Publication date: Available online 3 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Josephine C. Jacobs , Audrey Laporte , Courtney H. Van Houtven , Peter C. Coyte A number of OECD countries have implemented policies encouraging longer labour force participation in tandem with policies encouraging informal care provision in the community. To better understand how these policies may affect the available pool of caregivers and labour force participants, we need more evidence about how informal caregiving is related to retirement status and timing.
Author Archives: Social Science and Medicine
Publication date: Available online 3 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Robert R. Weaver , Manon Lemonde , Naghmeh Payman , William M. Goodman While the “social determinants of health” view compels us to explore how social structures shape health outcomes, it often ignores the role individual agency plays. In contrast, approaches that focus on individual choice and personal responsibility for health often overlook the influence of social structures. Amartya Sen’s “capabilities” framework and its derivative the “health capabilities” (HC) approach attempts to accommodate both points of view, acknowledging that individuals function under social conditions over which they have little control, while also acting as agents in their own health and well-being
Publication date: Available online 10 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): David Hipgrave , Katarzyna Bolsewicz Alderman , Ian Anderson , Eliana Jimenez Soto Setting priority for health programming and budget allocation is an important issue, but there is little consensus on related processes. It is particularly relevant in low resource settings and at province- and district- or “meso-level”, where contextual influences may be greater, information scarce and capacity lower. Although recent changes in disease epidemiology and health financing suggest even greater need to allocate resources effectively, the literature is relatively silent on evidence-based priority-setting in low and middle income countries (LMICs). We conducted a comprehensive review of the peer-reviewed and grey literature on health resource priority-setting in LMICs, focussing on meso-level and the evidence-based priority-setting processes (PSPs) piloted or suggested there.
Publication date: Available online 10 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Audrey N. Beck , Brian K. Finch , Shih-Fan Lin , Robert A. Hummer , Ryan K. Masters This paper uses multiple U.S.
Publication date: Available online 8 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Nicky Wilson , Catherine Pope , Lisa Roberts , Robert Crouch Clinical practice guidelines produced by NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – are seen as key mechanisms to regulate and standardise UK healthcare practice, but their development is known to be problematic, and their adoption and uptake variable. Examining what a guideline or health policy means to different audiences, and how it means something to those communities, provides new insight about interpretive discourses. In this paper we present a micro-analysis of the response of healthcare professionals to publication of a single NICE guideline in 2009 which proposed a re-organisation of professional services for chronic non-specific low back pain. Adopting an interpretive approach, we seek to understand both the meaning of the guideline and the socio-political events associated with it. Drawing on archived policy documents related to the development and publication of the guideline, texts published in professional journals and on web-sites, and semi-structured interview data from professionals associated with the debate, we identify a key discourse that positions the management of chronic non-specific low back pain within physician jurisdiction.
Publication date: Available online 4 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Sumegha Asthana , Rajib Dasgupta This is a commentary on Rao et al’s paper “Which doctor for primary health care? Quality of care and non-physician clinicians in India” (2013) published recently in this journal. Rao et al. have focused on issues of quality of services provided by physicians at Primary Health Centres (PHC) and addressed some critical issues in policies and practices in the matter of human resources for health (Rao et al., 2013). We seek to highlight two sets of issues in this paper
Publication date: Available online 4 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Barbara Schaan This study assesses the interaction between personal education and family background during childhood on depressive symptoms in later life by applying Ross & Mirowsky’s resource substitution and structural amplification theory of health and education. OLS regression models are estimated using data from the “Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe” (SHARE), which covers information on current social and health status as well as retrospective life histories from 20,716 respondents aged 50 or older from thirteen European countries. Higher education helps to overcome the negative consequences of a poor family background. Since people from poor families are less likely to attain higher educational levels, they lack exactly the resource they need in order to overcome the negative consequences their non-prosperous background has on depressive symptoms. Thus, low family background and low personal education amplify each other
Publication date: Available online 7 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Jonathan Daw In the United States, racial disparities in kidney transplantation are large and especially stark for living donor transplants. Medical researchers frequently attribute this to the availability of medically compatible living kidney donors, who are usually kin. This paper evaluates this hypothesis by testing whether African American transplant candidates likely have lesser access to suitable living donors in their kinship networks than white candidates. This paper evaluates this hypothesis using a simulation design. Contrary to prior research on this topic, this simulation analysis concludes that black-white disparities in living donor kidney transplantation are unlikely to be the result of group differences in the availability of suitable donors
Publication date: Available online 6 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Jonas Helgertz , Denny Vågerö Early exiting from the labor force and into disability pension (DP) represents a major social problem in Sweden and elsewhere. We examined how being asymmetric (A-SGA) or symmetric (S-SGA) small for gestational age predicts transitioning into DP. We analyzed a longitudinal sample of 8,125 men and women from the Stockholm Birth Cohort, born in 1953 and not on DP in 1990. The SBC consists of data from various sources, including self-reported information and from administrative registers. The follow-up period was from 1991-2009
Publication date: January 2014 Source:Social Science & Medicine, Volume 100 Author(s): Jennifer M.C. Torres This paper uses the domain of breastfeeding in the U.S. and the work of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants to refine the concept of medicalization–demedicalization. Given lactation consultants’ origins and current role in maternity care, they provide a unique lens on these processes because they are positioned at the crossroads of medicalization and demedicalization.
Publication date: Available online 4 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Peter Makai , Werner B.F. Brouwer , Marc A. Koopmanschap , Elly A. Stolk , Anna P. Nieboer Gaining health may not be the main goal of healthcare services aimed at older people, which may (also) seek to improve wellbeing
Publication date: Available online 4 December 2013 Source:Social Science & Medicine Author(s): Rosella Levaggi Drug price regulation is acquiring increasing significance in the investment choices of the pharmaceutical sector. The overall objective is to determine an optimal trade-off between the incentives for innovation, consumer protection, and value for money. However, price regulation is itself a source of distortion. In this study, we examine the welfare properties of listing through a bargaining process and value-based pricing schemes. The latter are superior instruments to uncertain listing processes for maximising total welfare, but the distribution of the benefits between consumers and the industry depends on rate of rebate chosen by the regulator
Publication date: January 2014 Source:Social Science & Medicine, Volume 100 Author(s): Marina Economou , Michael Madianos , Lily Evangelia Peppou , Kyriakos Souliotis , Athanasios Patelakis , Costas Stefanis The ongoing financial crisis in Greece has yielded adverse effects on the mental health of the population. In this context, the particular study investigates the link between two indices of cognitive social capital; namely interpersonal and institutional trust, and the presence of major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. A random and representative sample of 2256 respondents took part in a cross-sectional nationwide telephone survey the time period February–April 2011 (Response Rate = 80.5%), after being recruited from the national phone number databank. Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder were assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview, while for interpersonal and institutional trust the pertinent questions of the European Social Survey were utilized. Socio-demographic variables were also encompassed in the research instrument, while participants’ degree of financial strain was assessed through the Index of Personal Economic Distress.
Publication date: January 2014 Source:Social Science & Medicine, Volume 100 Author(s): Margaretha Järvinen , Signe Ravn A considerable part of today’s sociological research on recreational drug use is (explicitly or implicitly) inspired by Howard Becker’s classical model of deviant careers. The aim of the present paper is to directly apply Becker’s theory to empirical data on present-day cannabis use and to suggest a revision of the theory. As part of this, we propose a stretch of the sociological approach represented by Becker and followers in order to include, not only recreational drug use, but also use for which young people have sought treatment. The paper is based on 30 qualitative interviews with young people in treatment for cannabis problems in Copenhagen, Denmark. We suggest a revision of Becker’s career model in relation to four aspects: initiation of cannabis use, differentiation between socially integrated and individualised, disintegrated use, social control from non-users, and the users’ moral stance on cannabis.