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  • 1.
    Akhavan, Sharareh
    University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
    Midwives' views on factors that contribute to health care inequalities among immigrants in Sweden: a qualitative study2012In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 11, p. 47-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities in the Swedish health care system have increased. Most indicators suggest that immigrants have significantly poorer health than native Swedes. The purpose of this study was to explore the views of midwives on the factors that contribute to health care inequality among immigrants. Methods: Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with ten midwives. These were transcribed and related categories identified through content analysis. Results: The interview data were divided into three main categories and seven subcategories. The category "Communication" was divided into subcategories "The meeting", "Cultural diversity and language barriers" and "Trust and confidence". The category "Potential barriers to the use of health care services" contained two subcategories, "Seeking health care" and "Receiving equal treatment". Finally, the category "Transcultural health care" had subcategories "Education on transcultural health care" and "The concept". Conclusions: This study suggests that midwives believe that health care inequality among immigrants can be the result of miscommunication which may arise due to a shortage of meeting time, language barriers, different systems of cultural beliefs and practices and limited patient-caregiver trust. Midwives emphasized that education level, country of origin and length of stay in Sweden play a role when an immigrant seeks health care. Immigrants face more difficulties when seeking health care and in receiving adequate levels of care. However, different views among the midwives were also observed. Some midwives were sensitive to individual and intra-group differences, while some others viewed immigrants as a group of "others". Midwives' beliefs about subgroup-specific health services vs. integrating immigrants' health care into mainstream health care services should be investigated further. Patients' perspective should also be considered.

  • 2.
    Akhavan, Sharareh
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare.
    Midwives’ views on factors that contribute to health care inequalities among immigrants in Sweden: a qualitative study.2012In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 11, p. article nr: 47-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities in the Swedish health care system have increased. Most indicators suggest that immigrants have significantly poorer health than native Swedes. The purpose of this study was to explore the views of midwives on the factors that contribute to health care inequality among immigrants. Methods: Data were collected via semi-structured interviews with ten midwives. These were transcribed and related categories identified through content analysis. Results: The interview data were divided into three main categories and seven subcategories. The category "Communication" was divided into subcategories "The meeting", "Cultural diversity and language barriers" and "Trust and confidence". The category "Potential barriers to the use of health care services" contained two subcategories, "Seeking health care" and "Receiving equal treatment". Finally, the category "Transcultural health care" had subcategories "Education on transcultural health care" and "The concept". Conclusions: This study suggests that midwives believe that health care inequality among immigrants can be the result of miscommunication which may arise due to a shortage of meeting time, language barriers, different systems of cultural beliefs and practices and limited patient-caregiver trust. Midwives emphasized that education level, country of origin and length of stay in Sweden play a role when an immigrant seeks health care. Immigrants face more difficulties when seeking health care and in receiving adequate levels of care. However, different views among the midwives were also observed. Some midwives were sensitive to individual and intra-group differences, while some others viewed immigrants as a group of "others". Midwives' beliefs about subgroup-specific health services vs. integrating immigrants' health care into mainstream health care services should be investigated further. Patients' perspective should also be considered.

  • 3.
    Akhavan, Sharareh
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Tillgren, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Client/patient perceptions of achieving equity in primary health care: a mixed methods study2015In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 1-12, article id 196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract Introduction: To provide health care on equal terms has become a challenge for the health system. As the front line in health services, primary care has a key role to play in developing equitable health care, responsive to the needs of different population groups. Reducing inequalities in care has been a central and recurring theme in Swedish health reforms. The aim of this study is to describe and assess client/patient experiences and perceptions of care in four primary health care units (PHCUs) involved in Sweden's national Care on Equal Terms project. Methods: Mixed Method Research (MMR) was chosen to describe and assess client/patient experiences and perceptions of health care with regard to equity. There was a focus group discussion, and individual interviews with 21 clients/patients and three representatives of patient associations. Data from the Swedish National Patient Survey (NPS), conducted in 2011 and followed up in 2013, were also used. Results: The interview data were divided into two main categories and three subcategories. The first category "Perception of equitable health care" had two subcategories, namely "Health care providers' perceptions" and "Fairness and participation". The second category "To achieve more equitable health care" had four subcategories: "Encounter", "Access", "Interpreters and bilingual/diverse health care providers" and "Time pressure and continuity". Results from the NPS showed that two of the PHCUs improved in some aspects of patient perceived quality of care (PPQC) while two were not so successful. Conclusions: Clients/patients perceived health care providers' perceptions of their ethnic origin and mental health status as important for equitable health care. Discriminatory perceptions may lead to those in need of care refraining from seeking it. More equitable care means longer consultations, better accessibility in terms of longer opening hours, and ways of communicating other than just via voice mail. It also involves continuity in care and access to an interpreter if needed. Employing bilingual/diverse kinds of health providers is a way of providing more equitable primary health care.

  • 4. Amroussia, Nada
    et al.
    Pearson, Jennifer L.
    Gustafsson, Per E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    What drives us apart?: Decomposing intersectional inequalities in cigarette smoking by education and sexual orientation among U.S. adults2019In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 18, article id 109Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Socio-economic and sexual orientation inequalities in cigarette smoking are well-documented; however, there is a lack of research examining the social processes driving these complex inequalities. Using an intersectional framework, the current study examines key processes contributing to inequalities in smoking between four intersectional groups by education and sexual orientation.

    Methods: The sample (28,362 adults) was obtained from Wave 2 (2014–2015) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Four intersectional positions were created by education (high- and low-education) and sexual orientation (heterosexual or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer/questioning (LGBQ). The joint inequality, the referent socio-economic inequality, and the referent sexual orientation inequality in smoking were decomposed by demographic, material, tobacco marketing-related, and psychosocial factors using non-linear Oaxaca decomposition.

    Results: Material conditions made the largest contribution to the joint inequality (9.8 percentage points (p.p.), 140.9%), referent socio-economic inequality (10.01 p.p., 128.4%), and referent sexual orientation inequality (4.91 p.p., 59.8%), driven by annual household income. Psychosocial factors made the second largest contributions to the joint inequality (2.12 p.p., 30.3%), referent socio-economic inequality (2.23 p.p., 28.9%), and referent sexual orientation inequality (1.68 p.p., 20.5%). Referent sexual orientation inequality was also explained by marital status (20.3%) and targeted tobacco marketing (11.3%).

    Conclusion: The study highlights the pervasive role of material conditions in inequalities in cigarette smoking across multiple dimensions of advantage and disadvantage. This points to the importance of addressing material disadvantage to reduce combined socioeconomic and sexual orientation inequalities in cigarette smoking.

  • 5.
    Andersson, Jenny
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Salander, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Brandstetter-Hiltunen, Marie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Knutsson, Emma
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Is it possible to identify patient´s sex when reading blinded illness narratives? An experimental study about gender bias2008In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 7, no 21, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: In many diseases men and women, for no apparent medical reason, are not offered the same investigations and treatment in health care. This may be due to staff's stereotypical preconceptions about men and women, i.e., gender bias. In the clinical situation it is difficult to know whether gender differences in management reflect physicians' gender bias or male and female patients' different needs or different ways of expressing their needs. To shed some light on these possibilities this study investigated to what extent it was possible to identify patients' sex when reading their blinded illness narratives, i.e., do male and female patients express themselves differently enough to be recognised as men and women without being categorised on beforehand?

    Methods: Eighty-one authentic letters about being diseased by cancer were blinded regarding sex and read by 130 students of medicine and psychology. For each letter the participants were asked to give the author's sex and to explain their choice. The success rates were analysed statistically. To illuminate the participants' reasoning the explanations of four letters were analysed qualitatively.

    Results: The patient's sex was correctly identified in 62% of the cases, with significantly higher rates in male narratives. There were no differences between male and female participants. In the qualitative analysis the choice of a male writer was explained by: a short letter; formal language; a focus on facts and a lack of emotions. In contrast the reasons for the choice of a woman were: a long letter; vivid language; mention of emotions and interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, the same expressions were interpreted differently depending on whether the participant believed the writer to be male or female.

    Conclusion: It was possible to detect gender differences in the blinded illness narratives. The students' explanations for their choice of sex agreed with common gender stereotypes implying that such stereotypes correspond, at least on a group level, to differences in male and female patients' illness descriptions. However, it was also obvious that preconceptions about gender obstructed and biased the interpretations, a finding with implications for the understanding of gender bias in clinical practice.

  • 6.
    Axelsson, Lars
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Andersson, H. Ingemar
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Edén, Lena
    Kristianstad University, Department of Health Sciences.
    Ejlertsson, Göran
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Hälsovetenskap. Kristianstad University, Forskningsmiljön Människa - Hälsa - Samhälle (MHS).
    Inequalities of quality of life in unemployed young adults: a population-based questionnaire study2007In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 6, p. 1-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: It is well known that unemployment is a great problem both to the exposed individual and to the whole society. Unemployment is reported as more common among young people compared to the general level of unemployment. Inequity in health status and lifesatisfaction is related to unemployment. The purpose of this population-based study was to describe QOL among unemployed young people compared to those who are not unemployed, and to analyse variables related to QOL for the respective groups.

    Methods: The sample consisted of 264 young unemployed individuals and 528 working or studying individuals as a reference group. They all received a questionnaire about civil status, educational level, immigration, employment status, self-reported health, self-esteem, social support, social network, spare time, dwelling, economy and personal characteristics. The response rate was 72%. The significance of differences between proportions was tested by Fisher's exact test or by χ2 test. Multivariate analysis was carried out by means of a logistic regression model.

    Results: Our results balance the predominant picture of youth unemployment as a principally negative experience. Although the unemployed reported lower levels of QOL than the reference group, a majority of unemployed young adults reported good QOL, and 24% even experienced higher QOL after being unemployed. Positive QOL related not only to good health, but also to high self-esteem, satisfaction with spare time and broad latitude for decision-making.

    Conclusion: Even if QOL is good among a majority of unemployed young adults, inequalities in QOL were demonstrated. To create more equity in health, individuals who report reduced subjective health, especially anxiety need extra attention and support. Efforts should aim at empowering unemployed young adults by identifying their concerns and resources, and by creating individual programmes in relation not only to education and work, but also to personal development.

  • 7.
    Boldis, Beáta Vivien
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Gustafsson, Per E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Unsafe and unequal: a decomposition analysis of income inequalities in fear of crime in northern Sweden2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, article id 110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Fear of crime is not solely an individual concern, but as a social determinant of health structured by gender it also poses a threat to public health. Social inequalities are thought to represent a breeding ground for fear of crime, which subsequently may contribute to social inequalities in health. However, little research has focused on social inequalities in fear of crime, particularly in Sweden where the level of fear of crime and income and gender inequalities are comparatively low. With a conceptual model as a point of departure, the present study aimed to estimate and decompose income-related inequalities and explore gender differences in fear of crime in northern Sweden.

    METHODS: Participants (N = 22,140; 10,220 men and 11,920 women aged 16 to 84 years) came from the Health on Equal Terms cross-sectional survey with linked register data, carried out in the four northernmost counties of Sweden in 2014. Disposable income was used as the socio-economic indicator, fear of crime as the binary outcome variable, and sociodemographic characteristics, residential context, socio-economic and material conditions and psychosocial conditions as explanatory factors. Concentration curve and concentration index were used to estimate the income inequality in fear of crime, and decomposition analysis to identify the key determinants of the inequalities, in collapsed and gender-stratified analyses.

    RESULTS: Substantial gender differences were found in the prevalence of fear of crime (20.8% in women and 3.5% and men) and among the contributing factors to fear of crime. Additionally, the analyses revealed considerable income inequalities in fear of crime in the northern Swedish context (C = - 0.219). Gender, socio-economic and material, and psychosocial conditions explained the most in income inequalities of fear of crime in the total population.

    CONCLUSIONS: The existing gender and socio-economic inequities need to be approached as a greater structural problem to mitigate inequalities in fear of crime. Further research is needed to reveal more aspects of income inequalities in fear of crime and to develop efforts to create safe environments for all.

  • 8. Bozorgmehr, Kayvan
    et al.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Brenner, Hermann
    Razum, Oliver
    Maier, Werner
    Saum, Kai-Uwe
    Holleczek, Bernd
    Miksch, Antje
    Szecsenyi, Joachim
    Analysing horizontal equity in enrolment in Disease Management Programmes for coronary heart disease in Germany 2008-20102015In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 14, article id 28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Disease Management Programmes (DMPs) have been introduced in Germany ten years ago with the aim to improve effectiveness and equity of care, but little is known about the degree to which enrolment in the programme meets the principles of equity in health care. We aimed to analyse horizontal equity in DMP enrolment among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of horizontal inequities in physician-reported enrolment in the DMP for CHD in a large population-based cohort-study in Germany (2008-2010). We calculated horizontal inequity indices (HII) and their 95% confidence intervals [95% CI] for predicted need-standardised DMP enrolment across two measures of socio-economic status (SES) (educational attainment, regional deprivation) stratified by sex. Need-standardised DMP enrolment was predicted in multi-level logistic regression models. Results: Among N = 1,280 individuals aged 55-84 years and diagnosed with CHD, DMP enrolment rates were 22.2% (women) and 35.0% (men). Education-related inequities in need-standardised DMP enrolment favoured groups with lower education, but HII estimates were not significant. Deprivation-related inequities among women significantly favoured groups with higher SES (HII = 0.086 [0.007; 0.165]. No such deprivation-related inequities were seen among men (HII = 0.014 [-0.048; 0.077]). Deprivation-related inequities across the whole population favoured groups with higher SES (HII estimates not significant). Conclusion: Need-standardised DMP enrolment was fairly equitable across educational levels. Deprivation-related inequities in DMP enrolment favoured women living in less deprived areas relative to those living in areas with higher deprivation. Further research is needed to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to deprivation-related horizontal inequities in DMP enrolment among women.

  • 9. Brendler-Lindqvist, Maria
    et al.
    Norredam, Marie
    Hjern, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Duration of residence and psychotropic drug use in recently settled refugees in Sweden - a register-based study2014In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 13, p. 122-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Recently settled refugee populations have consistently been reported to have high rates of mental health problems, particularly Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate psychotropic drug use among young adult refugees according to duration of residence during the first 10 years in Sweden. Methods: Cross-sectional register study of a national cohort of 43 403 refugees and their families (23-35 years old) from Iraq, Iran, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan and a comparison population of 1.1 million Swedish-born residents. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between duration of residence in Sweden and the dispensing of at least one psychotropic medication during 2009 in four categories (any drug, neuroleptics, antidepressants and anxiolytics/hypnotics), adjusting for age, gender and domicile. Results: Rates of dispensed psychotropic drugs among recently settled refugees were low, compared to the Swedish-born, with an increase with duration of residence. For refugee men and women from Iraq/Iran who had resided for 0-3 years the adjusted ORs compared to Swedish natives, were 0.83 (95% CI 0.77-0.90) and 0.48 (0.44-0.53) respectively; for men and women from the Horn of Africa the ORs were 0.50 (0.42-0.61) and 0.36 (0.30-0.41) respectively. After 7-10 years of residence, the ORs in these refugee groups approached the Swedish comparison population. Refugees from Afghanistan presented ORs similar to the Swedish-born, with no consistent trend by duration of residence. Women from the Horn of Africa and Iraq/Iran consumed less psychotropic drugs compared with men from these regions of origin, relative to the Swedish-born (p < 0.01). The ORs for dispensed neuroleptics were similar between the different refugee study groups, while the ORs for dispensed antidepressants differed fourfold between the group with the lowest (Horn of Africa) and the highest (Afghanistan). Conclusion: The rates of dispensed psychotropic drugs in the newly settled refugee populations in this study were low, with an increase with longer duration of residence. This pattern suggests barriers to access mental health care. Interventions that can lower these barriers are needed to enable newly settled refugees to access mental health care on equal terms with the native population.

  • 10.
    Briones-Vozmediano, Erica
    et al.
    Department of Community Nursing, Preventive Medicine and Public Health and History of Science, University of Alicante Public Health Research Group, San Vicente del Raspeig RoadAlicante, Spain.
    Agudelo-Suarez, Andres A
    Faculty of Dentistry, University of Antioquia, Street 67Medellín, Colombia.
    Goicolea, Isabel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Vives-Cases, Carmen
    Department of Community Nursing, Preventive Medicine and Public Health and History of Science, University of Alicante Public Health Research Group, San Vicente del Raspeig RoadAlicante, Spain; CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health, Carlos III Institute of Health, Street Melchor Fernández AlmagroMadrid, Spain.
    Economic crisis, immigrant women and changing availability of intimate partner violence services: a qualitative study of professionals' perceptions in Spain2014In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 13, article id 79Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Since 2008, Spain has been in the throes of an economic crisis. This recession particularly affects the living conditions of vulnerable populations, and has also led to a reversal in social policies and a reduction in resources. In this context, the aim of this study was to explore intimate partner violence (IPV) service providers' perceptions of the impact of the current economic crisis on these resources in Spain and on their capacity to respond to immigrant women's needs experiencing IPV. Methods: A qualitative study was performed based on 43 semi-structured in-depth interviews to social workers, psychologists, intercultural mediators, judges, lawyers, police officers and health professionals from different services dealing with IPV (both, public and NGO's) and cities in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Alicante) in 2011. Transcripts were imported into qualitative analysis software (Atlas.ti), and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: We identified four categories related to the perceived impact of the current economic crisis: a) "Immigrant women have it harder now", b) "IPV and immigration resources are the first in line for cuts", c) " Fewer staff means a less effective service" and d) "Equality and IPV policies are no longer a government priority". A cross-cutting theme emerged from these categories: immigrant women are triply affected; by IPV, by the crisis, and by structural violence. Conclusion: The professionals interviewed felt that present resources in Spain are insufficient to meet the needs of immigrant women, and that the situation might worsen in the future.

  • 11.
    Brydsten, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
    Hammarström, Anne
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Health inequalities between employed and unemployed in northern Sweden: a decomposition analysis of social determinants for mental health2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, article id 59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Even though population health is strongly influenced by employment and working conditions, public health research has to a lesser extent explored the social determinants of health inequalities between people in different positions on the labour market, and whether these social determinants vary across the life course. This study analyses mental health inequalities between unemployed and employed in three age groups (youth, adulthood and mid-life), and identifies the extent to which social determinants explain the mental health gap between employed and unemployed in northern Sweden.

    Methods: The Health on Equal Terms survey of 2014 was used, with self-reported employment (unemployed or employed) as exposure and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) as mental health outcome. The social determinants of health inequalities were grouped into four dimensions: socioeconomic status, economic resources, social network and trust in institutional systems. The non-linear Oaxaca decomposition analysis was applied, stratified by gender and age groups.

    Results: Mental health inequality was found in all age groups among women and men (difference in GHQ varying between 0.12 and 0.20). The decomposition analysis showed that the social determinants included in the model accounted for 43-51% of the inequalities among youths, 42-98% of the inequalities among adults and 60-65% among middle-aged. The main contributing factors were shown to vary between age groups: cash margin (among youths and middle-aged men), financial strain (among adults and middle-aged women), income (among men in adulthood), along with trust in others (all age groups), practical support (young women) and social support (middle-aged men); stressing how the social determinants of health inequalities vary across the life course.

    Conclusions: The health gap between employed and unemployed was explained by the difference in access to economic and social resources, and to a smaller extent in the trust in the institutional systems. Findings from this study corroborate that much of the mental health inequality in the Swedish labour market is socially and politically produced and potentially avoidable. Greater attention from researchers, policy makers on unemployment and public health should be devoted to the social and economic deprivation of unemployment from a life course perspective to prevent mental health inequality.

  • 12.
    Brydsten, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Publ Hlth Sci, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hammarström, Anne
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Public Health.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umea Univ, Dept Publ Hlth & Clin Med, Epidemiol & Global Hlth Unit, SE-90185 Umea, Sweden.
    Health inequalities between employed and unemployed in northern Sweden: a decomposition analysis of social determinants for mental health2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, article id 59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Even though population health is strongly influenced by employment and working conditions, public health research has to a lesser extent explored the social determinants of health inequalities between people in different positions on the labour market, and whether these social determinants vary across the life course. This study analyses mental health inequalities between unemployed and employed in three age groups (youth, adulthood and mid-life), and identifies the extent to which social determinants explain the mental health gap between employed and unemployed in northern Sweden. Methods: The Health on Equal Terms survey of 2014 was used, with self-reported employment (unemployed or employed) as exposure and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) as mental health outcome. The social determinants of health inequalities were grouped into four dimensions: socioeconomic status, economic resources, social network and trust in institutional systems. The non-linear Oaxaca decomposition analysis was applied, stratified by gender and age groups. Results: Mental health inequality was found in all age groups among women and men (difference in GHQ varying between 0.12 and 0.20). The decomposition analysis showed that the social determinants included in the model accounted for 43-51% of the inequalities among youths, 42-98% of the inequalities among adults and 60-65% among middle-aged. The main contributing factors were shown to vary between age groups: cash margin (among youths and middle-aged men), financial strain (among adults and middle-aged women), income (among men in adulthood), along with trust in others (all age groups), practical support (young women) and social support (middle-aged men); stressing how the social determinants of health inequalities vary across the life course. Conclusions: The health gap between employed and unemployed was explained by the difference in access to economic and social resources, and to a smaller extent in the trust in the institutional systems. Findings from this study corroborate that much of the mental health inequality in the Swedish labour market is socially and politically produced and potentially avoidable. Greater attention from researchers, policy makers on unemployment and public health should be devoted to the social and economic deprivation of unemployment from a life course perspective to prevent mental health inequality.

  • 13.
    Brydsten, Anna
    et al.
    Department of Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hammarström, Anne
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Public Health Unit, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Health inequalities between employed and unemployed in northern Sweden: a decomposition analysis of social determinants for mental health2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, no 59, article id 59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Even though population health is strongly influenced by employment and working conditions, public health research has to a lesser extent explored the social determinants of health inequalities between people in different positions on the labour market, and whether these social determinants vary across the life course. This study analyses mental health inequalities between unemployed and employed in three age groups (youth, adulthood and mid-life), and identifies the extent to which social determinants explain the mental health gap between employed and unemployed in northern Sweden.

    Methods: The Health on Equal Terms survey of 2014 was used, with self-reported employment (unemployed or employed) as exposure and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) as mental health outcome. The social determinants of health inequalities were grouped into four dimensions: socioeconomic status, economic resources, social network and trust in institutional systems. The non-linear Oaxaca decomposition analysis was applied, stratified by gender and age groups.

    Results: Mental health inequality was found in all age groups among women and men (difference in GHQ varying between 0.12 and 0.20). The decomposition analysis showed 43–51% of the total inequality among youths, 42–98% among adults and 60–65% among middle-aged. The main contributing factors were shown to vary between age groups: cash margin (among youths and middle-aged men), financial strain (among adults and middle-aged women), income (among men in adulthood), along with trust in others (all age groups), practical support (young women) and social support (middle-aged men); stressing how the social determinants of health inequalities vary across the life course.

    Conclusions: The health gap between employments was explained by the difference in access to economic and social resources, and to a smaller extent in the trust in the institutional systems. Findings from this study corroborate that much of the mental health inequality in the Swedish labour market is socially and politically produced and potentially avoidable. Greater attention from researchers, policy makers on unemployment and public health should be devoted to the social and economic deprivation of unemployment from a life course perspective to prevent mental health inequality.

  • 14.
    Brydsten, Anna
    et al.
    Department of Public Health Science, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Stockholm University/Karolinska Institutet, SE-105 91, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Mikael, Mikael
    Department of Public Health Science, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Stockholm University/Karolinska Institutet, SE-105 91, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Dunlavy, Andrea
    Department of Public Health Science, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Stockholm University/Karolinska Institutet, SE-105 91, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Social integration and mental health - a decomposition approach to mental health inequalities between the foreign-born and native-born in Sweden2019In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 18, p. 1-11, article id 48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The increasing mental health inequalities between native- and foreign-born persons in Sweden is an important public health issue. Improving social integration has been stressed as a key strategy to combat this development. While a vast amount of studies have confirmed the importance of social integration for good mental health, less is known about the role of different types of social integration, and how they relate to mental health inequalities. This study aimed to examine the extent to which indicators of social integration explained mental health inequalities between the native- and foreign-born.

    METHODS: Based on the Health on Equal Terms survey from 2011/2015 in Västra Götaland, Sweden (n = 71,643), a non-linear Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition analysis was performed comparing native- and foreign-born individuals from Nordic-, European- and non-European countries. The General Health Questionnaire was used to assess psychological distress, while 11 items assessed employment conditions and economic disparities, social relations, and experiences of discrimination to measure different aspects of social integration.

    RESULTS: Differences in social integration explained large proportions of observed mental health differences between the native- and foreign-born. Important indicators included low levels of social activity (20%), trust in others (17%) and social support (16%), but also labour market disadvantages, such as being outside the labour market (15%), unemployment (10%) and experiencing financial strain (16%). In analyses stratified by region of origin, low trust in others and discrimination contributed to the mental health gap between the native-born and European-born (17 and 9%, respectively), and the native-born and non-European-born (19 and 10%, respectively). Precarious labour market position was a particularly important factor in the mental health gap between the native-born and Nordic-origin (22%), and non-European origin (36%) populations.

    CONCLUSION: Social integration factors play a central role in explaining the mental health inequality between natives and migrants in Sweden. Our findings suggest that public health actions targeting mental health gaps could benefit from focusing on inequalities in social and economic recourses between natives and migrants in Sweden. Areas of priority include improving migrants' financial strain, as well as increasing trust in others and social support and opportunities for civic engagement.

  • 15.
    Brydsten, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Rostila, Mikael
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Dunlavy, Andrea
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Social integration and mental health - a decomposition approach to mental health inequalities between the foreign-born and native-born in Sweden2019In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 18, article id 48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The increasing mental health inequalities between native- and foreign-born persons in Sweden is an important public health issue. Improving social integration has been stressed as a key strategy to combat this development. While a vast amount of studies have confirmed the importance of social integration for good mental health, less is known about the role of different types of social integration, and how they relate to mental health inequalities. This study aimed to examine the extent to which indicators of social integration explained mental health inequalities between the native- and foreign-born. Methods: Based on the Health on Equal Terms survey from 2011/2015 in Vastra Gotaland, Sweden (n=71,643), a non-linear Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition analysis was performed comparing native- and foreign-born individuals from Nordic-, European- and non-European countries. The General Health Questionnaire was used to assess psychological distress, while 11 items assessed employment conditions and economic disparities, social relations, and experiences of discrimination to measure different aspects of social integration. Results: Differences in social integration explained large proportions of observed mental health differences between the native- and foreign-born. Important indicators included low levels of social activity (20%), trust in others (17%) and social support (16%), but also labour market disadvantages, such as being outside the labour market (15%), unemployment (10%) and experiencing financial strain (16%). In analyses stratified by region of origin, low trust in others and discrimination contributed to the mental health gap between the native-born and European-born (17 and 9%, respectively), and the native-born and non-European-born (19 and 10%, respectively). Precarious labour market position was a particularly important factor in the mental health gap between the native-born and Nordic-origin (22%), and non-European origin (36%) populations. Conclusion: Social integration factors play a central role in explaining the mental health inequality between natives and migrants in Sweden. Our findings suggest that public health actions targeting mental health gaps could benefit from focusing on inequalities in social and economic recourses between natives and migrants in Sweden. Areas of priority include improving migrants' financial strain, as well as increasing trust in othersand social support and opportunities for civic engagement.

  • 16.
    Burström, Bo
    et al.
    Karolinska Inst, Dept Publ Hlth Sci, Equ & Hlth Policy Res Grp, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Burström, Kristina
    Karolinska Inst, Dept Publ Hlth Sci, Equ & Hlth Policy Res Grp, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.;Karolinska Inst, Dept Learning Informat Management & Eth, Hlth Outcomes & Econ Evaluat Res Grp, Stockholm, Sweden..
    Nilsson, Gunnar
    Karolinska Inst, Dept Neurobiol Care Sci & Soc, Stockholm, Sweden..
    Tomson, Göran
    Karolinska Inst, Dept Learning Informat Management & Eth, Stockholm, Sweden..
    Whitehead, Margaret
    Karolinska Inst, Dept Publ Hlth Sci, Equ & Hlth Policy Res Grp, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.;Univ Liverpool, Inst Psychol Hlth & Soc, Dept Publ Hlth & Soc, Liverpool, Merseyside, England..
    Winbland, Ulrika
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
    Equity aspects of the Primary Health Care Choice Reform in Sweden - a scoping review2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, article id 29Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Good health and equal health care are the cornerstones of the Swedish Health and Medical Service Act. Recent studies show that the average level of health, measured as longevity, improves in Sweden, however, social inequalities in health remain a major issue. An important issue is how health care services can contribute to reducing inequalities in health, and the impact of a recent Primary Health Care (PHC) Choice Reform in this respect. This paper presents the findings of a review of the existing evidence on impacts of these reforms. Methods: We reviewed the published accounts (reports and scientific articles) which reported on the impact of the Swedish PHC Choice Reform of 2010 and changes in reimbursement systems, using Donabedian's framework for assessing quality of care in terms of structure, process and outcomes. Results: Since 2010, over 270 new private PHC practices operating for profit have been established throughout the country. One study found that the new establishments had primarily located in the largest cities and urban areas, in socioeconomically more advantaged populations. Another study, adjusting for socioeconomic composition found minor differences. The number of visits to PHC doctors has increased, more so among those with lesser needs of health care. The reform has had a negative impact on the provision of services for persons with complex needs. Opinions of doctors and staff in PHC are mixed, many state that persons with lesser needs are prioritized. Patient satisfaction is largely unchanged. The impact of PHC on population health may be reduced. Conclusions: The PHC Choice Reform increased the average number of visits, but particularly among those in more affluent groups and with lower health care needs, and has made integrated care for those with complex needs more difficult. Resource allocation to PHC has become more dependent on provider location, patient choice and demand, and less on need of care. On the available evidence, the PHC Choice Reform may have damaged equity of primary health care provision, contrary to the tenets of the Swedish Health and Medical Service Act. This situation needs to be carefully monitored.

  • 17.
    Córdoba-Doña, Juan Antonio
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Delegación Territorial de Igualdad, Salud y Políticas Sociales de Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain.
    San Sebastián, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Escolar-Pujolar, Antonio
    Delegación Territorial de Igualdad, Salud y Políticas Sociales de Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain.
    Martínez-Faure, Jesús Enrique
    Empresa Pública de Emergencias Sanitarias, Cádiz, Spain.
    Gustafsson, Per E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Economic crisis and suicidal behaviour: the role of unemployment, sex and age in Andalusia, Southern Spain2014In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 13, article id 55Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: Although suicide rates have increased in some European countries in relation to the current economic crisis and austerity policies, that trend has not been observed in Spain. This study examines the impact of the economic crisis on suicide attempts, the previously neglected endpoint of the suicidal process, and its relation to unemployment, age and sex.

    METHODS: The study was carried out in Andalusia, the most populated region of Spain, and which has a high level of unemployment. Information on suicide attempts attended by emergency services was extracted from the Health Emergencies Public Enterprise Information System (SIEPES). Suicide attempts occurring between 2003 and 2012 were included, in order to cover five years prior to the crisis (2003-2007) and five years after its onset (2008-2012). Information was retrieved from 24,380 cases (11,494 men and 12,886 women) on sex, age, address, and type of attention provided. Age-adjusted suicide attempt rates were calculated. Excess numbers of attempts from 2008 to 2012 were estimated for each sex using historical trends of the five previous years, through time regression models using negative binomial regression analysis. To assess the association between unemployment and suicide attempts rates, linear regression models with fixed effects were performed.

    RESULTS: A sharp increase in suicide attempt rates in Andalusia was detected after the onset of the crisis, both in men and in women. Adults aged 35 to 54 years were the most affected in both sexes. Suicide attempt rates were associated with unemployment rates in men, accounting for almost half of the cases during the five initial years of the crisis. Women were also affected during the recession period but this association could not be specifically attributed to unemployment.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study enhances our understanding of the potential effects of the economic crisis on the rapidly increasing suicide attempt rates in women and men, and the association of unemployment with growing suicidal behaviour in men. Research on the suicide effects of the economic crisis may need to take into account earlier stages of the suicidal process, and that this effect may differ by age and sex.

  • 18. Daniels, Karen
    et al.
    Loewenson, Rene
    George, Asha
    Howard, Natasha
    Koleva, Gergana
    Lewin, Simon
    Marchal, Bruno
    Nambiar, Devaki
    Paina, Ligia
    Sacks, Emma
    Sheikh, Kabir
    Tetui, Moses
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Makerere University School of Public Health, Makerere, Uganda.
    Theobald, Sally
    Topp, Stephanie M.
    Zwi, Anthony B.
    Fair publication of qualitative research in health systems: a call by health policy and systems researchers2016In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 15, article id 98Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Darin-Mattsson, Alexander
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Kåreholt, Ingemar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Different indicators of socioeconomic status and their relative importance as determinants of health in old age2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, article id 173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Socioeconomic status has been operationalised in a variety of ways, most commonly as education, social class, or income. In this study, we also use occupational complexity and a SES-index as alternative measures of socioeconomic status. Studies show that in analyses of health inequalities in the general population, the choice of indicators influence the magnitude of the observed inequalities. Less is known about the influence of indicator choice in studies of older adults. The aim of this study is twofold: i) to analyse the impact of the choice of socioeconomic status indicator on the observed health inequalities among older adults, ii) to explore whether different indicators of socioeconomic status are independently associated with health in old age.

    Methods

    We combined data from two nationally representative Swedish surveys, providing more than 20 years of follow-up. Average marginal effects were estimated to compare the association between the five indicators of SES, and three late-life health outcomes: mobility limitations, limitations in activities of daily living (ADL), and psychological distress.

    Results

    All socioeconomic status indicators were associated with late-life health; there were only minor differences in the effect sizes. Income was most strongly associated to all indicators of late-life health, the associations remained statistically significant when adjusting for the other indicators. In the fully adjusted models, education contributed to the model fits with 0-3% (depending on the outcome), social class with 0-1%, occupational complexity with 1-8%, and income with 3-18%.

    Conclusions

    Our results indicate overlapping properties between socioeconomic status indicators in relation to late-life health. However, income is associated to late-life health independently of all other variables. Moreover, income did not perform substantially worse than the composite SES-index in capturing health variation. Thus, if the primary objective of including an indicator of socioeconomic status is to adjust the model for socioeconomic differences in late-life health rather than to analyse these inequalities per se, income may be the preferable indicator. If, on the other hand, the primary objective of a study is to analyse specific aspects of health inequalities, or the mechanisms that drive health inequalities, then the choice of indicator should be theoretically guided.

  • 20.
    Darin-Mattsson, Alexander
    et al.
    Aging Research Centre (ARC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Fors, Stefan
    Aging Research Centre (ARC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Kåreholt, Ingemar
    Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ARN-J (Aging Research Network - Jönköping). Aging Research Centre (ARC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University, Sweden.
    Different indicators of socioeconomic status and their relative importance as determinants of health in old age2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, no 1, article id 173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Socioeconomic status has been operationalised in a variety of ways, most commonly as education, social class, or income. In this study, we also use occupational complexity and a SES-index as alternative measures of socioeconomic status. Studies show that in analyses of health inequalities in the general population, the choice of indicators influence the magnitude of the observed inequalities. Less is known about the influence of indicator choice in studies of older adults. The aim of this study is twofold: i) to analyse the impact of the choice of socioeconomic status indicator on the observed health inequalities among older adults, ii) to explore whether different indicators of socioeconomic status are independently associated with health in old age.

    Methods: We combined data from two nationally representative Swedish surveys, providing more than 20 years of follow-up. Average marginal effects were estimated to compare the association between the five indicators of SES, and three late-life health outcomes: mobility limitations, limitations in activities of daily living (ADL), and psychological distress.

    Results: All socioeconomic status indicators were associated with late-life health; there were only minor differences in the effect sizes. Income was most strongly associated to all indicators of late-life health, the associations remained statistically significant when adjusting for the other indicators. In the fully adjusted models, education contributed to the model fits with 0-3% (depending on the outcome), social class with 0-1%, occupational complexity with 1-8%, and income with 3-18%.

    Conclusions: Our results indicate overlapping properties between socioeconomic status indicators in relation to late-life health. However, income is associated to late-life health independently of all other variables. Moreover, income did not perform substantially worse than the composite SES-index in capturing health variation. Thus, if the primary objective of including an indicator of socioeconomic status is to adjust the model for socioeconomic differences in late-life health rather than to analyse these inequalities per se, income may be the preferable indicator. If, on the other hand, the primary objective of a study is to analyse specific aspects of health inequalities, or the mechanisms that drive health inequalities, then the choice of indicator should be theoretically guided. 

  • 21. Dei, Vincent
    et al.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Is healthcare really equal for all?: Assessing the horizontal and vertical equity in healthcare utilisation among older Ghanaians2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, article id 86Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: There is a lack of focused research on the older population in Ghana and about issues pertaining to their access to healthcare services. Furthermore, information is lacking regarding the fairness in the access to these services. This study aimed to ascertain whether horizontal and vertical equity requirements were being met in the healthcare utilisation among older adults aged 50 years and above. Methods: This study was based on a secondary cross-sectional data from the World Health Organization's Study on global AGEing (SAGE) and adult health wave 1 conducted from 2007 to 2008 in Ghana. Data on 4304 older adults aged 50 years-plus were analysed. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were carried out to analyse the association between outpatient/inpatient utilisation and (1) socioeconomic status (SES), controlling for need variables (horizontal equity) and (2) need variables, controlling for SES (vertical equity). Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated to analyse the association between relevant variables. Results: Horizontal and vertical inequities were found in the utilisation of outpatient services. Inpatient healthcare utilisation was both horizontally and vertically equitable. Women were found to be more likely to use outpatient services than men but had reduced odds of using inpatient services. Possessing a health insurance was also significantly associated with the use of both inpatient and outpatient services. Conclusion: Whilst equity exists in inpatient care utilisation, more needs to be done to achieve equity in the access to outpatient services. The study reaffirms the need to evaluate both the horizontal and vertical dimensions in the assessment of equity in healthcare access. It provides the basis for further research in bridging the healthcare access inequity gap among older adults in Ghana.

  • 22.
    Dorjdagva, Javkhlanbayar
    et al.
    Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
    Batbaatar, Enkhjargal
    Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
    Svensson, Mikael
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. Health Metrics Unit, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Dorjsuren, Bayarsaikhan
    Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.
    Kauhanen, Jussi
    Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.
    Catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment in Mongolia2016In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 15, article id 105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The social health insurance coverage is relatively high in Mongolia; however, escalation of out-ofpocket payments for health care, which reached 41 % of the total health expenditure in 2011, is a policy concern. The aim of this study is to analyse the incidence of catastrophic health expenditures and to measure the rate of impoverishment from health care payments under the social health insurance scheme in Mongolia.

    Methods: We used the data from the Household Socio-Economic Survey 2012, conducted by the National Statistical Office of Mongolia. Catastrophic health expenditures are defined an excess of out-of-pocket payments for health care at the various thresholds for household total expenditure (capacity to pay). For an estimate of the impoverishment effect, the national and The Wold Bank poverty lines are used.

    Results: About 5.5 % of total households suffered from catastrophic health expenditures, when the threshold is 10 % of the total household expenditure. At the threshold of 40 % of capacity to pay, 1.1 % of the total household incurred catastrophic health expenditures. About 20,000 people were forced into poverty due to paying for health care.

    Conclusions: Despite the high coverage of social health insurance, a significant proportion of the population incurred catastrophic health expenditures and was forced into poverty due to out-of-pocket payments for health care.

  • 23.
    Egondi, Thaddaeus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Nairobi, Kenya.
    Oyolola, Maharouf
    Mutua, Martin Kavao
    Elung'ata, Patricia
    Determinants of immunization inequality among urban poor children: evidence from Nairobi's informal settlements2015In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 14, article id 24Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Despite the relentless efforts to reduce infant and child mortality with the introduction of the National Expanded Programmes on Immunization (EPI) in 1974, major disparities still exist in immunizations coverage across different population sub-groups. In Kenya, for instance, while the proportion of fully immunized children increased from 57% in 2003 to 77% in 2008-9 at national level and 73% in Nairobi, only 58% of children living in informal settlement areas are fully immunized. The study aims to determine the degree and determinants of immunization inequality among the urban poor of Nairobi.

    Method: We used data from the Nairobi Cross-Sectional Slum Survey of 2012 and the health outcome was full immunization status among children aged 12-23 months. The wealth index was used as a measure of social economic position for inequality analysis. The potential determinants considered included sex of the child and mother's education, their occupation, age at birth of the child, and marital status. The concentration index (CI) was used to quantify the degree of inequality and decomposition approach to assess determinants of inequality in immunization.

    Results: The CI for not fully immunized was -0.08 indicating that immunization inequality is mainly concentrated among children from poor families. Decomposition of the results suggests that 78% of this inequality is largely explained by the mother's level of education.

    Conclusion: There exists immunization inequality among urban poor children in Nairobi and efforts to reduce this inequality should aim at targeting mothers with low level of education during immunization campaigns.

  • 24.
    Elwer, Sofia
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Allmänmedicin.
    Alex, Lena
    Umeå universitet, Institutionen för omvårdnad.
    Hammarström, Anne
    Umeå universitet, Allmänmedicin.
    Gender (in)equality among employees in elder care: implications for health2012In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 11, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Gendered practices of working life create gender inequalities through horizontal and vertical gender segregation in work, which may lead to inequalities in health between women and men. Gender equality could therefore be a key element of health equity in working life. Our aim was to analyze what gender (in) equality means for the employees at a woman-dominated workplace and discuss possible implications for health experiences.

    Methods: All caregiving staff at two workplaces in elder care within a municipality in the north of Sweden were invited to participate in the study. Forty-five employees participated, 38 women and 7 men. Seven focus group discussions were performed and led by a moderator. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the focus groups.

    Results: We identified two themes. "Advocating gender equality in principle" showed how gender (in) equality was seen as a structural issue not connected to the individual health experiences. "Justifying inequality with individualism" showed how the caregivers focused on personalities and interests as a justification of gender inequalities in work division. The justification of gender inequality resulted in a gendered work division which may be related to health inequalities between women and men. Gender inequalities in work division were primarily understood in terms of personality and interests and not in terms of gender.

    Conclusion: The health experience of the participants was affected by gender (in) equality in terms of a gendered work division. However, the participants did not see the gendered work division as a gender equality issue. Gender perspectives are needed to improve the health of the employees at the workplaces through shifting from individual to structural solutions. A healthy-setting approach considering gender relations is needed to achieve gender equality and fairness in health status between women and men.

  • 25.
    Elwer, Sofia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Alex, Lena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Hammarström, Anne
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Gender (in)equality among employees in elder care: implications for health2012In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 11, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Gendered practices of working life create gender inequalities through horizontal and vertical gender segregation in work, which may lead to inequalities in health between women and men. Gender equality could therefore be a key element of health equity in working life. Our aim was to analyze what gender (in) equality means for the employees at a woman-dominated workplace and discuss possible implications for health experiences.

    Methods: All caregiving staff at two workplaces in elder care within a municipality in the north of Sweden were invited to participate in the study. Forty-five employees participated, 38 women and 7 men. Seven focus group discussions were performed and led by a moderator. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the focus groups.

    Results: We identified two themes. "Advocating gender equality in principle" showed how gender (in) equality was seen as a structural issue not connected to the individual health experiences. "Justifying inequality with individualism" showed how the caregivers focused on personalities and interests as a justification of gender inequalities in work division. The justification of gender inequality resulted in a gendered work division which may be related to health inequalities between women and men. Gender inequalities in work division were primarily understood in terms of personality and interests and not in terms of gender.

    Conclusion: The health experience of the participants was affected by gender (in) equality in terms of a gendered work division. However, the participants did not see the gendered work division as a gender equality issue. Gender perspectives are needed to improve the health of the employees at the workplaces through shifting from individual to structural solutions. A healthy-setting approach considering gender relations is needed to achieve gender equality and fairness in health status between women and men.

  • 26. Escolar Pujolar, Antonio
    et al.
    Bacigalupe, Amaia
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Looking beyond the veil of the European crisis: the need to uncover the structural causes of health inequalities2016In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 15, article id 39Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 27.
    Escolar-Pujolar, Antonio
    et al.
    Delegación Territorial de Igualdad, Salud y Políticas Sociales, Junta de Andalucía, Cádiz, Spain.
    Bacigalupe, Amaia
    Department of Sociology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    European economic crisis and health inequities: research challenges in an uncertain scenario2014In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 13, p. 59-Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 28.
    Goicolea, Isabel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Carson, Dean
    Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University. Demography and Growth Planning, Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia; Centre for Rural Medicine, Storuman, Sweden.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Christianson, Monica
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Wiklund, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Health care access for rural youth on equal terms?: A mixed methods study protocol in northern Sweden2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, article id 6Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The purpose of this paper is to propose a protocol for researching the impact of rural youth health service strategies on health care access. There has been no published comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of youth health strategies in rural areas, and there is no clearly articulated model of how such assessments might be conducted. The protocol described here aims to gather information to; i) Assess rural youth access to health care according to their needs, ii) Identify and understand the strategies developed in rural areas to promote youth access to health care, and iii) Propose actions for further improvement. The protocol is described with particular reference to research being undertaken in the four northernmost counties of Sweden, which contain a widely dispersed and diverse youth population.

    METHODS: The protocol proposes qualitative and quantitative methodologies sequentially in four phases. First, to map youth access to health care according to their health care needs, including assessing horizontal equity (equal use of health care for equivalent health needs,) and vertical equity (people with greater health needs should receive more health care than those with lesser needs). Second, a multiple case study design investigates strategies developed across the region (youth clinics, internet applications, public health programs) to improve youth access to health care. Third, qualitative comparative analysis of the 24 rural municipalities in the region identifies the best combination of conditions leading to high youth access to health care. Fourth, a concept mapping study involving rural stakeholders, care providers and youth provides recommended actions to improve rural youth access to health care.

    DISCUSSION: The implementation of this research protocol will contribute to 1) generating knowledge that could contribute to strengthening rural youth access to health care, as well as to 2) advancing the application of mixed methods to explore access to health care.

  • 29.
    Goicolea, Isabel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Unintended pregnancy in the amazon basin of Ecuador: a multilevel analysis2010In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 9, p. 14-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study showed the significance of individual factors in increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy, while the role of community factors was found to be negligible. In order for all women to be able to realize their right to reproductive autonomy, there needs to be a diverse range of solutions, with particular attention paid to cultural issues.

  • 30.
    Goland, Emilia
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
    Hoa, Dinh Thi Phuong
    Målqvist, Mats
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
    Inequity in maternal health care utilization in Vietnam2012In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 11, p. 24-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Vietnam has succeeded in reducing maternal mortality in the last decades. Analysis of survey data however indicate that large inequities exist between different segments of the population. We have analyzed utilization of antenatal care and skilled birth attendance among Vietnamese women of reproductive age in relation to social determinants with the aim to reveal health inequities and identify disadvantaged groups. Method: Data on maternal health care utilization and social determinants were derived from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted in Vietnam in 2006, and analyzed through stratified logistic regressions and g-computation. Results: Inequities in maternal health care utilization persist in Vietnam. Ethnicity, household wealth and education were all significantly associated with antenatal care coverage and skilled birth attendance, individually and in synergy. Although the structural determinants included in this study were closely related to each other, analysis revealed a significant effect of ethnicity over and above wealth and education. Within the group of mothers from poor households ethnic minority mothers were at a three-fold risk of not attending any antenatal care (OR 3.06, 95% CI 1.27-7.41) and six times more likely not to deliver with skilled birth attendance (OR 6.27, 95% CI 2.37-16.6). The association between ethnicity and lack of antenatal care and skilled birth attendance was even stronger within the non-poor group. Conclusions: In spite of policies to out rule health inequities, ethnic minority women constitute a disadvantaged group in Vietnam. More efficient ways to target disadvantaged groups, taking synergy effects between multiple social determinants into consideration, are needed in order to assure safe motherhood for all.

  • 31.
    Gustafsson, Per E.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Linander, Ida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Mosquera, Paola A.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Embodying pervasive discrimination: a decomposition of sexual orientation inequalities in health in a population-based cross-sectional study in Northern Sweden.2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, article id 22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Studies from Sweden and abroad have established health inequalities between heterosexual and non-heterosexual people. Few studies have examined the underpinnings of such sexual orientation inequalities in health. To expand this literature, the present study aimed to employ decomposition analysis to explain health inequalities between people with heterosexual and non-heterosexual orientation in Sweden, a country with an international reputation for heeding the human rights of non-heterosexual people.

    METHODS: Participants (N = 23,446) came from a population-based cross-sectional survey in the four northernmost counties in Sweden in 2014. Participants completed self-administered questionnaires, covering sexual orientation, mental and general physical health, social conditions and unmet health care needs, and sociodemographic data was retrieved from total population registers. Sexual orientation inequalities in health were decomposed by Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis.

    RESULTS: Results showed noticeable mental and general health inequalities between heterosexual and non-heterosexual orientation groups. Health inequalities were partly explained (total explained fraction 64-74%) by inequalities in degrading treatment (24-26% of the explained fraction), but to a considerable degree also by material conditions (38-45%) and unmet care needs (25-43%).

    CONCLUSIONS: Psychosocial experiences may be insufficient to explain and understand health inequalities by sexual orientation in a reputedly 'gay-friendly' setting. Less overt forms of structural discrimination may need to be considered to capture the pervasive material discrimination that seems to underpin the embodiment of sexual minority inequalities. This ought to be taken into consideration in research, policy-making and monitoring aiming to work towards equity in health across sexual orientations.

  • 32.
    Hadziabdic, Emina
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Hjelm, Katarina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences. Linköping University.
    Arabic-speaking migrants' experiences of the use of interpreters in healthcare: a qualitative explorative study2014In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 13, article id 49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Arabic-speaking migrants have constituted a growing population in recent years. This entails major challenges to ensure good communication in the healthcare encounter in order to provide individual and holistic healthcare. One of the solutions to ensure good communication between patient and healthcare staff who do not share the same language is to use a professional interpreter. To our knowledge, no previous qualitative studies have been found concerning Arabic-speaking migrants and the use of interpreters. This study aims to ascertain their individual experiences which can help extend our understanding of the studied area. Method: A purposive sample of 13 Arabic-speaking persons with experience of using interpreters in healthcare encounters. Data were collected between November 2012 and March 2013 by four focus-group interviews and analysed with qualitative analysis according to a method described for focus groups. Results: Four categories appeared from the analysis: 1) The professional interpreter as spokesperson; 2) Different types of interpreters and modes of interpretation adapting to the healthcare encounter; 3) The professional interpreter's task and personal properties affected the use of professional interpreters in a healthcare encounter; 4) Future planning of the use of professional interpreters in a healthcare encounter. The main findings were that the use of interpreters was experienced both as a possibility and as a problem. The preferred type of interpreters depended on the interpreter's dialect and ability to interpret correctly. Besides the professional interpreter's qualities of good skill in language and medical terminology, translation ability, neutrality and objectivity, Arabic-speakingparticipants stated that professional interpreters need to share the same origin, religion, dialect, gender and political views as the patient in order to facilitate the interpreter use and avoid inappropriate treatment. Conclusion: The study showed that the personal qualities of a good interpreter not only cover language ability but also origin, religion, dialect, gender and political views. Thus, there is need to develop strategies for personalized healthcare in order to avoid inappropriate communication, to satisfy the preferences of the person in need of interpreters and improve the impact of interpretation on the quality of healthcare.

  • 33.
    Hadziabdic, Emina
    et al.
    Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden .
    Hjelm, Katarina
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden .
    Arabic-speaking migrants' experiences of the use of interpreters in healthcare: a qualitative explorative study2014In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 13, no 49Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: Arabic-speaking migrants have constituted a growing population in recent years. This entails major challenges to ensure good communication in the healthcare encounter in order to provide individual and holistic healthcare. One of the solutions to ensure good communication between patient and healthcare staff who do not share the same language is to use a professional interpreter. To our knowledge, no previous qualitative studies have been found concerning Arabic-speaking migrants and the use of interpreters. This study aims to ascertain their individual experiences which can help extend our understanding of the studied area.

    METHOD: A purposive sample of 13 Arabic-speaking persons with experience of using interpreters in healthcare encounters. Data were collected between November 2012 and March 2013 by four focus-group interviews and analysed with qualitative analysis according to a method described for focus groups.

    RESULTS: Four categories appeared from the analysis: 1) The professional interpreter as spokesperson; 2) Different types of interpreters and modes of interpretation adapting to the healthcare encounter; 3) The professional interpreter's task and personal properties affected the use of professional interpreters in a healthcare encounter; 4) Future planning of the use of professional interpreters in a healthcare encounter. The main findings were that the use of interpreters was experienced both as a possibility and as a problem. The preferred type of interpreters depended on the interpreter's dialect and ability to interpret correctly. Besides the professional interpreter's qualities of good skill in language and medical terminology, translation ability, neutrality and objectivity, Arabic-speaking participants stated that professional interpreters need to share the same origin, religion, dialect, gender and political views as the patient in order to facilitate the interpreter use and avoid inappropriate treatment.

    CONCLUSION: The study showed that the personal qualities of a good interpreter not only cover language ability but also origin, religion, dialect, gender and political views. Thus, there is need to develop strategies for personalized healthcare in order to avoid inappropriate communication, to satisfy the preferences of the person in need of interpreters and improve the impact of interpretation on the quality of healthcare.

  • 34. Haghparast-Bidgoli, Hassan
    et al.
    Pulkki-Brännström, Anni-Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Institute for Global Health, University College London, London, UK.
    Lafort, Yves
    Beksinska, Mags
    Rambally, Letitia
    Roy, Anuradha
    Reza-Paul, Sushena
    Ombidi, Wilkister
    Gichangi, Peter
    Skordis-Worrall, Jolene
    Inequity in costs of seeking sexual and reproductive health services in India and Kenya2015In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 14, article id 84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: This study aims to assess inequity in expenditure on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in India and Kenya. In addition, this analysis aims to measure the extent to which payments are catastrophic and to explore coping mechanisms used to finance health spending. Methods: Data for this study were collected as a part of the situational analysis for the "Diagonal Interventions to Fast Forward Enhanced Reproductive Health" (DIFFER) project, a multi-country project with fieldwork sites in three African sites; Mombasa (Kenya), Durban (South Africa) and Tete (Mozambique), and Mysore in India. Information on access to SRH services, the direct costs of seeking care and a range of socio-economic variables were obtained through structured exit interviews with female SRH service users in Mysore (India) and Mombasa (Kenya) (n = 250). The costs of seeking care were analysed by household income quintile (as a measure of socio-economic status). The Kakwani index and quintile ratios are used as measures of inequitable spending. Catastrophic spending on SRH services was calculated using the threshold of 10 % of total household income. Results: The results showed that spending on SRH services was highly regressive in both sites, with lower income households spending a higher percentage of their income on seeking care, compared to households with a higher income. Spending on SRH as a percentage of household income ranged from 0.02 to 6.2 % and 0.03-7.5 % in India and Kenya, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference in the proportion of spending on SRH services across income quintiles in both settings. In India, the poorest households spent two times, and in Kenya ten times, more on seeking care than the least poor households. The most common coping mechanisms in India and Kenya were "receiving [money] from partner or household members" (69 %) and "using own savings or regular income" (44 %), respectively. Conclusion: Highly regressive spending on SRH services highlights the heavier burden borne by the poorest when seeking care in resource-constrained settings such as India and Kenya. The large proportion of service users, particularly in India, relying on money received from family members to finance care seeking suggests that access would be more difficult for those with weak social ties, small social networks or weak bargaining positions within the family - although this requires further study.

  • 35.
    Hammarström, Anne
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Public Health.
    Hensing, Gunnel
    Univ Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Acad, Sect Social Med, Dept Publ Hlth & Community Med, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    How gender theories are used in contemporary public health research2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, article id 34Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Public health research often focuses on gender differences within certain diagnoses, but so far research has failed to explain these differences in a satisfactory way. Theoretical development could be one prerequisite for moving beyond categorical thinking. The aim of this paper was to analyse how gender theories have been used in public health research in relation to various methodological approaches. Method: Six special issues of gender research with public health relevance (comprising 33 papers in total) were identified from a search of PubMed and Web of Science, spanning a 10-year period. The papers were analysed inductively through posing questions to the text. Results: Gender theories were used in eight different ways: 1. to test hypotheses, 2. integrate theories, 3. develop gender concepts and models, 4. interpret findings, 5. understand health problems, 6. illustrate the validity of other theories, 7. integrated into a gender blind theory, as well as to 8. critique of other gender theories. The strategies applied seemed independent of the health aspects of the papers. However, the methodologies were of importance, indicating that both theoretical papers and papers using qualitative methodologies used almost all available strategies, while papers using quantitative empirical research used a limited number of strategies. Conclusions: This study contributes to identifying how gender theories are used in contemporary public health research, which can help researchers move beyond a categorical understanding of gender in health research.

  • 36. Hernandez, Alison
    et al.
    Ruano, Ana Lorena
    Marchal, Bruno
    San Sebastián, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Flores, Walter
    Engaging with complexity to improve the health of indigenous people: a call for the use of systems thinking to tackle health inequity2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, article id 26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The 400 million indigenous people worldwide represent a wealth of linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as traditional knowledge and sustainable practices that are invaluable resources for human development. However, indigenous people remain on the margins of society in high, middle and low-income countries, and they bear a disproportionate burden of poverty, disease, and mortality compared to the general population. These inequalities have persisted, and in some countries have even worsened, despite the overall improvements in health indicators in relation to the 15-year push to meet the Millennium Development Goals. As we enter the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) era, there is growing consensus that efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and promote sustainable development should be guided by the moral imperative to improve equity. To achieve this, we need to move beyond the reductionist tendency to frame indigenous health as a problem of poor health indicators to be solved through targeted service delivery tactics and move towards holistic, integrated approaches that address the causes of inequalities both inside and outside the health sector. To meet the challenge of engaging with the conditions underlying inequalities and promoting transformational change, equity-oriented research and practice in the field of indigenous health requires: engaging power, context-adapted strategies to improve service delivery, and mobilizing networks of collective action. The application of systems thinking approaches offers a pathway for the evolution of equity-oriented research and practice in collaborative, politically informed and mutually enhancing efforts to understand and transform the systems that generate and reproduce inequities in indigenous health. These approaches hold the potential to strengthen practice through the development of more nuanced, context-sensitive strategies for redressing power imbalances, reshaping the service delivery environment and fostering the dynamics of collective action for political reform.

  • 37.
    Hernández, Alison R
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Hurtig, Anna-Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Dahlblom, Kjerstin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    San Sebastián, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Integrating views on support for mid-level health worker performance: a concept mapping study with regional health system actors in rural Guatemala2015In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 14, article id 91Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: Mid-level health workers are on the front-lines in underserved areas in many LMICs, and their performance is critical for improving the health of vulnerable populations. However, improving performance in low-resource settings is complex and highly dependent on the organizational context of local health systems. This study aims to examine the views of actors from different levels of a regional health system in Guatemala on actions to support the performance of auxiliary nurses, a cadre of mid-level health workers with a prominent role in public sector service delivery. A concept mapping study was carried out to develop an integrated view on organizational support and identify locally relevant strategies for strengthening performance.

    METHODS: A total of 93 regional and district managers, and primary and secondary care health workers participated in generating ideas on actions needed to support auxiliary nurses' performance. Ideas were consolidated into 30 action items, which were structured through sorting and rating exercises, involving a total of 135 of managers and health workers. Maps depicting participants' integrated views on domains of action and dynamics in sub-groups' interests were generated using a sequence of multivariate statistical analyses, and interpreted by regional managers.

    RESULTS: The combined input of health system actors provided a multi-faceted view of actions needed to support performance, which were organized in six domains, including: Communication and coordination, Tools to orient work, Organizational climate of support, Motivation through recognition, Professional development and Skills development. The nature of relationships across hierarchical levels was identified as a cross-cutting theme. Pattern matching and go-zone maps indicated directions for action based on areas of consensus and difference across sub-groups of actors.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that auxiliary nurses' performance is interconnected with the performance of other health system actors who require support, including managers and community-level collaborators. Organizational climate is critical for making auxiliary nurses feel supported, and greater attention to improving the quality of hierarchical relationships is needed in LMIC settings. The participatory nature of the concept-mapping process enabled health system actors to collaborate in co-production of context-specific knowledge needed to guide efforts to strengthen performance in a vulnerable region.

  • 38. Himanshu, M
    et al.
    Källestål, Carina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
    Regional inequity in complete antenatal services and public emergency obstetric care is associated with greater burden of maternal deaths: analysis from consecutive district level facility survey of Karnataka, India2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, no 1, article id 75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: This equity focused evaluation analyses change in inter-district inequity of maternal health services (MHS) in Karnataka state between 2006-07 & 2012-13, alongside association of MHS inequity with distribution of maternal deaths.

    METHODS: Repeated cross-sectional analysis of inequity and decomposition was done on nine district level MHS indicators using Theil's T index. Data was obtained from population linked district level facility surveys and health information systems.

    RESULTS: Inequity in births attended by skill birth attendants decreased the most (83.16%) among six other MHS indicators. Community provision of comprehensive emergency obstetric care strategy remained stagnant. Districts with higher complete antenatal care share and C-sections in public settings had lesser share of state's maternal deaths (R2 = 0.29, p = 0.004). 5 districts suffered perpetual inequity of MHS with relatively greater burden of maternal deaths.

    CONCLUSION: First 6 years of national rural health mission increased coverage of MHS and decreased regional inequity albeit non-uniformly. Distribution of system driven interventions of complete ANC and C-sections appear to determine decrease of maternal mortality in Karnataka.

  • 39.
    Höglund, A. T.
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Carlsson, M.
    University of Gävle, Sweden.
    Holmström, Inger K.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Kaminsky, Elenor
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare.
    Impact of telephone nursing education program for equity in healthcare2016In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 152Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The Swedish Healthcare Act prescribes that healthcare should be provided according to needs and with respect for each person's human dignity. The goal is equity in health for the whole population. In spite of this, studies have revealed that Swedish healthcare is not always provided equally. This has also been observed in telephone nursing. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate if and how an educational intervention can improve awareness of equity in healthcare among telephone nurses. Methods: The study had a quasi-experimental design, with one intervention group and one control group. A base-line measurement was performed before an educational intervention and a follow-up measurement was made afterwards in both groups, using a study specific questionnaire in which fictive persons of different age, gender and ethnicity were assessed concerning, e.g., power over one's own life, quality of life and experience of discrimination. The educational intervention consisted of a web-based lecture, literature and a seminar, covering aspects of inequality in healthcare related to gender, age and ethnicity, and gender and intersectionality theories as explaining models for these conditions. Results: The results showed few significant differences before and after the intervention in the intervention group. Also in the control group few significant differences were found in the second measurement, although no intervention was performed in that group. The reason might be that the instrument used was not sensitive enough to pick up an expected raised awareness of equity in healthcare, or that solely the act of filling out the questionnaire can create a sort of intervention effect. Fictive persons born in Sweden and of young age were assessed to have a higher Good life-index than the fictive persons born outside Europe and of higher age in all assessments. Conclusion: The results are an imperative that equity in healthcare still needs to be educated and discussed in different healthcare settings. The intervention and questionnaire were designed to fit telephone nurses, but could easily be adjusted to suit other professional groups, who need to increase their awareness of equity in healthcare.

  • 40.
    Höglund, A. T.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Carlsson, M.
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Holmström, Inger K.
    Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Lännerström, L.
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Kaminsky, E.
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    From denial to awareness: A conceptual model for obtaining equity in healthcare2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, no 1, article id 9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Although Swedish legislation prescribes equity in healthcare, studies have reported inequalities, both in face-to-face encounters and in telephone nursing. Research has suggested that telephone nursing has the capability to increase equity in healthcare, as it is open to all and not limited by long distances. However, this requires an increased awareness of equity in healthcare among telephone nurses. The aim of this study was to explore and describe perceptions of equity in healthcare among Swedish telephone nurses who had participated in an educational intervention on equity in health, including which of the power constructs gender, ethnicity and age they commented upon most frequently. Further, the aim was to develop a conceptual model for obtaining equity in healthcare, based on the results of the empirical investigation. Method: A qualitative method was used. Free text comments from questionnaires filled out by 133 telephone nurses before and after an educational intervention on equity in health, as well as individual interviews with five participants, were analyzed qualitatively. The number of comments related to inequity based on gender, ethnicity or age in the free text comments was counted descriptively. Results: Gender was the factor commented upon the least and ethnicity the most. Four concepts were found through the qualitative analysis: Denial, Defense, Openness, and Awareness. Some informants denied inequity in healthcare in general, and in telephone nursing in particular. Others acknowledged it, but argued that they had workplace routines that protected against it. There were also examples of an openness to the fact that inequity existed and a willingness to learn and prevent it, as well as an already high awareness of inequity in healthcare. Conclusion: A conceptual model was developed in which the four concepts were divided into two qualitatively different blocks, with Denial and Defense on one side of a continuum and Openness and Awareness on the other. In order to reach equity in healthcare, action is also needed, and that concept was therefore added to the model. The result can be used as a starting point when developing educational interventions for healthcare personnel. 

  • 41.
    Höglund, Anna
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Carlsson, Marianne
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
    Holmström, Inger
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
    Lännerström, Linda
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Preventive Medicine. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centrum för klinisk forskning i Sörmland (CKFD).
    Kaminsky, Elenor
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.
    From denial to awareness: a conceptual model for obtaining equity in healthcare2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, no 9Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 42.
    Höglund, Anna T.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Carlsson, Marianne
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. Högskolan i Gävle.
    Holmström, Inger K.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences. Mälardalens högskola.
    Kaminsky, Elenor
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research. Mälardalens högskola.
    Impact of telephone nursing education program for equity in health2016In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 152Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background:The Swedish Healthcare Act prescribes that healthcare should be provided according to needs andwith respect for each person’s human dignity. The goal is equity in health for the whole population. In spite of this,studies have revealed that Swedish healthcare is not always provided equally. This has also been observed intelephone nursing.Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate if and how an educational intervention can improveawareness of equity in healthcare among telephone nurses.Methods:The study had a quasi-experimental design, with one intervention group and one control group. Abase-line measurement was performed before an educational intervention and a follow-up measurement wasmade afterwards in both groups, using a study specific questionnaire in which fictive persons of different age,gender and ethnicity were assessed concerning, e.g., power over one’s own life, quality of life and experience ofdiscrimination. The educational intervention consisted of a web-based lecture, literature and a seminar, coveringaspects of inequality in healthcare related to gender, ageand ethnicity, and gender and intersectionality theoriesas explaining models for these conditions.Results:The results showed few significant differences before and after the intervention in the intervention group.Also in the control group few significant differences were found in the second measurement, although no interventionwas performed in that group. The reason might be that the instrument used was not sensitive enough to pick up anexpected raised awareness of equity in healthcare, or that solely the act of filling out the questionnaire can create asort of intervention effect. Fictive persons born in Sweden and of young age were assessed to have a higherGood life-index than the fictive persons born outside Europe and of higher age in all assessments.Conclusion:The results are an imperative that equity in healthcare still needs to be educated and discussed indifferent healthcare settings. The intervention and questionnaire were designed to fit telephone nurses, but couldeasily be adjusted to suit other professional groups, who need to increase their awareness of equity in healthcare.

  • 43.
    Höglund, Anna T.
    et al.
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Carlsson, Marianne
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Caring science. Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Holmström, Inger K.
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; School of health, care and social welfare, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Kaminsky, Elenor
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; School of health, care and social welfare, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Impact of telephone nursing education program for equity in healthcare2016In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 15, no 1, article id 152Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The Swedish Healthcare Act prescribes that healthcare should be provided according to needs and with respect for each person's human dignity. The goal is equity in health for the whole population. In spite of this, studies have revealed that Swedish healthcare is not always provided equally. This has also been observed in telephone nursing. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate if and how an educational intervention can improve awareness of equity in healthcare among telephone nurses.

    METHODS: The study had a quasi-experimental design, with one intervention group and one control group. A base-line measurement was performed before an educational intervention and a follow-up measurement was made afterwards in both groups, using a study specific questionnaire in which fictive persons of different age, gender and ethnicity were assessed concerning, e.g., power over one's own life, quality of life and experience of discrimination. The educational intervention consisted of a web-based lecture, literature and a seminar, covering aspects of inequality in healthcare related to gender, age and ethnicity, and gender and intersectionality theories as explaining models for these conditions.

    RESULTS: The results showed few significant differences before and after the intervention in the intervention group. Also in the control group few significant differences were found in the second measurement, although no intervention was performed in that group. The reason might be that the instrument used was not sensitive enough to pick up an expected raised awareness of equity in healthcare, or that solely the act of filling out the questionnaire can create a sort of intervention effect. Fictive persons born in Sweden and of young age were assessed to have a higher Good life-index than the fictive persons born outside Europe and of higher age in all assessments.

    CONCLUSION: The results are an imperative that equity in healthcare still needs to be educated and discussed in different healthcare settings. The intervention and questionnaire were designed to fit telephone nurses, but could easily be adjusted to suit other professional groups, who need to increase their awareness of equity in healthcare.

  • 44.
    Höglund, Anna T.
    et al.
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Carlsson, Marianne
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Caring science. Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Holmström, Inger K.
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden; School of health, care and social welfare, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Lännerström, Linda
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Kaminsky, Elenor
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    From denial to awareness: a conceptual model for obtaining equity in healthcare.2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, no 1, article id 9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Although Swedish legislation prescribes equity in healthcare, studies have reported inequalities, both in face-to-face encounters and in telephone nursing. Research has suggested that telephone nursing has the capability to increase equity in healthcare, as it is open to all and not limited by long distances. However, this requires an increased awareness of equity in healthcare among telephone nurses. The aim of this study was to explore and describe perceptions of equity in healthcare among Swedish telephone nurses who had participated in an educational intervention on equity in health, including which of the power constructs gender, ethnicity and age they commented upon most frequently. Further, the aim was to develop a conceptual model for obtaining equity in healthcare, based on the results of the empirical investigation.

    METHOD: A qualitative method was used. Free text comments from questionnaires filled out by 133 telephone nurses before and after an educational intervention on equity in health, as well as individual interviews with five participants, were analyzed qualitatively. The number of comments related to inequity based on gender, ethnicity or age in the free text comments was counted descriptively.

    RESULTS: Gender was the factor commented upon the least and ethnicity the most. Four concepts were found through the qualitative analysis: Denial, Defense, Openness, and Awareness. Some informants denied inequity in healthcare in general, and in telephone nursing in particular. Others acknowledged it, but argued that they had workplace routines that protected against it. There were also examples of an openness to the fact that inequity existed and a willingness to learn and prevent it, as well as an already high awareness of inequity in healthcare.

    CONCLUSION: A conceptual model was developed in which the four concepts were divided into two qualitatively different blocks, with Denial and Defense on one side of a continuum and Openness and Awareness on the other. In order to reach equity in healthcare, action is also needed, and that concept was therefore added to the model. The result can be used as a starting point when developing educational interventions for healthcare personnel.

  • 45.
    Jat, Tej Ram
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Ng, Nawi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Factors affecting the use of maternal health services in Madhya Pradesh state of India: a multilevel analysis2011In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 59-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Improving maternal health is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals. It is widely accepted that the use of maternal health services helps in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality. The utilization of maternal health services is a complex phenomenon and it is influenced by several factors. Therefore, the factors at different levels affecting the use of these services need to be clearly understood. The objective of this study was to estimate the effects of individual, community and district level characteristics on the utilisation of maternal health services with special reference to antenatal care (ANC), skilled attendance at delivery and postnatal care (PNC).

    Methods This study was designed as a cross sectional study. Data from 15,782 ever married women aged 15-49 years residing in Madhya Pradesh state of India who participated in the District Level Household and Facility Survey (DLHS-3) 2007-08 were used for this study. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed accounting for individual, community and district level factors associated with the use of maternal health care services. Type of residence at community level and ratio of primary health center to population and percent of tribal population in the district were included as district level variables in this study.

    Results The results of this study showed that 61.7% of the respondents used ANC at least once during their most recent pregnancy whereas only 37.4% women received PNC within two weeks of delivery. In the last delivery, 49.8% mothers were assisted by skilled personnel. There was considerable amount of variation in the use of maternal health services at community and district levels. About 40% and 14% of the total variance in the use of ANC, 29% and 8% of the total variance in the use of skilled attendance at delivery and 28% and 8.5% of the total variance in the use of PNC was attributable to differences across communities and districts, respectively. When controlled for individual, community and district level factors, the variances in the use of skilled attendance at delivery attributed to the differences across communities and districts were reduced to 15% and 4.3% respectively. There were only marginal reductions observed in the variance at community and district level for ANC and PNC use. The household socio-economic status and mother's education were the most important factors associated with the use of ANC and skilled attendance at delivery. The community level variable was only significant for ANC and skilled attendance at delivery but not for PNC. None of the district level variables used in this study were found to be influential factors for the use of maternal health services.

    Conclusions We found sufficient amount of variations at community and district of residence on each of the three indicators of the use of maternal health services. For increasing the utilisation of these services in the state, in addition to individual-level, there is a strong need to identify and focus on community and district-level interventions.

  • 46.
    Jonsson, Frida
    et al.
    Umea Univ, Unit Epidemiol & Global Hlth, Dept Publ Hlth & Clin Med, S-90185 Umea, Sweden..
    San Sebastian, Miguel
    Umea Univ, Unit Epidemiol & Global Hlth, Dept Publ Hlth & Clin Med, S-90185 Umea, Sweden..
    Hammarström, Anne
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Public Health.
    Gustafsson, Per E.
    Umea Univ, Unit Epidemiol & Global Hlth, Dept Publ Hlth & Clin Med, S-90185 Umea, Sweden..
    Intragenerational social mobility and functional somatic symptoms in a northern Swedish context: analyses of diagonal reference models2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, article id 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Research indicate that social class mobility could be potentially important for health, but whether this is due to the movement itself or a result of people having been integrated in different class contexts is, to date, difficult to infer. In addition, although several theories suggest that transitions between classes in the social hierarchy can be stressful experiences, few studies have empirically examined whether such movements may have health effects, over and above the implications of "being" in these classes. In an attempt to investigate whether intragenerational social mobility is associated with functional somatic symptoms in mid-adulthood, the current study tests three partially contrasting theories. Method: The dissociative theory suggests that mobility in general and upward mobility in particular may be linked to psychological distress, while the falling from grace theory indicates that downward mobility is especially stressful. In contrast, the acculturation theory holds that the health implications of social mobility is not due to the movement itself but attributed to the class contexts in which people find themselves. Diagonal Reference Models were used on a sample of 924 individuals who in 1981 graduated from 9th grade in the municipality of Lulea, Sweden. Social mobility was operationalized as change in occupational class between age 30 and 42 (measured in 1995 and 2007). The health outcome was functional somatic symptoms at age 42, defined as a clustering self-reported physical symptoms, palpitation and sleeping difficulties during the last 12 months. Results: Overall mobility was not associated with higher levels of functional somatic symptoms compared to being immobile (p = 0.653). After controlling for prior and current class, sex, parental social position, general health, civil status, education and unemployment, the association between downward mobility was borderline significant (p = 0.055) while upward mobility was associated with lower levels of functional somatic symptoms (p = 0.03). Conclusion: The current study did not find unanimous support for any of the theories. Nevertheless, it sheds light on the possibility that upward mobility may be beneficial to reduce stress-related health problems in mid-life over and above the exposure to prior and current class, while downward mobility can be of less importance for middle-age health complaints.

  • 47.
    Jonsson, Frida
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Sebastian, Miguel San
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Hammarström, Anne
    Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Per E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Intragenerational social mobility and functional somatic symptoms in a northern Swedish context: analyses of diagonal reference models2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, article id 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Research indicate that social class mobility could be potentially important for health, but whether this is due to the movement itself or a result of people having been integrated in different class contexts is, to date, difficult to infer. In addition, although several theories suggest that transitions between classes in the social hierarchy can be stressful experiences, few studies have empirically examined whether such movements may have health effects, over and above the implications of "being" in these classes. In an attempt to investigate whether intragenerational social mobility is associated with functional somatic symptoms in mid-adulthood, the current study tests three partially contrasting theories.

    METHOD: The dissociative theory suggests that mobility in general and upward mobility in particular may be linked to psychological distress, while the falling from grace theory indicates that downward mobility is especially stressful. In contrast, the acculturation theory holds that the health implications of social mobility is not due to the movement itself but attributed to the class contexts in which people find themselves. Diagonal Reference Models were used on a sample of 924 individuals who in 1981 graduated from 9(th) grade in the municipality of Luleå, Sweden. Social mobility was operationalized as change in occupational class between age 30 and 42 (measured in 1995 and 2007). The health outcome was functional somatic symptoms at age 42, defined as a clustering self-reported physical symptoms, palpitation and sleeping difficulties during the last 12 months.

    RESULTS: Overall mobility was not associated with higher levels of functional somatic symptoms compared to being immobile (p = 0.653). After controlling for prior and current class, sex, parental social position, general health, civil status, education and unemployment, the association between downward mobility was borderline significant (p = 0.055) while upward mobility was associated with lower levels of functional somatic symptoms (p = 0.03).

    CONCLUSION: The current study did not find unanimous support for any of the theories. Nevertheless, it sheds light on the possibility that upward mobility may be beneficial to reduce stress-related health problems in mid-life over and above the exposure to prior and current class, while downward mobility can be of less importance for middle-age health complaints.

  • 48. Kailembo, Alexander
    et al.
    Preet, Raman
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Stewart Williams, Jennifer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Research Centre for Generational Health and Ageing, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, New Lambton Heights, Australia.
    Socioeconomic inequality in self-reported unmet need for oral health services in adults aged 50 years and over in China, Ghana, and India2018In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 17, article id 99Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The 2015 Global Burden of Disease Study estimated that oral conditions affect 3.5 billion people worldwide with a higher burden among older adults and those who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Studies of inequalities in the use of oral health services by those in need have been conducted in high-income countries but evidence from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is limited. This study measures and describes socioeconomic inequality in self-reported unmet need for oral health services in adults aged 50 years and over, in China, Ghana and India.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis of national survey data from the WHO SAGE Wave 1 (2007-2010) was conducted. Study samples in China (n = 1591), Ghana (n = 425) and India (n = 1307) were conditioned on self-reported need for oral health services in the previous 12 months. The binary dependent variable, unmet need for oral health services, was derived from questions about self-reported need and service use. Prevalence was estimated by country. Unmet need was measured and compared in terms of relative levels of education and household wealth. The methods were logistic regression and the relative index of inequality (RII). Models were adjusted for age, sex, area of residence, marital status, work status and self-rated health.

    RESULTS: The prevalence of unmet need was 60, 80, and 62% in China, Ghana and India respectively. The adjusted RII for education was statistically significant for China (1.5, 95% CI:1.2-1.9), Ghana (1.4, 95% CI: 1.1-1.7), and India (1.5, 95% CI:1.2-2.0), whereas the adjusted RII for wealth was significant only in Ghana (1.3, 95% CI:1.1-1.6). Male sex was significantly associated with self-reported unmet need for oral health services in India.

    CONCLUSIONS: Given rapid population ageing, further evidence of socioeconomic inequalities in unmet need for oral health services by older adults in LMICs is needed to inform policies to mitigate inequalities in the availability of oral health services. Oral health is a universal public health issue requiring attention and action on multiple levels and across the public private divide.

  • 49.
    Kien, Vu Duy
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Center for Population Health Sciences, Hanoi School of Public Health, Hanoi, Vietnam.
    Minh, HV
    Giang, KB
    Dao, A
    Tuan, LT
    Ng, Nawi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Socioeconomic inequalities in catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment associated with non-communicable diseases in urban Hanoi, Vietnam2016In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 15, article id 169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment indices offer guidance for developing appropriate health policies and intervention programs to decrease financial inequity. This study assesses socioeconomic inequalities in catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment in relation to self-reported non-communicable diseases (NCD) in urban Hanoi, Vietnam. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted from February to March 2013 in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. We estimated catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment using information from 492 slum household and 528 non-slum households. We calculated concentration indexes to assess socioeconomic inequalities in catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment. Factors associated with catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment were modelled using logistic regression analysis. Results: The poor households in both slum and non-slum areas were at higher risk of experiencing catastrophic health expenditure, while only the poor households in slum areas were at higher risk of impoverishment because of healthcare spending. Households with at least one member reporting an NCD were significantly more likely to face catastrophic health expenditure (odds ratio [OR] = 2.4; 95 % confidence interval [CI], 1.8-4.0) and impoverishment (OR = 2.3; 95 % CI, 1.1-6.3) compared to households without NCDs. In addition, households in slum areas, with people age 60 years and above, and belonging to the poorest socioeconomic group were significantly associated with increased catastrophic health expenditure, while only households that lived in slum areas, and belonging to the poor or poorest socioeconomic groups were significantly associated with increased impoverishment because of healthcare spending. Conclusion: Financial interventions to prevent catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment should target poor households, especially those with family members suffering from NCDs, with older members and those located in slum areas in Hanoi Vietnam. Potential interventions derived from this study include targeting and monitoring of health insurance enrolment, and developing a specialized NCD service package for Vietnam's social health insurance program.

  • 50.
    Krishnan, Anand
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Amarchand, Ritvik
    Byass, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Pandav, Chandrakant
    Ng, Nawi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    "No one says 'No' to money": a mixed methods approach for evaluating conditional cash transfer schemes to improve girl children's status in Haryana, India.2014In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 11-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: Haryana was the first state in India to launch a conditional cash transfer (CCT) scheme in 1994. Initially it targeted all disadvantaged girls but was revised in 2005 to restrict it to second girl children of all groups. The benefit which accrued at girl attaining 18 years and subject to conditionalities of being fully immunized, studying till class 10 and remaining unmarried, was increased from about US$ 500 to US$ 2000. Using a mixed methods approach, we evaluated the implementation and possible impact of these two schemes.

    METHODS: A survey was conducted among 200 randomly selected respondents of Ballabgarh Block in Haryana to assess their perceptions of girl children and related schemes. A cohort of births during this period was assembled from population database of 28 villages in this block and changes in sex ratio at birth and in immunization coverage at one year of age among boys and girls was measured. Education levels and mean age at marriage of daughters were compared with daughters-in-law from outside Haryana. In-depth interviews were conducted among district level implementers of these schemes to assess their perceptions of programs' implementation and impact. These were analyzed using a thematic approach.

    RESULTS: The perceptions of girls as a liability and poor (9% to 15%) awareness of the schemes was noted. The cohort analysis showed that while there has been an improvement in the indicators studied, these were similar to those seen among the control groups. Qualitative analysis identified a "conspiracy of silence" - an underplaying of the pervasiveness of the problem coupled with a passive implementation of the program and a clash between political culture of giving subsidies and a bureaucratic approach that imposed many conditionalities and documentary needs for availing of benefits.

    CONCLUSION: The apparent lack of impact on the societal mindset calls for a revision in the current approach of addressing a social issue by a purely conditional cash transfer program.

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