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Critical Public Health

Michael J Roy
The 'assets-based approach' to health and well-being has, on the one hand, been presented as a potentially empowering means to address the social determinants of health while, on the other, been criticised for obscuring structural drivers of inequality and encouraging individualisation and marketisation; in essence, for being a tool of neoliberalism. This study looks at how this apparent contestation plays out in practice through a critical realist-inspired examination of practitioner discourses, specifically of those working within communities to address social vulnerabilities that we know impact upon health...
August 8, 2017: Critical Public Health
Katerini T Storeng, Dominique P Béhague
The MMR - maternal mortality ratio - has risen from obscurity to become a major global health indicator, even appearing as an indicator of progress towards the global Sustainable Development Goals. This has happened despite intractable challenges relating to the measurement of maternal mortality. Even after three decades of measurement innovation, maternal mortality data are widely presumed to be of poor quality, or, as one leading measurement expert has put it, 'guilty until proven innocent'. This paper explores how and why leading epidemiologists, demographers and statisticians have devoted the better part of the last three decades to producing ever more sophisticated and expensive surveys and mathematical models of globally comparable MMR estimates...
March 15, 2017: Critical Public Health
Annie Wilkinson, James Fairhead
Sierra Leone and Guinea share broadly similar cultural worlds, straddling the societies of the Upper Guinea Coast with Islamic West Africa. There was, however, a notable difference in their reactions to the Ebola epidemic. As the epidemic spread in Guinea, acts of violent or everyday resistance to outbreak control measures repeatedly followed, undermining public health attempts to contain the crisis. In Sierra Leone, defiant resistance was rarer. Instead of looking to 'culture' to explain patterns of social resistance (as was common in the media and in the discourse of responding public health authorities) a comparison between Sierra Leone and Guinea suggests that explanations lie in divergent political practice and lived experiences of the state...
January 1, 2017: Critical Public Health
Ann H Kelly, Hayley MacGregor, Catherine M Montgomery
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 1, 2017: Critical Public Health
David Reubi
This article tells a different but equally important story about neoliberalism and global health than the narrative on structural adjustment policies usually found in the literature. Rather than focus on macroeconomic structural adjustment policies, this story draws our attention to microeconomic taxation policies on tobacco, alcohol and sugar now widely recognised as the best strategy to control the global non-communicable disease epidemic. Structural adjustment policies are the product of the shift from statist to market-based development models, which was brought about by neoliberal thinkers like Peter Blau and Deepak Lal...
October 19, 2016: Critical Public Health
Claire Thompson, Steven Cummins, Tim Brown, Rosemary Kyle
Family meals, as acts of domestic food provisioning, are shaped by the competing influences of household resources, food preferences and broader cultural norms around dietary practices. The place of children's food tastes in family meal practices is particularly complex. Food tastes stand in a reciprocal relationship with family food practices: being both an influence on and a product of them. This paper explores how parents think about and respond to their children's food preferences in relation to family meal practices...
May 26, 2016: Critical Public Health
Nicola Bulled, Edward C Green
Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) has been rapidly accepted by global HIV policy and donor institutions as a highly valuable HIV prevention strategy given its cost-effectiveness, limited interactions with a health facility, and projected long-lasting benefits. Many southern African countries have incorporated VMMC into their national HIV prevention strategies. However, intensive VMMC promotion programs have met with limited success to date and many HIV researchers have voiced concerns. This commentary discusses reasons behind the less-than-desired public demand and suggests how inclusion of the traditional sector - traditional leaders, healers, and circumcisers - with their local knowledge, cultural expertise and social capital, particularly in the realm of social meanings ascribed to male circumcision, may improve the uptake of this HIV prevention strategy...
May 1, 2016: Critical Public Health
Jade Boyd, Thomas Kerr
In Canada and other western nations there has been an unprecedented expansion of criminal justice systems and a well documented increase of contact between people with mental illness and the police. Canadian police, especially in Vancouver, British Columbia, have been increasingly at the forefront of discourse and regulation specific to mental health. Drawing on critical discourse analysis, this paper to explores this claim through a case study of four Vancouver Police Department (VPD) policy reports on "Vancouver's mental health crisis" from 2008-2013, which include recommendations for action...
2016: Critical Public Health
Pamela Wakewich, Brianne Wood, Crystal Davey, Ashlie Laframboise, Ingeborg Zehbe
Regular Papanicolaou (Pap) screening has dramatically reduced cervical cancer incidence in Canada since the 1950s. However, Indigenous women's rates of cervical cancer remain disproportionately high, a factor which is not acknowledged in national media or in educational materials reporting Canada's new cervical cancer screening guidelines. Here, we present findings from a cervical cancer screening initiative in Northwestern Ontario. Based on participatory action research, we worked with 10 First Nations communities in the Robinson Superior Treaty area to increase awareness of cervical cancer risk, develop culturally sensitive tools for screening and education and test the efficacy of human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling as an alternative to Pap cytology...
January 1, 2016: Critical Public Health
Rebecca J Mercier, Mara Buchbinder, Amy Bryant
Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP laws) are proliferating in the United States and have increased barriers to abortion access. In order to comply with these laws, abortion providers make significant changes to facilities and clinical practices. In this article, we draw attention to an often unacknowledged area of public health threat: how providers adapt to increasing regulation, and the resultant strains on the abortion provider workforce. Current US legal standards for abortion regulations have led to an increase in laws that target abortion providers...
2016: Critical Public Health
Melissa Bone, Toby Seddon
This paper explores the interplay between the human rights and drug control frameworks and critiques case law on medicinal cannabis use to demonstrate that a bona fide human rights perspective allows for a broader conception of 'health'. This broad conception, encompassing both medicalised and social constructionist definitions, can inform public health policies relating to medicinal cannabis use. The paper also demonstrates how a human rights lens can alleviate a core tension between the State and the individual within the drug policy field...
January 1, 2016: Critical Public Health
Dorit Teuscher, Andrea J Bukman, Marleen A van Baak, Edith J M Feskens, Reint Jan Renes, Agnes Meershoek
Lifestyle interventions often fail to successfully reach individuals with lower socio-economic status (SES), possibly because of the individual behavioural orientation to health behaviour and because limited research has included the target groups' perspectives in the development of interventions. Certainly, in order to make lifestyle interventions more applicable, target groups' viewpoints should to be taken into account. In order to tailor an effective lifestyle intervention to groups with lower SES of different ethnic origins, 14 focus group interviews were conducted with Turkish, Moroccan and Dutch male and female groups...
October 20, 2015: Critical Public Health
Catherine Dodds, Matthew Weait, Adam Bourne, Siri Egede
We present qualitative research findings about how perceptions of criminal prosecutions for the transmission of HIV interact with the provision of high-quality HIV health and social care in England and Wales. Seven focus groups were undertaken with a total of 75 diverse professionals working in clinical and community-based services for people with HIV. Participants' understanding of the law in this area was varied, with many knowing the basic requirements for a prosecution, yet lacking confidence in the best way to communicate key details with those using their service...
August 8, 2015: Critical Public Health
Barry D Adam, Patrice Corriveau, Richard Elliott, Jason Globerman, Ken English, Sean Rourke
Responses to the largest surveys of HIV-positive people in Ontario show that most either disclose to or do not have partners who are HIV-negative or of unknown status. Non-disclosure strategies and assumptions are reported by relatively small sets of people with some variation according to employment status, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, and having had a casual partner. Interviews with 122 people living with HIV show that disclosure is an undertaking fraught with emotional pitfalls complicated by personal histories of having misread cues or having felt deceived leading up to their own sero-conversion, then having to negotiate a stigmatized status with new people...
August 8, 2015: Critical Public Health
Alice Street
This commentary sketches out the politics of the expansion of affordable, fast-moving nutraceutical products into rural India, with a focus on fortified foods and beverages. It examines the relationships between industry, government and humanitarian organisations that are being forged alongside the development of markets for nutraceuticals; the production of evidence and the harnessing of science to support nutraceutical companies' claims; the ways in which nutraceuticals are being marketed and distributed in rural areas; and the concepts of health and well-being that are being promulgated through those marketing campaigns...
May 27, 2015: Critical Public Health
Violeta Chacon, Paola Letona, Eduardo Villamor, Joaquin Barnoya
Obesity in school-age children is emerging as a public heath concern. Food marketing influences preferences and increases children's requests for food. This study sought to describe the type of snack foods advertised to children in stores in and around public schools and assess if there is an association between child-oriented snack food advertising and proximity to schools. All food stores located inside and within a 200 square meter radius from two preschools and two primary schools were surveyed. We assessed store type, number and type of snack food advertisements including those child-oriented inside and outside stores...
2015: Critical Public Health
Elanah Uretsky
Mention of the term sex work often invokes images of marginalized women at risk for HIV infection. Such images, however, are counterintuitive to the functional role intended by the movement that spawned use of the terms `sex work' and `sex worker'. This article looks at the sexual practices of men in urban China to argue for a return to a functional definition of `sex work', which was originally meant to legitimize the role sex plays in work. The progenitors of this movement intended to use `sex work' as a means to legitimize sex as an income generating activity for women involved in prostitution...
January 2015: Critical Public Health
Eleanor Hutchinson, Clare Chandler, Siân Clarke, Sham Lal, Pascal Magnussen, Miriam Kayendeke, Christine Nabirye, James Kizito, Anthony Mbonye
This paper is an analysis of the social interaction between drug sellers, their clients and local health care workers within a medical trial that introduced rapid diagnostic tests for malaria into private sector drug shops in Mukono District, Uganda. It locates the introduction of a new technology to test blood and a system of referral within the context of local concerns about the choice and evaluation of treatment; and the socially legitimated statuses, roles and hierarchies within the local health care system...
January 1, 2015: Critical Public Health
Marie Öhman, Jonas Almqvist, Jane Meckbach, Mikael Quennerstedt
Since the development of the welfare state, the Swedish school subject Health and Physical Education (HPE) has been regarded as an important site for public health work, and still assumes a central role in promoting the health of the coming generation. A specific type of health intervention, promoted by researchers in recent years, is the use of so-called exergames. In some countries, these fitness games are used as teaching aids in physical education classes and can be seen as examples of how public health issues and popular culture are shaping HPE in schools...
April 3, 2014: Critical Public Health
Rebecca J Haines-Saah, Joy L Johnson, Robin Repta, Aleck Ostry, Mary Lynn Young, Jeannie Shoveller, Richard Sawatzky, Lorraine Greaves, Pamela A Ratner
The objective of this study was to systematically examine predominant themes within mainstream media reporting about marijuana use in Canada. To ascertain the themes present in major Canadian newspaper reports, a sample (N = 1999) of articles published between 1997 and 2007 was analyzed. Drawing from Manning's theory of the symbolic framing of drug use within media, it is argued that a discourse of 'privileged normalization' informs portrayals of marijuana use and descriptions of the drug's users. Privileged normalization implies that marijuana use can be acceptable for some people at particular times and places, while its use by those without power and status is routinely vilified and linked to deviant behavior...
March 2014: Critical Public Health
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