Research Findings

Girls Action Foundation research adds to call for inclusion of gender in mental health

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In 2003, the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology published /The Health of Canadians – The Federal Role/, which studied the state of the Canadian health care system. While it addressed many important issues relating to mental health, it did not acknowledge the effects of gender on mental health. In response to this report, Girls Action Foundation has produced a paper entitled The need for a gender-sensitive approach to the mental health of young Canadians – a study that examines how the intersections of gender, poverty, racialization, Aboriginal status, and other factors can affect mental health and provides recommendations and practices to promote mental health and well- being for girls and young women.

Read the paper here.

Medical societies' recommendations for immunization with Human Papillomavirus vaccine and disclosure of conflicts of interests

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Marquez-Calderon S, Lopez-Valcarcel BG, Segura A. Fundación Instituto de Investigación en Servicios de Salud., C/ Sol 9, 2aB, Sevilla-41003, Spain.

CONCLUSIONS: Disclosure of conflicts of interest in documents where medical societies issue recommendations on HPV vaccination is very unusual. However, lack of disclosure is more frequent (near twice) when recommendations are in favour of the vaccination.

Read full document here.

Further Advancing the Health of Girls and Women

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BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre, in partnership with the British
Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health just released Further
Advancing the Health of Girls and Women: A Report on the Women's Health
Strategy for British Columbia 2004-2008. This is a follow-up document to Advancing the Health of Girls and Women: A Women's Health Strategy for British Columbia (2004) and reports on
advancements made in support of the Strategy and those occurring
concurrently across the province in the Strategy's three priority areas:
1) Improving Women's Health Monitoring, Surveillance, and Reporting
2) Sustaining Access to Maternity Care
3) Supporting Women-centred Approaches to Mental Health, Problematic
Substance Use, and Addictions
To download a copy of the report:
BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health

To order your copy, email:

Entitlements and Health Services for First Nations and Métis Women in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

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“There are legal differences in the health services First Nation, Métis and Inuit women receive – not all Aboriginal people in Canada receive the same health services. This fact is often not fully recognized or well understood.”


This report published by the Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence examines

the differences in entitlements to health services for First Nations and Metis people and the impacts on women.

The full document is available here.

Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC

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A new study by the Pro-Choice Action Network finds that most agencies that counsel pregnant women are actually anti-abortion Christian ministries whose main goal is to stop women from having abortions. These centres are generally not medical facilities, and most of their "counsellors" are volunteers who are not medical professionals and have no recognized training in counselling. Some of these centres are called Crisis Pregnancy Centres or "CPCs", although many of them have different names.

This research project on anti-abortion counseling centres in British
Columbia, or "fake clinics," has been published, and is available here. (PDF, 65 pages)

MRI breast screening not cost-effective

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Although more sensitive than mammography, the benefits of using MRI to screen young women with a high risk of developing breast cancer do not appear to justify the higher cost when measured in quality-adjusted life-years.

From: BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:9 (13 January 2009)

Read more at BioMed Central Update.

HIV Programs Don’t Reach Aboriginal Women

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Even though aboriginal people living in Canada represent more than 3 per cent of the country's total population, they represent more than three times that number in prevalent HIV infections and are the most vulnerable population in Canada to test positive for HIV. Public Health Agency of Canada reports that Aboriginal people represented 27.3 per cent of positive HIV test reports in 2006, a 4.1 per cent-increase from 2005.

Aboriginal women living with HIV/AIDS account for a quarter of the infections in Canada, and half of the infections among Aboriginal people. One form of support described by the report was a recognition of cultural and linguistic diversity and the need for targeted programs that serve a specific population (i.e., need for services specific to substance users).

"The Influence of Stigma on Access to Health Services by Persons with HIV Illness," recently released, was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Read the The Influence of Stigma on Access to Health Services by Persons with HIV Illness.(pdf)

The National Study on Balancing Work, Family and Lifestyle

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"Work-Life Conflict in the New Millennium: Key Recommendations from the 2001 National Work-Life Conflict Study" is the final of six reports issued since Health Canada commissioned this in-depth study in 1999. It is based on interviews with 31,000 working Canadians, one of the most extensive surveys ever completed.

The report is a summary of the key findings, recommendations, and conclusions from the previous five reports. This includes information about the extent of work-life conflict, why work-life conflict needs to be reduced, and who is most likely to experience it.

Read the report on the Health Canada website.

Financing the Health Care System: Is Long-term Sustainability Possible

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Publicly funded health care continues to be affordable in Canada according to a recent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ analysis, Financing the Health Care System: Is Long-term Sustainability Possible?

Sean Burnett, a master’s student in the public administration program at the Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy, says that maintaining the Medicare system is a matter of choice and political will, not government’s ability to pay for it.

Read Financing the Health Care System.

Perceptions of Care by HIV-Infected Women of Color in the United States

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This study suggests that many African American and Hispanic women feel that their ethnicity, culture, or language impacted the care they received. The results suggest that many HIV-infected women change health care providers due to suboptimal communication. This indicates a need for heightened awareness of ethnic and cultural issues that influence a patient's interaction with health care providers and satisfaction with her medical care. The study was presented at the joint Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and Infectious Diseases Society of America conference in October 2008.

Read the study here.

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