27 November 2011

Priorities for Research on Equity and Health: Towards an Equity-Focused Health Research Agenda

Really interesting paper and as it's open access I've highlighted the thing bit that caught my eye rather than the summary points (abstract).

Some of it seems really hard to me! The whole paper is worth a read.

Characteristics of Third Wave Health Research Strategies and Methodologies
  1. Go beyond the behavioral and other individual determinants of illness.
  2. Examine the intersections among different social hierarchies, such as class and gender, and their cumulative impacts on health status and health inequities.
  3. Examine the levels, pathways, and power connections across the “upstream” determinants or root causes of health inequities—that were central to the CSDH's conceptual framework—and the more traditionally investigated determinants of health inequities, such as risk factors or access to care.
  4. Treat patterns of health inequity as a social reality in their own terms, requiring social (economic, sociological, political, and cultural) explanation that adds on to the aggregation and interpretation of individual biomedical processes and outcomes.
  5. Consider the dynamic (rather than static) nature of equity in different country contexts, introducing a temporal dimension when investigating social structures, public policies, and impacts over the life course.
  6. Describe the social institutions and processes that influence the generation and allocation of resources related to health and its social determinants.
  7. Focus on how the global context affects choices about resource allocation at national and sub-national levels.
  8. Build on active collaboration among researchers and other knowledge producers from different disciplines.
  9. Recognize that certain kinds of evidence, such as results from randomized controlled trials, cannot be generated with respect to many interventions that address social determinants of health; therefore, a need exists to embrace diverse methodologies—fit for purpose—including a wide range of study designs, generating qualitative and quantitative data, that provide critical insight on the questions being examined.
  10. Involve affected populations, which is often essential to appropriate research designs and their execution.

Priorities for Research on Equity and Health: Towards an Equity-Focused Health Research Agenda.
Östlin P, Schrecker T, Sadana R, Bonnefoy J, Gilson L, et al. (2011)
PLoS Med 8(11): e1001115. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001115

Click here to go to the full article.

Hat tip: David McDaid, Health Equity Email Network, UK