If we want more evidence-based practice, we need more practice-based evidence.*
Chapter 2: Social Assessment and Participatory Planning
Table of Contents
Study: Black Health,
Finances Improve. February 27, 2003.
Bartlett, C. J., & Coles, E. C. (1998). Psychological
health and well being: why and how should public health specialists measure it? Part 2:
stress, subjective well-being and overall conclusions. JOURNAL OF PUBLIC
HEALTH MEDICINE 20 (3): 288-294.
The Journals Home Page is at: THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH.
ABSTRACT: Objectives. This study sought, first, to explain and reconcile the provocation and inhibition theories of the effect of rising unemployment on the incidence of antisocial behavior. Second, it tested the hypothesis, implied by the provocation and inhibition theories, that the relationship between unemployment and foster home placements forms an inverted "U." Methods. The hypothesis was tested with data from California for 137 months beginning in February 1984. Results. Findings showed that the hypothesis was supported. Conclusions. Rising joblessness increases the incidence of foster home placements among families that lose jobs or income. Levels of joblessness that threaten workers who remain employed, however, inhibit antisocial behavior and reduce the incidence of foster home placements. This means that accounting for the social costs of unemployment is more complicated than assumed under the provocation theory. Daltroy, L. H., Larson, M. G., Eaton, H. M., Phillips, C. B., Liang, M. H. (1999). Discrepancies between self-reported and observed physical function in the elderly: the influence of response shift and other factors. SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE 48 (11): 1549-1561.
ABSTRACT: Goal: To explore the influence of social, psychological, and health factors on self-report of function. Methods: A convenience sample of 289 community-dwelling elderly aged 65-97 years. This study compared a measure of function based on observed performance, the Physical Capacity Evaluation (PCE) with a self-reported measure of functional limitations (HAQ), in a cross-sectional study. Stepwise multiple regression identified variables predicting self-reported disability, controlling for observed function. Results, Controlling for PCE, self-reports of greater disability (HAQ) were predicted by current joint pain or stiffness, use of prescription medications, urban dwelling, depression, female gender, lack of memory problems, arthritis and lack of exercise, A final model included recent decline in function, dissatisfaction with function, gender, joint pain or stiffness, and observed function, explaining 85% of the variance in self-reported disability. The hypothesis that aging is associated with declining expectations of functional ability was not supported. However, recent health problems affected participants' reporting of limitations, consistent with a recalibration-type response shift. Perceived decline in function over the past six months, a fall within the last month, illness in the last week and pain or stiffness on the day of the exam all raised self-reports of disability. Conclusions: As adaptation level theory suggests, subjects with recent problems might have an inflated perception of limitations due to shifts in their internal standards. When administered first, the observed performance test improved correlations between observed and self-reported function, primarily among those who did not report a recent decline in function. This suggests that this group may have benefited more from salient information about their abilities provided by performing the PCE before self-report. Our data confirm the importance of social, psychological, and health influences in self-report of disability, and are consistent with the hypothesis that people may recalibrate their self assessments based on recent health problems. Ellison, L. F., Morrison, H. I., de Groh, M., Villeneuve, P. J. (1999). Short Report. Health consequences of smoking among Canadian smokers: An update. CHRONIC DISEASES IN CANADA 20 (1): 36-39.
FULL-TEXT/Abstract: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/main/lcdc/web/publicat/cdic/cdic201/cd201f_e.html Kempen, G. I. J. M., Brilman, E. I., Ranchor, A. V., & Ormel, J. (1999). Morbidity and quality of life and the moderating effects of level of education in the elderly. SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE 49 (1): 143-149, July.
Madhok, R., Hameed, A., & Bhopal, R. (1998). Satisfaction
with health services among the Pakistani population in Middlesbrough, England.
JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH MEDICINE 20 (3): 295-301.
Saunders, J. (1998). Weighted census-based deprivation indices: their use
in small areas. JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH MEDICINE 20 (3): 253-260.
Schrijvers, C. T. M., Stronks, K., van de Mheen, H. D., &
Mackenbach, J. P. (1999). Explaining educational differences in mortality: The
role of behavioral and material factors. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH 89
ABSTRACT: We explore the impact of helping others on the physical and psychosocial well-being of the provider. We trained lay people to listen actively and to provide compassionate, unconditional positive regard to others who had the same chronic disease. The recipients of the peer support intervention were participants of a psychosocial randomized trial, whereas the peer supporters were study personnel and were therefore not randomized. In a secondary analysis of a randomized trial to explore the impact of being a peer supporter on these lay people, subjects were 132 people with multiple sclerosis, all of whom completed quality-of-life questionnaires 3 times over 2 years. A focus group was also implemented with the peer telephone supporters 3 years after completion of the randomized trial. Effect size was computed for each quality-of-life outcome, and the focus group discussion was content analyzed. We found that compared to supported patients, the peer telephone supporters: (1) reported more change in both positive and negative outcomes as compared to the supported patients and that the effect size of these changes tended to be larger (chi(2) = 9.6, df = 4, p < 0.05) and (2) showed pronounced improvement on confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem, depression and role functioning. Content analysis revealed that the participants articulated a sense of dramatic change in their lives in terms of how they thought of themselves and in how they related to others. We conclude with a discussion of response shift, a mediator of adaptation to illness which involves shifting internal standards, values, and concept definitions of health and well-being. We suggest that a response shift may be induced by a therapeutic strategy involving the externalization and reinternalization of concern among physically ill patients. Sprangers, M. A. G., & Schwartz, C. E. (1999). Integrating response shift into health-related quality of life research: a theoretical model. SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE 48 (11): 1507-1515.
ABSTRACT: Patients confronted with a life-threatening or chronic disease face the need to accommodate to their illness. One important mediator of this adaptation process is 'response shift' that involves changing internal standards, values and the conceptualization of quality of life (QOL). Integrating response shift into QOL research would enhance understanding of how changes in health status affect QOL, and would shape the development of reliable and valid measures for assessing changes in QOL, A theoretical model is proposed to clarify and predict changes in QOL as a result of the interaction of: (a) a catalyst, referring to changes in the respondent's health status; (b) antecedents, pertaining to stable or dispositional characteristics of the individual (e.g. personality) (c) mechanisms, encompassing behavioral, cognitive, or affective processes to accommodate the changes in health status (e.g, initiating social comparisons, reordering goals); and (d) response shift, defined as changes in the meaning of one's self-evaluation of QOL that results from changes in internal standards, values, or conceptualization. A dynamic feedback loop aimed at maintaining or improving the perception of QOL is also postulated. This model is illustrated and the underlying assumptions are discussed. Future research directions are outlined that may further the investigation of response shift, by testing specific hypotheses and predictions about the QOL domains and the clinical and psychosocial conditions that would potentiate or prevent response shift effects.
Shmueli, A. (1999). Survival vs. quality of life: a study of the Israeli public priorities in medical care. SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE 49 (3): 297-302, August
Bauman, K. (1999). Extended Measures of Well-Being:
Meeting Basic Needs. U.S. Census Bureau.
The Hygiea Group: The Economic Burden of Unintentional Injury in Canada. Toronto: SMARTRISK & Ontario Ministry of Health, 1999. Summary report at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpb/lcdc/injury.html and direct link to SMARTRISK http://www.smartrisk.ca/ for the full report and their "Risk Navigator".
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has released an indicator system that may be of interest. The Report "Quality of Life in Canadian Communities", May, 1999 is found at www.fcm.ca/newfcm/Java/frame.htm.
The Focus Group Kit, from Sage Publishing Co., is a series of books and manuals to help the practitioner apply focus groups in community planning and research. For more information, visit http://www.sagepub.co.uk/
The Survey Kit, from Sage Publishing Co., contains a series of handbooks on planning, conducting and analyzing surveys in organizations, communities or populations. For more information, visit http://www.sagepub.com/series_survey.htmThe World Bank has set up a new Social Capital "Papers in Progress" library at <http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/scapital/library/papers.htm>. The library aims to provide a collection of unpublished papers on social capital submitted by researchers, practitioners, and activists. These are available for anyone to download, read and comment on. World Bank also launched a "Social Capital Calendar" at <http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/scapital/calendar.htm>. Send your announcements and information about conferences and other events to the new feature on the Social Capital home page, "Tell Us", at <http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/scapital/tellus>. Once received, your entries will be posted on the Social Capital Calendar. Check the March edition of Nexus, the Social Capital newsletter at <http://www.worldbank.org/poverty/newsl/mar99.htm> On-Line Library Provides Poverty Data That Can Make a Difference by BIANCA P. FLOYD. Scholars have spent years studying how complex interactions of social conditions, public policy, and economic trends keep people in poverty. Now a new Web site, the Smart Library on Urban Poverty http://www.poverty.smartlibrary.org/ makes the results of some of that research available on line -- where, the site's creators hope, it will be accessible to community leaders and others who might find it useful, but who might never see articles that are published in scholarly journals. The on-line library is a collaborative effort between the National Institute of Social Science Information and the Center for Poverty and Joblessness at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. "One of the main criticisms I hear from community-based organizations is that decades of urban-poverty research have done little to help residents of low-income neighborhoods understand the structural origins of poverty and what the consequences of disadvantage are for their own well-being and that of their children," says William Julius Wilson, a professor of public policy who is director of the center. Mr. Wilson is also among the scholars whose articles the site presents. "Researchers often rely on these organizations and the residents themselves to obtain the much-needed data that will allow them to theorize about and analyze urban communities," Mr. Wilson says. But the communities, he says, "never see or hear about the results." "They don't see the journals the results are published in. They don't see the researchers coming back to inform them about what they found, and they don't see tangible results of the studies in their everyday lives -- they're still poor, the neighborhoods still lack services, and their children are still surrounded by the constant threat of violence, drugs, and gangs," he says. The Smart Library on Urban Poverty is divided into sections on the urban community, the family, the economy, and work and welfare. Each section contains a set of specific topics and a list of related articles and resources. For example, the section on work and welfare explains why the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program was created, offers background material on it, describes related social trends, and provides examples of how it has worked around the country. Mr. Wilson says the site is not meant just for scholars and social-service workers -- it can also be used by students and counselors, among others. It is intended to provide people with enough information to gain a basic understanding of urban poverty, as well as a chance to discover that urban communities can be viable and sustainable. "We have the ability to overcome inequality," he says, "and putting the information in the hands of those who are most affected by it --the marginalized, disenfranchised, and disadvantaged -- is a first, but important, step in effecting lasting change." Excerpt from The Chronicle of Higher Education (1999).