued until data saturation was reached. Accordingly, 31 articles, 2 books, and 5 other documents were selected for the review. We applied Walker and Avant’s method of concept analysis in studying the phenomenon. Definitions, applications, attributes, antecedents, and consequences of the concept of “value in health policy-making” were extracted. We also identified similarities and differences that exist between and within them. Results We identified eight major attributes of “value in health policy-making”: ideological origin, affect one’s choices, more resistant to change over time, source of motivation, ability to sacrifice one’s interest, goal-oriented nature for community, trans-situational and subjectivity. Other features pinpointed include alternatives, antecedents, and consequences. Alternative, antecedents and consequences case may have more or fewer attributes or may lack one of these attributes and at the same time have other distinctive ones. Conclusion Despite the use of the value framework, ambiguities still persist in providing definition of the concept value in health policy-making. Understanding the concept of value in health policy-making may provide extra

  10. Values in Health Policy – A Concept Analysis (United States)

    Shams, Lida; Akbari Sari, Ali; Yazdani, Shahram


    Background: Despite the significant role "values" play in decision-making no definition or attributes regarding the concept have been provided in health policy-making. This study aimed to clarify the defining attributes of a concept of value and its irrelevant structures in health policy-making. We anticipate our findings will help reduce the semantic ambiguities associated with the use of "values" and other concepts such as principles, criteria, attitudes, and beliefs. Methods: An extensive search of literature was carried out using electronic data base and library. The overall search strategy yielded about 1540 articles and 450 additional records. Based on traditional qualitative research, studies were purposefully selected and the coding of articles continued until data saturation was reached. Accordingly, 31 articles, 2 books, and 5 other documents were selected for the review. We applied Walker and Avant’s method of concept analysis in studying the phenomenon. Definitions, applications, attributes, antecedents, and consequences of the concept of "value in health policy-making" were extracted. We also identified similarities and differences that exist between and within them. Results: We identified eight major attributes of "value in health policy-making": ideological origin, affect one’s choices, more resistant to change over time, source of motivation, ability to sacrifice one’s interest, goal-oriented nature for community, trans-situational and subjectivity. Other features pinpointed include alternatives, antecedents, and consequences. Alternative, antecedents and consequences case may have more or fewer attributes or may lack one of these attributes and at the same time have other distinctive ones. Conclusion: Despite the use of the value framework, ambiguities still persist in providing definition of the concept value in health policy-making. Understanding the concept of value in health policy-making may provide extra theoretical support to decision

  11. On Health Policy and Management (HPAM): mind the theory-policy-practice gap. (United States)

    Chinitz, David P; Rodwin, Victor G


    We argue that the field of Health Policy and Management (HPAM) ought to confront the gap between theory, policy, and practice. Although there are perennial efforts to reform healthcare systems, the conceptual barriers are considerable and reflect the theory-policy-practice gap. We highlight four dimensions of the gap: 1) the dominance of microeconomic thinking in health policy analysis and design; 2) the lack of learning from management theory and comparative case studies; 3) the separation of HPAM from the rank and file of healthcare; and 4) the failure to expose medical students to issues of HPAM. We conclude with suggestions for rethinking the field of HPAM by embracing broader perspectives, e.g. ethics, urban health, systems analysis and cross-national analyses of healthcare systems.

  12. On Health Policy and Management (HPAM: Mind the Theory-Policy-Practice Gap

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    David Chinitz


    Full Text Available We argue that the field of Health Policy and Management (HPAM ought to confront the gap between theory, policy, and practice. Although there are perennial efforts to reform healthcare systems, the conceptual barriers are considerable and reflect the theory-policy-practice gap. We highlight four dimensions of the gap: 1 the dominance of microeconomic thinking in health policy analysis and design; 2 the lack of learning from management theory and comparative case studies; 3 the separation of HPAM from the rank and file of healthcare; and 4 the failure to expose medical students to issues of HPAM. We conclude with suggestions for rethinking the field of HPAM by embracing broader perspectives, e.g. ethics, urban health, systems analysis and cross-national analyses of healthcare systems.

  13. Heart failure among Indigenous Australians: a systematic review

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    Woods John A


    suggest that undiagnosed cases may be common in this population. In order to optimise management and to inform policy, high quality research on heart failure in Indigenous Australians is required to delineate accurate epidemiological indicators and to appraise health service provision.

  14. A geographic information system for local public health policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.A. van Oers (Johannes Anna Maria)


    textabstractThis book deals with the development and use of a geographic information system for local public health policy. Health differences between populations in different geographical areas, large (countries) or small (city-neighbourhoods) have always been a challenge to epidemiologists and pol

  15. Overview and Summary: School Health Policies and Programs Study 2006 (United States)

    Kann, Laura; Brener, Nancy D.; Wechsler, Howell


    Background: The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) 2006 is the largest, most comprehensive assessment of school health programs in the United States ever conducted. Methods: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts SHPPS every 6 years. In 2006, computer-assisted telephone interviews or self-administered mail…

  16. Health gain and economic evaluation of breastfeeding policies : Model simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buchner FL; Hoekstra J; Rossum CTM van; CVG


    A policy aiming at increasing the percentage of breasted infants can be seen as a preventive measure, which can save health care costs.A literature review shows that breastfeeding has beneficial health effects in both the short en the longer term. Convincing evidence is found for a protective effec

  17. Social policies and the pathways to inequalities in health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Whitehead, M; Burström, B; Diderichsen, Finn


    The aim of this study is to contribute to the emerging field of health inequalities impact assessment. It develops further a conceptual framework that encompasses the policy context as well as the pathways leading from social position to inequalities in health. It then uses this framework for a c...

  18. Privacy policies for health social networking sites



    Health social networking sites (HSNS), virtual communities where users connect with each other around common problems and share relevant health data, have been increasingly adopted by medical professionals and patients. The growing use of HSNS like Sermo and PatientsLikeMe has prompted public concerns about the risks that such online data-sharing platforms pose to the privacy and security of personal health data. This paper articulates a set of privacy risks introduced by social networking in...

  19. Public health policies to encourage healthy eating habits: recent perspectives

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    Gorski MT


    Full Text Available Mary T Gorski,1 Christina A Roberto2,3 1Interfaculty Initiative in Health Policy, Harvard University, Cambridge, 2Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 3Department of Nutrition, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA Abstract: There is an urgent need to address unhealthy dietary patterns at the population level. Poor diet and physical inactivity are key drivers of the obesity pandemic, and they are among the leading causes of preventable death and disability in nearly every country in the world. As countries grapple with the growing obesity prevalence, many innovative policy options to reduce overeating and improve diet quality remain largely unexplored. We describe recent trends in eating habits and consequences for public health, vulnerabilities to unhealthy eating, and the role for public health policies. We reviewed recent public health policies to promote healthier diet patterns, including mandates, restrictions, economic incentives, marketing limits, information provision, and environmental defaults. Keywords: food policy, diet, obesity, public health

  20. Development of a national burn network: providing a co-ordinated response to a burn mass casualty disaster within the Australian health system

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    AG Robertson


    Full Text Available With the threat of terrorist activity ever present since the incidents in Bali and Jakarta, the Australian health system must be prepared to manage another mass burn casualty disaster. The Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA highlighted the lack of a national burn disaster response before the 2000 Olympics. With the limited number of burn beds available and the protracted length of stay after such injuries, any state or territory could be overwhelmed with relatively few patient admissions. In 2002, the Australian Health Minister's Conference called for a solution. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the process and development of the Australian National Burn Network, which underpins the National Burn Disaster Response (AUSBURNPLAN.

  1. Public health impacts of city policies to reduce climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sabel, Clive E; Hiscock, Rosemary; Asikainen, Arja;


    Background: Climate change is a global threat to health and wellbeing. Here we provide findings of an international research project investigating the health and wellbeing impacts of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in urban environments. Methods:  Five European and two Chinese city...... authorities and partner academic organisations formed the project consortium. The methodology involved modelling the impact of adopted urban climate-change mitigation transport, buildings and energy policy scenarios, usually for the year 2020 and comparing them with business as usual (BAU) scenarios (where...... policies had not been adopted). Carbon dioxide emissions, health impacting exposures (air pollution, noise and physical activity), health (cardiovascular, respiratory, cancer and leukaemia) and wellbeing (including noise related wellbeing, overall wellbeing, economic wellbeing and inequalities) were...

  2. Psychology and Health: Research, Practice, and Policy (United States)

    Johnson, Norine G.


    Since World War II, American psychology's role in health care has significantly expanded. This was formally recognized in 2001 when the membership of the American Psychological Association (APA) approved a bylaw change in its mission statement to include the word health. An accumulating body of research demonstrates and recent reviews conclude…

  3. The stigmatization dilemma in public health policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ploug, Thomas; Holm, Søren; Gjerris, Mickey


    Background Multi-resistant bacteria pose an increasing and significant public health risk. As awareness of the severity of the problem grows, it is likely that it will become the target for a range of public health interventions. Some of these can intentionally or unintentionally lead...... to stigmatization of groups of citizens. Discussion The article describes the phenomenon of stigmatization within the health care area by discussing the concept in relation to AIDS and psychiatric diagnosis. It unfolds the ethical aspects of using stigmatization as a public health instrument to affect unwanted...... behaviours e.g. smoking. Moreover it discusses stigmatization as an unintended albeit expected side effect of public health instruments potentially used to counter the challenge of multi-resistant bacteria with particular reference to the Danish case of the growing problems with Methicillin...

  4. Policy processes underpinning universal health insurance in Vietnam

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    Bui T. T. Ha


    Full Text Available Background: In almost 30 years since economic reforms or ‘renovation’ (Doimoi were launched, Vietnam has achieved remarkably good health results, in many cases matching those in much higher income countries. This study explores the contribution made by Universal Health Insurance (UHI policies, focusing on the past 15 years. We conducted a mixed method study to describe and assess the policy process relating to health insurance, from agenda setting through implementation and evaluation. Design: The qualitative research methods implemented in this study were 30 in-depth interviews, 4 focus group discussions, expert consultancy, and 420 secondary data review. The data were analyzed by NVivo 7.0. Results: Health insurance in Vietnam was introduced in 1992 and has been elaborated over a 20-year time frame. These processes relate to moving from a contingent to a gradually expanded target population, expanding the scope of the benefit package, and reducing the financial contribution from the insured. The target groups expanded to include 66.8% of the population by 2012. We characterized the policy process relating to UHI as incremental with a learning-by-doing approach, with an emphasis on increasing coverage rather than ensuring a basic service package and financial protection. There was limited involvement of civil society organizations and users in all policy processes. Intertwined political economy factors influenced the policy processes. Conclusions: Incremental policy processes, characterized by a learning-by-doing approach, is appropriate for countries attempting to introduce new health institutions, such as health insurance in Vietnam. Vietnam should continue to mobilize resources in sustainable and viable ways to support the target groups. The country should also adopt a multi-pronged approach to achieving universal access to health services, beyond health insurance.

  5. Health, Lifestyle, and Gender Influences on Aging Well: An Australian Longitudinal Analysis to Guide Health Promotion


    Hal eKendig; Colette Joy Browning; Shane Andrew Thomas; Yvonne eWells


    A primary societal goal for aging is enabling older people to continue to live well as long as possible. The evidence base around aging well (‘healthy’, ‘active’ and ‘successful’ aging) has been constructed mainly from academic and professional conceptualizations of mortality, morbidity, functioning, and psychological well-being with some attention to lay views. Our study aims to inform action on health promotion to achieve aging well as conceptualized by qualitative research identifying what...

  6. Community-based interventions for obesity prevention: lessons learned by Australian policy-makers

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    Haby Michelle M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interest in community-based interventions (CBIs for health promotion is increasing, with a lot of recent activity in the field. This paper aims, from a state government perspective, to examine the experience of funding and managing six obesity prevention CBIs, to identify lessons learned and to consider the implications for future investment. Specifically, we focus on the planning, government support, evaluation, research and workforce development required. Methods The lessons presented in this paper come from analysis of key project documents, the experience of the authors in managing the projects and from feedback obtained from key program stakeholders. Results CBIs require careful management, including sufficient planning time and clear governance structures. Selection of interventions should be based on evidence and tailored to local needs to ensure adequate penetration in the community. Workforce and community capacity must be assessed and addressed when selecting communities. Supporting the health promotion workforce to become adequately skilled and experienced in evaluation and research is also necessary before implementation. Comprehensive evaluation of future projects is challenging on both technical and affordability grounds. Greater emphasis may be needed on process evaluation complemented by organisation-level measures of impact and monitoring of nutrition and physical activity behaviours. Conclusions CBIs offer potential as one of a mix of approaches to obesity prevention. If successful approaches are to be expanded, care must be taken to incorporate lessons from existing and past projects. To do this, government must show strong leadership and work in partnership with the research community and local practitioners.

  7. Public participation in regional health policy: a theoretical framework. (United States)

    Thurston, Wilfreda E; MacKean, Gail; Vollman, Ardene; Casebeer, Ann; Weber, Myron; Maloff, Bretta; Bader, Judy


    How best to involve the public in local health policy development and decision-making is an ongoing challenge for health systems. In the current literature on this topic, there is discussion of the lack of rigorous evaluations upon which to draw generalizable conclusions about what public participation methods work best and for what kinds of outcomes. We believe that for evaluation research on public participation to build generalizable claims, some consistency in theoretical framework is needed. A major objective of the research reported on here was to develop such a theoretical framework for understanding public participation in the context of regionalized health governance. The overall research design followed the grounded theory tradition, and included five case studies of public participation initiatives in an urban regional health authority in Canada, as well as a postal survey of community organizations. This particular article describes the theoretical framework developed, with an emphasis on explaining the following major components of the framework: public participation initiatives as a process; policy making processes with a health region; social context as symbolic and political institutions; policy communities; and health of the population as the ultimate outcome of public participation. We believe that this framework is a good beginning to making more explicit the factors that may be considered when evaluating both the processes and outcomes of public participation in health policy development.

  8. Reforming the health sector in Thailand: the role of policy actors on the policy stage. (United States)

    Green, A


    This paper reports on exploratory research carried out into the processes of policy-making, and in particular health sector reform, in the health sector of Thailand. It is one of a set of studies examining health sector reform processes in a number of countries. Though in the period under study (1970-1996) there had been no single health sector reform package in Thailand, there was interest in a number of quarters in the development of such an initiative. It is clear, however, that despite recognition of the need for reform such a policy was far from being formulated, let alone implemented. The research, based on both documentary analysis and interviews, explores the reasons underpinning the failure of the policy process to respond to such a perceived need. The research findings suggest that the policy formation process in Thailand successfully occurs when there is a critical mass of support from strategic interest groups. The relative power of these interest groups is constantly changing. In particular the last two decades has seen a decline in the power of the bureaucratic élites (military and civilian) and a related rise in the power of the economic élites either directly or through their influence on political parties and government. Other critical groups include the media, NGOs and the professions. Informal policy groups are also significant. A number of implications for policy makers operating under such circumstances are drawn.

  9. Assessment of health policy in Costa Rica--some preliminary remarks. (United States)

    Eriksson, C G; Mohs, E; Eriksson, B


    Costa Rica is one of the world's success stories in primary health care. During the past 20 years the country has experienced a demographic and epidemiological transition. However, during the 80's the economic recession severely affected the country. The social, economic, political and geographic contexts are important for the assessment of health policy. The longstanding democracy, investments in public education and health all contribute to the peace and stability. Assessment of health policy needs both a quantitative and qualitative approach. The policy-making process--how policies are made, translated into action and evaluated--is a research challenge. The national health policy 1986-1990 includes commitment to Health for All strategy; development of the National Health Care System; strengthening of the health care infrastructure; consolidation of health achievements and undertaking of new problems and approaches on integral care for the population; community participation in all health care system activities; and health care priorities. Important research issues are the relationship between the needs of the population and health policy development and the impacts of health policy on the health of the population. A comprehensive study of policy-making includes studies of policy content, process, output and evaluation of impacts (including economy of health policy), and analysis for policy, i.e. information for policy making, process and policy advocacy. Recent successful health policy issues are child health and HIV/AIDS, while water pollution and traffic accidents have been more problematic policy issues.

  10. Time's up. descriptive epidemiology of multi-morbidity and time spent on health related activity by older Australians: a time use survey.

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    Tanisha Jowsey

    Full Text Available Most Western health systems remain single illness orientated despite the growing prevalence of multi-morbidity. Identifying how much time people with multiple chronic conditions spend managing their health will help policy makers and health service providers make decisions about areas of patient need for support. This article presents findings from an Australian study concerning the time spent on health related activity by older adults (aged 50 years and over, most of whom had multiple chronic conditions. A recall questionnaire was developed, piloted, and adjusted. Sampling was undertaken through three bodies; the Lung Foundation Australia (COPD sub-sample, National Diabetes Services Scheme (Diabetes sub-sample and National Seniors Australia (Seniors sub-sample. Questionnaires were mailed out during 2011 to 10,600 older adults living in Australia. 2540 survey responses were received and analysed. Descriptive analyses were completed to obtain median values for the hours spent on each activity per month. The mean number of chronic conditions was 3.7 in the COPD sub-sample, 3.4 in the Diabetes sub-sample and 2.0 in the NSA sub-sample. The study identified a clear trend of increased time use associated with increased number of chronic conditions. Median monthly time use was 5-16 hours per month overall for our three sub-samples. For respondents in the top decile with five or more chronic conditions the median time use was equivalent to two to three hours per day, and if exercise is included in the calculations, respondents spent from between five and eight hours per day: an amount similar to full-time work. Multi-morbidity imposes considerable time burdens on patients. Ageing is associated with increasing rates of multi-morbidity. Many older adults are facing high demands on their time to manage their health in the face of decreasing energy and mobility. Their time use must be considered in health service delivery and health system reform.

  11. Policy Capacity for Health Reform: Necessary but Insufficient; Comment on “Health Reform Requires Policy Capacity”

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    Owen Adams


    Full Text Available Forest and colleagues have persuasively made the case that policy capacity is a fundamental prerequisite to health reform. They offer a comprehensive life-cycle definition of policy capacity and stress that it involves much more than problem identification and option development. I would like to offer a Canadian perspective. If we define health reform as re-orienting the health system from acute care to prevention and chronic disease management the consensus is that Canada has been unsuccessful in achieving a major transformation of our 14 health systems (one for each province and territory plus the federal government. I argue that 3 additional things are essential to build health policy capacity in a healthcare federation such as Canada: (a A means of “policy governance” that would promote an approach to cooperative federalism in the health arena; (b The ability to overcome the ”policy inertia” resulting from how Canadian Medicare was implemented and subsequently interpreted; and (c The ability to entertain a long-range thinking and planning horizon. My assessment indicates that Canada falls short on each of these items, and the prospects for achieving them are not bright. However, hope springs eternal and it will be interesting to see if the July, 2015 report of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation manages to galvanize national attention and stimulate concerted action.

  12. Evidence-based health policy-making, hospital funding and health insurance. (United States)

    Palmer, G R


    An important goal of health services research is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health services through a quantitative and evidence-based approach. There are many limitations to the use of evidence in health policy-making, such as differences in what counts as evidence between the various disciplines involved, and a heavy reliance on theory in social science disciplines. Community and interest group values, ideological positions and political assessments inevitably intrude into government health policy-making. The importance of these factors is accentuated by the current absence of evidence on the impact of policy options for improving the health status of the community, and ensuring that efficiency and equity objectives for health services are also met. Analysis of recent hospital funding and private health insurance initiatives shows the limited role of evidence in the making of these decisions. Decision-making about health policy might be improved in the future by initiatives such as greater exposure of health professionals to educational inputs with a policy focus; increased contribution of doctors to health services research via special postgraduate programs; and establishing a national, multidisciplinary centre for health policy research and evaluation.

  13. Occupational risk of overweight and obesity: an analysis of the Australian Health Survey

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    Merom Dafna


    protect females in professional and associate professional occupations from overweight. For high-risk occupations lifestyle modification could be included in workplace health promotion programs. Further investigation of gender-specific occupational behaviors and additional lifestyle behaviors to those assessed in the current Australian Health Survey, is indicated.

  14. Using Standardized Health Consumer Indicators as a Policy Development Tool

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    Cătălin Ovidiu BABA


    Full Text Available This study describes the relations between the European Union standardized health indicators and the community-based health policy. One of the goals of the European Commission is to provide standardized information on health in order to make it comparable at a trans-national level. Hence, numerous projects aimed at developing health indicators, and improving databases relating to these were supported by the Program of Community Action in the Field of Public Health. In this paper the authors argue that standardized health indicators can provide more than a prototype for a future health monitoring system. Bearing in mind that the production of comparable information on health is based upon four different tasks (the analysis of data needs in a specific area, definition of indicators and quality assurance, reporting and analysis, and promotion of the results the authors assert that all of these tasks are important steps towards the development of community-based health policy. Thus, the main objective of this study is to analyze their utility as premises for policy development.

  15. Brokering health policy: coalitions, parties, and interest group influence. (United States)

    Heaney, Michael T


    Assuming a position as broker between disconnected interests is one way for an interest group to influence the making of federal health policy. This study demonstrates how groups use their connections with political parties and lobbying coalitions to augment their brokerage positions and enhance their influence over policy making. Evidence is drawn from statistical analysis of 263 interviews with health policy elites and a qualitative case study of the debate over the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The results explain, in part, how interest groups play their brokerage roles as dispersed actors in a decentralized system, rather than as central mediators that intervene in a wide range of policy disputes.

  16. From "Public Health" to "Safeguarding Children": British Health Visiting in Policy, Practice and Research (United States)

    Peckover, Sue


    This study examines the location of British health visiting in contemporary policy discourses concerned with public health and safeguarding children. It argues that professional identity and orientation can be understood through health visiting's long history of public health work with children and families, which has included an engagement with…

  17. Australian health professionals' social media (Web 2.0) adoption trends: early 21st century health care delivery and practice promotion. (United States)

    Usher, Wayne T


    This study was concerned with identifying reasons behind patterns of social media (Web 2.0) usage associated with eight of Australia's major health professions. Attention was given to uncovering some of the more significant motivations for the resistance or adoption of Web 2.0 technologies for health care delivery and practice promotion by Australian health professionals. Surveys were developed from a common set of questions with specific variations between professions negotiated with professional health societies. Survey questions were constructed in an attempt to identify Web 2.0 adoption trends. An online survey ( was used to collect data. Initial data preparation involved the development of one integrated SPSS file to incorporate all responses from the eight surveys undertaken. Initial data analysis applied Frequencies and Crosstabs to the identified groups and provided a profile of respondents by key business and demographic characteristics. Of the 935 respondents, 9.5% of participants indicated that they used Web 2.0 for their professional work, 19.1% of them did not use it for work but used it for their personal needs and 71.3% of them did not use Web 2.0 at all. Participants have indicated that the main reason for 'choosing not to adopt' Web 2.0 applications as a way of delivering health care to their patients is due to the health professionals' lack of understanding of Web 2.0 (83.3%), while the main reason for 'choosing to adopt' Web 2.0 applications is the perception of Web 2.0 as a quick and effective method of communication (73.0%). This study has indicated that Australian health professionals 'choose not to adopt' Web 2.0 usage as a way of delivering health care primarily due to 'a lack of understanding as to how social media would be used in health care' (83.3%). This study identifies that Australian health professionals are interacting with Web 2.0 technologies in their private lives but are failing to see how such technologies

  18. Applying Critical Discourse Analysis in Health Policy Research: Case Studies in Regional, Organizational, and Global Health. (United States)

    Evans-Agnew, Robin A; Johnson, Susan; Liu, Fuqin; Boutain, Doris M


    Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a promising methodology for policy research in nursing. As a critical theoretical methodology, researchers use CDA to analyze social practices and language use in policies to examine whether such policies may promote or impede social transformation. Despite the widespread use of CDA in other disciplines such as education and sociology, nursing policy research employing CDA methodology is sparse. To advance CDA use in nursing science, it is important to outline the overall research strategies and describe the steps of CDA in policy research. This article describes, using exemplar case studies, how nursing and health policy researchers can employ CDA as a methodology. Three case studies are provided to discuss the application of CDA research methodologies in nursing policy research: (a) implementation of preconception care policies in the Zhejiang province of China, (b) formation and enactment of statewide asthma policy in Washington state of the United States, and (c) organizational implementation of employee antibullying policies in hospital systems in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Each exemplar details how CDA guided the examination of policy within specific contexts and social practices. The variations of the CDA approaches in the three exemplars demonstrated the flexibilities and potentials for conducting policy research grounded in CDA. CDA provides novel insights for nurse researchers examining health policy formation, enactment, and implementation.

  19. A Third Way for Health Policy?

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    Alexander D. Peden


    Full Text Available Economics has hit the mainstream in the last decade with popular books like Freakonomics and The Undercover Economist reaching the masses. These authors have used their toolkits far beyond the narrow scope of money and finance and answered questions pertaining to anything from social policy to demographics to crime. Their appeal has largely been their ability to explain that small underlying forces can have major impacts, intended or otherwise, on many different areas of society. One recent book following this trend is Nudge, published in 2008 by University of Chicago academics Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. The book has attracted acclaim from both journals and the press, with The Financial Times naming it as one of the best business books for 2008. Nudge coins the term ‘choice architecture’, referring to the manner in which a range of alternatives is presented, which the authors contend is commonly overlooked as an integral part of many decisions we all face during the course of our day-to-day lives (1. When people take the time to judiciously research all alternatives before them, or use their reflective systems in the parlance of the book, they generally make objectively good decisions. Unfortunately, in practice people cannot or do not take the time to do so and instead use their automatic or gut thinking systems, leading to inferior outcomes. The first section of the book then compellingly demonstrates the evidence of its importance in a multitude of situations. There are many lessons to be learned along the way, applicable to both policy-makers and those who wish to critically examine some of their own choices in life. Among these, lessons is the fact that a large percentage of the population will stick with an easy default option without consideration of better alternatives, even when considering a life-altering decision such as retirement planning. There are even examples of people who fail to take advantage of subsidies to

  20. Health-related productivity losses increase when the health condition is co-morbid with psychological distress: findings from a large cross-sectional sample of working Australians

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    Vecchio Nerina


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The health condition of workers is known to impact on productivity outcomes. The relationship between health and productivity is of increasing interest amid the need to increase productivity to meet global financial challenges. Prevalence of psychological distress is also of growing concern in Australia with a two-fold increase in the prevalence of psychological distress in Australia from 1997-2005. Methods We used the cross-sectional data set from the Australian Work Outcomes Research Cost-benefit (WORC study to explore the impacts of health conditions with and without co-morbid psychological distress, compared to those with neither condition, in a sample of approximately 78,000 working Australians. The World Health Organisation Health and Performance Questionnaire was used which provided data on demographic characteristics, health condition and working conditions. Data were analysed using negative binomial logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression models for absenteeism and presenteeism respectively. Results For both absenteeism and presenteeism productivity measures there was a greater risk of productivity loss associated when health conditions were co-morbid with psychological distress. For some conditions this risk was much greater for those with co-morbid psychological distress compared to those without. Conclusions Co-morbid psychological distress demonstrates an increased risk of productivity loss for a range of health conditions. These findings highlight the need for further research to determine whether co-morbid psychological distress potentially exacerbates lost productivity.

  1. Semantically Enriched Data Access Policies in eHealth. (United States)

    Drozdowicz, Michał; Ganzha, Maria; Paprzycki, Marcin


    Internet of Things (IoT) requires novel solutions to facilitate autonomous, though controlled, resource access. Access policies have to facilitate interactions between heterogeneous entities (devices and humans). Here, we focus our attention on access control in eHealth. We propose an approach based on enriching policies, based on well-known and widely-used eXtensible Access Control Markup Language, with semantics. In the paper we describe an implementation of a Policy Information Point integrated with the HL7 Security and Privacy Ontology.

  2. Applying a Health Network approach to translate evidence-informed policy into practice: A review and case study on musculoskeletal health

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    Briggs Andrew M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background While translation of evidence into health policy and practice is recognised as critical to optimising health system performance and health-related outcomes for consumers, mechanisms to effectively achieve these goals are neither well understood, nor widely communicated. Health Networks represent a framework which offers a possible solution to this dilemma, particularly in light of emerging evidence regarding the importance of establishing relationships between stakeholders and identifying clinical leaders to drive evidence integration and translation into policy. This is particularly important for service delivery related to chronic diseases. In Western Australia (WA, disease and population-specific Health Networks are comprised of cross-discipline stakeholders who work collaboratively to develop evidence-informed policies and drive their implementation. Since establishment of the Health Networks in WA, over 50 evidence-informed Models of Care (MoCs have been produced across 18 condition or population-focused Networks. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the Health Network framework in facilitating the translation of evidence into policy and practice with a particular focus on musculoskeletal health. Case presentation A review of activities of the WA Musculoskeletal Health Network was undertaken, focussing on outcomes and the processes used to achieve them in the context of: development of policy, procurement of funding, stakeholder engagement, publications, and projects undertaken by the Network which aligned to implementation of MoCs. The Musculoskeletal Health Network has developed four MoCs which reflect Australian National Health Priority Areas. Establishment of community-based services for consumers with musculoskeletal health conditions is a key recommendation from these MoCs. Through mapping barriers and enablers to policy implementation, working groups, led by local clinical leaders and supported by

  3. Health policy considerations for our sexual minority patients. (United States)

    O'Hanlan, Katherine A


    Homosexuality and transsexuality are still widely viewed by lay individuals as morally negative and deserving of legal proscription. Peer-reviewed data confirm that experiences of legal discrimination are associated with stress-related health problems, reduced utilization of health care, and financial and legal challenges for individuals and families, especially those with children. In the last 3 years, the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Psychoanalytic Association have each reviewed the research on sexual orientation and identity, and each has confirmed that sexual orientation and gender identity do not correlate with mental illness or immorality. They have each endorsed laws that confer equality to sexual minorities, including nondiscrimination in employment, medical insurance coverage, adoption, and access to civil marriage. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), by virtue of its history of advocacy for women's health, is in a position to promote policy and make similar recommendations, recognizing that sexual minority women's health and their family issues are an integral component of taking care of all women. The College should review the policies of America's premier mental health associations and consider including sexual orientation and gender identity in its own nondiscrimination policy, and ACOG should issue a policy statement in support of laws to provide safety from violence and discrimination, equal employment opportunities, equal health insurance coverage, and equal access to civil marriage.

  4. Policy perspectives on public health for Mexican migrants in California. (United States)

    Morin, Stephen F; Carrillo, Héctor; Steward, Wayne T; Maiorana, Andre; Trautwein, Mark; Gómez, Cynthia A


    This analysis focuses on public policies that affect primary HIV prevention and access to HIV care for Mexican migrants residing in California. Policy or structural level interventions, as opposed to behavioral or psychologic interventions, help to shape the environment in which people live. We use a conceptual model for policy analysis in public health to understand better the challenges faced by Mexican migrants. We assess potential policy level interventions that may serve as barriers to or facilitators of primary HIV prevention and care for Mexican migrants. Among potential barriers, we discuss restrictions on public health services based on legal immigration status, limits placed on affirmative action in education, and laws limiting travel and immigration. Under potential facilitators, we discuss community and migrant health centers, language access laws, and the use of community-based groups to provide prevention and treatment outreach. We also report on the limited research evaluating the implications of these public policies and ways to organize for more responsive public policies.

  5. Public health: disconnections between policy, practice and research

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    Kok Gerjo


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Public health includes policy, practice and research but to sufficiently connect academic research, practice and public health policy appears to be difficult. Collaboration between policy, practice and research is imperative to obtaining more solid evidence in public health. However, the three domains do not easily work together because they emanate from three more or less independent 'niches'. Work cycles of each niche have the same successive steps: problem recognition, approach formulation, implementation, and evaluation, but are differently worked out. So far, the research has focused on agenda-setting which belongs to the first step, as expressed by Kingdon, and on the use of academic knowledge in policy makers' decision-making processes which belongs to the fourth step, as elaborated by Weiss. In addition, there are more steps in the policy-making process where exchange is needed. Method A qualitative descriptive research was conducted by literature search. We analyzed the four steps of the policy, practice and research work cycles. Next, we interpreted the main conflicting aspects as disconnections for each step. Results There are some conspicuous differences that strengthen the niche character of each domain and hamper integration and collaboration. Disconnections ranged from formulating priorities in problem statements to power roles, appraisal of evidence, work attitudes, work pace, transparency of goals, evaluation and continuation strategies and public accountability. Creating awareness of these disconnections may result in more compatibility between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Conclusion We provide an analysis that can be used by public health services-related researchers, practitioners and policy makers to be aware of the risk for disconnections. A synthesis of the social, practical and scientific relevance of public health problems should be the starting point for a dialogue that seeks to

  6. Federal funding of health policy in Brazil: trends and challenges

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    Cristiani Vieira Machado


    Full Text Available The article analyzes Federal funding of health policy in Brazil in the 2000s, focusing on the Ministry of Health’s budget implementation. Federal spending on health was less unstable between 2000 and 2002 and has expanded since 2006. However, it fluctuated as a share of both the Gross Domestic Product and Gross National Revenue. Federal intergovernmental transfers increased, exceeding 70% in 2007. Meanwhile, the proportion of Federal investments remained low, varying from 3.4% to 6.3%. The highest absolute amount of spending was on specialized outpatient and hospital care. The decade showed a proportionally greater increase in spending on pharmaceutical care. The growing allocation of Federal funds to States in the North and Northeast, especially for primary care and epidemiological surveillance, failed to offset the sharp regional inequalities in per capita Federal spending. The main characteristics of health funding limit Federal health policy governance and pose several challenges for the Brazilian Unified National Health System.

  7. Development of an Internet Security Policy for health care establishments. (United States)

    Ilioudis, C; Pangalos, G


    The Internet provides unprecedented opportunities for interaction and data sharing among health care providers, patients and researchers. However, the advantages provided by the Internet come with a significantly greater element of risk to the confidentiality and integrity of information. This paper defines the basic security requirements that must be addressed in order to use the Internet to safely transmit patient and/or other sensitive Health Care information. It describes a suitable Internet Security Policy for Health Care Establishments and provides the set of technical measures that are needed for its implementation. The proposed security policy and technical approaches have been based on an extensive study of the related recommendations from the security and standard groups both in EU amid USA and our related work and experience. The results have been utilized in the framework of the Intranet Health Clinic project, where the use of the Internet for the transmission of sensitive Health Care information is of vital importance.

  8. Social Determinants and Disparities in Health: Their Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ultimate Triumph(?) in Health Policy. (United States)

    House, James S


    David Mechanic has been a principal founder of modern sociological and social science approaches to health, especially in relation to health policy. These approaches have since the 1950s and 1960s resurrected ideas that had currency in the mid-nineteenth century but seemed crucified, dead, and buried by the rise of modern biomedicine from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. Problems and lacunae in purely biomedical approaches to health in the later twentieth century, along with developments of new biopsychosocial approaches to health, have spawned a return toward ideas of Rudolf Virchow and mid-nineteenth-century social medicine that social determinants and disparities are major drivers of population health. Since individual health and population health constitute the major determinants of health care utilization and expenditures, social determinants and disparities in health are arguably the foundation of a new "demand-side" health policy that can resolve America's paradoxical health policy crisis of spending increasingly more than any nation on health care and insurance yet achieving increasingly worsening health outcomes relative to virtually all developed countries and some developing ones as well, something that current "supply-side" health policy, including Obamacare, cannot do, important as it is for expanding access to health insurance and care.

  9. Building bridges between research, policy and practice in public health. (United States)

    Bosi, Maria Lúcia Magalhães; Gastaldo, Denise


    The article examines core elements of the national and international discussion on the required integration between research, policy and practice in public health, and provides input for this integration. Some conceptual barriers and other barriers at different spheres that interfere with the desired integration are discussed. Evidence has shown that research, policy and practice in health are not continuous, homogenous areas but rather involve different levels and actors. Their processes develop in different grounds supported by a variety of actions, paradigms and interests that are not conflict-free. Thus, this integration is a major challenge given its complexity and multiplicity of objective and subjective aspects.

  10. [The health policy of the Paul Verlaine University-Metz]. (United States)

    Vaillant, Sylvie


    Students represent a population group that is for the most part in good health. However, students also face specific stresses and constraints that are likely to make it difficult for them to adapt to student life, and these adjustments can lead to unhealthy behaviours. Within Universities, the implementation of a coherent health policy must aim to positively impact on the development of both the professional and daily lives of young adults. The University of Paul Verlaine in Metz (France) has taken this perspective on board, and under the leadership of its social health department, the whole University has adopted a comprehensive policy for student well-being under the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter. This approach to well-being as a public policy strategy, through the Healthy Life policy, is central to all decisions taken at the Metz University and throughout the Regional Centre for Scholars and University Students (CROUS) in Lorraine. A number of facilities dedicated to students' health and well-being have been created in this supporting environment, and the engagement of students in the Healthy Life policy (some students 'relay' the information, others are 'peer educators') show that they are involved in the community life of the University. The introduction of teaching modules by the University's health department has given access to training to increase students' awareness of the concept of a holistic approach to health. Finally students have had improved access to healthcare services thanks to an increase in the number of activities provided by the student health department focusing on common problems experienced by university students.

  11. Public health genomics Relevance of genomics for individual health information management, health policy development and effective health services.

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    Angela Brand


    Full Text Available Healthcare delivery systems are facing fundamental challenges. New ways of organising theses systems based on the different needs of stakeholders’ are required to meet these challenges. While medicine is currently undergoing remarkable developments from its morphological and phenotype orientation to a molecular and genotype orientation, promoting the importance of prognosis and prediction, the discussion about the relevance of genome-based information and technologies for the health care system as a whole and especially for public health is still in its infancy. The following article discusses the relevance of genome-based information and technologies for individual health information management, health policy development and effective health services.

  12. Global health diplomacy: barriers to inserting health into Canadian foreign policy. (United States)

    Runnels, Vivien; Labonté, Ronald; Ruckert, Arne


    Health opportunities and risks have become increasingly global in both cause and consequence. Governments have been slow to recognise the global dimensions of health, although this is beginning to change. A new concept - global health diplomacy (GHD) - has evolved to describe how health is now being positioned within national foreign policies and entering into regional or multilateral negotiations. Traditionally, health negotiations have been seen as 'low politics' in international affairs: however, attention is now being given to understanding better how health can increase its prominence in foreign policy priorities and multilateral forums. We sought to identify how these efforts were manifested in Canada, with a focus on current barriers to inserting health in foreign policy. We conducted individual interviews with Canadian informants who were well placed through their diplomatic experience and knowledge to address this issue. Barriers identified by the respondents included a lack of content expertise (scientific and technical understanding of health and its practice), insufficient diplomatic expertise (the practice and art of diplomacy, including legal and technical expertise), the limited ways in which health has become framed as a foreign policy issue, funding limitations and cuts for global health, and lack of cross-sectoral policy coordination and coherence, given the important role that non-health foreign policy interests (notably in trade and investment liberalisation) can play in shaping global health outcomes. We conclude with some reflections on how regime change and domestic government ideology can also function as a barrier to GHD, and what this implies for retaining or expanding the placement of health in foreign policy.

  13. Health Policy and Management: in praise of political science. Comment on "On Health Policy and Management (HPAM): mind the theory-policy-practice gap". (United States)

    Hunter, David J


    Health systems have entered a third era embracing whole systems thinking and posing complex policy and management challenges. Understanding how such systems work and agreeing what needs to be put in place to enable them to undergo effective and sustainable change are more pressing issues than ever for policy-makers. The theory-policy-practice-gap and its four dimensions, as articulated by Chinitz and Rodwin, is acknowledged. It is suggested that insights derived from political science can both enrich our understanding of the gap and suggest what changes are needed to tackle the complex challenges facing health systems.

  14. Health Policy and Management: In Praise of Political Science; Comment on “On Health Policy and Management (HPAM: Mind the Theory-Policy Practice Gap”

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    David J Hunter


    Full Text Available Health systems have entered a third era embracing whole systems thinking and posing complex policy and management challenges. Understanding how such systems work and agreeing what needs to be put in place to enable them to undergo effective and sustainable change are more pressing issues than ever for policy-makers. The theory-policy-practice-gap and its four dimensions, as articulated by Chinitz and Rodwin, is acknowledged. It is suggested that insights derived from political science can both enrich our understanding of the gap and suggest what changes are needed to tackle the complex challenges facing health systems.

  15. Playing the triangle: Cosmopolitanism, Cultural Capital and Social Capital as intersecting scholarly discourses about social inclusion and marginalisation in Australian public policy debates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Jakubowicz


    Full Text Available A constant challenge for scholarly research relates to its impact on and integration into public policy. Where the policy issues are ‘wicked’, as are those concerning intercultural relations and social cohesion, social science research often becomes implicated in real-world problem solving which occurs within everyday political manoeuvring. This paper takes three empirical problems, and three conceptual approaches, and explores what happens when they are pressed together. In particular the paper explores how together they can enhance the social value of the concept of ‘social inclusion’. Cosmopolitanism has a myriad of possible definitions, but is perhaps best addressed in anthropological fashion, by trying to capture the space formed by its presumptive antagonists: nationalism, prejudice, localism, parochialism, and ‘rootedness’ (as in ‘rootless cosmopolitan’. Cultural capital, as developed by Bourdieu, concerns a disposition of mind and body that empowers members of those particular groups that have the resource in socially–approved abundance to operate the cultural apparatus of a society and therefore the power system, to their mutual and individual benefit. Social capital, removed of the vestiges of Marxist class analysis that lurk in Bourdieu’s explorations of education and social power, harks back to another sociological forebear. Emile Durkheim, whose vision of modernity as a constantly incipient catastrophe that could only be held off by a reinvigoration of collective consciousness, has influenced through the Talcott Parsons school of social systemics Robert Putnam (and Australian politician and academic Andrew Leigh’s focus on ‘bonding’ and ‘bridging’ social capital. Having examined these concepts the paper applies them sequentially to three cases of state/civil society relations, through the February 2011 People of Australia multiculturalism policy, the place of young Muslims in Australian society, and the

  16. Health financing for universal coverage and health system performance: concepts and implications for policy. (United States)

    Kutzin, Joseph


    Unless the concept is clearly understood, "universal coverage" (or universal health coverage, UHC) can be used to justify practically any health financing reform or scheme. This paper unpacks the definition of health financing for universal coverage as used in the World Health Organization's World health report 2010 to show how UHC embodies specific health system goals and intermediate objectives and, broadly, how health financing reforms can influence these. All countries seek to improve equity in the use of health services, service quality and financial protection for their populations. Hence, the pursuit of UHC is relevant to every country. Health financing policy is an integral part of efforts to move towards UHC, but for health financing policy to be aligned with the pursuit of UHC, health system reforms need to be aimed explicitly at improving coverage and the intermediate objectives linked to it, namely, efficiency, equity in health resource distribution and transparency and accountability. The unit of analysis for goals and objectives must be the population and health system as a whole. What matters is not how a particular financing scheme affects its individual members, but rather, how it influences progress towards UHC at the population level. Concern only with specific schemes is incompatible with a universal coverage approach and may even undermine UHC, particularly in terms of equity. Conversely, if a scheme is fully oriented towards system-level goals and objectives, it can further progress towards UHC. Policy and policy analysis need to shift from the scheme to the system level.

  17. [Health policies and politicized health? An analysis of sexual and reproductive health policies in Peru from the perspective of medical ethics, quality of care, and human rights]. (United States)

    Miranda, J Jaime; Yamin, Alicia Ely


    Health professionals view medical ethics as a discipline that provides the basis for more adequate patient care. In recent years the concepts of quality of care and human rights - with their attending discourses - have joined the concept of medical ethics among the paradigms to consider in care for humans both at the individual and health policy levels. The current study seeks to analyze such paradigms, based on a case study of sexual and reproductive health policies in Peru in the last 10 years.

  18. Waterpipe tobacco smoking impact on public health: implications for policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martinasek MP


    Full Text Available Mary P Martinasek,1 Linda M Gibson-Young,2 Janiece N Davis,3 Robert J McDermott41Public Health Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, University of Tampa, Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL, 2College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Texas A&M University: Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, 3Department of Health – Palm Beach County, West Palm beach, FL, 4Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USABackground: Given the increasing evidence of its negative health effects, including contributions to both infectious and chronic diseases, waterpipe tobacco smoking raises public health concerns beyond even those presented by traditional smoking. Methods: Identification of Clean Indoor Air Acts (CIAAs from each of the 50 United States and District of Columbia were retrieved and examined for inclusion of regulatory measures where waterpipe tobacco smoking is concerned. Several instances of exemption to current CIAAs policies were identified. The cumulative policy lens is presented in this study. Results: States vary in their inclusion of explicit wording regarding CIAAs to the point where waterpipe tobacco smoking, unlike traditional smoking products, is excluded from some legislation, thereby limiting authorities’ ability to carry out enforcement. Conclusion: Consistent, comprehensive, and unambiguous legislative language is necessary to prevent establishments where waterpipe tobacco smoking occurs from skirting legislation and other forms of regulatory control. Stricter laws are needed due to the increasing negative health impact on both the smoker and the bystander. Actions at both the federal and state levels may be needed to control health risks, particularly among youth and young adult populations.Keywords: health policy, waterpipe tobacco, hookah smoking, tobacco regulation

  19. Personal responsibility within health policy: unethical and ineffective. (United States)

    Friesen, Phoebe


    This paper argues against incorporating assessments of individual responsibility into healthcare policies by expanding an existing argument and offering a rebuttal to an argument in favour of such policies. First, it is argued that what primarily underlies discussions surrounding personal responsibility and healthcare is not causal responsibility, moral responsibility or culpability, as one might expect, but biases towards particular highly stigmatised behaviours. A challenge is posed for proponents of taking personal responsibility into account within health policy to either expand the debate to also include socially accepted behaviours or to provide an alternative explanation of the narrowly focused discussion. Second, a critical response is offered to arguments that claim that policies based on personal responsibility would lead to several positive outcomes including healthy behaviour change, better health outcomes and decreases in healthcare spending. It is argued that using individual responsibility as a basis for resource allocation in healthcare is unlikely to motivate positive behaviour changes, and is likely to increase inequality which may lead to worse health outcomes overall. Finally, the case of West Virginia's Medicaid reform is examined, which raises a worry that policies focused on personal responsibility have the potential to lead to increases in medical spending overall.

  20. Influence of macrosocial policies on women's health and gender inequalities in health. (United States)

    Borrell, Carme; Palència, Laia; Muntaner, Carles; Urquía, Marcelo; Malmusi, Davide; O'Campo, Patricia


    Gender inequalities in health have been widely described, but few studies have examined the upstream sources of these inequalities in health. The objectives of this review are 1) to identify empirical papers that assessed the effect of gender equality policies on gender inequalities in health or on women's health by using between-country (or administrative units within a country) comparisons and 2) to provide an example of published evidence on the effects of a specific policy (parental leave) on women's health. We conducted a literature search covering the period from 1970 to 2012, using several bibliographical databases. We assessed 1,238 abstracts and selected 19 papers that considered gender equality policies, compared several countries or different states in 1 country, and analyzed at least 1 health outcome among women or compared between genders. To illustrate specific policy effects, we also selected articles that assessed associations between parental leave and women's health. Our review partially supports the hypothesis that Nordic social democratic welfare regimes and dual-earner family models best promote women's health. Meanwhile, enforcement of reproductive policies, mainly studied across US states, is associated with better mental health outcomes, although less with other outcomes. Longer paid maternity leave was also generally associated with better mental health and longer duration of breastfeeding.

  1. Nursing leadership and health policy: a dialogue with nurse leaders. (United States)

    Clarke, Pamela N; Swider, Susan; Bigley, Mary Beth


    National public health policy influencing the entire population is particularly exciting when nurses serve as key players informing the process. The leaders in this dialogue participated in the process by sharing their disciplinary knowledge and experience. They were selected to work with bureaucrats to design healthcare for the future. This dialogue among two nurse leaders demonstrates a path to top leadership in the United States. Swider and Bigley here share their stories of how they moved beyond clinical practice to involvement in their communities and the nation. Through public health and policy initiatives, both nurse leaders have helped shape healthcare to provide better patient-centered care at all levels. This dialogue not only shares their successes, but also sets the stage for others in nursing to use policy to transform healthcare for the future.

  2. Policy interpretation network on children's health and environment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hazel, P.J. van den; Zuurbier, M.; Bistrup, M.L.


    Aim: The main objective of PINCHE is to provide policy recommendations aiming at protecting children's health and environment based on completed scientific research. The project focused on four themes: indoor and outdoor air pollutants, carcinogens, neurotoxicants, and noise. The data were evaluated

  3. Locating regional health policy: Institutions, politics, and practices (United States)

    Riggirozzi, Pia; Yeates, Nicola


    Poverty reduction and health became central in the agendas of Southern regional organisations in the last two decades. Yet, little is known about how these organisations address poverty, inclusion and social inequality, and how Southern regional formations are engaging in power constellations, institutions, processes, interests and ideological positions within different spheres of governance. This article reviews academic literatures spanning global social policy, regional studies and diplomacy studies, and the state of knowledge and understanding of the ‘place’ of regional actors in health governance as a global political practice therein. It identifies theoretical and thematic points of connection between disparate literatures and how these can be bridged through research focusing on the social policies of regional organisations and regional integration processes. This framework hence locates the contributions of each of the research articles of this Special Issue of Global Social Policy on the regional dimension of health policy and diplomacy in relation to Southern Africa and South America. It also highlights the ways in which the articles bring new evidence about how social relations of welfare are being (re)made over larger scales and how regional actors may initiate new norms to improve health rights in international arenas engaging in new forms of ‘regional’ diplomacy. PMID:26635495

  4. Measurement of health equity as a driver for impacting policies. (United States)

    Rashad, Hoda; Khadr, Zeinab


    This paper proposes measurement tracks of health equity (HE) and presents practical illustrations to influence, inform and guide the uptake of equity-sensitive policies. It discusses the basic requirements that allow the effective use of the proposed measurement tracks. Egypt is used as a demonstration of this practice. The paper differentiates between the policy needs of two groups of countries. The first set of measurement tracks are specifically tailored to countries at the early stages of considering health equity, requiring support in placing HE on the policy agenda. Key messages for this group of countries are that the policy influence of measurement can be strengthened through the implementation of four self-reinforcing tracks that recognize the need to effectively use the available current databases prior to engaging in new data collection, emphasize the importance of a social justice reframing of the documented health inequities, present health inequity facts in simple visual messages and move beyond the why to what needs to be done and how. The tracks also recognizes that placing an issue on the policy agenda is a complex matter requiring reinforcement from many actors and navigation among competing forces and policy circles. For the second group of countries the paper discusses the monitoring framework. The key messages include the importance of moving toward a more comprehensive system that sustains the monitoring system which is embedded within affective participatory accountability mechanisms. The paper discusses the basic requirements and the institutional, financial, technical and human capacity-building considerations for implementing the proposed measurement tracks.

  5. Health-Education Policy Interface: The Implementation of the Eat Well Be Active Policies in Schools (United States)

    Leow, Anthony Chee Siong; Macdonald, Doune; Hay, Peter; McCuaig, Louise


    While grappling with their traditional core business of imbuing students with official curricular knowledge, schools have simultaneously, increasing demands to take on health promotion responsibilities. This paper examines the mandated implementation of the Eat Well Be Active (EWBA) Action Plan and its subsidiary "Smart" policies in…

  6. Risk policies and risk perceptions: a comparative study of environmental health risk policy and perception in six European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bröer, C.; Moerman, G.; Spruijt, P.; van Poll, R.


    This paper explores the influence that health risk policies have on the citizens’ perceptions of those health risks. Previously, detailed mixed methods research revealed that noise annoyance policies shaped noise perception. This idea is now applied to nine different environmental health risks in si

  7. Uptake of health monitoring and disease self-management in Australian adults with neurofibromatosis type 1: strategies to improve care. (United States)

    Crawford, H A; Barton, B; Wilson, M J; Berman, Y; McKelvey-Martin, V J; Morrison, P J; North, K N


    Lifelong health monitoring is recommended in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) because of the progressive and unpredictable range of disabling and potentially life-threatening symptoms that arise. In Australia, strategies for NF1 health surveillance are less well developed for adults than they are for children, resulting in inequalities between pediatric and adult care. The aims of this study were to determine the uptake of health monitoring and capacity of adults with NF1 to self-manage their health. Australian adults with NF1 (n = 94, 18-40 years) participated in a semi-structured interview. Almost half reported no regular health monitoring. Thematic analysis of interviews identified four main themes as to why: (i) did not know where to seek care, (ii) unaware of the need for regular monitoring, (iii) futility of health monitoring as nothing can be done for NF1, and (iv) feeling healthy, therefore monitoring unnecessary. Overall, there were low levels of patient activation, indicating that adults with NF1 lacked knowledge and confidence to manage their health and health care. Findings are discussed in the context of service provision for adults with NF1 in New South Wales, Australia.

  8. Health-related expenditure patterns in selected migrant groups: data from the Australian Household Expenditure Survey, 1984. (United States)

    Powles, J; Hage, B; Cosgrove, M


    Australians born in Italy, Greece and East and South East Asia all have substantially lower mortality levels than those born in Australia, the British Isles or Holland and Germany. Using data from the 1984 Household Expenditure Survey, the health-related consumption expenditure of these six groups was compared (excluding expenditure on medical care). The heterogeneity of household types was largely removed by confining attention to married couple households with dependent children. The two groups with mortality levels comparable to those of the Australian-born (British Isles and Holland/Germany) also shared a similar pattern of consumption expenditures. There was a tendency (not always fully consistent), for the low mortality groups to spend more on fruits, vegetables, cereal products and fish and substantially less on alcohol. Patterns that might be 'unexpected' in low mortality groups are the (presumptively) substantial expenditures on tobacco among males (especially in the Greek group) and the substantial expenditures on red meat in all three groups. Analysis of available data sets such as this can provide useful descriptions of the distribution of health-influencing behaviour in our population.

  9. Characterizing the concentration of Cryptosporidium in Australian surface waters for setting health-based targets for drinking water treatment. (United States)

    Petterson, S; Roser, D; Deere, D


    It is proposed that the next revision of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines will include 'health-based targets', where the required level of potable water treatment quantitatively relates to the magnitude of source water pathogen concentrations. To quantify likely Cryptosporidium concentrations in southern Australian surface source waters, the databases for 25 metropolitan water supplies with good historical records, representing a range of catchment sizes, land use and climatic regions were mined. The distributions and uncertainty intervals for Cryptosporidium concentrations were characterized for each site. Then, treatment targets were quantified applying the framework recommended in the World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality 2011. Based on total oocyst concentrations, and not factoring in genotype or physiological state information as it relates to infectivity for humans, the best estimates of the required level of treatment, expressed as log10 reduction values, ranged among the study sites from 1.4 to 6.1 log10. Challenges associated with relying on historical monitoring data for defining drinking water treatment requirements were identified. In addition, the importance of quantitative microbial risk assessment input assumptions on the quantified treatment targets was investigated, highlighting the need for selection of locally appropriate values.

  10. Education resources in remote Australian Indigenous community dog health programs: a comparison of community and extra-community-produced resources. (United States)

    Constable, Sophie Elizabeth; Dixon, Roselyn May; Dixon, Robert John


    Commercial dog health programs in Australian Indigenous communities are a relatively recent occurrence. Health promotion for these programs is an even more recent development, and lacks data on effective practices. This paper analyses 38 resources created by veterinary-community partnerships in Indigenous communities, to 71 resources available through local veterinary service providers. On average, community-produced resources used significantly more of the resource area as image, more imagery as communicative rather than decorative images, larger fonts and smaller segments of text and used images of people with a range of skin tones. As well as informal registers of Standard Australian English, community-produced resources used Aboriginal English and/or Creole languages in their text, while extra-community (EC)-produced resources did not. The text of EC resources had Flesh-Kincaid reading grade levels that excluded a large proportion of community recipients. Also, they did not cover some topics of importance in communities, used academic, formal and technical language, and did not depict people of a representative range of skin tones. As such, community-produced resources were more relevant to the unique situations in remote communities, while EC resources were often inappropriate and in some cases could even distance recipients by using inappropriate language, formats and imagery.

  11. Paradigmatic obstacles to improving the health of populations: implications for health policy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McKinlay John B.


    Full Text Available While there are promising developments in public health, most interventions (both at the individual and community levels remain focused on "downstream" tertiary treatments or one-on-one interventions. These efforts have their origins in the biomedical paradigm and risk factor epidemiology and the behavioral science research methods that serve as their handmaidens. This paper argues for a more appropriate balance of "downstream" efforts with a more appropriate whole population public health approach to health policy -what may be termed a social policy approach to healthy lifestyles rather than the current lifestyle approach to health policy. New, more appropriate research methods must be developed and applied to match these emerging levels of whole population intervention. We must avoid any disjunction between new upstream policy level interventions and the methods used to measure their effect -appropriate unto the intervention level must be the evaluation method thereof.

  12. 42 CFR 100.2 - Average cost of a health insurance policy. (United States)


    ... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Average cost of a health insurance policy. 100.2... VACCINE INJURY COMPENSATION § 100.2 Average cost of a health insurance policy. For purposes of determining..., less certain deductions. One of the deductions is the average cost of a health insurance policy,...

  13. Beyond leadership: political strategies for coordination in health policies. (United States)

    Greer, Scott L; Lillvis, Denise F


    Health in All Policies (HiAP) promises to improve population health by harnessing the energies and activities of various sectors. Nevertheless, it faces well-documented bureaucratic obstacles and appears to require intersectoral governance if it is to be established. The basic problems of establishing intersectoral governance for HiAP are known to public administration and political science. On reading that literature, we find that the difficulty of establishing intersectoral governance for HiAP breaks down into two kinds of problems: that of establishing coordinated actions at all (coordination); and ensuring that they endure in changed political circumstances (durability). We further find that policymakers' solutions fall into three categories: visible ones of political will (e.g., plans and targets); bureaucratic changes such as the introduction of Health Impact Assessment or reorganization; and indirect methods such as data publication and support from outside groups to put pressure on the government. It can seem that Health in All Policies, like much of public health, depends on effective and committed policymakers but is vulnerable to changing political winds. The three kinds of strategies suggest how policymakers can, and do, create intersectoral governance that functions and persists, expanding the range of effective policy recommendations.

  14. Integrated mental health services in England: a policy paradox

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth England


    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of health care policy on the development of integrated mental health services in England. Data sources: Drawing largely from a narrative review of the literature on adult mental health services published between January 1997 and February 2003 undertaken by the authors, we discuss three case studies of integrated care within primary care, secondary care and across the primary/secondary interface for people with serious mental illness. Conclusion: We suggest that while the central thrust of a raft of recent Government policies in England has been towards integration of different parts of the health care system, policy waterfalls and implementation failures, the adoption of ideas before they have been thoroughly tried and tested, a lack of clarity over roles and responsibilities and poor communication have led to an integration rhetoric/reality gap in practice. This has particular implications for people with serious mental health problems. Discussion: We conclude with suggestions for strategies that may facilitate more integrated working.

  15. Social responsibility of nursing in policies of health humanization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes Trentini


    Full Text Available Background: new conceptions of the world have focused on restructuring health policies and designing a new healthcare model.Objective: to reflect on the humanization policy as part of health promotion with emphasis on nursing care.Content: The article mentions paradigm changes and refers to the biomedical model and the new condition of diversity in models of care practices for health promotion and co-responsibility of nursing in generating and sustaining the humanization of nursing care. It rethinks strategies and commitment to co-responsibility by nursing staff in promoting population health. Participation of nurses in promoting humanization care has shown signs of development in its acceptance, bonding healthcare service professionals and its users. An interview-conversation as a strategy for collecting information is highlighted, whether to care or to research based on a humanization framework.Conclusions: Sensitive listening, modality of dialogue, and the conversational interview method are relationship techniques and means to acquire skills for policy development in humanizing care in health promotion.

  16. Policy Perspectives on Migration of Romanian Health Personnel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina CEHAN


    Full Text Available The phenomenon of international migration of healthcare professionals has increased in the last decade and, although it is not a reason for the world crisis of labour in area of healthcare in some countries, it is indeed a major element of human resource shortages. Romania is an example for a country where the significant scale of emigration of healthcare professionals has severely added to the crisis of the health system. So far, Romania has failed to formulate a comprehensive strategy to address the existing shortage of medical personnel and to retain medical professionals trained in the country. The analysis has shown that there is a need to improve the current policies to guarantee the access to healthcare services to everyone.This paper underlines the necessity of improving the Romanian existing policies in health system to address the problem of migration of health personnel, as it is fundamental for the functioning of the whole health system and also proposes some recommendations for future health policies.

  17. Healthy kids: Making school health policy a participatory learning process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stjernqvist, Nanna Wurr; Bruselius-Jensen, Maria; Høstgaard Bonde, Ane

    . Methods The presented model works at two levels - the classroom and the organizational level – and is based on four phases, namely: Investigation – Vision – Action – Change, viewed as an iterative process. Pupil perspectives and learning is the basis in all four phases based on a set of health education......Introduction: Research has suggested various school health policy models aimed at promoting children’s health through policy processes. The models present some overall phases in the process, but also different barriers calling for more in-depth qualitative studies (1). With education as the school...... research process, combined with interviews and participatory observation with teachers, school nurses, and the pupils, with the purpose of exploring the applicability and value of the model. Hereafter the model will be tested at four interventions schools based on qualitative studies. Results Pupils...

  18. Crisis, neoliberal health policy, and political processes in Mexico. (United States)

    Laurell, A C


    The Mexican case represents an orthodox neoliberal health policy in the context of the structural adjustment adopted by the Mexican government in 1983. The social costs of this strategy are very high, including an increase in unemployment, wage depression, regressive redistribution of wealth, and profound changes in social policies. These transformations are reflected in the health sector, where the four main axes of neoliberal policy--expenditure restrictions, targeting, decentralization, and privatization--have been implemented. This represents a change in social policy from a model based on citizens' social rights and the state's obligation to guarantee them, to a model characterized by selective public charity. This strategy has been imposed on society as a result of the Mexican corporative political regime based on a state party system. Since 1985, however, there has been a growing process of independent organization of civil society. This led in the presidential elections of 1988 to the defeat of the candidate of the governing party by the candidate of a popular-democratic opposition front. Although the government party imposed its candidate through electoral fraud, social mobilization against neoliberal policies continues in the midst of an important political crisis that can only be resolved by profound democratization of Mexican society.

  19. Financing national policy on oral health in Brazil in the context of the Unified Health System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Alfredo Pucca Junior


    Full Text Available This article discusses the model of oral health care implemented in the Unified Health System of Brazil in the last decade. This model was conceived as a sub-sector policy that, over the years, has sought to improve the quality of life of the Brazilian population. Through a chronological line, the study presents the National Policy on Oral Health as a counter-hegemonic patient care model for the dentistry practices existing in the country before this policy was implemented. The reorganization of the levels of oral health care, the creation of reference facilities for secondary and tertiary care, through Centers of Dental Specialties and Regional Dental Prosthesis Laboratories, and the differential funding and decentralized management of financial resources were able to expand the actions of oral health for more than 90 million inhabitants. The evolution shown after the deployment of the National Oral Health Policy, as of 2004, demonstrates the greater integration of oral health care under the Unified Health System and provides feedback information to help this policy to continue to be prioritized by the Federal Government and receive more support from the state and local levels in the coming years.

  20. Democracy - the real 'ghost' in the machine of global health policy: Comment on "A ghost in the machine? politics in global health policy". (United States)

    Harmer, Andrew


    Politics is not the ghost in the machine of global health policy. Conceptually, it makes little sense to argue otherwise, while history is replete with examples of individuals and movements engaging politically in global health policy. Were one looking for ghosts, a more likely candidate would be democracy, which is currently under attack by a new global health technocracy. Civil society movements offer an opportunity to breathe life into a vital, but dying, political component of global health policy.

  1. Trends in public health policies addressing violence against women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kattia Rojas Loría


    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE To analyze the content of policies and action plans within the public healthcare system that addresses the issue of violence against women. METHODS A descriptive and comparative study was conducted on the health policies and plans in Catalonia and Costa Rica from 2005 to 2011. It uses a qualitative methodology with documentary analysis. It is classified by topics that describe and interpret the contents. We considered dimensions, such as principles, strategies, concepts concerning violence against women, health trends, and evaluations. RESULTS Thirteen public policy documents were analyzed. In both countries’ contexts, we have provided an overview of violence against women as a problem whose roots are in gender inequality. The strategies of gender policies that address violence against women are cultural exchange and institutional action within the public healthcare system. The actions of the healthcare sector are expanded into specific plans. The priorities and specificity of actions in healthcare plans were the distinguishing features between the two countries. CONCLUSIONS The common features of the healthcare plans in both the counties include violence against women, use of protocols, detection tasks, care and recovery for women, and professional self-care. Catalonia does not consider healthcare actions with aggressors. Costa Rica has a lower specificity in conceptualization and protocol patterns, as well as a lack of updates concerning health standards in Catalonia.

  2. Human rights and correctional health policy: a view from Europe. (United States)

    Rogan, Mary


    Purpose Correctional healthcare should promote the protection of human rights. The purpose of this paper is to bring a discussion of human rights into debates on how such policy should be best organized. Design/methodology/approach The paper achieves its aim by providing an analysis of European prison law and policy in the area of prison health, through assessing decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as policies created by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. Findings The paper describes the position of the European Court of Human Rights on the topics of access to healthcare, ill health and release from prison, mental illness in prison, and the duty to provide rehabilitative programming for those seeking to reduce their level of "risk." It also argues that human rights law can be a source of practical reform, and that legal frameworks have much to offer healthcare leaders seeking to uphold the dignity of those in their care. Originality/value This paper will provide a rare example of the engagement of human rights law with correctional health policy. It provides practical recommendations arising out of an analysis of European human rights law in the area of prisons.

  3. Scandals in health-care: their impact on health policy and nursing. (United States)

    Hutchison, Jacqueline S


    Through an analysis of several high-profile scandals in health-care in the UK, this article discusses the nature of scandal and its impact on policy reform. The nursing profession is compared to social work and medicine, which have also undergone considerable examination and change as a result of scandals. The author draws on reports from public inquiries from 1945 to 2013 to form the basis of the discussion about policy responses following scandals in health-care. In each case, the nature of the scandal, the public and government discourses generated by events and the policy response to those failings are explored. These scandals are compared to the recent scandal at Mid Staffordshire Hospital. Conclusions are drawn about the impact of these events on the future of the profession and on health policy directions. Recent events have raised public anxieties about caring practices in nursing. Health policy reform driven by scandal may obscure the effect of under resourcing in health services and poses a very real threat to the continued support for state-run services. Understanding the socially constructed nature of scandal enables the nurse to develop a greater critical awareness of policy contexts in order that they can influence health service reform.

  4. Information Flow and Health Policy Literacy: The Role of the Media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophya Yumakulov


    Full Text Available People increasingly can and want to obtain and generate health information themselves. With the increasing do-it-yourself sentiment comes also the desire to be more involved in one’s health care decisions. Patient driven health-care and health research models are emerging; terms such as participatory medicine and quantified-self are visible increasingly. Given the health consumer’s desire to be more involved in health data generation and health care decision making processes the authors submit that it is important to be health policy literate, to understanding how health policies are developed, what themes are discussed among health policy researchers and policy makers, to understand how ones demands would be discussed within health policy discourses. The public increasingly obtains their knowledge through the internet by searching web browsers for keywords. Question is whether the “health consumer” to come has knowledge of key terms defining key health policy discourses which would enable them to perform targeted searches for health policy literature relevant to their situation. The authors found that key health policy terms are virtually absent from printed and online news media which begs the question how the “health consumer” might learn about key health policy terms needed for web based searches that would allow the “health consumer” to access health policy discourses relevant to them.

  5. [Intensify the development of public policy has the health: approaches strategic for the authorities of health public]. (United States)

    Guyon, Ak'ingabe


    Health promotion is one of the essential functions of public health authorities. The first pillar of health promotion is the elaboration of healthy public policy. Using the theoretical foundations of the healthy public policy concept, it can be demonstrated that public health authorities are able to develop, at their own scale, healthy public policies. Three strategic approaches are proposed in order to support public health authorities in strengthening their healthy public policy actions. First, better understand the tools or policy instruments (economic, regulation, information and persuasion) at their disposal. Second, take stock of the many types of legitimacy (theoretical, legislative, administrative and scientific) available to public health authorities as they develop healthy public policy. Third, consider the potential scientific roles that can be adopted while using the various policy instruments. These approaches can represent a pragmatic and structuring support for public health authorities wanting to strengthen their healthy public policy actions.

  6. Hardiness as a predictor of mental health and well-being of Australian army reservists on and after stability operations. (United States)

    Orme, Geoffrey J; Kehoe, E James


    This study tested whether cognitive hardiness moderates the adverse effects of deployment-related stressors on health and well-being of soldiers on short-tour (4-7 months), peacekeeping operations. Australian Army reservists (N = 448) were surveyed at the start, end, and up to 24 months after serving as peacekeepers in Timor-Leste or the Solomon Islands. They retained sound mental health throughout (Kessler 10, Post-Traumatic Checklist-Civilian, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 42). Ratings of either traumatic or nontraumatic stress were low. Despite range restrictions, scores on the Cognitive Hardiness Scale moderated the relationship between deployment stressors and a composite measure of psychological distress. Scatterplots revealed an asymmetric pattern for hardiness scores and measures of psychological distress. When hardiness scores were low, psychological distress scores were widely dispersed. However, when hardiness scores were higher, psychological distress scores became concentrated at a uniformly low level.

  7. Decolonising Australian Psychology: Discourses, Strategies, and Practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pat Dudgeon


    Full Text Available Colonisation in Australia has had a devastating and lasting impact on the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia (herein referred to as Indigenous Australians. This paper discusses the role of psychology in Australia and the negative impact that certain disciplinary theories and practices have had on Indigenous Australians. The impact has been further exacerbated by the failure of mainstream policy makers and mental health practitioners to recognise the key, distinctive cultural and social determinants that contribute to Aboriginal health and wellbeing. There is a growing response by Aboriginal psychologists, critical social theorists, and their allies to decolonise psychological theory and practice to redress this situation. This paper outlines key decolonising strategies that have been effective in interrupting those aspects of psychology that are inimical to Aboriginal wellbeing.

  8. The health-promoting nurse as a health policy career expert and entrepreneur. (United States)

    Whitehead, Dean


    A plethora of literature suggests that many nurses struggle in their attempts to develop a political role that allows them to directly influence and implement health policy activity. Nursing curricula are an integral part of ensuring that nurses are capable of taking on a more active role in initiating and developing health policy processes, through a broadening of the health promotion curriculum that focuses on socio-political approaches to health care provision. Despite this, the available literature suggests that the majority of nursing curricula are yet to fulfil this role. Such a role could be supported by attempts to define and promote a specific career route that develops nurses as health policy experts and entrepreneurs early on in their careers. This article aims to put forward a rationale for developing such a position in nursing education.

  9. National health insurance policy in Nepal: challenges for implementation

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    Shiva Raj Mishra


    Full Text Available The health system in Nepal is characterized by a wide network of health facilities and community workers and volunteers. Nepal's Interim Constitution of 2007 addresses health as a fundamental right, stating that every citizen has the right to basic health services free of cost. But the reality is a far cry. Only 61.8% of the Nepalese households have access to health facilities within 30 min, with significant urban (85.9% and rural (59% discrepancy. Addressing barriers to health services needs urgent interventions at the population level. Recently (February 2015, the Government of Nepal formed a Social Health Security Development Committee as a legal framework to start implementing a social health security scheme (SHS after the National Health Insurance Policy came out in 2013. The program has aimed to increase the access of health services to the poor and the marginalized, and people in hard to reach areas of the country, though challenges remain with financing. Several aspects should be considered in design, learning from earlier community-based health insurance schemes that suffered from low enrollment and retention of members as well as from a pro-rich bias. Mechanisms should be built for monitoring unfair pricing and unaffordable copayments, and an overall benefit package be crafted to include coverage of major health services including non-communicable diseases. Regulations should include such issues as accreditation mechanisms for private providers. Health system strengthening should move along with the roll-out of SHS. Improving the efficiency of hospital, motivating the health workers, and using appropriate technology can improve the quality of health services. Also, as currently a constitution drafting is being finalized, careful planning and deliberation is necessary about what insurance structure may suit the proposed future federal structure in Nepal.

  10. The foot-health of people with diabetes in a regional Australian population: a prospective clinical audit

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    Perrin Byron M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is limited understanding of the foot-health of people with diabetes in Australian regional areas. The aim of this study was to document the foot-health of people with diabetes who attend publically funded podiatric services in a regional Australian population. Methods A three month prospective clinical audit was undertaken by the publically-funded podiatric services of a large regional area of Victoria, Australia. The primary variables of interest were the University of Texas (UT diabetic foot risk classification of each patient and the incidence of new foot ulceration during the study period. Age, gender, diabetes type, duration of diabetes and the podiatric service the patients attended were the other variables of interest. Results Five hundred and seventy six patients were seen during the three month period. Over 49% had a UT risk classification at a level at least peripheral neuropathy or more serious diabetes-related foot morbidity. Higher risk at baseline was associated with longer duration of diabetes (F = 31.7, p χ2 = 40.3, p 0.001 and type 1 diabetes (χ2 = 37.3, p 0.001. A prior history of foot pathology was the overwhelming predictor for incident ulceration during the time period (OR 8.1 (95% CI 3.6 to 18.2, p Conclusions The publically funded podiatric services of this large regional area of Australia deal with a disproportionally large number of people with diabetes at high risk of future diabetes-related foot complications. These findings may be useful in ensuring appropriate allocation of resources for future public health services involved in diabetic foot health service delivery in regional areas.

  11. Promoting the health of Aboriginal Australians through empowerment: eliciting the components of the family well-being empowerment and leadership programme. (United States)

    Laliberté, Arlene; Haswell, Melissa; Tsey, Komla


    Most policies addressing Aboriginal health in Australia promote initiatives that are based on empowerment principles. Articulated programme components are necessary to support personal and group empowerment and to assist individuals in gaining the sense of control and purposefulness needed to exert their political and personal power in the face of the severe stress and powerlessness faced by the Australian Aboriginal people. This paper aims to provide a detailed description of the mechanisms underpinning a 'bottom-up' empowerment initiative, the Family well-being empowerment and leadership programme (FWB), and to analyze how the programme supports empowerment. The five stages of FWB were described and the validity of this model was assessed through the combination of participatory observation, documentation analysis, literature review, semi-structured interviews and iterative feedback with different analytical perspectives. Our study results articulated four distinct programme components: the setting plus inter-relational, educational and experiential actions. FWB is an example of the promotion of both outcome and process pathways towards empowerment. Potential applications of the programme are discussed.

  12. Psychosis, Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Health Service Use in South Australia: Findings from the Second Australian National Survey of Psychosis

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    Shaun eSweeney


    Full Text Available The association between mental illness and poor physical health and socioeconomic outcomes has been well established. In the twenty-first century, the challenge of how mental illnesses such as psychosis are managed in the provision of public health services remains complex. Developing effective clinical mental health support and interventions for individuals requires a coordinated and robust mental health system supported by social as well as health policy that places a priority on addressing socioeconomic disadvantage in mental health cohorts. This paper thus examines the complex relationship between socioeconomic disadvantage, family/social supports, physical health and health service utilisation in a community sample of 402 participants diagnosed with psychosis. The paper utilises quantitative data collected from the 2010 Survey of High Impact Psychosis research project conducted in a socioeconomically disadvantaged region of Adelaide, South Australia. Participants (42% female provided information about socio-economic status, education, employment, physical health, contact with family and friends, and health service utilisation. The paper highlights that socio-economic disadvantage is related to increased self-reported use of emergency departments, decreased use of general practitioners for mental health reasons, higher body mass index, less family contact and less social support. In particular, the paper explores the multifaceted relationship between socioeconomic disadvantage and poor health confronting individuals with psychosis, highlighting the complex link between socioeconomic disadvantage and poor health. It emphasizes that mental health service usage for those with higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantage differs from those experiencing lower levels of socioeconomic disadvantage. The paper also stresses that the development of health policy and practice that seeks to redress the socioeconomic and health inequalities created by

  13. [The dialogues between anthropology and health: contributions to public policies]. (United States)

    Langdon, Esther Jean


    In order to examine the development of anthropological paradigms and their dialogue with medicine, I divide the discussion into two general, but non-exclusive, approaches: one that focuses on health and disease as social and cultural experience and construction, and another that examines health from an interactional and political perspective. For the first approach, I focus on North American and French theories that find resonance in the anthropological dialogue in Brazil. For the second political approach, the discussion originates in the dialogue among anthropologists in Latin America who have been developing models to contribute to an interdisciplinary approach necessary for health policies and intervention in health. The concepts of practices in self-care and intermedicality, among others, are explored due to their contribution in anthropology to public policies in health. These anthropologists have argued that health practices should be understood through the notions of autonomy, collectivity, agency and praxis, as opposed to the notions of the biomedical perspective characterized as being universalist, biological, individualist and a-historical.

  14. Health in all policies in the partnership for sustainable development. (United States)

    Buss, Paulo M; Fonseca, Luiz Eduardo; Galvão, Luiz Augusto C; Fortune, Kira; Cook, Caitlin


    This article analyzes the dynamic interaction between the Health in All Policies (HiAP) agenda and the ongoing implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. At the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health, held in Rio de Janeiro in October 2011, the Rio Political Declaration pledged to use HiAP as a mechanism to address health inequities. In 2014, the Ministers of Health of the Region of the Americas approved a regional Plan of Action of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that sought to call attention to the health consequences and benefits of policies and actions developed by other sectors. The HiAP approach seeks to integrate activities across the pillars of the sustainable development governance framework (economic, social, and environmental development). Advocates of the process are challenged to consider, using guiding questions outlined at the close of this article, how to pursue action at the country level and in what ways the HiAP approach can contribute to timely and effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The authors propose that coordination between the 2030 Agenda and the regional Plan of Action on HiAP can make an important contribution to the implementation of both processes in the Region.

  15. Strengthening the health workforce and rolling out universal health coverage: the need for policy analysis

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    Adam D. Koon


    Full Text Available This article opens a debate about how to think about moving forward with the emerging twin movements of human resources for health (HRH and universal health coverage (UHC. There is sufficient evidence to warrant these movements, but actors and the policy process significantly affect which policies are adopted and how they are implemented. How exactly this occurs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs is not very well understood. Furthermore, it is not clear whether actors will mobilize for or against the emergent HRH and UHC agendas. Policy analysis should help illuminate potential strategies to account for multiple interests and divergent values in volatile stakeholder environments. We argue that not only should the movement for UHC be paired with current efforts to address the human resources crisis, but also, for both to succeed, we need to know more about how health policy works in LMICs.

  16. Shaping the Health Policy Agenda: The Case of Safe Motherhood Policy in Vietnam

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    Bui Thi Thu Ha


    Full Text Available Background Maternal health remains a central policy concern in Vietnam. With a commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5 target of maternal mortality rate (MMR of 70/100 000 by 2015, the Ministry of Health (MoH issued the National Plan for Safe Motherhood (NPSM 2003-2010. In 2008, reproductive health, including safe motherhood (SM became a national health target program with annual government funding. Methods A case study of how SM emerged as a political priority in Vietnam over the period 2001-2008, drawing on Kingdon’s theory of agenda-setting was conducted. A mixed method was adopted for this study of the NPSM. Results Three related streams contributed to SM priority in Vietnam: (1 the problem of high MMR was officially recognized from high-quality research, (2 the strong roles of policy champion from MoH in advocating for the needs to reducing MMR as well as support from government and donors, and (3 the national and international events, providing favorable context for this issue to emerge on policy agenda. Conclusion This paper draws on the theory of agenda-setting to analyze the Vietnam experience and to develop guidance for SM a political priority in other high maternal mortality communities.

  17. Morbidity and Mortality of Reptiles Admitted to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary, Australia, 2000-13. (United States)

    Scheelings, T Franciscus


    Medical records of 931 reptiles admitted to the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville, Victoria, Australia, from 2000 to 2013 were reviewed to determine the causes of morbidity and mortality. Thirty-nine species were presented; the most common were the common long-neck turtle (Chelodina longicollis; n = 311, 33.4%), the eastern bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua scincoides; n = 224, 4.1%), the blotched bluetongue lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea; n = 136, 14.6%), and the lowland copperhead (Austrelaps superbus; n = 55, 5.9%). Trauma was the most significant reason for admissions, accounting for 73.0% of cases. This was followed by not injured (11.7%), displacement (6.4%), snake removal (4.2%), human interference (3.1%), introduced species (1.1%), sick/diseased (0.2%), and illegal pet (0.2%). Within the category of trauma, impact with motor vehicle (41.0% of trauma cases) and domestic animal attack (33.2% of trauma cases) were the most common subcategories. Our results indicate that indirect anthropogenic factors are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Australian reptiles.

  18. Applying radiation health effects data to radiation protection policies

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    Muckerheide, James [Center for Nuclear Technology and Society at WPI, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA (United States)


    Data from the peer-reviewed scientific literature establish a sound basis to define a low-dose, low-dose-rate, dose-response. These data include human health dose-response studies; immunologically 'whole' animal studies; and cellular and molecular biological studies of complete biological systems for the relevant immunological and physiological responses. Initiatives are required to constructively apply these data to both radiation research and radiation protection policies. First, current low level radiation health effects research must apply existing data to define research projects to integrate and confirm existing dose-response data, with specific emphasis on the biological bases that exist in definitive and reproducible cellular and biological dose-response. Second, dose-response assessment must identify and incorporate all existing substantial and confirmed data, including natural radiation sources, to establish the bases for radiation protection policy for interventions to protect public health and safety. A preliminary assessment of these data is applied to: 1) Specify research that can be constructively applied to describe radiation health effects dose-response. 2) Apply health effects dose-response to radiation and radioactivity applications policies to maximize radiation health effects interventions for occupational applications, medical applications, and other radiation and radioactive materials applications controls to cost-effectively assure public health and safety. An assessment of the proposed revisions to ICRP radiation protection policies is provided that associates the basis for administrative limits with the previous proposal of the US NRC for a 'Below Regulatory Concern' (BRC) policy. This proposal ignores the context of the fact that very low levels of radiation exposure are far within the variations of natural radiation exposures, and therefore can have no gross net consequences. The equivalent failure of the BRC proposal

  19. Commentary: Moving towards policy coherence in trade and health. (United States)

    Walls, Helen; Baker, Phillip; Smith, Richard


    International trade has brought economic benefits to many countries, but the association of trade and investment liberalisation with poor health outcomes concerns the public health community. The need to secure more 'healthy' trade is a recognised priority, especially as countries move from global to regional/bilateral trade agreements - with greater public health risks. However, a transition towards 'healthier trade' may be hindered by worldview differences between the trade and health communities. There is a tendency for health actors to perceive trade as a threat to population health, and for trade actors to view health as a constraint to trade objectives of reducing barriers to cross-border commercial flows and economic growth. Unless such differing worldviews can be aligned, finding ways forward for addressing public health in trade policy is likely to be difficult. Moving forward will involve understanding the values and drivers of the respective groups, and developing solutions palatable to their various interests. Given the power imbalances between the two areas, it is likely that the health community will have to make the first moves in this respect. This article outlines the key issues involved and suggests areas where such moves have been, and may be made.

  20. Mental health first aid for Indigenous Australians: using Delphi consensus studies to develop guidelines for culturally appropriate responses to mental health problems

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    Kelly Claire M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ethnic minority groups are under-represented in mental health care services because of barriers such as poor mental health literacy. In 2007, the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA program implemented a cultural adaptation of its first aid course to improve the capacity of Indigenous Australians to recognise and respond to mental health issues within their own communities. It became apparent that the content of this training would be improved by the development of best practice guidelines. This research aimed to develop culturally appropriate guidelines for providing first aid to an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental illness. Methods A panel of Australian Aboriginal people who are experts in Aboriginal mental health, participated in six independent Delphi studies investigating depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts and behaviours, deliberate self-injury, trauma and loss, and cultural considerations. The panel varied in size across the studies, from 20-24 participants. Panellists were presented with statements about possible first aid actions via online questionnaires and were encouraged to suggest additional actions not covered by the survey content. Statements were accepted for inclusion in a guideline if they were endorsed by ≥ 90% of panellists as essential or important. Each study developed one guideline from the outcomes of three Delphi questionnaire rounds. At the end of the six Delphi studies, participants were asked to give feedback on the value of the project and their participation experience. Results From a total of 1,016 statements shown to the panel of experts, 536 statements were endorsed (94 for depression, 151 for psychosis, 52 for suicidal thoughts and behaviours, 53 for deliberate self-injury, 155 for trauma and loss, and 31 for cultural considerations. The methodology and the guidelines themselves were found to be useful

  1. The impact of population-based disease management services for selected chronic conditions: the Costs to Australian Private Insurance - Coaching Health (CAPICHe study protocol

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    Byrnes Joshua M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent evidence from a large scale trial conducted in the United States indicates that enhancing shared decision-making and improving knowledge, self-management, and provider communication skills to at-risk patients can reduce health costs and utilisation of healthcare resources. Although this trial has provided a significant advancement in the evidence base for disease management programs it is still left for such results to be replicated and/or generalised for populations in other countries and other healthcare environments. This trial responds to the limited analyses on the effectiveness of providing chronic disease management services through telephone health coaching in Australia. The size of this trial and it's assessment of cost utility with respect to potentially preventable hospitalisations adds significantly to the body of knowledge to support policy and investment decisions in Australia as well as to the international debate regarding the effect of disease management programs on financial outcomes. Methods Intention to treat study applying a prospective randomised design comparing usual care with extensive outreach to encourage use of telephone health coaching for those people identified from a risk scoring algorithm as having a higher likelihood of future health costs. The trial population has been limited to people with one or more of the following selected chronic conditions: namely, low back pain, diabetes, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This trial will enrol at least 64,835 sourced from the approximately 3 million Bupa Australia private health insured members located across Australia. The primary outcome will be the total (non-maternity cost per member as reported to the private health insurer (i.e. charged to the insurer 12 months following entry into the trial for each person. Study recruitment will be completed in early 2012 and the results will be

  2. Integrating collaborative place-based health promotion coalitions into existing health system structures: the experience from one Australian health coalition

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    Carolyn Ehrlich


    Full Text Available Background: Increasingly, place-based collaborative partnerships are being implemented to develop the capacity of communities to build supportive environments and improve population health outcomes. These place-based initiatives require cooperative and coordinated responses that can exist within social systems and integrate multiple responses. However, the dynamic interplay between co-existing systems and new ways of working makes implementation outcomes unpredictable.Method: We interviewed eight programme leaders, three programme teams and two advisory groups to explore the capacity of one social system to implement and normalise a collaborative integrated place-based health promotion initiative in the Logan and Beaudesert area in South East Queensland, Australia. The construct of capacity as defined in the General Theory of Implementation was used to develop a coding framework. Data were then placed into conceptually coherent groupings according to this framework until all data could be accounted for.Results: Four themes defined capacity for implementation of a collaborative and integrated response; namely, the ability to (1 traverse a nested and contradictory social landscape, (2 be a responsive and ‘good’ community partner, (3 establish the scaffolding required to work ‘in place’; and (4 build a shared meaning and engender trust. Overall, we found that the capacity of the system to embed a place-based health promotion initiative was severely limited by the absence of these features.Conclusion: Conflict, disruption and constant change within the context into which the place-based collaborative partnership was being implemented meant that existing relationships were constantly undermined and the capacity of the partners to develop trust-based coherent partnerships was constantly diminished. To enhance the likelihood that collaborative and integrated place-based health promotion initiatives will become established ways of working

  3. Integrating collaborative place-based health promotion coalitions into existing health system structures: the experience from one Australian health coalition

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    Carolyn Ehrlich


    Full Text Available Background: Increasingly, place-based collaborative partnerships are being implemented to develop the capacity of communities to build supportive environments and improve population health outcomes. These place-based initiatives require cooperative and coordinated responses that can exist within social systems and integrate multiple responses. However, the dynamic interplay between co-existing systems and new ways of working makes implementation outcomes unpredictable. Method: We interviewed eight programme leaders, three programme teams and two advisory groups to explore the capacity of one social system to implement and normalise a collaborative integrated place-based health promotion initiative in the Logan and Beaudesert area in South East Queensland, Australia. The construct of capacity as defined in the General Theory of Implementation was used to develop a coding framework. Data were then placed into conceptually coherent groupings according to this framework until all data could be accounted for. Results: Four themes defined capacity for implementation of a collaborative and integrated response; namely, the ability to (1 traverse a nested and contradictory social landscape, (2 be a responsive and ‘good’ community partner, (3 establish the scaffolding required to work ‘in place’; and (4 build a shared meaning and engender trust. Overall, we found that the capacity of the system to embed a place-based health promotion initiative was severely limited by the absence of these features. Conclusion: Conflict, disruption and constant change within the context into which the place-based collaborative partnership was being implemented meant that existing relationships were constantly undermined and the capacity of the partners to develop trust-based coherent partnerships was constantly diminished. To enhance the likelihood that collaborative and integrated place-based health promotion initiatives will become established ways of working

  4. Communicating contentious health policy: lessons from Ireland's workplace smoking ban. (United States)

    Fahy, Declan; Trench, Brian; Clancy, Luke


    The Irish workplace smoking ban has been described as possibly a tipping point for public health worldwide. This article presents the first analysis of the newspaper coverage of the ban over the duration of the policy formation process. It adds to previous studies by analyzing how health communication strategists engaged, over time, with a newsworthy topic, viewed as being culturally controversial. It analyzes a sample of media content (n = 1,154) and firsthand accounts from pro-ban campaigners and journalists (n = 10). The analysis shows that the ban was covered not primarily as a health issue: Economic, political, social, democratic, and technical aspects also received significant attention. It shows how coverage followed controversy and examines how pro-ban campaigners countered effectively the anti-ban communication efforts of influential social actors in the economic and political spheres. The analysis demonstrates that medical-political sources successfully defined the ban's issues as centrally concerned with public health.

  5. Urban Health Educators' Perspectives and Practices regarding School Nutrition Education Policies (United States)

    McCaughtry, Nate; Martin, Jeffrey J.; Fahlman, Mariane; Shen, Bo


    Although nutrition-related health education policies exist at national, state and local levels, the degree to which those policies affect the everyday practices of health education teachers who are charged with executing them in schools is often unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the nutrition-related health education policy matrix…

  6. International Development of Health Manpower Policy. WHO Offset Publication No. 61. (United States)

    Fulop, Tamas; Roemer, Milton I.

    This report: (1) identifies the main policies, objectives, and thrusts in the health manpower development (HMD) program of the World Health Organization (WHO); (2) identifies factors influencing or determining these policies, and examines how they have shaped the HMD program; (3) investigates how policy changes and achievements in health manpower…

  7. 'Jumping around': exploring young women's behaviour and knowledge in relation to sexual health in a remote Aboriginal Australian community. (United States)

    Ireland, Sarah; Narjic, Concepta Wulili; Belton, Suzanne; Saggers, Sherry; McGrath, Ann


    Sexual health indicators for young remote-living Aboriginal women are the worst of all of Australian women. This study aimed to describe and explore young women's behaviour and knowledge in relation to sexual health, as well as to provide health professionals with cross-cultural insights to assist with health practice. A descriptive ethnographic study was conducted, which included: extended ethnographic field work in one remote community over a six-year period; community observation and participation; field notes; semi-structured interviews; group reproductive ethno-physiology drawing and language sessions; focus-group sessions; training and employment of Aboriginal research assistants; and consultation and advice from a local reference group and a Cultural Mentor. Findings reveal that young women in this remote community have a very poor biomedical understanding of sexually transmitted infections and contraception. This is further compounded by not speaking English as a first language, low literacy levels and different beliefs in relation to body functions. In their sexual relationships, young women often report experiences involving multiple casual partners, marijuana use and violence. Together, the findings contribute to a better understanding of the factors underlying sexual health inequity among young Aboriginal women in Australia.

  8. The global financial crisis and psychological health in a sample of Australian older adults: a longitudinal study. (United States)

    Sargent-Cox, Kerry; Butterworth, Peter; Anstey, Kaarin J


    Economic stress and uncertainty is argued to increase older adults' vulnerability to physical health decline and mental distress. Nevertheless, there is a paucity of research that examines the relationship between a large historical economic event, such as the recent global financial crisis (GFC), and health outcomes for older adults. This study provides a unique opportunity to compare self-reported health status and psychological functioning (number of depression and anxiety symptoms) in 1973 older Australian adults (mean age of 66.58 years (SD = 1.5)) prior to the GFC (2005-2006), with their status four years later during the GFC period (2009-2010). Latent difference score models revealed a significant difference in depression and anxiety symptoms over the two measurement occasions, indicating poorer psychological functioning for those who reported an impact as a result of the economic slowdown. These effects were not explained by demographic or socio-economic factors. Interaction effects showed that those participants who were surveyed within the acute salience period of the GFC (April to September 2009) were significantly less likely to report poorer psychological health over time compared to those who were surveyed after September 2009. This interesting timing effect is discussed in terms of potential time-lags in the negative effects of economic stress on health outcomes, as well as the possible protective effects of social norms that may be created by a large scale economic crisis.

  9. Addressing preference heterogeneity in public health policy by combining Cluster Analysis and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: Proof of Method. (United States)

    Kaltoft, Mette Kjer; Turner, Robin; Cunich, Michelle; Salkeld, Glenn; Nielsen, Jesper Bo; Dowie, Jack


    The use of subgroups based on biological-clinical and socio-demographic variables to deal with population heterogeneity is well-established in public policy. The use of subgroups based on preferences is rare, except when religion based, and controversial. If it were decided to treat subgroup preferences as valid determinants of public policy, a transparent analytical procedure is needed. In this proof of method study we show how public preferences could be incorporated into policy decisions in a way that respects both the multi-criterial nature of those decisions, and the heterogeneity of the population in relation to the importance assigned to relevant criteria. It involves combining Cluster Analysis (CA), to generate the subgroup sets of preferences, with Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), to provide the policy framework into which the clustered preferences are entered. We employ three techniques of CA to demonstrate that not only do different techniques produce different clusters, but that choosing among techniques (as well as developing the MCDA structure) is an important task to be undertaken in implementing the approach outlined in any specific policy context. Data for the illustrative, not substantive, application are from a Randomized Controlled Trial of online decision aids for Australian men aged 40-69 years considering Prostate-specific Antigen testing for prostate cancer. We show that such analyses can provide policy-makers with insights into the criterion-specific needs of different subgroups. Implementing CA and MCDA in combination to assist in the development of policies on important health and community issues such as drug coverage, reimbursement, and screening programs, poses major challenges -conceptual, methodological, ethical-political, and practical - but most are exposed by the techniques, not created by them.

  10. Policy Entrepreneurs and the Design of Public Policy: The Case of the National Health Insurance Law in Israel

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    Full Text Available How do policy entrepreneurs implement in practice the things theory suggests they should do? This article suggests various insightsinto the influence of policy entrepreneurs on the formulation of public policy. Using a broad definition of the concept of policyentrepreneur, the article identifies the main characteristics of entrepreneurial activities, describes various strategies that the policyentrepreneur may employ, and develops a model of successful and effective policy entrepreneurship. Using an analysis of the designof the Israel National Health Law of 1994 as a case study, the article emphasizes the importance of policy entrepreneurs in thepublic policy arena and provides several insights into the conditions for their activity, their motivations and main strategies.

  11. Applying what works: a systematic search of the transfer and implementation of promising Indigenous Australian health services and programs

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    McCalman Janya


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transfer and implementation of acceptable and effective health services, programs and innovations across settings provides an important and potentially cost-effective strategy for reducing Indigenous Australians' high burden of disease. This study reports a systematic review of Indigenous health services, programs and innovations to examine the extent to which studies considered processes of transfer and implementation within and across Indigenous communities and healthcare settings. Methods Medline, Informit, Infotrac, Blackwells Publishing, Proquest, Taylor and Francis, JStor, and the Indigenous HealthInfoNet were searched using terms: Aborigin* OR Indigen* OR Torres AND health AND service OR program* OR intervention AND Australia to locate publications from 1992–2011. The reference lists of 19 reviews were also checked. Data from peer reviewed journals, reports, and websites were included. The 95% confidence intervals (95% CI for proportions that referred to and focussed on transfer were calculated as exact binomial confidence intervals. Test comparisons between proportions were calculated using Fisher's exact test with an alpha level of 5%. Results Of 1311 publications identified, 119 (9.1%; 95% CI: 7.6% - 10.8% referred to the transfer and implementation of Indigenous Australian health services or programs, but only 21 studies (1.6%; 95% CI: 1.0% - 2.4% actually focused on transfer and implementation. Of the 119 transfer studies, 37 (31.1%; 95% CI: 22.9 - 40.2% evaluated the impact of a service or program, 28 (23.5%; 95% CI: 16.2% - 32.2% reported only process measures and 54 were descriptive. Of the 37 impact evaluation studies, 28 (75.7%; 95% CI: 58.8% - 88.2% appeared in peer reviewed journals but none included experimental designs. Conclusion While services and programs are being transferred and implemented, few studies focus on the process by which this occurred or the effectiveness of the service or program

  12. Six challenges in modelling for public health policy

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    C.J.E. Metcalf


    Full Text Available The World Health Organisation's definition of public health refers to all organized measures to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole (World Health Organization, 2014. Mathematical modelling plays an increasingly important role in helping to guide the most high impact and cost-effective means of achieving these goals. Public health programmes are usually implemented over a long period of time with broad benefits to many in the community. Clinical trials are seldom large enough to capture these effects. Observational data may be used to evaluate a programme after it is underway, but have limited value in helping to predict the future impact of a proposed policy. Furthermore, public health practitioners are often required to respond to new threats, for which there is little or no previous data on which to assess the threat. Computational and mathematical models can help to assess potential threats and impacts early in the process, and later aid in interpreting data from complex and multifactorial systems. As such, these models can be critical tools in guiding public health action. However, there are a number of challenges in achieving a successful interface between modelling and public health. Here, we discuss some of these challenges.

  13. Diffusion of innovation in mental health policy adoption: what should we ask about the quality of policy and the role of stakeholders in this process? Comment on "Cross-national diffusion of mental health policy". (United States)

    Lee, Lucy


    In his recent study, Gordon Shen analyses a pertinent question facing the global mental health research and practice community today; that of how and why mental health policy is or is not adopted by national governments. This study identifies becoming a World Health Organization (WHO) member nation, and being in regional proximity to countries which have adopted a mental health policy as supportive of mental health policy adoption, but no support for its hypothesis that country recipients of higher levels of aid would have adopted a mental health policy due to conditionalities imposed on aid recipients by donors. Asking further questions of each may help to understand more not only about how and why mental health policies may be adopted, but also about the relevance and quality of implementation of these policies and the role of specific actors in achieving adoption and implementation of high quality mental health policies.

  14. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--State-Level School Health Policies and Practices. A State-by-State Summary from the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2006 (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts the School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) periodically to monitor the extent to which school health policies and practices are addressing the leading causes of death, illness, and social problems among young people and adults. SHPPS 2006 assessed the characteristics of…

  15. Oral health and social and emotional well-being in a birth cohort of Aboriginal Australian young adults

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    Cairney Sheree J


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Social and emotional well-being is an important component of overall health. In the Indigenous Australian context, risk indicators of poor social and emotional well-being include social determinants such as poor education, employment, income and housing as well as substance use, racial discrimination and cultural knowledge. This study sought to investigate associations between oral health-related factors and social and emotional well-being in a birth cohort of young Aboriginal adults residing in the northern region of Australia's Northern Territory. Methods Data were collected on five validated domains of social and emotional well-being: anxiety, resilience, depression, suicide and overall mental health. Independent variables included socio-demographics, dental health behaviour, dental disease experience, oral health-related quality of life, substance use, racial discrimination and cultural knowledge. Results After adjusting for other covariates, poor oral health-related items were associated with each of the social and emotional well-being domains. Specifically, anxiety was associated with being female, having one or more decayed teeth and racial discrimination. Resilience was associated with being male, having a job, owning a toothbrush, having one or more filled teeth and knowing a lot about Indigenous culture; while being female, having experienced dental pain in the past year, use of alcohol, use of marijuana and racial discrimination were associated with depression. Suicide was associated with being female, having experience of untreated dental decay and racial discrimination; while being female, having experience of dental disease in one or more teeth, being dissatisfied about dental appearance and racial discrimination were associated with poor mental health. Conclusion The results suggest there may be value in including oral health-related initiatives when exploring the role of physical conditions on Indigenous

  16. [eHealth in Peru: implementation of policies to strengthen health information systems]. (United States)

    Curioso, Walter H


    Health information systems play a key role in enabling high quality, complete health information to be available in a timely fashion for operational and strategic decision-making that makes it possible to save lives and improve the health and quality of life of the population. In many countries, health information systems are weak, incomplete, and fragmented. However, there is broad consensus in the literature of the need to strengthen health information systems in countries around the world. The objective of this paper is to present the essential components of the conceptual framework to strengthen health information systems in Peru. It describes the principal actions and strategies of the Ministry of Health of Peru during the process of strengthening health information systems. These systems make it possible to orient policies for appropriate decision-making in public health.

  17. Resource allocation strategies in Southeastern European health policy. (United States)

    Jakovljevic, Mihajlo B


    The past 23 years of post-socialist restructuring of health system funding and management patterns has brought many changes to small Balkan markets, putting them under increasing pressure to keep pace with advancing globalization. Socioeconomic inequalities in healthcare access are still growing across the region. This uneven development is marked by the substantial difficulties encountered by local governments in delivering medical services to broad sectors of the population. This paper presents the results of a systematic review of the following evidence: published reports on health system reforms in the region commissioned by WHO, IMF, World Bank, OECD, European Commission; all available published evidence on health economics, funding, reimbursement in world/local languages since 1989 indexed at Medline, Excerpta Medica and Google Scholar; in depth analysis of official website data on medical care financing related legislation among key public institutions such as national Ministries of health, Health Insurance Funds, Professional Associations were applicable, in local languages; correspondence with key opinion leaders in the field in their respective communities. Contributors were asked to answer a particular set of questions related to the issue, thus enlightening fresh legislative developments and hidden patterns of policy maker's behavior. Cost awareness is slowly expanding in regional management, academic and industrial establishment. The study provides an exact and comprehensive description of its current extent and legislative framework. Western Balkans policy makers would profit substantially from health-economics-based decision-making to cope with increasing difficulties in funding and delivering medical care in emerging markets with a rapidly growing demand for health services.

  18. Ministry of health on facebook: an information policy case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia Moraes Moreira


    Full Text Available Introduction: The growth of social networks on the internet is visible. Everywhere people use these tools on various places, either via desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. In Brazil, the most prominent network in recent years is Facebook, which reached 76 million users in June 2013, an unprecedented number in the country. The growth allowed governments to perceive this virtual space as a potential place to present their work and communicate with society. Objectives: The study goal is to observe how information has been publicized by the Ministry of Health through Facebook since 2010 (year of creation of the page until October 2013, taking as an analytical category the implemented information policy, in order to propose a discussion about democratization of access to health information. Methodology: case study; Non-participant observation, data collection and documental analysis. Results: The main issues addressed by the Ministry of Health on Facebook are organizational actions and government programs instead of posts with guidance for a healthy living style. Also noteworthy is the low interaction of the Ministry page moderators with the users profile. The study showed most of the questions and comments made by the public are not answered by the institutional body. Conclusions: Need of strengthening the mediaton process of the information policies from the Ministry of Health on Facebook.

  19. Competition policy for health care provision in Norway. (United States)

    Brekke, Kurt R; Straume, Odd Rune


    Competition policy has played a very limited role for health care provision in Norway. The main reason is that Norway has a National Health Service (NHS) with extensive public provision and a wide set of sector-specific regulations that limit the scope for competition. However, the last two decades, several reforms have deregulated health care provision and opened up for provider competition along some dimensions. For specialised care, the government has introduced patient choice and (partly) activity (DRG) based funding, but also corporatised public hospitals and allowed for more private provision. For primary care, a reform changed the payment scheme to capitation and (a higher share of) fee-for-service, inducing almost all GPs on fixed salary contracts to become self-employed. While these reforms have the potential for generating competition in the Norwegian NHS, the empirical evidence is quite limited and the findings are mixed. We identify a set of possible caveats that may weaken the incentives for provider competition - such as the partial implementation of DRG pricing, the dual purchaser-provider role of regional health authorities, and the extensive consolidation of public hospitals - and argue that there is great scope for competition policy measures that could stimulate provider competition within the Norwegian NHS.

  20. Misalignment between medicare policies and depression care in home health care: home health provider perspectives. (United States)

    Bao, Yuhua; Eggman, Ashley A; Richardson, Joshua E; Bruce, Martha L


    Semistructured interviews with nurses working for home health care agencies in five states raise serious questions about the deleterious effects of Medicare policies and procedures on depression care. The agencies have strong incentives to limit nursing time in a given payment episode and to increase volume, making it difficult to provide high-quality depression care for homebound patients. Some nurses felt forced to "abandon" many patients with depression. The authors call for incremental policy changes in several key areas.

  1. Evaluation of service users' experiences of participating in an exercise programme at the Western Australian State Forensic Mental Health Services. (United States)

    Wynaden, Dianne; Barr, Lesley; Omari, Omar; Fulton, Anthony


    Approximately 210 patients are admitted each year to the Western Australian State Forensic Mental Health Service, and most present with psychotic illness, along with other physical and mental comorbidities. In 2010, a healthy lifestyle programme, which included a formal exercise programme coordinated by an exercise physiologist, was introduced at the service. A self-report questionnaire was developed to obtain feedback on the programme, and 56 patients completed the questionnaire during the 6-month evaluation period. As well as providing patients with access to regular physical activity, the programme also supports the recovery philosophy, where patients work in partnership with forensic mental health staff. Overall, patients reported that the programme assisted them to manage their psychiatric symptoms, as well as improving their level of fitness, confidence, and self-esteem. In addition, patients received education about the importance of regular exercise to their mental health, and the role exercise plays in preventing chronic illness and obesity. While the benefits of exercise on mental health outcomes for people with depression and anxiety are well established, this evaluation adds to the evidence that such programmes provide similar benefits to people who have a psychotic illness and are hospitalized in an acute secure setting.

  2. Competition policy for health care provision in the Netherlands. (United States)

    Schut, Frederik T; Varkevisser, Marco


    In the Netherlands in 2006 a major health care reform was introduced, aimed at reinforcing regulated competition in the health care sector. Health insurers were provided with strong incentives to compete and more room to negotiate and selectively contract with health care providers. Nevertheless, the bargaining position of health insurers vis-à-vis both GPs and hospitals is still relatively weak. GPs are very well organized in a powerful national interest association (LHV) and effectively exploit the long-standing trust relationship with their patients. They have been very successful in mobilizing public support against unfavorable contracting practices of health insurers and enforcement of the competition act. The rapid establishment of multidisciplinary care groups to coordinate care for patients with chronic diseases further strengthened their position. Due to ongoing horizontal consolidation, hospital markets in the Netherlands have become highly concentrated. Only recently the Dutch competition authority prohibited the first hospital merger. Despite the highly concentrated health insurance market, it is unclear whether insurers will have sufficient countervailing buyer power vis-à-vis GPs and hospitals to effectively fulfill their role as prudent buyer of care, as envisioned in the reform. To prevent further consolidation and anticompetitive coordination, strict enforcement of competition policy is crucially important for safeguarding the potential for effective insurer-provider negotiations about quality and price.

  3. Are Sexual and Reproductive Health Policies Designed for All? Vulnerable Groups in Policy Documents of Four European Countries and Their Involvement in Policy Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olena Ivanova


    Full Text Available Background Health policies are important instruments for improving population health. However, experience suggests that policies designed for the whole population do not always benefit the most vulnerable. Participation of vulnerable groups in the policy-making process provides an opportunity for them to influence decisions related to their health, and also to exercise their rights. This paper presents the findings from a study that explored how vulnerable groups and principles of human rights are incorporated into national sexual and reproductive health (SRH policies of 4 selected countries (Spain, Scotland, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine. It also aimed at discussing the involvement of vulnerable groups in SRH policy development from the perspective of policymakers. Methods Literature review, health policy analysis and 5 semi-structured interviews with policy-makers were carried out in this study. Content analysis of SRH policies was performed using the EquiFrame analytical framework. Results The study revealed that vulnerable groups and core principles of human rights are differently addressed in SRH policies within 4 studied countries. The opinions of policy-makers on the importance of mentioning vulnerable groups in policy documents and the way they ought to be mentioned varied, but they agreed that a clear definition of vulnerability, practical examples, and evidences on health status of these groups have to be included. In addition, different approaches to vulnerable group’s involvement in policy development were identified during the interviews and the range of obstacles to this process was discussed by respondents. Conclusion Incorporation of vulnerable groups in the SRH policies and their involvement in policy development were found to be important in addressing SRH of these groups and providing an opportunity for them to advocate for equal access to healthcare and exercise their rights. Future research on this topic should include

  4. Modeling budgetary strategies in health policy, East and West. (United States)

    Welsh, W A


    This essay has sought to develop a rationale for new approach to the formal modeling of intergovernmental budgetary relations. The focus has been on health care budgeting, and on evidence from centrally-planned systems in Eastern Europe. But it has been argued that the modeling strategy advanced here will have applicability across policy areas, and across types of political and economic systems. The description of developments in human service provision emphasized the growing complexity of policy activity along both vertical and horizontal dimensions, and the accompanying increase in competition and in strategic thinking as central elements of policy activity generally, and of intergovernmental budgetary relations specifically. It has been argued that these developments are observable not only in Western pluralist systems--where the adumbration of evidence makes it increasingly difficult to take exception to these generalizations--but also in highly-structured systems such as the communist-governed systems of Eastern Europe. The possibility that certain elements of human service policy activity are becoming increasingly similar across ideologically and structurally different system types has numerous significant implications worth exploring. The next step will be the testing of the full set of linear systems theory models with data from Eastern Europe. If these tests are encouraging, important methodological implications for the modeling of budgetary activity would seem to follow.

  5. Advanced korean industrial safety and health policy with risk assessment. (United States)

    Kwon, Hyuckmyun; Cho, Jae Hyun; Moon, Il; Choi, Jaewook; Park, Dooyong; Lee, Youngsoon


    This article describes a systematic roadmap master plan for advanced industrial safety and health policy in Korea, with an emphasis on. Since Korean industries had first emergence of industrial safety and health policy in 1953, enormous efforts have been made on upgrading the relevant laws in order to reflect real situation of industrial work environment in accordance with rapid changes of Korean and global business over three decades. Nevertheless, current policy has major defects; too much techniques-based articles, diverged contents in less organization, combined enforcement and punishments and finally enforcing regulations full of commands and control. These deficiencies have make it difficult to accommodate changes of social, industrial and employment environment in customized fashion. The approach to the solution must be generic at the level of paradigm-shift rather than local modifications and enhancement. The basic idea is to establish a new system integrated with a risk assessment scheme, which encourages employers to apply to their work environment under comprehensive responsibility. The risk assessment scheme is designed to enable to inspect employers' compliances afterwards. A project comprises four yearly phases based on applying zones; initially designating and operating a specified risk zone, gradually expanding the special zones during a period of 3 years (2010-2012) and the final zone expanded to entire nation. In each phase, the intermediate version of the system is updated through a process of precise and unbiased validation in terms of its operability, feasibility and sustainability with building relevant infrastructures as needed.

  6. Egalitarian policies and social determinants of health in Bolivarian Venezuela. (United States)

    Muntaner, Caries; Benach, Joan; Páez Victor, María; Ng, Edwin; Chung, Haejoo


    In 1999, newly-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez initiated a far-reaching social movement as part of a political project known as the Bolivarian Revolution. Inspired by the democratic ideologies of Simón Bolívar, this movement was committed to reducing intractable inequalities that defined Venezuela's Fourth Republic (1958-1998). Given the ambitious scope of these reforms, Venezuela serves as an instructive example to understand the political context of social inequalities and population health. In this article, we provide a brief overview of the impact of egalitarian policies in Venezuela, stressing: (a) the socialist reforms and social class changes initiated by the Bolivarian Movement; (b) the impact of these reforms and changes on poverty and social determinants of health; (c) the sustainability of economic growth to continue pro-poor policies; and (d) the implications of egalitarian policies for other Latin American countries. The significance and implications of Chávez's achievements are now further underscored given his recent passing, leading one to ask whether political support for Bolivarianism will continue without its revolutionary leader.

  7. Interactive dissemination: engaging stakeholders in the use of aggregated quality improvement data for system-wide change in Australian Indigenous primary health care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison eLaycock


    Full Text Available BackgroundIntegrating theory when developing complex quality improvement interventions can help to explain clinical and organizational behavior, inform strategy selection and understand effects. This paper describes a theory-informed interactive dissemination strategy. Using aggregated quality improvement data, the strategy seeks to engage stakeholders in wide-scale data interpretation and knowledge sharing focused on achieving wide-scale improvement in primary health care quality. MethodsAn iterative process involving diverse stakeholders in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healthcare delivery uses aggregated audit data collected across key areas of care. Phases of reporting and online feedback are used to identify: 1 priority areas for improvement; 2 health centre, system and staff attributes that may be important in addressing the identified priority evidence-practice gaps, and; 3 strategies that could be introduced or strengthened to enable improvement. A developmental evaluation is being used to refine engagement processes and reports as the project progresses. DiscussionThis innovative dissemination approach is being used to encourage wide-scale interpretation and use of service performance data by policy-makers, managers and other stakeholders, and to document knowledge about how to address barriers to achieving change. Through the developmental evaluation, the project provides opportunities to learn about stakeholders’ needs in relation to the way data and findings are described and distributed, and elements of the dissemination strategy and report design that impact on the useability and uptake of findings.ConclusionsThe project can contribute to knowledge about how to facilitate interactive wide-scale dissemination and about using data to co-produce knowledge to improve healthcare quality.

  8. The Regional Appropriateness of Monetary Policy: An Application of Taylor’s Rule to Australian States and Territories


    Javier Hernandez; Allan Layton


    In recent years Taylor’s rule has become a widely used tool for assessing the stance of monetary policy. Not only has it been used to evaluate the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, but also, for example, to evaluate the appropriateness of the European Central Bank’s monetary policy for each individual member nation of the European Monetary Union. This paper builds on this work and uses Taylor’s rule to evaluate the degree of appropriateness of Australia’s national monetary policy to eac...

  9. The mental health system in Brazil: Policies and future challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Razzouk Denise


    long-stay patients. However, services are unequally distributed across the regions of the country, and the growth of the elderly population, combined with an existing treatment gap is increasing the burden on mental health care. This gap may get even wider if funding does not increase and mental health services are not expanded in the country. There is not yet a good degree of integration between primary care and the mental health teams working at CAPS level, and it is necessary to train professionals to act as mental health planners and as managers. Research on service organization, policy and mental health systems evaluation are strongly recommended in the country. There are no firm data to show the impact of such policies in terms of community service cost-effectiveness and no tangible indicators to assess the results of these policies.

  10. Governance and mental health: contributions for public policy approach (United States)

    Díaz-Castro, Lina; Arredondo, Armando; Pelcastre-Villafuerte, Blanca Estela; Hufty, Marc


    ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To analyze the conceptualization of the term governance on public mental health programs. METHODS In this systematic review, we analyzed the scientific literature published in the international scenario during 15 years (from 2000 to 2015). The databases analyzed were: Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO and PubMed. Governance and mental health were the descriptors. We included relevant articles according to our subject of study and levels of analysis: (i) the concept of governance in mental health; (ii) process and decision spaces; (iii) strategic and pertinent actors who operate in the functioning of the health system, and (iv) social regulations. We excluded letters to the editor, news articles, comments and case reports, incomplete articles and articles whose approach did not include the object of study of this review. RESULTS We have found five conceptualizations of the term governance on mental health in the area of provision policies and service organization. The agents were both those who offer and those who receive the services: we identified several social norms. CONCLUSIONS The concept of governance in mental health includes standards of quality and attention centered on the patient, and incorporates the consumers of mental healthcare in the decision-making process. PMID:28146159

  11. Development and Implementation of Health Technology Assessment: A Policy Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Abooee


    Full Text Available Background: To provide an overview of the development of health technology assessment (HTA in Iran since 2007, and to facilitate further development of HTA and its integration into policy making.Methods: Data of this study were collected through key documents (e.g. literature, laws, and other official documentation and analyzed by experts of opinion in form of qualitative methods.Results: Health technology assessment entered to the political agenda in Iran only in 2007 with a strong impetus of an evidence-based medicine movement with the bellow objectives: Institutionalization of evidence-based decision making in Ministry of Health, Creating an localization for structural HTA in Health system of Iran, Setting up training courses in order to educate capable manpower to full up the capacity of the universities, Establishment of a new field in HTA subject in medical universities for MSc and PhD degree, International communication about HTA through national website and possible participation in international Congress.Conclusion: HTA has been established in the healthcare system of Iran but what is needed is a clear political will to push forward the objectives of HTA in Iran. Similar to other countries, advance the regulation on the adoption of new health technologies to improve not only technical or allocate efficiency, but also health equity.

  12. Cross-Field Effects and Temporary Social Fields: A Case Study of the Mediatization of Recent Australian Knowledge Economy Policies (United States)

    Rawolle, Shaun


    This paper utilizes Bourdieu's conceptual frame to examine the mediatized effects of policy processes concerned with the growth and support of knowledge industries in Australia. These policies span education, science, research and other knowledge industries (such as venture capital firms and intellectual property law). The paper argues that some…

  13. Is having a family member with chronic health concerns bad for young people's health? Cross-sectional evidence from a national survey of young Australians (United States)

    Redmond, Gerry


    Objectives Young people's perspectives on the association between having a family member with a chronic health concern (FHC) and their own health are under-researched. This study used young people's reports to assess the prevalence of FHCs and their association with negative health outcomes, with an aim of identifying potential inequalities between marginalised and non-marginalised young people. Family cohesion was examined as a moderating factor. Design Cross-sectional data from the Australian Child Wellbeing Project survey were used. Respondents were asked whether someone in their family experienced one or more FHCs (disability, mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction). In addition, their experience of different psychosomatic symptoms (headache, sleeplessness, irritability, etc), aspects of family relationships and social and economic characteristics (disability, materially disadvantaged and Indigenous) were documented. Setting Nationally representative Australian sample. Participants 1531 students in school years 4 and 6 and 3846 students in year 8. Results A quarter of students reported having an FHC (years 4 and 6: 23.96% (95% CI 19.30% to 28.62%); year 8: 25.35% (95% CI 22.77% to 27.94%)). Significantly, more students with FHCs than those without reported experiencing 2 or more negative health symptoms at least weekly (OR=1.78; 95% CI 1.19 to 2.65; pcohesion had an increased prevalence of FHCs and notably higher symptom loads where FHCs were present. Level of family cohesion did not impact the relationship between FHCs and symptom load. Conclusions The burden of FHCs is inequitably distributed between marginalised and non-marginalised groups, and between young people experiencing different levels of family cohesion. More work is required regarding appropriate targets for community and family-level interventions to support young people in the context of FHCs. PMID:28062472

  14. SHPPS 2006 School Health Policies and Programs Study--Crisis Preparedness, Response, and Recovery (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief presents data on crisis preparedness, response, and recovery as it pertains to health services, mental health and social services, nutrition…

  15. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Injury Prevention and Safety (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports study results in the area of injury prevention and safety, covering the following topics: (1) Health Education; (2) Health Services…

  16. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Tobacco-Use Prevention (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports study results in the area of tobacco-use prevention, covering the following areas: (1) Health Education; (2) Health Services and…

  17. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Food Safety (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports study results in the area of food safety, covering the following topics: (1) Health Education; (2) Health Services; and (3)…

  18. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Suicide Prevention (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School health policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports study results in the area of suicide prevention, covering the following topics: (1) Health Education; (2) Health Services and Mental…

  19. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Pregnancy Prevention (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports 2006 study results in the area of pregnancy prevention, covering the following topics: (1) Health Education; and (2) Health Services…

  20. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Violence Prevention (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports study results in the area of violence prevention, covering the following topics: (1) Health Education; (2) Health Services and…

  1. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--HIV Prevention (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports study results in the area of HIV prevention, covering the following topics: (1) Health Education; and (2) Health Services and Mental…

  2. Health policy and systems research agendas in developing countries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonzalez-Block Miguel A


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Health policy and systems research (HPSR is an international public good with potential to orient investments and performance at national level. Identifying research trends and priorities at international level is therefore important. This paper offers a conceptual framework and defines the HPSR portfolio as a set of research projects under implementation. The research portfolio is influenced by factors external to the research system as well as internal to it. These last include the capacity of research institutions, the momentum of research programs, funding opportunities and the influence of stakeholder priorities and public opinion. These dimensions can vary in their degree of coordination, leading to a complementary or a fragmented research portfolio. Objective The main objective is to identify the themes currently being pursued in the research portfolio and agendas within developing countries and to quantify their frequency in an effort to identify current research topics and their underlying influences. Methods HPSR topics being pursued by developing country producer institutions and their perceived priorities were identified through a survey between 2000 and 2002. The response to a call for letters of intent issued by the Alliance in 2000 for a broad range of topics was also analyzed. The institutions that were the universe of this study consisted of the 176 institutional partners of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research producing research in low and middle income countries outside Europe. HPSR topics as well as the beneficiaries or issues and the health problems addressed were content analyzed. Topics were classified into 19 categories and their frequency analyzed across groups of countries with similar per capita income. Agendas were identified by analyzing the source of funding and of project initiation for projects under implementation. Results The highest ranking topic at the aggregate level is

  3. [European integration and health policies: repercussions of the internal European Market on access to health services]. (United States)

    Guimarães, Luisa; Giovanella, Lígia


    This article explores the health policy repercussions of countries' regional integration into the European Union. The aim is to review the regulation of access in other countries, with the conclusion of the single European market and the free circulation of persons, services, goods, and capital. The article begins by reviewing the various forms of integration and describes the expansion and institutionalization of Community agencies. The repercussions of European integration on health policies and regulation of access are analyzed. Market impacts on health result from Treaty directives and internal policy adjustments to free circulation. Health services access is gradually regulated and granted by rulings. Projects along borders illustrate the dynamics where differences are used to achieve comprehensive care. In the oldest integration experience, the market regulation has generated intentional and non-intentional impacts on the health policies of member states, regardless of the organizational model. Knowledge and analysis of this experience signals challenges for the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur) and adds to future debates and decisions.

  4. Change and stability in work-family conflict and mothers' and fathers' mental health: Longitudinal evidence from an Australian cohort. (United States)

    Cooklin, A R; Dinh, H; Strazdins, L; Westrupp, E; Leach, L S; Nicholson, J M


    Work-family conflict (WFC) occurs when work or family demands are 'mutually incompatible', with detrimental effects on mental health. This study contributes to the sparse longitudinal research, addressing the following questions: Is WFC a stable or transient feature of family life for mothers and fathers? What happens to mental health if WFC increases, reduces or persists? What work and family characteristics predict WFC transitions and to what extent are they gendered? Secondary analyses of 5 waves of data (child ages 4-5 to 12-13 years) from employed mothers (n = 2693) and fathers (n = 3460) participating in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children were conducted. WFC transitions, across four two-year intervals (Waves 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, and 4-5) were classified as never, conscript, exit or chronic. Significant proportions of parents experienced change in WFC, between 12 and 16% of mothers and fathers for each transition 'type'. Parents who remained in chronic WFC reported the poorest mental health (adjusted multiple regression analyses), followed by those who conscripted into WFC. When WFC was relieved (exit), both mothers' and fathers' mental health improved significantly. Predictors of conscript and chronic WFC were somewhat distinct for mothers and fathers (adjusted logit regressions). Poor job quality, a skilled occupation and having more children differentiated chronic fathers' from those who exited WFC. For mothers, work factors only (skilled occupation; work hours; job insecurity) predicted chronic WFC. Findings reflect the persistent, gendered nature of work and care shaped by workplaces, but also offer tailored opportunities to redress WFC for mothers and fathers. We contribute novel evidence that mental health is directly influenced by the WFC interface, both positively and negatively, highlighting WFC as a key social determinant of health.

  5. Global health and domestic policy - What motivated the development of the German Global Health Strategy? (United States)

    Aluttis, Christoph; Clemens, Timo; Krafft, Thomas


    In 2013, the German government published its national Global Health Strategy, outlining principles and focal topics for German engagement in global health. We asked the question of why Germany has decided to establish a national policy framework for global health at this point in time, and how the development process has taken place. The ultimate goal of this study was to achieve better insights into the respective health and foreign policy processes at the national level. This article reports on the results of semi-structured interviews with those actors that were responsible for initiating and drafting the German Global Health Strategy (GGHS). Our study shows that a series of external developments, stakeholders, and advocacy efforts created an environment conducive to the creation of the strategic document. In addition, a number of internal considerations, struggles, and capacities played a decisive role during the development phase of the GGHS. Understanding these factors better can not only provide substantial insights into global health related policy processes in Germany, but also contribute to the general discourse on the role of the nation state in global health governance.

  6. Responding to diversity: an exploratory study of migrant health policies in Europe. (United States)

    Mladovsky, Philipa; Rechel, Bernd; Ingleby, David; McKee, Martin


    There has been growing international attention to migrant health, reflecting recognition of the need for health systems to adapt to increasingly diverse populations. However, reports from health policy experts in 25 European countries suggest that by 2009 only eleven countries had established national policies to improve migrant health that go beyond migrants' statutory or legal entitlement to care. The objective of this paper is to compare and contrast the content of these policies and analyse their strengths and limitations. The analysis suggests that most of the national policies target either migrants or more established ethnic minorities. Countries should address the diverse needs of both groups and could learn from "intercultural" health care policies in Ireland and, in the past, the Netherlands. Policies in several countries prioritise specific diseases or conditions, but these differ and it is not clear whether they accurately reflect real differences in need among countries. Policy initiatives typically involve training health workers, providing interpreter services and/or 'cultural mediators', adapting organizational culture, improving data collection and providing information to migrants on health problems and services. A few countries stand out for their quest to increase migrants' health literacy and their participation in the development and implementation of policy. Progressive migrant health policies are not always sustainable as they can be undermined or even reversed when political contexts change. The analysis of migrant health policies in Europe is still in its infancy and there is an urgent need to monitor the implementation and evaluate the effectiveness of these diverse policies.

  7. Mental health policy process: a comparative study of Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kigozi Fred


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mental illnesses are increasingly recognised as a leading cause of disability worldwide, yet many countries lack a mental health policy or have an outdated, inappropriate policy. This paper explores the development of appropriate mental health policies and their effective implementation. It reports comparative findings on the processes for developing and implementing mental health policies in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia as part of the Mental Health and Poverty Project. Methods The study countries and respondents were purposively selected to represent different levels of mental health policy and system development to allow comparative analysis of the factors underlying the different forms of mental health policy development and implementation. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and document analysis. Data analysis was guided by conceptual framework that was developed for this purpose. A framework approach to analysis was used, incorporating themes that emerged from the data and from the conceptual framework. Results Mental health policies in Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia are weak, in draft form or non-existent. Mental health remained low on the policy agenda due to stigma and a lack of information, as well as low prioritisation by donors, low political priority and grassroots demand. Progress with mental health policy development varied and respondents noted a lack of consultation and insufficient evidence to inform policy development. Furthermore, policies were poorly implemented, due to factors including insufficient dissemination and operationalisation of policies and a lack of resources. Conclusions Mental health policy processes in all four countries were inadequate, leading to either weak or non-existent policies, with an impact on mental health services. Recommendations are provided to strengthen mental health policy processes in these and other African countries.

  8. 'The one with the purse makes policy': Power, problem definition, framing and maternal health policies and programmes evolution in national level institutionalised policy making processes in Ghana. (United States)

    Koduah, Augustina; Agyepong, Irene Akua; van Dijk, Han


    This paper seeks to advance our understanding of health policy agenda setting and formulation processes in a lower middle income country, Ghana, by exploring how and why maternal health policies and programmes appeared and evolved on the health sector programme of work agenda between 2002 and 2012. We theorized that the appearance of a policy or programme on the agenda and its fate within the programme of work is predominately influenced by how national level decision makers use their sources of power to define maternal health problems and frame their policy narratives. National level decision makers used their power sources as negotiation tools to frame maternal health issues and design maternal health policies and programmes within the framework of the national health sector programme of work. The power sources identified included legal and structural authority; access to authority by way of political influence; control over and access to resources (mainly financial); access to evidence in the form of health sector performance reviews and demographic health surveys; and knowledge of national plans such as Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy. Understanding of power sources and their use as negotiation tools in policy development should not be ignored in the pursuit of transformative change and sustained improvement in health systems in low- and middle income countries (LMIC).

  9. Shaping public policy and population health in the United States: why is the public health community missing in action? (United States)

    Raphael, Dennis


    Renewed international interest in the structural determinants of health manifests itself in a focus on the social determinants of health and the public policy antecedents that shape their quality. This increased international interest in public policy in support of the structural determinants of health has had little traction in the United States. This should be surprising since the United States presents one of the worst population health profiles and public policy environments in support of health among wealthy developed nations. The U.S. position as a health status and policy outlier results from long-term institutional changes that are shaped by political, economic, and social forces. U.S. public health researchers' and workers' neglect of these structural and public policy issues conforms to the dominant ideological discourses that serve to justify these changes. The author presents some means by which public health researchers and workers can challenge these dominant discourses.

  10. Policy paradox and political neglect in community health services. (United States)

    Hudson, Bob


    Community health services (CHSs) have never had a settled organisational existence but the turmoil has intensified since the publication of Transforming Community Services in 2009. CHSs are now beset by three dilemmas: ongoing organisational fragmentation; the extension of competition law and the spread of privatisation; inadequate workforce development and lack of clarity on the nature of CHS activity. This has left the services in a position of policy and political vulnerability. The solution may be for the service to be part of horizontal integration models such as the accountable care organisation, with a focus on locality and multi-professional teams wrapped around patient pathways.

  11. Developing a Dynamic Microsimulation Model of the Australian Health System: A Means to Explore Impacts of Obesity over the Next 50 Years

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    Sharyn Lymer


    Full Text Available Health of the ageing population has the potential to place considerable pressure on future government spending. Further, the impacts of the obesity epidemic have the potential to place additional pressure on government health budgets. In response to such fiscal concerns in Australia, a dynamic microsimulation model, APPSIM, has been developed at the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM. The health module was developed to allow consideration of health behaviours within the context of an ageing population and the resultant health profile of the population. Also included in the modelling is the associated use of health services and their costs. All health variables used were imputed onto the 2001 basefile derived from the 1 percent unit record file of the 2001 Australian census. Transition equations of these variables were estimated to allow projections over time. In this paper, the model has been used to look at the impacts of obesity on the Australian population health profile and associated health expenditure. In the scenario, removal of obesity from the population leads to a simulated population with a better health profile but showed only marginal changes in relative health expenditure.

  12. Why public opinion changes: the implications for health and health policy. (United States)

    Jacobs, Lawrence R; Mettler, Suzanne


    Research on stasis or change in public opinion toward health, health policy, and medical care tends to focus on short-term dynamics and to emphasize the impact of discrete messages communicated by individual speakers in particular situations. This focus on what we term "situational framing," though valuable in some respects, is poorly equipped to assess changes that may occur over the longer term. We focus, instead, on "structural framing" to understand how institutionalized public health and health care policies impact public opinion and behavior over time. Understanding the dynamics of public opinion over time is especially helpful in tracking the political effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as it moves from the debate over its passage to its implementation and operation.

  13. Variation in School Health Policies and Programs by Demographic Characteristics of US Schools, 2006 (United States)

    Balaji, Alexandra B.; Brener, Nancy D.; McManus, Tim


    Background: To identify whether school health policies and programs vary by demographic characteristics of schools, using data from the School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) 2006. This study updates a similar study conducted with SHPPS 2000 data and assesses several additional policies and programs measured for the first time in SHPPS…

  14. Evaluating the Impacts of School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies on Child Health. PRGS Dissertation (United States)

    Fernandes, Meenakshi Maria


    This dissertation evaluates the impact of elementary school policies on child health behaviors and obesity in the United States. Two chapters address nutrition policies, two chapters address physical activity policies, and a final chapter estimates the health care cost savings associated with a decline in childhood obesity prevalence. The use of…

  15. Evaluating the Impact of School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies on Child Health (United States)

    Fernandes, Meenakshi M.


    This dissertation evaluates the impact of elementary school policies on child health behaviors and obesity in the United States. Two chapters address nutrition policies, two chapters address physical activity policies, and a final chapter estimates the health care cost savings associated with a decline in childhood obesity prevalence. The use of…

  16. Variables in health care policy-making: resolving a quandary? (United States)

    Smith, George P


    Contemporary debate on health care resource management is tied to a central moral issue: how to achieve an optimum level of reasonable or appropriate treatment based on the medical condition of each patient. Failure to tackle and resolve this issue in a confident and forthright manner ensures that the present approach to health care decision-making will continue in a state of indecisiveness if not, indeed, lethargy. Undergirding this moral issue is the foundational economic dilemma of controlling costs while limiting access to health care resources. Crafting a just solution to an equitable distribution of finite health care resources is, indeed, a quandary, if not almost an impossibility. What this article seeks to do, nonetheless, is to undertake an examination of the principles, socio-economic values and public policies needed to formulate health care compromises necessary to achieve greater stability in the normative decision-making process. In turn, this will ensure, ideally, a level of distributive justice in the total allocative process.

  17. Personal and political histories in the designing of health reform policy in Bolivia. (United States)

    Bernstein, Alissa


    While health policies are a major focus in disciplines such as public health and public policy, there is a dearth of work on the histories, social contexts, and personalities behind the development of these policies. This article takes an anthropological approach to the study of a health policy's origins, based on ethnographic research conducted in Bolivia between 2010 and 2012. Bolivia began a process of health care reform in 2006, following the election of Evo Morales Ayma, the country's first indigenous president, and leader of the Movement Toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialism). Brought into power through the momentum of indigenous social movements, the MAS government platform addressed racism, colonialism, and human rights in a number of major reforms, with a focus on cultural identity and indigeneity. One of the MAS's projects was the design of a new national health policy in 2008 called The Family Community Intercultural Health Policy (Salud Familiar Comunitaria Intercultural). This policy aimed to address major health inequities through primary care in a country that is over 60% indigenous. Methods used were interviews with Bolivian policymakers and other stakeholders, participant observation at health policy conferences and in rural community health programs that served as models for aspects of the policy, and document analysis to identify core premises and ideological areas. I argue that health policies are historical both in their relationship to national contexts and events on a timeline, but also because of the ways they intertwine with participants' personal histories, theoretical frameworks, and reflections on national historical events. By studying the Bolivian policymaking process, and particularly those who helped design the policy, it is possible to understand how and why particular progressive ideas were able to translate into policy. More broadly, this work also suggests how a uniquely anthropological approach to the study of health policy

  18. Understanding the social determinants of health among Indigenous Canadians: priorities for health promotion policies and actions (United States)

    Kolahdooz, Fariba; Nader, Forouz; Yi, Kyoung J.; Sharma, Sangita


    Background Indigenous Canadians have a life expectancy 12 years lower than the national average and experience higher rates of preventable chronic diseases compared with non-Indigenous Canadians. Transgenerational trauma from past assimilation policies have affected the health of Indigenous populations. Objective The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively examine the social determinants of health (SDH), in order to identify priorities for health promotion policies and actions. Design We undertook a series of systematic reviews focusing on four major SDH (i.e. income, education, employment, and housing) among Indigenous peoples in Alberta, following the protocol Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis-Equity. Results We found that the four SDH disproportionately affect the health of Indigenous peoples. Our systematic review highlighted 1) limited information regarding relationships and interactions among income, personal and social circumstances, and health outcomes; 2) limited knowledge of factors contributing to current housing status and its impacts on health outcomes; and 3) the limited number of studies involving the barriers to, and opportunities for, education. Conclusions These findings may help to inform efforts to promote health equity and improve health outcomes of Indigenous Canadians. However, there is still a great need for in-depth subgroup studies to understand SDH (e.g. age, Indigenous ethnicity, dwelling area, etc.) and intersectoral collaborations (e.g. community and various government departments) to reduce health disparities faced by Indigenous Canadians. PMID:26187697

  19. A mental health first aid training program for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: description and initial evaluation

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    Hart Laura M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mental Health First Aid (MHFA training was developed in Australia to teach members of the public how to give initial help to someone developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis situation. However, this type of training requires adaptation for specific cultural groups in the community. This paper describes the adaptation of the program to create an Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid (AMHFA course and presents an initial evaluation of its uptake and acceptability. Methods To evaluate the program, two types of data were collected: (1 quantitative data on uptake of the course (number of Instructors trained and courses subsequently run by these Instructors; (2 qualitative data on strengths, weaknesses and recommendations for the future derived from interviews with program staff and focus groups with Instructors and community participants. Results 199 Aboriginal people were trained as Instructors in a five day Instructor Training Course. With sufficient time following training, the majority of these Instructors subsequently ran 14-hour AMHFA courses for Aboriginal people in their community. Instructors were more likely to run courses if they had prior teaching experience and if there was post-course contact with one of the Trainers of Instructors. Analysis of qualitative data indicated that the Instructor Training Course and the AMHFA course are culturally appropriate, empowering for Aboriginal people, and provided information that was seen as highly relevant and important in assisting Aboriginal people with a mental illness. There were a number of recommendations for improvements. Conclusion The AMHFA program is culturally appropriate and acceptable to Aboriginal people. Further work is needed to refine the course and to evaluate its impact on help provided to Aboriginal people with mental health problems.

  20. [Soy and phytoestrogens consumption and health policy hesitation or certitude]. (United States)

    Nitzan-Kaluski, Dorit; Stern, Felicia; Kachel, Josefa; Leventhal, Alex


    Soy and phytoestrogens are controversial as to their beneficial effects on health and the prevention of disease. To date, dietary recommendations in Israel do not specify a diet rich in soy and phytoestrogens. In order to establish a policy on this issue, we carried out a comprehensive, updated review of the relevant scientific literature. Data on the role of these substances in the primary and secondary prevention of cancer are limited. As yet, there is no conclusive evidence on the efficacy of phytoestrogens and soy in the prevention of osteoporosis. Their effect on fertility in animals and humans is still unclear. There are no data on the long-term risks or benefits of using soy-based formulae in infancy. Therefore, for those who cannot be breast-fed, cow-milk based formulae are recommended. Currently, the most supportive evidence for health benefits of soy can be found in studies on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

  1. On Relating Health Care Policy to the Provision of Health Care to Black Families. (United States)

    Darity, William A.

    This paper addresses health and social issues as well as other socioeconomic problems which affect the black family, and the development of appropriate policy and programs to deal with those problems. Data on infant mortality, life expectancy, maternal mortality, physician and dental visits, and some selected death rates from specific causes are…

  2. Linking biodiversity, diet and health in policy and practice. (United States)

    Johns, Timothy; Eyzaguirre, Pablo B


    Simplification of human diets associated with increased accessibility of inexpensive agricultural commodities and erosion of agrobiodiversity leads to nutrient deficiencies and excess energy consumption. Non-communicable diseases are growing causes of death and disability worldwide. Successful food systems in transition effectively draw on locally-available foods, food variety and traditional food cultures. In practice this process involves empirical research, public policy, promotion and applied action in support of multi-sectoral, community-based strategies linking rural producers and urban consumers, subsistence and market economies, and traditional and modern food systems. Implementation of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute's Global Nutrition Strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa offers a useful case study. Relevant policy platforms, in which biodiversity conservation and nutrition are and should be linked, include the Millennium Development Goals, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Convention on Biological Diversity, Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, Food-Based Dietary Guidelines, Right to Adequate Food and UN Human Rights Commission's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The largely unexplored health benefits of cultivated and wild plants include micronutrient intake and functions related to energy density, glycaemic control, oxidative stress and immuno-stimulation. Research on the properties of neglected and underutilized species and local varieties deserves higher priority. In tests of the hypothesis that biodiversity is essential for dietary diversity and health, quantitative indicators of dietary and biological diversity can be combined with nutrition and health outcomes at the population level. That traditional systems once lost are hard to recreate underlines the imperative for timely documentation, compilation and dissemination of eroding knowledge of biodiversity and the use of food culture for promoting positive

  3. The voluntary sector and health policy: the role of national level health consumer and patients' organisations in the UK. (United States)

    Baggott, Rob; Jones, Kathryn


    This article explores the policy role of health consumer and patients' organisations (HCPOs), an important subset of the UK voluntary health sector. Based on research findings from two surveys, the article examines the activities, resources and contacts of HCPOs. It also assesses their impact on health policy and reform. There is some evidence that HCPOs can influence policy and reform. However, much depends on the alliances they build with other policy actors (including other HCPOs), their resources and leadership. HCPOs seem to have more impact on the detail of policy than on the direction of travel. In addition, there are potentially adverse consequences for HCPOs that do engage with the policy process, which may partly explain why some are wary of such involvement. For example, it is possible that HCPOs can be manipulated by government and other powerful policy actors such as health professionals and the drugs industry.

  4. Traditional vs. Contemporary Management Control Practices for Developing Public Health Policies (United States)

    Naranjo-Gil, David; Sánchez-Expósito, María Jesús; Gómez-Ruiz, Laura


    Public health policies must address multiple goals and complex community health needs. Recently, management control practices have emerged to provide a broader type of information for evaluating the effectiveness of healthcare policies, and relate activities and processes to multiple strategic outcomes. This study compares the effect of traditional and contemporary management control practices on the achievement of public health policies. It is also analyzed how two different uses of such practices (enabling vs. coercive) facilitate the achievement of public health policies. Relationships are explored using data collected from managers from public health agencies and public hospitals in Spain. The findings show that contemporary management control practices are more suitable than traditional practices to achieve public health policies. Furthermore, results show that public health policies are better achieved when managers use management control practices in an enabling way rather than in a coercive way. PMID:27428985

  5. Enacting sustainable school-based health initiatives: a communication-centered approach to policy and practice. (United States)

    LeGreco, Marianne; Canary, Heather E


    Communication plays an important role in all aspects of the development and use of policy. We present a communication-centered perspective on the processes of enacting public health policies. Our proposed conceptual framework comprises 4 communication frames: orientation, amplification, implementation, and integration. Empirical examples from 2 longitudinal studies of school-based health policies show how each frame includes different communication processes that enable sustainable public health policy practices in school-based health initiatives. These 4 frames provide unique insight into the capacity of school-based public health policy to engage youths, parents, and a broader community of stakeholders. Communication is often included as an element of health policy; however, our framework demonstrates the importance of communication as a pivotal resource in sustaining changes in public health practices.

  6. Traditional vs. Contemporary Management Control Practices for Developing Public Health Policies. (United States)

    Naranjo-Gil, David; Sánchez-Expósito, María Jesús; Gómez-Ruiz, Laura


    Public health policies must address multiple goals and complex community health needs. Recently, management control practices have emerged to provide a broader type of information for evaluating the effectiveness of healthcare policies, and relate activities and processes to multiple strategic outcomes. This study compares the effect of traditional and contemporary management control practices on the achievement of public health policies. It is also analyzed how two different uses of such practices (enabling vs. coercive) facilitate the achievement of public health policies. Relationships are explored using data collected from managers from public health agencies and public hospitals in Spain. The findings show that contemporary management control practices are more suitable than traditional practices to achieve public health policies. Furthermore, results show that public health policies are better achieved when managers use management control practices in an enabling way rather than in a coercive way.

  7. Political Impetus: Towards a Successful Agenda-Setting for Inclusive Health Policies in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Comment on "Shaping the Health Policy Agenda: The Case of Safe Motherhood Policy in Vietnam". (United States)

    Yang, Xiaoguang; Qian, Xu


    Agenda-setting is a crucial step for inclusive health policies in the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Enlightened by Ha et al manuscript, this commentary paper argues that 'political impetus' is the key to the successful agenda-setting of health policies in LMICs, though other determinants may also play the role during the process. This Vietnamese case study presents a good example for policy-makers of other LMICs; it offers insights for contexts where there are limited health resources and poor health performance. Further research which compares various stages of the health policy process across countries, is much needed.

  8. Cross-Cultural Understanding of Health Assessments for People with Intellectual Disability: An Australian resource in the Philippines

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    C. E. Brolan


    Full Text Available The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has resulted in the involvement of high income countries in international development assistance to people with disabilities in low and middle income countries.  Healthcare tools designed in high income countries and delivered in low and middle income countries may not be appropriate to the context of the lives of people with disabilities.  We undertook a short qualitative study of participants’ views of an Australian-designed comprehensive health assessment tool, with participation from a WHO-Collaborating non-government organisation in regional Philippines. We also examined the participants’ perceptions of the barriers to healthcare for Filipinos with intellectual disabilities.  Responses to the comprehensive health assessment tool were positive although participants agreed that both linguistic and cultural translation would enhance wider use of the tool. The barriers identified included poverty, family isolation, stigma and communication issues as preventing appropriate healthcare delivery to Filipinos with intellectual disability. Consideration must be given to the complexities of transference of healthcare resources to a low and middle income country context, as well as the systemic and cultural barriers to appropriate healthcare provision to people with disabilities.

  9. Population health metrics: crucial inputs to the development of evidence for health policy

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    Salomon Joshua A


    Full Text Available Abstract Valid, reliable and comparable measures of the health states of individuals and of the health status of populations are critical components of the evidence base for health policy. We need to develop population health measurement strategies that coherently address the relationships between epidemiological measures (such as risk exposures, incidence, and mortality rates and multi-domain measures of population health status, while ensuring validity and cross-population comparability. Studies reporting on descriptive epidemiology of major diseases, injuries and risk factors, and on the measurement of health at the population level – either for monitoring trends in health levels or inequalities or for measuring broad outcomes of health systems and social interventions – are not well-represented in traditional epidemiology journals, which tend to concentrate on causal studies and on quasi-experimental design. In particular, key methodological issues relating to the clear conceptualisation of, and the validity and comparability of measures of population health are currently not addressed coherently by any discipline, and cross-disciplinary debate is fragmented and often conducted in mutually incomprehensible language or paradigms. Population health measurement potentially bridges a range of currently disjoint fields of inquiry relating to health: biology, demography, epidemiology, health economics, and broader social science disciplines relevant to assessment of health determinants, health state valuations and health inequalities. This new journal will focus on the importance of a population based approach to measurement as a way to characterize the complexity of people's health, the diseases and risks that affect it, its distribution, and its valuation, and will attempt to provide a forum for innovative work and debate that bridge the many fields of inquiry relevant to population health in order to contribute to the development of valid

  10. Choosing and remaining in mental health nursing: perceptions of Western Australian nurses. (United States)

    Harrison, Carole A; Hauck, Yvonne; Hoffman, Rosemary


    Mental health nursing has an ageing workforce with a critical shortage of nurses in Western Australia. Additionally, mental health is not the preferred career for many graduate nurses. Current challenges with recruitment and retention suggest that strategies are needed to address this issue. This research project adopted a novel approach that focused on exploring the positive aspects of why mental health nurses remain, rather than why they leave. A cross-sectional design was employed comprising a brief interview survey, and nurses working within one public mental health service in Western Australia were invited to participate. A total of 192 nurses participated across 5 months, from adult, older adult, forensic, and education/research programmes. Thematic analysis was conducted from five key questions, and responses from questions one and two are discussed in this paper: 'Why did you choose mental health nursing?' and 'Why do you remain in mental health nursing?'. The main themes extracted in response to choosing mental health nursing were wanting to make a difference, mental health captured my interest, encouraged by others, and opportunities. Subsequent themes extracted from responses to remaining in mental health nursing were facing reality, passion for mental health nursing, patient-centred caring, and workplace conditions. Findings will be utilized to inform strategies for recruitment and retention of graduate nurses; further development of support systems, such as preceptorship training and improving student clinical experiences; as well as improving professional development opportunities for existing mental health nurses.

  11. Health beliefs and behavior: the practicalities of "looking after yourself" in an Australian aboriginal community. (United States)

    Senior, Kate; Chenhall, Richard


    Recently, social determinants of health frameworks are receiving some criticism in that they do not engage with questions related to individual subjectivity and agency as they relate to health decision-making behavior. This article examines the different ways in which people living in a remote Arnhem Land community in the Northern Territory of Australia, take responsibility for their own health and the extent to which they are able to prevent illness. A number of related sub-questions are explored relating to how people perceive their health and their role in health care in their community, including their engagement with the health clinic, traditional medicines, and the influence of sorcery on ill health and sickness.

  12. Competition policy for health care provision in Portugal. (United States)

    Barros, Pedro Pita


    We review the role of competition among healthcare providers in Portugal, which has a public National Health Service (NHS) at the core of the health system. There is little competition among healthcare providers within the NHS. Competition among NHS primary care providers is hindered by excess demand (many residents in Portugal do not have a designated family doctor). Competition among NHS hospitals has been traditionally limited to cases of maximum guaranteed waiting time for surgery being exceeded. The Portuguese Competition Authority enforces competition law. It has focused on mergers between private hospitals and abuse of market power (including cartel cases) by private healthcare providers. The Healthcare Regulation Authority produced several reports on particular areas of activity by private healthcare providers. The main conclusion of these reviews was lack of conditions for effective competition, with the exception of dentistry. Within the NHS, the use of tendering procedures was able to create "competition for the market" in particular areas though it was not problem free. Details in the particular design adopted matter a lot. Overall, the scope for competition policy and for competition among healthcare providers to have a main role in a health system based on a public National Health Service seems limited, with more relevance to "competition for the market" situations than to "competition in the market".

  13. Young Australian adults with NF1 have poor access to health care, high complication rates, and limited disease knowledge. (United States)

    Oates, Emily C; Payne, Jonathan M; Foster, Sheryl L; Clarke, Nigel F; North, Kathryn N


    Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a multisystem disease associated with a lifelong risk of debilitating and potentially life-limiting complications, however many adults with NF1 have no regular health surveillance. We interviewed and examined 17 young adults with NF1 between the ages of 25 and 33. Most had not been assessed for NF1-related complications within the previous 8 years, including patients with known serious vascular complications, for example, renal artery stenosis. Acute and/or chronic pain, particularly back and plexiform-related pain were common symptoms, and despite a significant impact on quality of life, was untreated in most instances. Symptom and examination-directed imaging revealed serious complications in 41% of the cohort. These included severe spinal cord compression (two cases), a highly SUV avid lesion suggestive of malignancy (one case), and a Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma in a patient without any previous NF1-related complications. Few study participants had a good understanding of NF1, its associated risks and complications, and many had not sought appropriate medical advice as questions or problems arose. NF1-related cognitive deficits in some participants, and the lack of a clear source of expert medical advice for adults with NF1 likely contributed to poor health surveillance and management in this population. Overall, these findings suggest that many Australian adults with NF1 are at risk of serious and life-threatening medical complications, but are not accessing and receiving adequate health care. Access to multidisciplinary adult clinics that specialize in NF1 may address many of the unmet health needs of young adults with NF1.

  14. Policy entrepreneurship in the development of public sector strategy: the case of London health reform. (United States)

    Oborn, Eivor; Barrett, Michael; Exworthy, Mark


    The development of health policy is recognized as complex; however, there has been little development of the role of agency in this process. Kingdon developed the concept of policy entrepreneur (PE) within his ‘windows’ model. He argued inter-related ‘policy streams' must coincide for important issues to become addressed. The conjoining of these streams may be aided by a policy entrepreneur. We contribute by clarifying the role of the policy entrepreneur and highlighting the translational processes of key actors in creating and aligning policy windows. We analyse the work in London of Professor Sir Ara Darzi as a policy entrepreneur. An important aspect of Darzi's approach was to align a number of important institutional networks to conjoin related problems. Our findings highlight how a policy entrepreneur not only opens policy windows but also yokes together a network to make policy agendas happen. Our contribution reveals the role of clinical leadership in health reform.

  15. Two heads are better than one: Australian tobacco control experts' and mental health change champions' consensus on addressing the problem of high smoking rates among people with mental illness. (United States)

    Rowley, Della; Lawn, Sharon; Coveney, John


    Objective The aims of the present study were to explore the beliefs of Australian experts in tobacco control and change champions working in mental health and tobacco cessation, and to identify measures for addressing the problem of high smoking rates for people with mental illness. Methods Qualitative interviews were undertaken to explore participants' views, and the Delphi technique was used to achieve consensus on ways in which the problem would be best addressed. Results This consensus centred on the need for leadership within the mental health system. The problem was reconceptualised from being solely the responsibility of the mental health sector into an issue that requires the combined resources of a partnership and shared leadership between government and non-government services, public health leaders, policy makers and people with mental illness and their families. Conclusions Collaboration would raise the priority of the issue, reduce the debilitating effect of stigma and discrimination within the mental health sector and would place smoking reduction firmly on the political and public agenda. A recovery-orientated focus would increase the skill base and be inclusive of workers, families and carers of people with mental illness who face smoking issues on a daily basis. Reconceptualising this as an issue that would benefit from cooperation and partnerships would disrupt the notion that the problem is solely the responsibility of the mental health sector. What is known about the topic? Rates of smoking have remained high for people with mental illness despite population-wide public health strategies successfully reducing smoking rates in the general population. For people with mental illness, the benefits of quitting smoking for both their mental and physical health are overshadowed by concerns about the complexity of their needs. There is a lack of knowledge about how smoking cessation support can be improved to increase success rates in smokers with

  16. Federalism and health policy: the intergovernmental committees in Brazil

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    Cristiani Vieira Machado


    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE To analyze the dynamics of operation of the Bipartite Committees in health care in the Brazilian states. METHODS The research included visits to 24 states, direct observation, document analysis, and performance of semi-structured interviews with state and local leaders. The characterization of each committee was performed between 2007 and 2010, and four dimensions were considered: (i level of institutionality, classified as advanced, intermediate, or incipient; (ii agenda of intergovernmental negotiations, classified as diversified/restricted, adapted/not adapted to the reality of each state, and shared/unshared between the state and municipalities; (iii political processes, considering the character and scope of intergovernmental relations; and (iv capacity of operation, assessed as high, moderate, or low. RESULTS Ten committees had advanced level of institutionality. The agenda of the negotiations was diversified in all states, and most of them were adapted to the state reality. However, one-third of the committees showed power inequalities between the government levels. Cooperative and interactive intergovernmental relations predominated in 54.0% of the states. The level of institutionality, scope of negotiations, and political processes influenced Bipartite Committees’ ability to formulate policies and coordinate health care at the federal level. Bipartite Committees with a high capacity of operation predominated in the South and Southeast regions, while those with a low capacity of operations predominated in the North and Northeast. CONCLUSIONS The regional differences in operation among Bipartite Interagency Committees suggest the influence of historical-structural variables (socioeconomic development, geographic barriers, characteristics of the health care system in their capacity of intergovernmental health care management. However, structural problems can be overcome in some states through institutional and political changes

  17. Health Inequity and "Restoring Fairness" Through the Canadian Refugee Health Policy Reforms: A Literature Review. (United States)

    Antonipillai, Valentina; Baumann, Andrea; Hunter, Andrea; Wahoush, Olive; O'Shea, Timothy


    Refugees and refugee claimants experience increased health needs upon arrival in Canada. The Federal Government funded the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) since 1957, ensuring comprehensive healthcare insurance for all refugees and refugee claimants seeking protection in Canada. Over the past 4 years, the Canadian government implemented restrictions to essential healthcare services through retrenchments to the IFHP. This paper will review the IFHP, in conjunction with other immigration policies, to explore the issues associated with providing inequitable access to healthcare for refugee populations. It will examine changes made to the IFHP in 2012 and in response to the federal court decision in 2014. Findings of the review indicate that the retrenchments to the 2012 IFHP instigated health outcome disparities, social exclusion and increased costs for vulnerable refugee populations. The 2014 reforms reinstated some services; however the policy continued to produce inequitable healthcare access for some refugees and refugee claimants.

  18. Development and preliminary validation of the 'Caring for Country' questionnaire: measurement of an Indigenous Australian health determinant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunthorpe Wendy


    Full Text Available Abstract Background 'Caring for Country' is defined as Indigenous participation in interrelated activities with the objective of promoting ecological and human health. Ecological services on Indigenous-owned lands are belatedly attracting some institutional investment. However, the health outcomes associated with Indigenous participation in 'caring for country' activities have never been investigated. The aims of this study were to pilot and validate a questionnaire measuring caring for country as an Indigenous health determinant and to relate it to an external reference, obesity. Methods Purposively sampled participants were 301 Indigenous adults aged 15 to 54 years, recruited during a cross-sectional program of preventive health checks in a remote Australian community. Questionnaire validation was undertaken with psychometric tests of internal consistency, reliability, exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory one-factor congeneric modelling. Accurate item weightings were derived from the model and used to create a single weighted composite score for caring for country. Multiple linear regression modelling was used to test associations between the caring for country score and body mass index adjusting for socio-demographic factors and health behaviours. Results The questionnaire demonstrated adequate internal consistency, test-retest validity and proxy-respondent validity. Exploratory factor analysis of the 'caring for country' items produced a single factor solution that was confirmed via one-factor congeneric modelling. A significant and substantial association between greater participation in caring for country activities and lower body mass index was demonstrated. Adjusting for socio-demographic factors and health behaviours, an inter-quartile range rise in caring for country scores was associated with 6.1 Kg and 5.3 Kg less body weight for non-pregnant women and men respectively. Conclusion This study indicates preliminary support for

  19. An evaluation of the effects of the Australian Food and Health Dialogue targets on the sodium content of bread, breakfast cereals and processed meats. (United States)

    Trevena, Helen; Neal, Bruce; Dunford, Elizabeth; Wu, Jason H Y


    The Australian Food and Health Dialogue set sodium reduction targets for three food categories (breads, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and processed meats) to be achieved by December, 2013. Sodium levels for 1849 relevant packaged foods on the shelves of Australian supermarkets between 2010 and 2013 were examined. Changes in mean sodium content were assessed by linear mixed models, and the significance of differences in the proportion of products meeting targets was determined using chi-squared or McNemar's tests. The mean sodium level of bread products fell from 454 to 415 mg/100 g (9% lower, p food industry can reduce salt levels of processed foods and provide a strong case for broadening and strengthening of the Food and Health Dialogue (FHD) process.

  20. Psychosocial job quality, mental health, and subjective wellbeing: a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline wave of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health

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    Anthony D. LaMontagne


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Employment status and working conditions are strong determinants of male health, and are therefore an important focus in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men. In this paper, we describe key work variables included in Ten to Men, and present analyses relating psychosocial job quality to mental health and subjective wellbeing at baseline. Methods A national sample of males aged 10 to 55 years residing in private dwellings was drawn using a stratified multi-stage cluster random sample design. Data were collected between October 2013 and July 2014 for a cohort of 15,988 males, representing a response fraction of 35 %. This analysis was restricted to 18–55 year old working age participants (n = 13,456. Work-related measures included employment status, and, for those who were employed, a number of working conditions including an ordinal scale of psychosocial job quality (presence of low job control, high demand and complexity, high job insecurity, and low fairness of pay, and working time-related stressors such as long working hours and night shift work. Associations between psychosocial job quality and two outcome measures, mental ill-health and subjective wellbeing, were assessed using multiple linear regression. Results The majority of participants aged 18–55 years were employed at baseline (85.6 %, with 8.4 % unemployed and looking for work, and 6.1 % not in the labour force. Among employed participants, there was a high prevalence of long working hours (49.9 % reported working more than 40 h/week and night shift work (23.4 %. Psychosocial job quality (exposure to 0/1/2/3+ job stressors prevalence was 36 %/ 37 %/ 20 %/ and 7 % of the working respondents. There was a dose–response relationship between psychosocial job quality and each of the two outcome measures of mental health and subjective wellbeing after adjusting for potential confounders, with higher magnitude associations

  1. Working with Policy and Regulatory Factors to Implement Universal Design in the Built Environment: The Australian Experience

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    Helen Larkin


    Full Text Available Built environments that are usable by all provide opportunities for engagement in meaningful occupations. However, enabling them in day to day design processes and practice is problematic for relevant professions. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain greater understanding of the policy and regulatory influences that promote or hinder the uptake of universal design in built environments, to inform better future design. Focus groups or telephone interviews were undertaken with 28 key building industry and disability stakeholders in Australia. Four themes were identified: the difficulties of definition; the push or pull of regulations and policy; the role of formal standards; and, shifting the focus of design thinking. The findings highlight the complexity of working within policy and regulatory contexts when implementing universal design. Occupational therapists working with colleagues from other professions must be aware of these influences, and develop the skills to work with them for successful practice.

  2. Improving the state of health hardware in Australian Indigenous housing: building more houses is not the only answer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Pholeros


    Full Text Available Background. This article outlines a program of applied research and development known as Housing for Health that, over the period 1999–2012, targeted health-related improvements in housing for Indigenous householders in communities across regional and remote Australia. In essence, the program focuses on measuring the functionality of key appliances and structures (we term this “health hardware” against clear criteria and ensuring identified faults are fixed. Methods. Detailed survey and assessment of all aspects of housing was undertaken, particularly focusing on the function of health hardware. All results were entered into a database and analyzed. Results. The results demonstrate extremely poor initial performance of the health hardware. A key finding is that attention to maintenance of existing houses can be a cost-effective means of improving health outcomes and also suggests the need to superintend the health-conferring qualities of new infrastructure. We briefly outline the early foundations of the Housing for Health program, major findings from data gathered before and after improvements to household amenities, and our efforts to translate these findings into broader policy. Conclusions. These data demonstrate that simply injecting funds into housing construction is not sufficient for gaining maximum health benefit.

  3. Appreciating history: the Australian experience of direct-entry mental health nursing education in universities. (United States)

    Happell, Brenda


    More than two decades since the introduction of comprehensive nursing education in Australia, the controversy regarding the type of undergraduate education that would best serve the needs of the mental health nursing profession continues. The ensuing debate tends to be based on a comparison between the current model of comprehensive education in the universities and the specialist mental health nursing programs that previously operated within the hospital system. The previous existence of a tertiary-based direct-entry mental health nursing program in Victoria is generally not recognized. The paper provides a brief overview of mental health nursing education from a historical perspective emphasizing the period following the commencement of the transfer of the nursing education. Articulating the Victorian experience of specialist undergraduate mental health nursing education within universities is essential as discussions about the most appropriate educational preparation for mental health nursing continues.

  4. The health co-benefits of climate change policies: doctors have a responsibility to future generations. (United States)

    Roberts, Ian


    Mitigating climate change presents unrivalled opportunities for improving public health. The policies that need to be implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will also bring about substantial reductions in heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, road deaths and injuries, and air pollution. The health benefits arise because climate change policies necessarily impact on two of the most important determinants of health: human nutrition and human movement. Although the health co-benefits of climate change policies are increasingly recognised by health professionals they are not widely appreciated by those responsible for policy. Because the existence of important health co-benefits will dramatically reduce the cost to society of taking strong action to mitigate climate change, failure to appreciate their importance could have serious environmental consequences. Health professionals have an urgent responsibility to ensure that the health benefits of environmental policies are understood by the public and by policymakers.

  5. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Physical Activity (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief presents the results of the study in the area of physical activity, covering the following topics: (1) Health Education; (2) Physical…

  6. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Alcohol- or Other Drug-Use Prevention (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports the results of the study in the area of alcohol- or other drug-use prevention, covering the following topics: (1) Health Education;…

  7. SHPPS 2006: School Health Policies and Programs Study--Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention (United States)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007


    The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and programs at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief reports study results in the area of sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention, covering the following topics (1) Health Education; and…

  8. Achievements in mental health outcome measurement in Australia: Reflections on progress made by the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN

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    Burgess Philip


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Australia’s National Mental Health Strategy has emphasised the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of services, and has promoted the collection of outcomes and casemix data as a means of monitoring these. All public sector mental health services across Australia now routinely report outcomes and casemix data. Since late-2003, the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN has received, processed, analysed and reported on outcome data at a national level, and played a training and service development role. This paper documents the history of AMHOCN’s activities and achievements, with a view to providing lessons for others embarking on similar exercises. Method We conducted a desktop review of relevant documents to summarise the history of AMHOCN. Results AMHOCN has operated within a framework that has provided an overarching structure to guide its activities but has been flexible enough to allow it to respond to changing priorities. With no precedents to draw upon, it has undertaken activities in an iterative fashion with an element of ‘trial and error’. It has taken a multi-pronged approach to ensuring that data are of high quality: developing innovative technical solutions; fostering ‘information literacy’; maximising the clinical utility of data at a local level; and producing reports that are meaningful to a range of audiences. Conclusion AMHOCN’s efforts have contributed to routine outcome measurement gaining a firm foothold in Australia’s public sector mental health services.

  9. Australian rural, remote and urban community nurses' health promotion role and function. (United States)

    Roden, Janet; Jarvis, Lynda; Campbell-Crofts, Sandra; Whitehead, Dean


    Community nurses have often been 'touted' as potential major contributors to health promotion. Critical literature, however, often states that this has not been the case. Furthermore, most studies examining nurses' role and function have occurred mainly in hospital settings. This is a sequential mixed-methods study of two groups of community nurses from a Sydney urban area (n = 100) and from rural and remote areas (n = 49) within New South Wales, Australia. A piloted questionnaire survey was developed based on the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Following this, 10 qualitative interviews were conducted for both groups, plus a focus group to support or refute survey results. Findings showed that rural and remote nurses had more positive attitudes towards health promotion and its clinical implementation. Survey and interview data confirmed that urban community nurses had a narrower focus on caring for individuals rather than groups, agreeing that time constraints impacted on their limited health promotion role. There was agreement about lack of resources (material and people) to update health promotion knowledge and skills. Rural and remote nurses were more likely to have limited educational opportunities. All nurses undertook more development of personal skills (DPS, health education) than any other action area. The findings highlight the need for more education and resources for community nurses to assist their understanding of health promotion concepts. It is hoped that community nurse leaders will collectively become more effective health promoters and contribute to healthy reform in primary health care sectors.

  10. The cost effectiveness of a policy to store carbon in Australian agricultural soils to abate greenhouse gas emissions (United States)

    White, Robert E.; Davidson, Brian


    Data for cropping and pastoral enterprises in south eastern Australia were used in a cost-effectiveness analysis to assess the feasibility of abating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through storing soil carbon (C) as soil organic matter under the Australian government's Carbon Farming Initiative. We used the C credit value for 2013-14 of 24.15 per tonne of CO2- equivalent (CO2-e) and a C storage rate of 0.5 tonne C/hectare/year for conversion of cropland to pasture. Given that a change of enterprise is driven primarily by farmer returns, we found that none of the changes were feasible at current prices, with the exception of wheat to cattle or sheep in an irrigated system, and dryland cotton to cattle or sheep. Given that our model scenario assumed the most favourable economic factors, it is unlikely that increased soil C storage through a change from cropping to pasture can make a significant contribution to abating Australia's CO2 emissions. However, of greater concern to society is the methane emissions from grazing cattle or sheep, which would negate any gain in soil C under pasture, except for a switch from dryland cropping to sheep.

  11. Reducing variation in health care: the rhetorical politics of a policy idea. (United States)

    Tanenbaum, Sandra J


    For decades, geographic variation in the use and cost of health care has captured the imagination of researchers and policy makers. As a policy problem, variation suggests its own solution--reducing variation--but the substantive weaknesses of this policy idea invite a second look at its success. This article considers the politics of policy ideas to analyze the potential rhetorical strengths of reducing variation. It finds that this idea appeals to multiple health care audiences, remains practically and politically ambiguous as to problem and solution, and resonates with long-held aspirations of policy elites, including being hopeful about solving the seemingly intractable problems of the US health care system.

  12. The challenge of comparative health policy research for applie