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

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The effect of area-level average income and individual level factors on small-for-gestational age: a population-based study of the Vancouver census metropolitan area, 2006-2009

Date created: 
2010-09-10
Abstract: 

The goal of this paper was to identify area- and individual-level predictors of small for gestational age birth (SGA). This cross-sectional study analyzed live singleton births from 2006 to 2009 in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area. Hierarchical logistic regression models were used to model odds of SGA with deprivation. A crude model of area-level average income was compared to models adjusted by individual-level variables. A strong association was found between SGA and material deprivation, which was greatly influenced by area-level average income. Individual-level variables attenuated the association between area-level average income and odds of SGA. Maternal race/ethnicity was found to have the strongest effect in reducing the area-level association with SGA. No association was found between area-level average income and SGA except in the White group. Future research should attempt to determine if maternal race/ethnicity variable stands as a proxy for structural, biological, social, behaviour/lifestyle, and/or environmental factors.

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

An ethnographic description of female sex worker typology in Kodagu, South India and its implications for a targeted intervention

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-08-13
Abstract: 

Since the nature of sex work can vary by geographic area, it is imperative to investigate female sex worker (FSW) typologies in a specific area in order to inform relevant targeted interventions. The primary author engaged in participation observation at the Mysore and Kodagu offices of Ashodaya Samithi, a sex worker collective based in Karnataka, India, for eleven weeks. One focus group and ten interviews with FSWs in Kodagu were also conducted. In comparison to Mysore, Kodagu is characterized by more typologies as well as lower amounts of street based solicitation and lodge based place of sex. Furthermore, FSWs in Kodagu are more reluctant to self identify as a sex worker and participate in Ashodaya Samithi. Several factors that have greatly enabled the success of the Ashodaya Samithi programme in other districts of Karnataka, including community mobilization and organization of sex work, exist to a lesser degree in Kodagu.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John O'Neil
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

The contribution of qualitative methods to understanding a complex housing intervention for adults experiencing homelessness and mental illness

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-07-15
Abstract: 

This paper documents the contribution of qualitative methods to a multi-site randomized controlled trial – the At Home project. The objectives of the Vancouver At Home project are to examine the housing and support needs of people experiencing homelessness and mental illness and, based on these needs, facilitate the development of effective and efficient policies and services. This paper examines a subset of the qualitative component, focusing on a preliminary analysis of eight baseline personal narrative interviews. These partial interviews (High, Low and Turning Points) were coded for redemptive experiences, contamination scenes and dominant themes. Three of eight participants discussed redemptive experiences and three participants contaminated scenes that were initially positive. These findings, as well as the broader contribution of qualitative research to a randomized controlled trial, are discussed within a social justice framework and illustrate the necessity of utilizing multiple methods to maximize the validity of the resultant policy recommendations.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Julian Somers
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Examining the role of CBOs in peer support, access to care and treatment adherence for people living with HIV/AIDS in Mysore, India

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-08-16
Abstract: 

To meet the HIV prevention needs of sex workers in India, well-coordinated community-based organizations (CBOs) have integrated peer education and community mobilization into structural interventions. As the role of CBOs continues to expand into new service areas, it is important to understand how people who frequent these organizations receive these new interventions. This paper draws on an agency assessment conducted by Ashodaya Samithi in 2009, a CBO led by female, male and transgendered sex workers. In the past year, HIV+ sex workers of Ashodaya have registered their own organization, Ashraya. Based on qualitative findings, this paper describes how community-based empowerment programs can play important roles in improving access to care and antiretroviral (ART) treatment adherence. The rapid growth of Ashraya and its success at fostering social solidarity and large-scale structural interventions hold valuable lessons for community-based organizations and public health practitioners working in the field of HIV/AIDS.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John O'Neil
Robert Lorway
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Informing maternal mental health policy, practice, and research in Latin America: the importance of contextual factors in the optimal treatment of postpartum depression

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-05-28
Abstract: 

Postpartum depression (PPD) is an important public health issue in Latin America (LA). However, research on the optimal way to treat PPD in the region when viewed through a ‘social and economic determinants of health’ lens is limited. This paper reviews regional experiences with PPD treatment to determine the degree to which tailored approaches that are responsive to the local context affect the successful treatment of PPD. The principal contribution is a conceptual framework that elucidates: (i) the causal connections between a myriad of social and economic processes through which PPD develops and PPD treatment services are provided; and (ii) the potential strategies for intervening along those pathways to optimize outcomes. The recommendation premised on this contextual perspective is for health-supportive social policies, integration of PPD interventions with perinatal services at primary care, and research of the effect of strategies aimed at mothers’ social and economic circumstances on treating PPD.

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

Adapting responsibilities: an ethical analysis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Date created: 
2010-06-03
Abstract: 

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the seminal international agreement that provides a commitment and a corresponding responsibility framework to assist the least developed countries (LDCs) adapt to the adverse effects of climate change. To operationalize these commitments the National Adaptation Programmes of Action was created to assist LDCs implement adaptation projects. This programme has been severely hampered by the limited resources provided by Parties to the Convention. The lack of resources brings into question not only the commitment to adequately fund the program, but also the adequacy of the Convention's framework for assigning responsibility to support the LDCs' climate change adaptation projects. This paper seeks to determine whether the Convention's responsibility framework meets the requirements of the Social Connection Model. This model has the potential to aid stakeholders in determining their responsibility to fund the program and to identify failings by stakeholders to discharge their responsibilities.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Tim Takaro
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

The association between exposure to smoking and symptoms of depression among BC youth

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-04-11
Abstract: 

Several studies have shown that exposure to smoking has a detrimental effect on physical health; however, it is not well understood what how such exposure is associated with depression. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between exposure to smoking and depressive symptoms among youth. The design of this study was the analysis of existing cross-sectional survey data obtained from 7127 high school students who participated in a school-based survey that was conducted in 2004 (British Columbia Youth Survey of Smoking and Health II (BCYSOSH-II)). Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between psychosocial measures of exposure to smoking and symptoms of depression, after adjusting for demographic variables (age, sex and aboriginal descent) and other variables (alcohol use and drug use) associated with symptoms of depression.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Rochelle Tucker
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

An assessment of hopanes in settled house dust as indicators of exposure to traffic-related air pollution in Windsor, Ontario

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-01-10
Abstract: 

Traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) has been linked with several adverse health effects. We investigated hopanes, markers of primary particle emissions from gasoline and diesel engines, in house dust as an alternative approach for assessing exposure to TRAP in Windsor, Ontario. Settled house dust was collected from the homes of 28 study participants (10 – 13 yrs). The dust was then analyzed for a suite of hopanes by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. We calculated correlations between dust hopane concentrations and estimates of annual average NO2 concentrations derived from an existing LUR model. Hopanes were consistently present in detectable quantities in house dust. Annual average outdoor NO2 estimated was moderately correlated with hopanes in house dust (r = 0.46; p<0.05). The correlations did not vary by infiltration efficiency or the presence of an attached garage. Hopanes measured in settled house dust show promise as an indicator of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ryan Allen
Tim Takaro
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.P.H.

Unpacking the senate of Canada debate on Bill S-232 – an act to amend the patent act: inconsistencies and implications for global public health

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-04-05
Abstract: 

In 2003, the Canadian government committed to implementing the WTO’s August 30th Decision by creating Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR). CAMR allows for on-patent production of generic low-cost medicines for export to poor countries. However, CAMR has been used only once and proved to be ineffective. As a result, two reform Bills (S-232 and C-393) were introduced in the Parliament of Canada. On March 9, 2011, Members of Parliament voted to pass Bill C-393. The Bill—now before the Conservative-controlled Senate—faces fierce opposition. This paper examines the Senate of Canada debates on Bill S-232 using a content analysis approach. The dominant ideology in the debates appeared not to be a moral, humanitarian perspective primarily concerned with human health, but rather a neo-liberal set of assumptions oriented toward maintaining the health of markets. It appears that opposition to reform CAMR is shaped by contradictory arguments informed by neo-liberal principles.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. John Calvert
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.

Learning from Cuba's model: recommendations on early childhood education and care programs in British Columbia

Date created: 
2010-12-20
Abstract: 

Evidence from the field of neuroscience and developmental health indicates that early years of life play a crucial role in setting the stage for one’s lifelong learning, behaviour and health. However, Canada does not measure up with the international standards in terms of its investments in early childhood programs, specifically, early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. Improving the ECEC programs in BC is a key priority as a significant number of BC children are developmentally vulnerable before kindergarten. This paper examines the current government-implemented or regulated ECEC programs in BC, and compares them with the “Educate Your Child” program in Cuba, which has been proven to be successful. The essential elements in the Cuban model are used to identify and inform a series of recommendations for improving existing ECEC programs in BC. Limitations associated with the availability of data sources, program evaluations, and outcome measurements are discussed.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephen Corber
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.H.