Health Sciences Capstone Projects

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A Scoping Review on the Impacts of the Extractive Resource Industry on Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes of Mineworkers and Communities in Southern Africa

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

This capstone is a scoping review on the impacts of the extractive resource industry on sexual and reproductive health outcomes of mineworkers and communities in southern Africa. After a comprehensive search, 17 articles from the relevant literature were reviewed to develop a synthesis of key findings and recommendations. The reviewed studies suggest that poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes are linked to structural determinants of health and wellbeing, such as circular migration patterns; rural poverty; limited education and income opportunities; family unification and migration policies; housing and healthcare access; economic conditions; gender dynamics; weak industry regulation; and regional history and policies. Recommendations call for broadening the scope of sexual health interventions, addressing the determinants of health and wellbeing within mining areas, and strengthening sectoral regulation and responsibility among mining companies.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Craig Janes
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

Quantitative and Qualitative Evidence on Cuba's Primary Health Care

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

Many scholars have lauded the Cuban primary health care system because the country has demonstrated a remarkable success in providing access to and improving the health of its population under punishing economic circumstances. While much of the evidence supporting this view has relied on quantitative research, more recent research with ethnographic components offers alternative perspectives of the Cuban health experience. The purpose of this capstone is to determine the extent to which there may be dissonance between quantitative and qualitative research. A review of the published literature reveals challenges for both patients and health workers. Issues discussed include the informal economy for health, diminishing income for physicians, constraints for patients, and medical internationalism. This capstone concludes that Cuba‘s primary health care system has been largely successful in meeting the health care needs of its population.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Calvert
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

Evolution of the MSM Blood Donation Policy in Canada

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

In order to ensure the safety of the blood supply, potential blood donors in Canada are screened for eligibility prior to making a donation. This process includes answering a series of questions intended to identify those at higher risk of carrying transfusion-transmissible pathogens. Prior to 2013, male donors who had had sex with another man, even once, since 1977 were banned for life from donating blood. From 2013 onward, men who have sex with men (MSM) could donate blood provided that they had not had sex with another man for five years. This policy has been criticized, both before and after the policy change in 2013, as being discriminatory and not based on current scientific knowledge and practices. This paper describes and analyzes the evolution of the MSM blood donation policy in Canada. The analysis shows that Canadian Blood Services, the organization in charge of the blood supply, prioritized blood safety and the perspectives of blood recipients above all others, which led them to take a particularly cautious approach in deciding when and how to change the policy. The analysis also reveals that the policy was finally able to change in 2013 because of the accumulation of research, the engagement of high-interest stakeholder groups, and shifts in the perceived costs and benefits of maintaining the status quo vs. changing the MSM blood donation policy. Examining the costs and benefits of a policy change for blood recipients and the MSM community suggests that what is needed for the policy to change in the future is more research into alternative screening criteria which can maintain the safety and adequacy of the blood supply.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Laurie Goldsmith
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

“I beg you…breastfeed the baby, things changed”: Infant feeding experiences among Ugandan mothers living with HIV in the context of evolving PMTCT guidelines

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

For women living with HIV (WLWH) in low- and middle-income countries, breastfeedingrepresents both an HIV transmission risk and the best way to ensure infant survival. The 2013 World Health Organization (WHO)-led strategy for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) recommends exclusive and continued breastfeeding alongside lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all pregnant and breastfeeding women to optimize maternal and infant health while reducing perinatal HIV transmission risk. There have been four major changes to WHO’s infant feeding guidelines since 1992, but few studies have explored how these evolving recommendations affect the pregnancy and postpartum experiences of WLWH. To address this gap, this study explores infant feeding experiences of twenty WLWH on ART in Uganda navigating new PMTCT guidelines. Findings reveal that women are making choices about infant feeding that run counter to current guidelines amid uncertainty about optimal infant feeding practices, fear of HIV transmission through breastfeeding, privileging of infant formula alongside fears about child survival and failure to-thrive while exclusively breastfeeding, and maternal stress related to breastfeeding duration. Results highlight an urgent need for clearer communication about guideline changes and supportive infant feeding care for WLWH, including training for healthcare providers.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Angela Kaida
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

The Mount Polley Mine Spill: An Environmental Scan into Indigenous Holistic Approaches to Environmental Health and the Systems that Emerge in Canada and Australia

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

The tailings pond breach at the Mount Polley mine on August 4th 2014 is known as the worst disaster in Canadian mining history. The mine is operated by Imperial Metals and is located on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) and the Xat’sull Soda Creek First Nations people. Despite coordinated protests and an ongoing investigation into the full magnitude of the effects of the spill, the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas has accepted an application to reopen the Mount Polley mine. With reference to the ecohealth approach, this capstone aims to engage with Indigenous teachings about connection to land to promote new ecological ethics and holistic theoretical perspectives within environmentally oriented public health research and practice. This capstone is informed by an environmental scan of research, grey literature and web-based data, to explore how Indigenous communities in Canada and Australia are defining health and environmental health and what Indigenous systems are emerging that embody notions of holism and interconnectedness. The results of the scan show the need for Indigenous-led institutions to develop definitions of environmental health that are rooted in their knowledge base and encompass Indigenous notions of health and well-being. The findings also illuminate the silences in the literature and the powerful implications of silencing ecological losses. The literature search reveals that how we gather data with First Nations peoples in Canada nationally and historically is problematic. This study concludes with the assertion that building on the strengths of both Indigenous knowledge and ecohealth is fertile ground that has the potential to acknowledge the environment as a setting for health and a place for healing and reconciliation. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Maya Gislason
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

Equity-focused Primary Health Care: A Critical Analysis and Evaluation Framework for the ‘A GP for Me’ Initiative

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Laurie Goldsmith
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

Strategies for Eliminating Health Inequities: A Framework for Change

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

The most  important  challenge  for  health  professionals  is  promoting  health" equity. The WHO  (2008)  asserts  better  living  conditions,  equitable  distribution  of  wealth, and mechanisms to prevent and monitor inequities will result in health equity. The problem at the center of this capstone is how difficult it is to promote health equity and implement strategies  for change. Barriers  to  promoting  health  equity  include political, economical, epistemological and ideological differencesR identifying barriers supports efforts to institute strategies that promote health for all. By focusing efforts on educating civil society about health equity, public health professionals can broaden the reach of their work. First steps are being undertaken at Fraser Health in B.C. with efforts to produce messaging for staff and  leaders  to  shift  the  cultural  climate. What  is  required  is  a  shift  in  the way  society appreciates the social determinants of health and action from the public to demand healthy public policy. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Marina Morrow
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

Early Diagnosis of Rare Diseases with a Focus on Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: A Narrative Review

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

Health outcomes for rare diseases can be greatly affected by timely diagnosis.This paper presents a narrative review of current literature on rare diseases, with a focuson Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), to identify needs for early diagnosisinitiatives. The review assessed: what needs to be done, what is currently being done,and what are the approaches or change theories that underlie these initiatives.Literature from online key-word searches included academic articles pertaining todiagnostic methods and physician surveys, and reports from advocacy groups andhealth authorities. Findings centred on the needs for: physician awareness/education,public awareness/education, research needs, consolidation of disease information, andthe need for system-wide early diagnosis strategies. Recommendations highlightedsteps to promote awareness and education among physicians and the public, investigatetheories of behaviour change, and develop and diffuse evaluation criteria of earlydiagnosis initiatives.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kitty Corbett
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

Global Civil Society and Health Advocacy in Intellectual Property Related Issues

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

Civil society organizations and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) act as policy watchdogs and often represent the voices of marginalized populations. The importance of advocates in the field of Intellectual Property is apparent now more than ever. The global stage is changing; what were previously considered domestic issues have been thrust onto the international stage by agreements such as the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPS) (Sell & Prakash, 2004; Drahos & Braithwaite, 2001). The private sector has the resources to make their position heard; however, most other populations in society do not. Therefore, civil society and NGO groups are integral to advocating for health. The current trend of TRIPS+ style agreements which include much more stringent intellectual property rights (IPRs) laws, mean that the fight for access to medicines and medical technologies is intensifying.

 

This capstone uses a review of existing literature to explore the emerging concept of a global civil society, and the state of advocacy in Intellectual Property related issues. An interview with an advocate in the field helps inform how civil society organizations pursue their goals in the new IPR regime. The results of this capstone indicate that effective communications, strong relationships between organization and community, and an organizational emphasis on fostering individual work connections are integral to success.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nicole Berry
Department: 
Health Sciences: Faculty of Health Sciences

The Challenges and Benefits of Volunteerism in a Non-profit Health Promotion Organization Supporting Chronic Disease Prevention in Multicultural Communities

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015
Abstract: 

The purpose of this study is to provide insight into the management of the interCultural Online Health Network (iCON) project’s volunteers, exploring the mutual benefits and challenges to both the nonprofit organization and the volunteers. As the benefits and challenges of volunteerism are ‘the other side of the coin’, organizations will benefit when they overcome the challenges of managing volunteers and are motivated to address volunteers’ expectations. This study employed Survey Monkey, with the sample drawn from the roster of recent iCON volunteers, an email was sent requesting completion of the survey instrument comprised of Likert scaled, open-ended, and semi-open ended questions to more than 60 volunteers, with 17 participants responding to the survey. Analysis of the results reveals that most volunteers participated in iCON’s one day events, yet would prefer longer, more regular hours. A majority of participants expressed a preference for more training/orientation prior to beginning volunteering and more frequent communication with other volunteers. Participants are also interested in developing their presentation, organization, and leadership skills while working with iCON. Respondents further indicated that iCON currently provides adequate acknowledgement to volunteers. For the majority of respondents the availability of resources, including iCON’s management and fulfilment of volunteers’ expectations, is found to be excellent with the few exceptions providing guidance for ongoing improvement.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Malcolm Steinberg