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

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Using socio-economic status and media use to predict excess weight in adolescent girls attending school in Kolkata, India

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The health problems associated with obesity and overweight have been recognized as public health problems affecting populations worldwide. Increases in the prevalence of obesity are documented in all ages, in both developed and developing countries. Younger age groups deserve particular attention in obesity prevention since the long-term consequences of overweight persist into adulthood. This study draws on data collected from the Kolkata Girls’ Health Survey, a cross-sectional study examining health issues of girls in Kolkata, India (n=373). The objective of this study was to examine socio-economic status and media use as predictors of overweight. Results: A higher level of parental educational attainment was significantly associated with overweight. Greater levels of media use were associated with higher socio-economic status, but not with overweight. Subsequent analyses need to explore other aspects related to socio-economic status such as diet and physical activity, which are likely to contribute to overweight in adolescent girls.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
R
Department: 
Not in list supplied - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

Rural seniors’ access to health care: a review of the issues in developing countries and an illustration from grandmothers in rural South Africa

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The number of older people globally is rapidly increasing, as are their health care needs. In developing countries, where governments already struggle to provide adequate health care to their general populations, seniors experience tremendous barriers in accessing health care. This paper explores the concept of access and the challenges older people in developing countries face in obtaining health care. It also presents research done in a remote rural area of South Africa to identify health access challenges of grandmothers of AIDS orphans. Methods included a survey (N=50) and additional staff interviews. Participants experienced similar barriers to accessing health services as do seniors in other developing countries: distances to health centres, inability or challenges walking due to health conditions that come with ageing, lack of roads, costs of transportation, and lack of time due to household responsibilities. More effort is needed to meet the health needs of this older generation.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kitty Corbett
Department: 
Faculty of Health Sciences - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

Task shifting in Malawi: the role of expert patients

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The human resources shortage in sub-Saharan Africa is having a devastating impact on a region of the world already struggling under the pressure of HIV/AIDS. The number of people requiring medical attention greatly outweighs the number of skilled health workers. As a result, health professionals work under stress and without adequate support, and patients are not receiving adequate attention. To fill gaps in care, countries have adopted task shifting techniques to utilize lower cadres of health for basic health duties. As an example, Dignitas International has developed an Expert Patient Program at Tisungane clinic in Malawi to alleviate the workload of nurses and clinicians. The model has been successful in its goals, but not without challenges. For task shifting initiatives to be a sustainable solution to the health worker shortage, lower cadres of health must be part of the formal health care sector, have clear objectives and good training.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Edward Mills
Department: 
Faculty of Health Sciences - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

An integrated supervised injecting program within a care facility for HIV-positive individuals: A qualitative evaluation

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

To date, little attention has been given to the potential role supervised injecting programs could play in the care for HIV-positive injection drug users (IDU). We analyzed semi-structured interviews with HIV-positive IDU and healthcare staff regarding a supervised injection program integrated in an HIV focused care facility. Participant and staff reports indic ated that the integrated supervised injection program promoted safer injection practices and influenced access to care by fostering more open relationships, facilitating engagement in safer injection education and improving the management of infections. Participants and staff viewed the program as facilitating the delivery of care through mediating overdose risks and reducing the need to punitively manage drug use onsite. For some participants, however, feelings of shame regarding their substance use complicated uptake of the program. Despite these concerns, our findings highlight the benefits of addressing HIV-positive IDUs’ drug use in the context of comprehensive models of healthcare.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Faculty of Health Sciences - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

Reading between the lines: A comparative analysis of exclusion versus inclusion of grey literature on conventional literature search results when developing a research question.

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This comparative analysis demonstrates how the inclusion of grey literature changes the understanding of an issue and influences the formation of a research question. Due to various resource constraints, researchers commonly choose a conventional literature search of academic and peer-reviewed journals to search for previous work conducted on the proposed issue. Grey literature is not routinely included as part of this process. Grey literature is information that would not be published in mainstream scientific/peer-reviewed journals, and conventional repositories or otherwise accessible when conducting a literature search. The definition is one that is constantly being redefined and it includes unpublished materials like policy reports, research studies from organizations and community-generated information. This comparison demonstrates the significant implications and contextual value added to the process of research question development through the inclusion of grey literature pertaining to the issues of HIV incidence, harm reduction, and segregation of HIV-positive prisoners in Canada.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Not in list supplied - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

Recreational physical activity and brain cancer risk in Canadian adults

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Brain cancer is a debilitating and lethal form of cancer with little know about its prevention. A population-based case-control study was conducted with 643 histologically confirmed incident brain cancer cases and 3106 population controls aged 20-76 years from seven Canadian provinces to assess the impact of recreational physical activity on brain cancer in 1994-1997. Results of significance were in female subjects only. Compared to female subjects in the lo west respective quartiles of moderate, strenuous and total recreational physical activity, subjects in the highest respective quartiles had multi-variable adjusted odds ratios of 0.52 (95%CI: 0.35-0.79), 0.82 (95% CI: 0.56-1.20), and 0.57 (95% CO: 0.37-0.86). Physical activity particularly benefited women who smoked more than 10 pack-years and those with a body mass index below 25 kg/m2. This study provides further support that physical activity plays an important role in the prevention of disease.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
R
Department: 
Not in list supplied - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

Challenges of tobacco control in low/middle income countries

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Five million people die annually in the world as a result of tobacco use. One in four of the deaths occur in the Western Pacific Region. Mongolia, one of the 37 member states in the region, is experiencing increased tobacco consumption. In Mongolia, an estimated 67.8% of all men and 25.5 % of women smoke cigarettes. Smoking has become a maj or public health problem in Mongolia. Tobacco-related diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases have become the leading cause of death in the country. The objective of this project is to identify barriers to the effective implementation and enforcement of the Tobacco Control Law. The project was carried out by examining national documents on tobacco and conducting interviews with government officials and representatives of NGOs. Specific recommendations were put forward with regard to issues such as availability, advertising, price and taxation, smoke-free environments, cessation support, and human and financial resources.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
C
Department: 
Not in list supplied - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

Public health improvement and integrated planning in British Columbia

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Experiences of staff involved in public health improvement in a health authority highlight several barriers and keys to success. Analyzing these experiences with the BC Core Functions Improvement Process and reviewing the literature of other recent initiatives leads to a summary of potential key areas to address public health improvement. This project will explore in detail the key area of integrated planning using information from interviews with public health staff, a public health leadership team meeting, implementation of an integrated planning framework, and the relevant literature. A proposed framework for integrated planning will assist health authorities in successfully implementing public health improvement initiatives, assist the Ministry of Health in their goal of renewing public health services, and move towards an integrated planning and delivery system in public health in British Columbia.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michael Hayes
Department: 
Faculty of Health Sciences - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

Evaluation of Vancouver Coastal Health's core public health services implementation process

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

The BC Ministry of Health’s 2005 Core Functions Framework responds to the need to enhance public health infrastructure in the region. The Core Functions initiative provides a good opportunity to monitor and evaluate an implementation process. This evaluation is important as it addresses encountered challenges, so that action can ensue to mitigate these challenges, thereby ensuring satisfaction for those involved. The qualitative evaluation conduc ted for the Core Public Health Services Review at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is outlined, findings described, and recommendations presented to improve the implementation process of the Framework. Change management theory is used to support these recommendations. This information can be used to improve and sustain public health interventions that serve to benefit the population’s overall health and well being.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephen Corber
Department: 
Faculty of Health Sciences - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)

Needs assessment of women with disabilities in the North West province of Cameroon

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

In Cameroon, women have many roles and responsibilities within the household and often outside the home. Having a disability makes the carrying out of daily tasks more difficult for a woman. A needs assessment using focus groups (n= 24 using 2 focus groups) and key informant interviews (n= 12) was conducted to explore the experiences of women living with disabilities in the North West Province. Findings of this qualitative study show that women with disabilities face both physi cal and attitudinal barriers, some live in poverty, most have difficulty getting married, and the majority feel they have a lack of opportunities in gaining an education, finding employment, and forming meaningful social ties. Participants generated ideas on changes that need to be made for the betterment of their lives. Ideas were around increasing empowerment and education, gaining support from family and friends, increasing public awareness, adapting the physical environments, and finding allies.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kitty Corbett
Department: 
Faculty of Health Sciences - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.Sc.)