Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Shaping the Future of Health Care “ Welfare moms and welfare bums” Revisiting pove...
Workshop Objectives  <ul><li>What are social determinants of health? </li></ul><ul><li>How do social determinants affect t...
“ The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease” Voltaire
Mortality in the 20 th  Century Better treatment of cardiovascular disease, low birth weight infants Reduced infectious di...
Change in U.S. life expectancy between 1970 and 2000 NEJM 2003; 349: 868-74 Human immunodeficiency  virus infection or the...
Global CV Disease Statistics <ul><li>Deaths from CV Disease </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1990 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deve...
Selected chronic health conditions causing limitation of activity among working-age adults by age: United States, 2000-200...
Acknowledgements: Co-author: Colleen Reid, PhD Institute for Health Research and Education Simon Fraser University Funders...
Research Questions <ul><li>How does the stereotype of “poor woman” legitimize systemic discrimination and material scarcit...
Material scarcity Impact on Health Self perceptions psychosocial health Health behaviour Systemic discrimination Sterotype...
Poverty and poor women in Canada <ul><li>Low Income Cut offs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>54.7% income spent  </li></ul></ul><ul>...
Hypotheses for health inequalities <ul><li>Materialist </li></ul><ul><li>Psychosocial </li></ul>
Materialist <ul><li>Less access to health enhancing resources, greater exposure to negative influences on health, increase...
Psychosocial <ul><li>Social relativities lead to stress, depression, low self-esteem and anger </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on...
Sample <ul><li>20/80 poor women from WOAW (Women organizing Activities for Women) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-selected </li></u...
Methods <ul><li>32 interviews </li></ul><ul><li>15 group meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Participant observations and field not...
Findings: A. Stigmatization <ul><li>“ you’re poor or you’re a welfare case.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ the biggest stereotype in...
Findings:  B. Systemic Barriers and Material Deprivation <ul><li>Scrutinized by paternalistic welfare system </li></ul><ul...
Findings: C. Psychosocial factors Shame/stress & worry <ul><li>“ I’m very low on the totem pole… I think the biggest with ...
Findings: D. Health Behaviours <ul><li>“ It’ll (the stereotype) makes you feel like scum… they think I’m scum so I might a...
Material scarcity Impact on Health   Self perceptions psychosocial health Health behaviour  Systemic discrimination “ Yo...
Conclusions: <ul><li>Poor Women are viewed as dependent, deviant and undeserving. </li></ul><ul><li>This viewpoint justifi...
Implications: <ul><li>Need to reduce the proportion of low income population </li></ul><ul><li>Need to reduce burden of in...
Workshop Objectives  <ul><li>What are social determinants of health? </li></ul><ul><li>How do social determinants affect t...
McDonald’s vs. Canadian MDs Provider Quality Metric Performance Napkin and  Ketchup in Bag >99% given  At any location Bet...
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Schulich School of Medicine

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Schulich School of Medicine

  1. 1. Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry Shaping the Future of Health Care “ Welfare moms and welfare bums” Revisiting poverty as a social determinant of health Carol P. Herbert Visiting Professor, Hong Kong University July 2006
  2. 2. Workshop Objectives <ul><li>What are social determinants of health? </li></ul><ul><li>How do social determinants affect the health of individuals and families ?– examples from your practice experience </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian study of women living in poverty </li></ul><ul><li>What is the role of the family physician? </li></ul>
  3. 3. “ The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while Nature cures the disease” Voltaire
  4. 4. Mortality in the 20 th Century Better treatment of cardiovascular disease, low birth weight infants Reduced infectious disease mortality (clean water, sewers, antibiotics, better nutrition)
  5. 5. Change in U.S. life expectancy between 1970 and 2000 NEJM 2003; 349: 868-74 Human immunodeficiency virus infection or the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome Coronary artery disease Stroke Other heart disease Cardiovascular disease Perinatal disease Injuries Cancer Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Other cause -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 Years
  6. 6. Global CV Disease Statistics <ul><li>Deaths from CV Disease </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1990 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developed countries—5 million </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developing countries—9 million </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2020 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developed countries—6 million </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developing countries—19 million </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reddy, NEJM 2004 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Selected chronic health conditions causing limitation of activity among working-age adults by age: United States, 2000-2002 NOTES: Persons may report more than one chronic health condition as the cause of their activity limitation. Selected chronic health conditions include the four leading causes of activity limitation among adults in each age group. See Data Table for data points graphed, standard errors, and additional notes. SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2004 Age Mental Illness Fractures/joint injury Lung Diabetes Heart/other circulatory Arthritis/other musculoskeletal
  8. 8. Acknowledgements: Co-author: Colleen Reid, PhD Institute for Health Research and Education Simon Fraser University Funders: SSHRC Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Publication: C. Reid & C. Herbert Health Sociology Review 2005; 14: 161-173
  9. 9. Research Questions <ul><li>How does the stereotype of “poor woman” legitimize systemic discrimination and material scarcity? </li></ul><ul><li>How do discrimination and material scarcity affect health? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the stereotype affect self-perceptions, psychosocial health and health behaviours? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Material scarcity Impact on Health Self perceptions psychosocial health Health behaviour Systemic discrimination Sterotype of “ Poor Woman” Deviant Dependent Undeserving
  11. 11. Poverty and poor women in Canada <ul><li>Low Income Cut offs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>54.7% income spent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>on food, shelter, clothing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduced welfare payments over 10 yrs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1995-2003 welfare rolls reduced by 54.2% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Total welfare income (1998) = 50 - 69% of LICO. </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty rate higher for women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>19% of adult women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>41% of women > 65 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>56% of single mothers </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Hypotheses for health inequalities <ul><li>Materialist </li></ul><ul><li>Psychosocial </li></ul>
  13. 13. Materialist <ul><li>Less access to health enhancing resources, greater exposure to negative influences on health, increased disease. </li></ul><ul><li>Less access to medical, transportation and educational systems. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Psychosocial <ul><li>Social relativities lead to stress, depression, low self-esteem and anger </li></ul><ul><li>Impact on health behaviours </li></ul>
  15. 15. Sample <ul><li>20/80 poor women from WOAW (Women organizing Activities for Women) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-selected </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse </li></ul><ul><li>18/20 white </li></ul><ul><li>$786 - $1050/month for single/single with 1 child </li></ul><ul><li>Average $10,800/year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(regional average household income = $57,209/year) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Methods <ul><li>32 interviews </li></ul><ul><li>15 group meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Participant observations and field notes over three years taped and transcribed – 1600 pages of data coded and analyzed with Atlas.ti 4.1 </li></ul>
  17. 17. Findings: A. Stigmatization <ul><li>“ you’re poor or you’re a welfare case.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ the biggest stereotype in the world is to be a single mother on welfare… I’m a welfare bum who could get out if she wanted to. But she chooses to be there.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is always that stigma attached to chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, that it is all in your head…” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Findings: B. Systemic Barriers and Material Deprivation <ul><li>Scrutinized by paternalistic welfare system </li></ul><ul><li>Judged as bad mothers, cheaters, choosing not to work </li></ul><ul><li>Could not afford health services and resources </li></ul><ul><li>“ If you don’t have any money, you can’t get there and you can’t do anything if you don’t have any money” </li></ul><ul><li>Never able to pay off all the bills! </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to buy healthy foods </li></ul>
  19. 19. Findings: C. Psychosocial factors Shame/stress & worry <ul><li>“ I’m very low on the totem pole… I think the biggest with being on welfare is self-esteem” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I had a lot of anger” </li></ul><ul><li>“… once you get so low, you can’t see beyond” </li></ul>
  20. 20. Findings: D. Health Behaviours <ul><li>“ It’ll (the stereotype) makes you feel like scum… they think I’m scum so I might as well be scum. Act like scum. Dress like scum…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ [Poor woman] have eating disorders.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The only thing I do is smoke cigarettes.” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Material scarcity Impact on Health  Self perceptions psychosocial health Health behaviour  Systemic discrimination “ You deserve what you get and get what you deserve” Sterotype of “ Poor Woman” Deviant Dependent Undeserving
  22. 22. Conclusions: <ul><li>Poor Women are viewed as dependent, deviant and undeserving. </li></ul><ul><li>This viewpoint justifies stigmatization and impoverishment. </li></ul><ul><li>Stigma shames and humiliates the women who become angry, hopeless, and adopt unhealthy behaviours </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotypes justify material scarcity, denying them access. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Implications: <ul><li>Need to reduce the proportion of low income population </li></ul><ul><li>Need to reduce burden of inequality by supporting the poor. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to decrease barriers that prevent poor women from accessing services. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Workshop Objectives <ul><li>What are social determinants of health? </li></ul><ul><li>How do social determinants affect the health of individuals and families ?– examples from your practice experience </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian study of women living in poverty </li></ul><ul><li>What is the role of the family physician? </li></ul>
  25. 25. McDonald’s vs. Canadian MDs Provider Quality Metric Performance Napkin and Ketchup in Bag >99% given At any location Beta-blocker Or anti-platelet therapy <50% at many locations

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