Research Findings

Physical activity challenges for marginalized women in BC

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Many women in British Columbia find it challenging to engage in levels of physical activity that are sufficient to promote health and marginalized women, in particular, face many barriers to participation in sport, recreation, and physical leisure. This year, researchers at the the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and ProMOTION Plus conducted an environmental scan on physical activity for marginalized women in BC. Their aim in the scan was to learn more about the current context for and activities being facilitated to promote physical activity for marginalized women at provincial and local levels in BC.

Read Physical Activity for Marginalized Women in British Columbia: A Discussion Paper.

Integrating tobacco cessation interventions into mental health, substance use and anti-violence services

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Women and girls with substance use problems, mental illness or experience of violence and trauma are much more likely to be smokers than the general population. These high smoking rates for women with co-existing mental health, addictions and violence related concerns are disturbing. They provide a strong rationale for integrating education on the links and risks, as well as integrated support for smoking cessation in treatment programming for women on these related issues.

Between April 2010 and March 2011, researchers at the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, in collaboration with community partners, conducted a study on the feasibility of integrating tobacco treatment and support within mental health, addictions and sexual violence services, in a gender informed way.

The study included focus groups with service providers and with smokers, and a review of the literature on tobacco cessation in the mental health, substance use, and trauma treatment fields.

Read a summary of this research on their website.

 

Echo examines alcohol treatment services for women

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In Canada, alcohol use is on the rise with women’s consumption catching up to men’s. Studies have found that the impact of alcohol use on men and women is not equal and that high alcohol consumption comes with harsher impacts for women and increased risk for experiencing alcohol-related problems. Ontario has effective gender-sensitive treatment services, but services are not available to women in all regions of the province. There are also many barriers that interfere with women seeking help for alcohol misuse, such as stigma.  Some women, for example, fear disclosing their alcohol use may result in their children being taken from them.

In 2011, Echo: Improving Women’s Health in Ontario assembled a group of leaders to serve as members of Echo’s Expert Panel on Women and Alcohol Use. The Expert Panel worked to identify the current supports available to Ontario women, current best practices, and key recommendations regarding treatment services for women with problematic alcohol use.

The report, Expert Panel Report on Women & Alcohol is now available for download.

Read the Echo Advance - Women & Alcohol.

Report on Obesity in Canada

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The Obesity in Canada report released this year by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information finds some significant differences between women and men when looking at obesity. It shows that income, for example, is more strongly related to obesity for women than for men.

The report also finds that income, rural residence and minority status (mainly Aboriginal) are related to obesity in women and men even when controlling for health (or lifestyle) behaviours, such as inactivity, fruit and vegetable consumption and alcohol use.

Their analysis of obesity is limited, as the authors note, by fact that data on “access to healthy foods and food outlets, consumption of traditional diets, caloric density, marketing of foods and beverages high in sugar and fat to children, and portion sizes have not been considered in the analysis.”

The report was also limited by other factors, such as the fact that those not reporting body mass index (BMI) measurement (e.g. pregnant women) were excluded

To download the report, visit CIHI’s website.

 

Young and Aboriginal: Labour and birth experiences of teen mothers in Winnipeg

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Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence is pleased to announce the publication of this new report on young Aboriginal mothers in Winnipeg.

The exploratory project involved talking with nineteen young Aboriginal mothers in Winnipeg with the following goals:

•  To draw attention to the labour and birth experiences of young Aboriginal mothers in Winnipeg;

•  To discuss young Aboriginal mothers’ perceptions of treatment, services and supports received from medical professionals in hospital settings during labour and birth; and

•  To outline young Aboriginal mothers’ labour and birthing needs and their suggestions for positive birthing experiences and outcomes.

Findings in the report echo that of other Aboriginal teen advocates who are calling for more research specifically focused on this population group and the need for an increased awareness regarding their maternal health needs.

The full report can be viewed here.

For more information, or if you would like a hard copy of the report please contact:

Roberta Stout
Researcher - Aboriginal Women's Health
Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence
56 The Promenade
Winnipeg, MB R3B 3H9
Ph: (204) 982-6632
Fax: (204) 982-6637
www.pwhce.ca

Healthy Canadians—A federal report on comparable health indicators 2010

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Healthy Canadians 2010 is the fifth in a series of reports providing the most current national information available on the health status of Canadians and the performance of our health care system. This year, the report includes updated data (where available) for indicators included in the 2008 report, as well as a few additional indicators, for a total of 52.

Health Canada has prepared this report based on data produced by and with the assistance of Statistics Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Furthermore, an online survey has been developed to determine whether Healthy Canadians 2010 is achieving its primary goal of providing information to Canadians on health system performance and health outcomes. The survey, available on-line with the report, should only take a few minutes to fill out.  Health Canada ask that you complete it so that they can improve future editions of this report.

Healthy Canadians—A Federal Report on Comparable Health Indicators 2010 is now available on-line on Health Canada's website, where you will also find the survey.

Aspirin not worth the risks for healthy women

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According to a new study by Dutch researchers, healthy women should not be taking Aspirin to try to prevent heart attacks or strokes, although it's commonly used for that purpose.

In this new report, the researchers say 50 women will need to take the medication for 10 years for just one to be helped.

Read Aspirin not worth risks for healthy women: study (Reuters Health)

Sex, gender and chemicals: Factoring women into Canada's Chemicals Management Plan

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The National Network on Environments and Women's Health (NNEWH) have just launched their latest report, Sex, Gender and Chemicals: Factoring women into Canada's Chemicals Management Plan.

This report, with ideas linked to previous NNEWH projects, calls on the federal government to strengthen the management of chemicals in Canada in order to prevent chronic low-dose exposures to toxic substances that may be having a wide-range of effects on the health of Canadians, and are disproportionately affecting women. It exposes the critical shortcomings of the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), a federal initiative aimed at improving the degree of protection against toxic substances in Canada.

Read Sex, Gender and Chemicals: Factoring women into Canada's Chemicals Management Plan.

Health status and health services use of female and male prisoners in provincial jail

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In this new research report from the Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, authors Jennifer R. Bernier and Kristin MacLellan discuss their work comparing the health status and health service utilization of women and men incarcerated in a provincial jail in Atlantic Canada. They found that prisoners experienced a number of physical and mental health issues and a large proportion used health services and that the quality and accessibility of health services played a significant role in how participants viewed health care in jail. They also found that sex and gender influence the health status and use of health services among provincial prisoners. Females report more heath issues and poorer overall health, as well as more difficulties accessing health services during incarceration than male prisoners.

In addition, the researchers learned that race also plays a role in health status and health service utilization. Aboriginal prisoners rated their overall physical and mental health poorer than non-Aboriginals. They also report a greater need for health services, but use them less than non-Aboriginal prisoners.

Read Health Status and Health Services Use of Female and Male Prisoners in Provincial Jail.

Women’s economic progress lagging behind health and education

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Women’s economic equality in the world is not keeping pace with our progress in health and education, according to the sixth annual World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2011. The new report’s authors find that, “Over the last six years, while 85% of countries are improving their gender equality ratios, for the rest of the world the situation is declining, most notably in several African and South American countries.”

They find “a slight decline over the last year in gender equality rankings for New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom this year, while gains are made in Brazil, Ethiopia, Qatar, Tanzania and Turkey.”

For the full news release and supporting information, please visit World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2011.

 

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