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Social Science & Medicine

Emily Allen Paine
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 18, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Adriana Gisela Martínez-Parra, Maria Yaneth Pinilla-Alfonso, César Ernesto Abadía-Barrero
Chagas disease (CD) is a Latin America endemic and neglected tropical disease that affects primarily poor people living in rural areas. Its current low profile leads to many diagnostic, treatment, and control challenges. This study aimed to identify and characterize the sociocultural dynamics that influence CD health care in Colombia. Data for our ethnographic study was collected in 2013 and included participant observation in two main endemic areas in Colombia. In addition, 81 people belonging to four groups (patients and family members; health care workers; researchers; and officers) were recruited through snowball sampling technique and participated in informal and semi-structured interviews...
September 11, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Ann M Cheney, Christine Newkirk, Katheryn Rodriguez, Anselmo Montez
Thousands of Mexicans and Central Americans settle in communities along the borderlands between Mexico and the United States. Many live and work in rural communities characterized by poverty and limited access to basic resources. Drawing on qualitative research, this article reports on inequalities and health among foreign-born Latinos in rural borderland communities. From 2015 to 2016, the study team conducted research in Inland Southern California's Eastern Coachella Valley with Mexican farmworkers, farmworker advocates, community leaders, healthcare service providers, and local political leaders...
September 11, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Olivia V Fletcher, Philip A May, Soraya Seedat, Kathleen J Sikkema, Melissa H Watt
BACKGROUND: The Western Cape Province of South Africa has one of the highest rates of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) globally. Effective prevention of FASD requires understanding women's attitudes about alcohol use during pregnancy and whether these attitudes translate into behavior. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this mixed-methods study was to describe attitudes toward alcohol use during pregnancy and examine how these attitudes influence drinking behaviors during pregnancy...
September 9, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Nathan J Doogan, Megan E Roberts, Mary Ellen Wewers, Erin R Tanenbaum, Elizabeth A Mumford, Frances A Stillman
The purpose of this study was to develop and test a new continuous measure for rural health disparities research that characterizes geographic areas according to a perspective of access to resources. We call the measure Isolation and anticipate it will be useful as an alternative to commonly used rural classification schemes (e.g., the Census Bureau's measure). Following the best known standards for measuring rurality, it captures the trade-off between access to resource-rich, high-population-density areas and the cost of travel to those areas; thus even intrinsically low-resource areas may have high access to nearby resources...
September 8, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Sylvia Jaworska, Kath Ryan
Drawing on the notion of gender as a socially constructed category performed inter alia through language, this study examines the ways in which women and man use language to do person-in-pain in real-life interactions about chronic and terminal illness. It is based on a secondary analysis of a large corpus of health and illness narratives collected by the Health Experiences Research Group at the University of Oxford and published by the DIPEx charity. Sixteen chronic and terminal conditions were identified in which men and women talked about physical pain and their narratives examined using the linguistic approach of a corpus-assisted discourse analysis...
September 8, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Alan Shiell, Penelope Hawe, Shane Kavanagh
In the 21 years since social capital first appeared in the public health literature, the evidence base has grown enormously, now reaching 28 systematic reviews encompassing more than 850 individual studies. We summarise this evidence and explain why conclusions relating to both the relationship between social capital and health, and the effectiveness of interventions to promote population health remain elusive and contradictory. A critical factor is the inadequate way that context is treated in the research, and especially how context interacts with efforts to promote health in a dynamic fashion...
September 8, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Benjamin Marent, Flis Henwood, Mary Darking
In reaction to polarised views on the benefits or drawbacks of digital health, the notion of 'ambivalence' has recently been proposed as a means to grasp the nuances and complexities at play when digital technologies are embedded within practices of care. This article responds to this proposal by demonstrating how ambivalence can work as a reflexive approach to evaluate the potential implications of digital health. We first outline current theoretical advances in sociology and organisation science and define ambivalence as a relational and multidimensional concept that can increase reflexivity within innovation processes...
September 6, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Andrea Melberg, Abdoulaye Hama Diallo, Katerini T Storeng, Thorkild Tylleskär, Karen Marie Moland
Targets and indicators set at the global level are powerful tools that govern health systems in low-income countries. Skilled birth attendance at a health facility is an important indicator for monitoring maternal mortality reduction worldwide. This paper examines how health workers negotiate policy implementation through the translation of clinical care into registries and reports. It does so by analysing the links between the global policy of institutional births and the role of documentation in the provision of birth care in primary health centres in Burkina Faso...
September 4, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Sedona Sweeney, Rachel Mukora, Sophie Candfield, Lorna Guinness, Alison D Grant, Anna Vassall
There is increasing global policy interest in estimating catastrophic costs incurred by households because of ill health, and growing need for information on disease-specific household cost data. There are several methodological approaches used to estimate income and no current consensus on the best method for estimating income in the context of a survey at the health facility. We compared six different approaches to estimate catastrophic cost among patients attending a health facility in South Africa. We used patient cost and income data collected June 2014-March 2015 from 66 participants enrolled in a clinical trial in South Africa (TB FastTrack) to explore the variation arising from different income estimation approaches and compared the number of households encountering catastrophic costs derived for each approach...
September 2, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Alexandra Brewer
Autism is a developmental disorder that emerges in early childhood. Treatments for autism span a wide variety of professionals and paraprofessionals in the medical and educational realms. This article draws on data from a survey of 620 parents of autistic children, including 385 written narratives, to examine the experiences of mothers as they engage with this fragmented system of professional care for children with autism. Findings suggest that engagement with treatments sent families into a complex and confusing universe of diagnosis and treatment...
September 1, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Kim M Blankenship, Ana Maria Del Rio Gonzalez, Danya E Keene, Allison K Groves, Alana P Rosenberg
We explore race differences in how individuals experience mass incarceration, as well as in mass incarceration's impacts on measures of well-being that are recognized as major social determinants of health. We draw on baseline data from a sample of 302 men and women recently released from prison/jail or placed directly onto probation in New Haven, Connecticut (CT) for drug related offenses and followed at 6-month intervals for two years (2011-2014). We describe race differences in experiences of mass incarceration and in its impacts on well-being; and we conduct mediation analyses to analyze relationships among race, mass incarceration, and well-being...
September 1, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Qiong Wu, Robin L Harwood, Xin Feng
RATIONALE: Food insecurity is a significant social problem that has been found to co-occur with both poverty and depression. However, few studies have utilized longitudinal data to investigate the associations among poverty, depression, and food insecurity. OBJECTIVE: This study tested two competing hypotheses, the food inadequacy hypothesis and the mental health hypothesis, in examining the associations among family socioeconomic status (SES), maternal depression, and household food insecurity across children's first five years of life...
September 1, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Caroline Bradbury-Jones, Louise Isham, Julie Taylor
Participatory research carried out by or with children, has become a well-established and valuable part of the research landscape investigating children's lives, views and needs. So too has a critical agenda about its ethical implications and methodological complexities. One criticism is that the involvement of children who may be considered 'vulnerable' or 'marginalised' has been slower to take root within mainstream participatory practice. This means that there has been less focus on how groups such as disabled children or children affected by abuse or neglect can shape and challenge adult-dominated types of knowledge and decision-making that are likely to affect them...
August 31, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Pia Juul Bjertrup, Malika Bouhenia, Philippe Mayaud, Clément Perrin, Jihane Ben Farhat, Karl Blanchet
RATIONALE: In 2015, an estimated 856,723 refugees, predominantly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq arrived in Greece as an entry point into the European Union. The border of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia closed in March 2016, blocking a popular route for refugees through Europe, and left around 60,000 people stranded in Greece. OBJECTIVE: A mixed-method study was conducted among refugees in the regions of Attica, Epirus, and Samos between November 2016 and February 2017...
August 31, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Hege K Andreassen, Kari Dyb, Carl R May, Catherine J Pope, Line L Warth
Sociological interest in the digitization of health has predominantly been studied using qualitative approaches. Research in this field has grown steadily since the late 1990's but to date, no synthesis has been conducted to integrate this now rather comprehensive corpus of data. In this paper we present a meta-ethnography of 15 papers reporting qualitative studies of digitally mediated patient - professional interactions. By dissecting the detailed descriptions of digitized practices in this most basic relationship in health care, we explore how these studies can illuminate important aspects of social relations in contemporary society...
August 31, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Sophie Crowe, Ruairi Brugha
Although there is reasonably rich literature on socialisation in medical schools, few studies have investigated emotional socialisation among qualified doctors; specifically how specialist training reproduces the norms, values, and assumptions of medical culture. This article explores expressions and management of emotion in doctors' narratives of work and training for insights into how socialisation continues after graduation. The study employed qualitative methods - in-depth interviews - with fifty doctors at early and advanced stages of specialist training in teaching hospitals in Ireland...
August 30, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Ángel V Jiménez, Joseph M Stubbersfield, Jamshid J Tehrani
RATIONALE: Although vaccines are an invaluable weapon in combatting diseases, they are often surrounded by controversy. Vaccine controversies usually arise with the claims of some parents or doctors who link vaccines to harmful outcomes. These controversies often negatively affect vaccination coverage. OBJECTIVES: This experiment simulated a vaccine controversy to understand which content features of vaccination-related information are well transmitted and how this transmission affects vaccine intention...
August 30, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Tanya Zivkovic
Advance care directives situate persons as rational and self-determining actors who can make anticipatory plans about their futures. This paper critically examines how people interpret individual and future-oriented approaches to medical decision-making with limited access to information and knowledge, and reduced opportunities to prepare and document their care preferences. Based on ethnographic research with Asian migrant families living in Adelaide, South Australia (August 2015-July 2018), it reveals a discord between planning for a finite future and the contingencies and continuities of social life...
August 29, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
Yulin Hswen, Kara C Sewalk, Emily Alsentzer, Gaurav Tuli, John S Brownstein, Jared B Hawkins
RATIONALE: Persons who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) face health inequities due to unwarranted discrimination against their sexual orientation or identity. An important contributor to LGBT health disparities is the inequitable or substandard care that LGBT individuals receive from hospitals. OBJECTIVE: To investigate inequities in hospital care among LGBT patients using the popular social media platform Twitter. METHOD: This study examined a dataset of Twitter communications (tweets) collected from February 2015 to May 2017...
August 27, 2018: Social Science & Medicine
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