Social Policy Is Strong Health Policy

By O'Campo, Patricia | Winnipeg Free Press, September 9, 2013 | Go to article overview

Social Policy Is Strong Health Policy


O'Campo, Patricia, Winnipeg Free Press


As health-equity researchers, it's part of our job to measure the relationship between social conditions and health outcomes. Often, we try and link one social condition, such as income, to one health outcome, such as diabetes, low birth weight or mental illness -- the list goes on.

This approach enables us to demonstrate when low income is associated with a higher risk of having a specific problem. What we don't generally measure, however, is the overall impact of low income on physical and mental health.

What happens when we try? At the Centre for Research on Inner City Health, we analyzed health-survey data representative of more than 75,000 Canadians who recently gave birth. We looked at the relationship between low income and the risk of experiencing three to five of these health conditions at the same time: adverse birth outcomes, postpartum depression, serious abuse, hospitalization during pregnancy and frequent stressful life events.

The results were staggering.

We found new mothers living on very low incomes were 20 times more likely to experience multiple health problems than those on high incomes. Compare this to the "single disease" method through which we often find people living on low incomes are only twice as likely -- if that -- to experience a specific health problem.

Our evidence also suggests if we were able to ensure all new mothers in Canada had household incomes of more than $50,000 a year, we could reduce the occurrence of multiple health problems in pregnancy by 60 per cent.

These findings tell us low income doesn't just lead to one disease or another. Instead, it has wide-ranging impacts on the health of individuals and communities. They also tell us, as researchers, we've been using the wrong tools and underestimating the full impact of income on health.

So now we have a more accurate assessment of the impact of low income on well-being, what kind of solutions do these findings suggest?

To some degree, the health-care system is already recognizing some populations face multiple health problems. Recent responses have included an emphasis on case co-ordination and collaboration between different parts of the system such as primary care, hospitals, home care and long-term care. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Social Policy Is Strong Health Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.