Health Sciences - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Artisanal mining and the determinants of health: a global literature review

Date created: 
2010-08-19
Abstract: 

Globally, an estimated 13 million people are directly involved in artisanal and small-scale mining activities and an additional 80 to 100 million people depend directly or indirectly on the associated activities. The objective of this paper is to explore how ASM is intertwined with the determinants of health as outlined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, and to address related policy issues. A systematic review of the literature was conducted through Google Scholar. A trend that emerged throughout the literature was that ASM has significant impact on many aspects of health and well- being of the miners, communities and countries. However, because these activities are often illegal or unmonitored, mitigation of adverse impacts is illegal. Increasingly scholars argue that these activities need to be approached as a development problem, where the central goals should be to devise and support appropriate and sustainable means of artisanal mining and poverty alleviation.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Craig Janes
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Treatment-resistant depression and the elephant in the room

Date created: 
2010-08-20
Abstract: 

Depression is a complex disorder associated with significant health, social, and economic burdens. Current treatments are not effective in producing remission in a large proportion of those diagnosed with this illness, resulting in a high prevalence of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), a form of depression associated with significant disease burden. A scoping review of the literature was conducted to identify the treatment paradigms currently being utilized to address TRD. The findings indicate that despite evidence of the biological, psychological, and social factors surrounding depression, our treatment approaches are detrimentally narrow, with little research addressing the psychological or social realms of the disorder. Additionally, systematic barriers to certain treatment approaches exist, limiting access to care and hindering optimal treatment outcomes. Efforts to expand the scope of research and advocate for structural changes that support well-being are necessary to reduce the substantial burdens associated with TRD and promote the health of our population.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Denise Zabkiewicz
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Breaking the silence: Messaging around HIV prevention for South Asian women in Toronto

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-07-05
Abstract: 

In recent years, the number of HIV infections among South Asian women in Toronto contracted through heterosexual transmission has been increasing, potentially attributable to a number of factors and vulnerabilities. This situation will be examined including a review of trends since 1980 and an in-depth analysis of contributing factors. Regarding a general increase in infections among women in Canada, it appears that greater efforts are required to improve awareness around HIV prevention, and one widely used method has been public messaging through poster campaigns. As a result, this paper proposes that a poster campaign, which has previously not been explored or launched targeting this community in particular (South Asian women in Toronto) would be useful. It suggests elements that should be included in a campaign, how the issue should be addressed, what the messaging should look like, and broader goals of such a campaign for the community.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Robert Hogg
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Mediating factors for building research capacity in low-income countries: implications for global health research partnerships

Date created: 
2010-07-09
Abstract: 

Global health research takes place within the North-South divide and is commonly led by Northern investigators who come from resource-rich research environment, while Southern partners join the partnership with a paucity of these skills and resources. The asymmetry within North-South research partnerships merits careful attention to optimize the research process and application of the research results. This study uses a validated research tool entitled “Is Research Working for You?” to facilitate a qualitative investigation surrounding the benefits and challenges to engage in the research process experienced by The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), a Ugandan HIV/AIDS organization. Qualitative results document TASO’s ambition to develop a Southern-initiated research agenda and the strategies they use to sustainably build institutional research capacity.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Robert Hogg
David Moore
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Prefer to push: A study of factors that shape women's motivation for natural childbirth

Date created: 
2010-06-11
Abstract: 

Among the many factors that affect a woman’s plans for childbirth, her attitudes and beliefs about birthing play an important role. This exploratory study examines attitudes and beliefs about childbirth among nulliparous pregnant women who are committed to natural, unmedicated childbirth. This study also examines the factors that motivate women to desire natural childbirth in a culture where obstetric interventions are normative. A dominant theme of ambivalence is presented within a conceptual analytical framework that demonstrates a number of factors held in tension in women wanting natural childbirth. These opposing factors coexist within women, both pulling her to trust and desire natural childbirth and creating fear and uncertainty about natural childbirth. These tensions are examined through a discussion of two main influencers that shape women’s perceptions and plans for birth: the dominant medical paradigm of childbirth, and a reflection on the power of personal stories.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Marina Morrow
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.P.H.

Weighing the options: Towards improving secondary prevention of eating disorders among children and youth within British Columbia

Date created: 
2010-07-21
Abstract: 

Recent analyses of eating disorder services within BC reveal significant gaps in service delivery for the province’s child and youth population. There is an identified need for additional secondary prevention services for children and youth exhibiting early signs of disordered eating. Improving the quality, and building the capacity, of secondary prevention services within BC is a key priority, especially given the importance of early intervention in maximizing health outcomes among these patients. This paper consists of a review of the literature surrounding best practices for both screening and early intervention of eating disorders, as well as an exploration of how this issue has been tackled internationally. Both the literature review and environmental scan are used to inform a series of recommendations for the improvement of secondary prevention eating disorder services within BC. Major challenges and limitations associated with the available research and the application of recommendations are also discussed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Cari Miller
Steven Corber
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Addressing inequitable uptake in the Newfoundland and Labrador colorectal cancer screening program

Date created: 
2010-07-27
Abstract: 

Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest estimated 2010 mortality rates from colorectal cancer (CRC) in the country for both men and women. In March 2010, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced it would introduce a population-based CRC screening program to address this serious health issue. Research has shown that uptake of cancer screening varies across social and economic factors. Unequal rates of uptake and subsequent unequal rates of mortality based on lower socio-economic conditions are unjust and therefore inequitable. Addressing inequitable uptake of screening is not considered in the research supporting CRC population-based screening and is therefore a limitation of the new screening program in Newfoundland and Labrador. This paper shows that the new Newfoundland and Labrador CRC screening program should address the problem of inequitable uptake and recommends how research could help achieve this.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Scott Venners
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

KidsFirst program evaluation: understanding the relationship between housing insecurity and program effectiveness

Date created: 
2010-06-29
Abstract: 

KidsFirst, an targeted early childhood intervention in Saskatchewan, is delivered through home visitation. The KidsFirst program evaluation was a multi-phase evaluation aiming to assess the short-term impact of the program on families and on communities. The qualitative component of this evaluation included 84 individual interviews and 27 focus group interviews with 242 participants. Participants in the qualitative component included: parents; staff, program managers and management committee members; and representatives from supporting agencies. Based on findings from a sub-analysis of the qualitative data, this study investigated why the impact of KidsFirst was limited in families with complex needs. Principally, participants shared how KidsFirst assumed the role of crisis management in the lives of complex-needs families. Housing insecurity in particular led to difficulties retaining these families in the program. Adequate and stable housing may improve program delivery and retention and therefore program impact for some of Saskatchewan’s most vulnerable children and families.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Charlotte Waddell
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Toward the development of culturally safe birth models among northern First Nations: The Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre experience

Date created: 
2010-05-04
Abstract: 

This paper presents the approach taken by the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) to improve maternal and newborn care for First Nations peoples in Northwestern Ontario. I use a cultural safety lens to explore whether the SLMHC’s focus on birthing meanings, beliefs, attitudes, and practices as described by elders may contribute to the development of a more culturally safe hospital birth model. Findings suggest that a transcultural approach aimed at understanding and involving birthing beliefs, practices, and meanings into the health care setting is a necessary aspect of returning control back to the community and is thus an important preliminary step in achieving cultural safety in the clinical realm. In areas in which health and social challenges prevent women from giving birth in their home communities, efforts such as the SLMHC initiative should be made to ensure that existing health care settings are more culturally safe.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Nicole Berry
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.P.H.

Suicide assessment and management initiative (SAM): evaluating the implementation and uptake of suicide prevention activities in a healthcare setting.

Date created: 
2010-07-22
Abstract: 

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among Canadian men and women from adolescence to middle age and is strongly associated with mental illness. BC Mental Health and Addiction Services has developed Suicide Assessment and Management (SAM) Guidelines to identify safety risks within its client populations. Rigourous evaluation of the SAM Guidelines Initiative is essential to determine the impact of the intervention. This paper describes the literature review and logic model for the SAM Guidelines. Evaluation frameworks are discussed and the literature related to suicide prevention in healthcare settings is reviewed to inform the development of the program logic model. Stakeholder engagement and organizational context were identified as key considerations in the evaluation process.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Scott Venners
Dr. Malcolm Steinberg
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.