New Summit website coming in May 2021!

                   Check the SFU library website for updates.

Health Sciences, Faculty of

Receive updates for this collection

The Association Between Experiencing Homelessness in Childhood or Youth and Adult Housing Stability in Housing First

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-03-08
Abstract: 

Background

Researchers have pointed out the paucity of research investigating long-term consequences of experiencing homelessness in childhood or youth. Limited research has indicated that the experience of homelessness in childhood or youth is associated with adverse adjustment-related consequences in adulthood. Housing First (HF) has acknowledged effectiveness in improving housing outcomes among adults experiencing homelessness and living with serious mental illness, although some HF clients struggle with maintaining housing. The current study was conducted to examine whether the experience of homelessness in childhood or youth increases the odds of poorer housing stability following entry into high-fidelity HF among adults experiencing serious mental illness and who were formerly homeless.

Methods

Data were drawn from the active intervention arms of a HF randomized controlled trial in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Participants (n = 297) were referred to the study from service agencies serving adults experiencing homelessness and mental illness between October 2009 and June 2011. The Residential Time-Line Follow-Back Inventory was used to measure housing stability. Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator was used to estimate the association between first experiencing homelessness in childhood or youth and later housing stability as an adult in HF.

Results

Analyses indicated that homelessness in childhood or youth was negatively associated with experiencing housing stability as an adult in HF (aOR = 0.53; 95% CI = 0.31–0.90).

Conclusions

Further supports are needed within HF to increase housing stability among adult clients who have experienced homelessness in childhood or youth. Asking clients about the age they first experienced homelessness may be of clinical utility upon enrollment in HF and may help identify support needs related to developmental experiences. Results further emphasize the importance of intervening earlier in life in childhood and youth before experiencing homelessness or before it becomes chronic. Findings also contribute to a limited knowledge base regarding the adverse long-term consequences of childhood and youth homelessness.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

A Qualitative Study of Clinicians’ Perspectives on Independent Rights Advice for Involuntary Psychiatric Patients in British Columbia, Canada

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-03-18
Abstract: 

Background

In British Columbia (BC), Canada, clinicians are responsible for giving involuntary psychiatric patients rights information upon admission. Yet an investigation by the BC Office of the Ombudsperson found that clinicians are not always fulfilling this responsibility. The Ombudsperson recommended that the provincial government fund an independent body to give rights advice to patients.

Methods

To understand how clinicians feel about this recommendation, focus groups of clinicians who may give psychiatric patients rights information (n = 81) were conducted in Vancouver, BC, to probe their attitudes toward independent rights advisors. The focus group transcripts were thematically analyzed.

Results

Most clinicians believe that giving rights information is within their scope of practice, although some acknowledge that it poses a conflict of interest when the patient wishes to challenge the treatment team’s decisions. Participants’ chief concerns about an independent rights-advice service were that (a) patients may experience a delay in receiving their rights information, (b) integrating rights advisors into the workflow would complicate an already chaotic admission process, and (c) more patients would be counselled to challenge their hospitalization, leading to an increased administrative workload for clinical staff. However, many participants believed that independent rights advisors would be a positive addition to the admission process, both allowing clinicians to focus on treatment and serving as a source of rights-related information.

Conclusions

Participants were generally amenable to an independent rights-advice service, suggesting that the introduction of rights advisors need not result in an adversarial relationship between treatment team and patient, as opponents of the proposal fear. Clearly distinguishing between basic rights information and in-depth rights advice could address several of the clinicians’ concerns about the role that independent rights advisors would play in the involuntary admission process. Clinicians’ and other stakeholders’ concerns should be considered as the province develops its rights-advice service.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Intimate Partner Violence, Depression, and Anxiety Are Associated With Higher Perceived Stress Among Both Young Men and Women in Soweto and Durban, South Africa

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-03-24
Abstract: 

Objectives: Psychological stress is an important determinant of health, including for mental well-being and sexual health. However, little is known about the prevalence and psychosocial and sexual health correlates of perceived stress among young people in South Africa, where elevated life-stressors are an important driver of health inequities. This study examines the association between intimate partner violence (IPV), psychosocial and sexual health, and perceived stress, by gender, among South African adolescents and young adults.

Methods: Using baseline survey data from AYAZAZI, a cohort study enrolling youth (16–24 years) from Durban and Soweto, we used the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) to measure the degree to which an individual perceives their life situations as unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded. Possible scores range between 0 and 40; higher scores indicating higher perceived stress. Crude and adjusted gender-stratified linear regression models examined associations between sexual health factors, experiences (young women) and perpetration (young men) of IPV, anxiety (APA 3-item Scale, ≥2 = probable anxiety), and depression (10-item CES-D Scale, ≥10 = probable depression) and perceived stress. Multivariable models adjusted for age, income, sexual orientation, and financial dependents.

Results: Of the 425 AYAZAZI participants, 60% were young women. At baseline, 71.5% were students//learners and 77.2% earned ≤ ZAR1600 per month (~id="mce_marker"00 USD). The PSS-10 had moderate reliability (α = 0.70 for young women, 0.64 for young men). Young women reported significantly higher mean PSS scores than young men [18.3 (6.3) vs. 16.4 (6.0)]. In adjusted linear regression models, among young women experiences of IPV (β = 4.33; 95% CI: 1.9, 6.8), probable depression (β = 6.63; 95% CI: 5.2, 8.1), and probable anxiety (β = 5.2; 95% CI: 3.6, 6.8) were significantly associated with higher PSS scores. Among young men, ever perpetrating IPV (β = 2.95; 95% CI: 0.3, 5.6), probable depression (β = 6; 95% CI: 4.3, 7.6), and probable anxiety (β = 3.9; 95% CI: 2.1, 5.8) were significantly associated with higher perceived stress.

Conclusion: We found that probable depression, anxiety, perpetration of IPV among young men, and experiences of IPV among young women, were associated with higher perceived stress. Critical efforts are needed to address the gendered stressors of young men and women and implement services to address mental health within violence prevention efforts.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Not Quite a Block Party: COVID-19 Street Reallocation Programs in Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-03-10
Abstract: 

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed mobility inequities within cities. In response, cities are rapidly implementing street reallocation initiatives. These interventions provide space for walking and cycling, however, other mobility needs (e.g., essential workers, deliveries) may be impeded by these reallocation decisions. Informed by mobility justice frameworks, we examined socio-spatial differences in access to street reallocations in Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. In both cities, more interventions occurred in areas where people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous people, lived. In Seattle, more interventions occurred in areas where people with disabilities, on food stamps, and children lived. In Vancouver, more interventions occurred in areas where recent immigrants lived, or where people used public transit or cycled to work. Street reallocations could be opportunities for cities to redress inequities in mobility and access to public spaces. Going forward, it is imperative to monitor how cities use data and welcome communities to redesign these temporary spaces to be corridors for their own mobility.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Awareness of Fentanyl Exposure and the Associated Overdose Risks Among People Who Inject Drugs in a Canadian Setting

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-02-18
Abstract: 

Introduction and Aims:

Illicitly-manufactured fentanyl continues to fuel the opioidoverdose crisis throughout the United States and Canada. However, little is known about factors associated with knowingly or unknowingly using fentanyl. Therefore, we sought to identify the prevalence and correlates of suspected/known and unknown exposure to fentanyl (excluding the prescribed one) among people who inject drugs (PWID), including associated overdose risks.

 

Design and Methods:

Data were derived from three prospective cohort studies of community-recruited people who use drugs in Vancouver, Canada in 2016–2017. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify correlates of suspected/known exposure (i.e., urine drug screen positive [UDS+] and self-reporting past three-day exposure) and unknown exposure to fentanyl (i.e., UDS+ and self-reporting no past three day exposure), respectively.

 

Results:

Among 590 PWID, 296 (50.2%) tested positive for fentanyl. Of those, 143 (48.3%) had suspected/known and 153 (51.7%) had unknown exposure to fentanyl. In multivariable analyses, using supervised injection sites and possessing naloxone were associated with both suspected/known and unknown exposure (all p<0.05). Injecting drugs alone (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR]: 3.26; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.72–6.16) was associated with known exposure, but not with unknown exposure.

 

Discussion and Conclusions:

We found a high prevalence of fentanyl exposure in our sample of PWID, with one half of those exposed consuming fentanyl unknowingly. While those exposed to fentanyl appeared more likely to utilize some overdose prevention services, PWID with suspected/known fentanyl exposure were more likely to inject alone, indicating a need for additional overdose prevention efforts for this group.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Sharpening Our Public Health Lens: Advancing Im/Migrant Health Equity During COVID-19 and Beyond

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-02-08
Abstract: 

Background:  Differential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought deeply rooted inequities to the forefront, where increasing evidence has shown that racialized immigrant and migrant (im/migrant) populations face a disproportionate burden of COVID-19. Im/migrant communities may be worst affected by lockdowns and restrictive measures, face less opportunity to physically distance or stay home sick within ‘essential’ jobs, and experience severe barriers to healthcare. Insufficient attention to experiences of racialized im/migrants in current pandemic responses globally highlights an urgent need to more fulsomely address unmet health needs through an anti-racist, equity-oriented lens. This commentary aims to highlight the need for public health and clinical training, research, and policy to thoughtfully prioritize im/migrant health equity during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Main text:  Global pandemic responses have neglected im/migrants by continuing to ignore or insufficiently address inequities, exacerbating COVID transmission, xenophobia, and occupational injustice. Deaths, illness, stress, and other negative outcomes of the overlapping epidemics of COVID-19 and structural racism disproportionately borne by racialized im/migrants suggest the urgent need for action. As evidence mounts about how im/migrants have been left behind in times of crises, we need enhanced focus on health equity within COVID-19 research and interventions, including research that examines and pursues structural interventions necessary to mitigate these impacts, and that identifies patterns and harms of xenophobic policy, structural racism, and white supremacy in shaping im/migrant health outcomes. We must also strengthen anti-racist and equity-oriented curriculum within health education, and ensure sufficient attention to the needs of im/migrant communities within public health, clinical, and research training.

Conclusion:  The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and rendered more visible the deeply rooted health and social inequities faced by racialized im/migrants across diverse settings. We argue for a greater emphasis on equity-focused and anti-racist im/migrant health research, interventions, and training. Policymakers and practitioners must ensure that healthcare policies and practices do not exacerbate inequities, and instead meaningfully address unmet needs of communities, including racialized im/migrants. Ethical and respectful community engagement, commitment and collaboration with global, national, and local communities, policymakers, academics, and educators, as well as accountability across sectors, is critical.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

An Economic Analysis of the Health-Related Benefits Associated With Bicycle Infrastructure Investment in Three Canadian Cities

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-02-08
Abstract: 

Objectives

Decision-makers are increasingly requesting economic analyses on transportation-related interventions, but health is often excluded as a determinant of value. We assess the health-related economic impact of bicycle infrastructure investments in three Canadian cities (Victoria, Kelowna and Halifax), comparing a baseline reference year (2016) with the future infrastructure build-out (2020).

Methods

The World Health Organization’s Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT; version 4.2) was used to quantify the economic value of health benefits associated with increased bicycling, using a 10-year time horizon. Outputs comprise premature deaths prevented, carbon emissions avoided, and a benefit:cost ratio. For 2016–2020, we derived cost estimates for bicycle infrastructure investments (including verification from city partners) and modelled three scenarios for changes in bicycling mode share: ‘no change’, ‘moderate change’ (a 2% increase), and ‘major change’ (a 5% increase). Further sensitivity analyses (32 per city) examined how robust the moderate scenario findings were to variation in parameter inputs.

Results

Planned bicycle infrastructure investments between 2016 and 2020 ranged from $28–69 million (CAD; in 2016 prices). The moderate scenario benefit:cost ratios were between 1.7:1 (Victoria) and 2.1:1 (Halifax), with the benefit estimate incorporating 9–18 premature deaths prevented and a reduction of 87–142 thousand tonnes of carbon over the 10-year time horizon. The major scenario benefit:cost ratios were between 3.9:1 (Victoria) and 4.9:1 (Halifax), with 19–43 premature deaths prevented and 209–349 thousand tonnes of carbon averted. Sensitivity analyses showed the ratio estimates to be sensitive to the time horizon, investment cost and value of a statistical life inputs.

Conclusion

Within the assessment framework permitted by HEAT, the dollar value of health-related benefits exceeded the cost of planned infrastructure investments in bicycling in the three study cities. Depending on the decision problem, complementary analyses may be required to address broader questions relevant to decision makers in the public sector.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Helping children cope with trauma

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021
Abstract: 

Background: Experiencing adverse experiences during childhood can lead to the development of mental disorders. We therefore set out to identify that effectively help children who have experienced trauma.

Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating prevention interventions for children after serious adverse experiences. After applying our rigorous inclusion criteria, we accepted five RCTs – evaluating three psychosocial interventions delivered to children who had been maltreated, and one medication for children who had sustained physical injuries.

Results: It’s My Turn Now, Fostering Healthy Futures, and Multisystemic Therapy showed benefits for children who had a history of maltreatment, including reducing symptoms of mental disorders. In contrast, Propranolol failed to show benefit for children who had sustained injuries.

Conclusions: Preventing childhood adversities wherever possible is crucial and recognizes children’s rights to safety. Yet it is possible to prevent mental health symptoms from developing even after children have experienced serious adversity.

Helping young people with psychosis

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2020
Abstract: 

Background: Psychotic disorders are associated with a high degree of impairment making early intervention crucial for youth. We therefore set out to identify effective psychosis interventions for young people.

Methods: We used systematic review methods to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating treatment interventions. After applying our rigorous inclusion criteria, we accepted eight RCTs – evaluating five different medications and three psychosocial interventions.

Results: Aripiprazole and olanzapine showed benefits in two trials each, although both led to adverse events that require close monitoring. Cognitive Remediation Therapy, Computer-Assisted Cognitive Remediation and the Think Program showed secondary benefits of improved cognitive skills and reduced emergency room visits which can be helpful when used along with antipsychotic medications.

Conclusions: Antipsychotics should be used prudently, after careful assessment and diagnosis, and psychosocial interventions should be offered as well. Further research is needed on early interventions to help young people with psychosis.

Association of “Hypertriglyceridemic Waist” With Increased 5-Year Risk of Subclinical Atherosclerosis in a Multi-Ethnic Population: A Prospective Cohort Study

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-02-02
Abstract: 

Background

Hypertriglyceridemic waist (HTGW), which incorporates measures of waist circumference and levels of triglyceride in blood, could act as an early-stage predictor to identify the individuals at high-risk for subclinical atherosclerosis. Previous studies have explored the cross-sectional association between HTGW and atherosclerosis; however, understanding how this association might change over time is necessary. This study will assess the association between HTGW with 5-year subclinical carotid atherosclerosis.

Methods

517 participants of Aboriginal, Chinese, European, and South Asian ethnicities were examined for baseline HTGW and 5-year indices of subclinical atherosclerosis (intima media thickness (mm), total area (mm2), and plaque presence). Family history of cardiovascular disease, sociodemographic measures (age, sex, ethnicity, income level, maximum education), and traditional risk factors (systolic blood pressure, smoking status, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index) were incorporated into the models of association. These models used multiple linear regression and logistic regression.

Results

Baseline HTGW phenotype is a statistically significant and clinically meaningful predictor of 5-year intima media thickness (β = 0.08 [0.04, 0.11], p < 0.001), total area (β = 0.20 [0.07, 0.33], p = 0.002), and plaque presence (OR = 2.17 [1.13, 4.19], p = 0.02) compared to the non-HTGW group independent of sociodemographic factors and family history. However, this association is no longer significant after adjusting for the traditional risk factors of atherosclerosis (p = 0.27, p = 0.45, p = 0.66, respectively). Moreover, change in status of HTGW phenotype does not correlate with change in indices of atherosclerosis over 5 years.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that when the traditional risk factors of atherosclerosis are known, HTGW may not offer additional value as a predictor of subclinical atherosclerosis progression over 5 years.

 

Document type: 
Article
File(s):