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Article

Behavioral Interventions as Policy Instruments to Manage Household Water Use  

Leong Ching and Swee Kiat Tay

Water planners and policy analysts need to pay closer attention to the behavioral aspects of water use, including the use of nonprice measures such as norms, public communications, and intrinsic motivations. Empirical research has shown that people are motivated by normative as well as economic incentives when it comes to water. In fact, this research finds that after exposure to feedback about water use, adding an economic incentive (rebate) for reducing water use holds no additional power. In other cases, nonprice measures can be a way to increase the salience, and subsequently, effectiveness of any adopted pricing mechanisms. We review these empirical findings and locate them within more general literature on normative incentives for behavioral change. Given increasing water scarcity and decreasing water security in cities, policy planners need to make more room for normative incentives when designing rules for proenvironmental behavior.

Article

Behavioral Interventions to Reduce and Prevent Racial Bias  

Nicole Farmer, Alyssa Baginski, and Talya Gordon

Unlike other public health crises, attention to the role of prevention in racial bias has not predominated. Most human actions, including racism, are informed by unconscious thoughts. Behavior-change interventions seek to understand facilitators and barriers to human action and antecedent unconscious thoughts, which are guided not only within an individual but also in interpersonal and societal environments. Current behavioral interventions on implicit and explicit racial bias can identify gaps and opportunities in the literature to evaluate operational definitions of behavior and bias, discuss psychological and neurobiological processes involved in racial bias, that may provide insight into prevention. Furthermore, a focus on public health–based interventions which integrate behavioral science foundations may assist to develop adaptable, accurate, and effective interventions across global communities. Based on the literature results discussed, the benefit for the field of public health may be to inform future studies and create a multilevel, behavioral-based framework to prevent or mitigate racial bias behaviors..

Article

Burn-Related Injuries  

Ashley van Niekerk

A burn occurs when cells in the skin or other tissues are destroyed by hot liquids (scalds), hot solids (contact burns), or flames (flame burns). Injuries to the skin or other organic tissue due to radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction or contact with chemicals are also identified as burns. Globally, burns have been in decline, but are still a major cause of injury, disability, death and disruption in some regions, with about 120,000 deaths and 9 million injuries estimated in 2017. Low-to-middle-income countries carry the bulk of this burden with the majority of all burn injuries occurring in the African and Southeast Asia regions. Thermal injuries are physically painful and may leave disabling scars not only to the skin or the body, but also impair psychological wellbeing. Severe injuries often impose significant psychological, but also educational consequences and social stigmatization, with the consequent adjustments exacerbated by a range of factors, including the circumstances of the burn incident, the severity and site of the injury, the qualities of the affected individual’s personality, and the access to supportive interpersonal and social relationships. The contributions of: economic progress, enhanced environmental and home structures, energy technology, and safety education interventions have been reported as significant for burn prevention. Similarly, legislative and policy frameworks that support access to modern energies such as electricity, govern domestic appliances and heating technology, and control storage and decanting of fossil fuels are important in energy impoverished settings. The recovery of burn survivors is affected by the availability of specialized treatment, physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support to burn victims and families, but which is still limited especially in resource constrained settings.

Article

Changing Open Defecation Behavior  

Mark Radin

Open defecation (OD) remains a persistent problem in many low-income countries. The international community, through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has committed itself to eliminating OD by 2030. While access to and use of latrines has steadily increased, much is unknown on how to eliminate OD. The history of the elimination of OD in high-income countries offers potential lessons for achieving the sanitation targets of the SDGs. A desk review of sanitation literature revealed a well-documented effort to eliminate OD in the United States, which faced many of the same obstacles as those encountered in low-income countries in the 21st century. One of the important lessons is that eliminating OD takes sustained efforts over decades and substantial resources. The international efforts to eliminate OD have evolved through numerous phases within the global development agenda. To eliminate OD will require continued investment in new and ongoing programs, which are often led by national governments in partnership with international organizations, civil society, and the private sector. Many successful programs have utilized numerous approaches for eliminating OD as the barriers to sanitation use are different across societies and for each individual. Access to sanitation in institutions such as schools and health care facilities as well as public facilities remains a problem in both high- and low-income countries. Finally, the international community will need to deploy more resources and develop effective approaches for ensuring that latrine adoption and use is sustainable.

Article

Community-Oriented Primary Health Care for Improving Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health  

Amira M. Khan, Zohra S. Lassi, and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta

Nearly 80% of the world’s population lives in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and these regions bear the greatest burden of maternal, neonatal, and child mortality, with most of the deaths occurring at home. Much of global maternal and child mortality is attributable to easily preventable and treatable conditions. However, the challenge lies in reaching the most vulnerable communities, especially the rural populations, making it imperative that maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) interventions focus on communities in tandem with facility-based strategies. There is widespread consensus that delivering effective primary health care (PHC) interventions through the continuum of care, starting from pregnancy to delivery and then to the newborn, infant, and the young child, is an integral component of health strategies in high-, middle- and low-income settings. Despite gaps in research, several effective community-based PHC approaches have been proven to impact MNCH positively. Implementation of these strategies is needed at scale in LMICs and in partnership with all stakeholders including the public and private sector. Community-based PHC, operating on the principles of community engagement and community mobilization, is now more critical than ever. Further robust studies are needed to evaluate certain strategies of community-based PHC and their impact on maternal and child health outcomes, such as the use of mobile technology and social franchises. Recognition of community health workers (CHWs) as a formal cadre and the integration of community-based health services within PHC are vital in strengthening efforts to impact maternal, neonatal, and child health outcomes positively. However, despite the importance of community-based PHC for MNCH in LMICs, the existence of a strong health system and skilled workforce is central to achieving positive health outcomes in these regions.

Article

Contraceptive Technology  

Timothee Fruhauf and Holly A. Rankin

Contraceptive technology refers to tools that are used to delay or prevent pregnancy. Modern contraceptive technology encompasses female or male sterilization, intrauterine devices, contraceptive implants, contraceptive pills, contraceptive patches, intravaginal rings, diaphragms, external or internal condoms, emergency contraception, and certain fertility awareness–based methods. Duration of these methods’ effects varies from permanent and irreversible to long-lasting and reversible to short term with day-to-day reversibility. The efficacy of modern contraceptive technologies at preventing pregnancy ranges between 76% and 99.95% during the first year of typical use. Mechanisms of action vary from physically impeding meeting of sperm and oocyte to use of exogenous reproductive hormones to alter fertility. Contraceptive counseling for the selection of a method should adopt a shared decision-making framework and can consider advantages, disadvantages, contraindications, and side effects of a method to align with a patient’s contraceptive use goals. Certain clinical contexts, such as post-abortion, postpartum, adolescent patients, and patients with elevated body mass index have contraceptive nuances that are important to consider. Finally, contraceptive technology has many non-contraceptive benefits that provide additional indications for their use.

Article

Dementia Caregiver Interventions  

Laura N. Gitlin

The number of people living with dementia worldwide is estimated to be 55 million and is expected to increase to 78 million by 2030 andover 150 million by 2050. Families—defined broadly as relatives, fictive kin, neighbors, friends, relatives, and spouses—provide most of the long-term care throughout the disease trajectory. Family caregiving is a global phenomenon. Low- to middle-income countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia are experiencing the most rapid increases in dementia, with the burden of care being particularly acute for extremely low-resourced families in these regions of the world. Compared to caregiving for individuals with serious illnesses but who are not cognitively impaired, caregivers of people living with dementia provide more assistance with all aspects of care, oversee complex clinical symptoms, and must at some point in the disease process provide constant vigilance and extensive hands-on and physical care. The economic outlay of dementia caregiving is another differentiator, with families incurring approximately 70% of care costs. As care responsibilities increase with disease progression, caregivers need a wide range of supportive services to help them stay healthy themselves and also manage the complexities of the disease process and their elongated care responsibilities. In response, a robust body of intervention studies has evolved during the past half-century. Although most research has emanated from the United States, research is emerging from other countries that either adapt and test existing evidence-based U.S. programs or develop and evaluate new intervention approaches tailored to the specific country and cultural group. An appraisal of this expansive and growing research offers a “glass half full” and “glass half empty” perspective as to the level and depth of the evidence. On one hand and taken as a whole, this vast corpus of research has yielded evidence for a wide range of strategies, approaches, interventions, and programs demonstrating varying levels of effectiveness in supporting caregivers by increasing mastery and reducing depressive symptoms and care burdens. On the other hand, more methodological rigor in studies is needed along with the testing of interventions with diverse family caregivers that considers strength-based approaches (vs. symptom reduction only) and a wider range of outcomes such as supporting resilience, adaptation, and positive affect. Despite evidence for many supportive approaches for caregivers, interventions with some level of evidence have not been widely disseminated, embedded in practice settings, nor sustained. Few families worldwide have access to proven supportive programs; few health professionals are aware of the evidence base; and most agencies, community-based programs, and health care systems do not have the infrastructure, staff capacities, or both to identify caregivers and provide disease education, support, care coordination, skills training, and other needed strategies shown to be helpful to families. This persistent “family care gap” between what is known to be effective and what is practiced in health care systems is one of the defining characteristics of this field of inquiry.

Article

Do Households Respond to the Marginal or Average Price of Piped Water Services?  

Joseph Cook and Daniel Brent

Water utilities commonly use complex, nonlinear tariff structures to balance multiple tariff objectives. When these tariffs change, how will customers respond? Do customers respond to the marginal volumetric prices embedded in each block, or do they respond to an average price? Because empirical demand estimation relies heavily on the answer to this question, it has been discussed in the water, electricity, and tax literatures for over 50 years. To optimize water consumption in an economically rational way, consumers must have knowledge of the tariff structure and their consumption. The former is challenging because of nonlinear tariffs and inadequate tariff information provided on bills; the latter is challenging because consumption is observed only once and with a lag (at the end of the period of consumption). A large number of empirical studies show that, when asked, consumers have poor knowledge about tariff structures, marginal prices, and (often) their water consumption. Several studies since 2010 have used methods with cleaner causal identification, namely regression discontinuity approaches that exploit natural experiments across changes in kinks in the tariff structure, changes in utility service area borders, changes in billing periods, or a combination. Three studies found clear evidence that consumers respond to average volumetric price. Two studies found evidence that consumers react to marginal prices, although in both studies the change in price may have been especially salient. One study did not explicitly rule out an average price response. Only one study examined responsiveness to average total price, which includes the fixed, nonvolumetric component of the bill. There are five messages for water professionals. First, inattention to complex tariff schedules and marginal prices should not be confused with inattention to all prices: customers do react to changes in prices, and prices should remain an important tool for managing scarcity and increasing economic efficiency. Second, there is substantial evidence that most customers do not understand complex tariffs and likely do not respond to changes in marginal price. Third, most studies have failed to clearly distinguish between average total price and average volumetric price, highlighting the importance of fixed charges in consumer perception. Fourth, evidence as of late 2020 pointed toward consumers’ responding to average volumetric price, but it may be that this simply better approximates average total price than marginal or expected marginal prices; no studies have explicitly tested this. Finally, although information treatments can likely increase customers’ understanding of complex tariffs (and hence marginal price), it is likely a better use of resources to simplify tariffs and pair increased volumetric charges with enhanced customer assistance programs to help poor customers, rather than relying on increasing block tariffs.

Article

Health and Health Care Access Among Diverse Groups of Elders in the United States: An Intersectionality Approach  

Sadaf Arefi Milani and Kyriakos S. Markides

Great interest has been shown in recent years about the influence of diversity on access to health care and health status, especially over the life course. Substantial interest has been shown in diversity by race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and also sexual orientation and rurality. A life course perspective whereby life conditions earlier in life influence health care access and health status later in life, with increasing application of an intersectionality perspective, is crucial to understanding how statuses delineated by social class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and age interact to influence later life outcomes. Application of intersectionality to the study of aging and health is relatively recent, in conjunction with the increasingly popular cumulative advantage/disadvantage life course perspective, promises to lead to significant advances in the field of diversity, aging, and health in the United States and elsewhere.

Article

Health for All and Primary Health Care, 1978–2018: A Historical Perspective on Policies and Programs Over 40 Years  

Susan B. Rifkin

In 1978, at an international conference in Kazakhstan, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund put forward a policy proposal entitled “Primary Health Care” (PHC). Adopted by all the World Health Organization member states, the proposal catalyzed ideas and experiences by which governments and people began to change their views about how good health was obtained and sustained. The Declaration of Alma-Ata (as it is known, after the city in which the conference was held) committed member states to take action to achieve the WHO definition of health as “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Arguing that good health was not merely the result of biomedical advances, health-services provision, and professional care, the declaration stated that health was a human right, that the inequality of health status among the world’s populations was unacceptable, and that people had a right and duty to become involved in the planning and implementation of their own healthcare. It proposed that this policy be supported through collaboration with other government sectors to ensure that health was recognized as a key to development planning. Under the banner call “Health for All by the Year 2000,” WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund set out to turn their vision for improving health into practice. They confronted a number of critical challenges. These included defining PHC and translating PHC into practice, developing frameworks to translate equity into action, experiencing both the potential and the limitations of community participation in helping to achieve the WHO definition of health, and seeking the necessary financing to support the transformation of health systems. These challenges were taken up by global, national, and nongovernmental organization programs in efforts to balance the PHC vision with the realities of health-service delivery. The implementation of these programs had varying degrees of success and failure. In the future, PHC will need to address to critical concerns, the first of which is how to address the pressing health issues of the early 21st century, including climate change, control of noncommunicable diseases, global health emergencies, and the cost and effectiveness of humanitarian aid in the light of increasing violent disturbances and issues around global governance. The second is how PHC will influence policies emerging from the increasing understanding that health interventions should be implemented in the context of complexity rather than as linear, predictable solutions.

Article

Health Wearable Tools and Health Promotion  

Arul Chib, Caining Li, and Sapphire Lin

The application of wearable technology for health purposes is a multidisciplinary research topic. To summarize key contributions and simultaneously identify outstanding gaps in research, the input-mechanism-output (I-M-O) framework was applied to synthesize findings from 275 relevant papers in the period 2010–2021. Eighteen distinct cross-disciplinary themes were identified and organized under the I-M-O framework. Studies that covered input factors have largely been technocentric, exploring the design of various health wearables, with less emphasis on usability. While studies on user acceptance and engagement are increasing, there remains room for growth in user-centric aspects such as engagement. While measurement of physiological health indictors has grown more sophisticated due to sensitivity of sensors and the advancements in predictive algorithms, a rapidly growing area of research is that of measuring and tracking mental states and emotional health. Relatively few studies explore theoretically backed explanations of the role of health wearables, with technocentric theories predicting adoption favored. These mainly focused on mechanisms of adoption, while postadoption use and health behavior change were less explored. As a consequence, compared to adoption mechanisms, there is an opportunity to increase our understanding of the continued use of wearables and their effects on sustained health behavior change. While a range of incentives such as social, feedback, financial, and gamification are being tested, it is worth noting that negative attitudes, such as privacy concerns, are being paid much more attention as well. Output factors were studied in both individual and organizational settings, with the former receiving considerably more attention than the latter. The progress of research on health wearables was discussed from an interdisciplinary angle, and the role of social scientists was highlighted for the advancement of research on wearable health.

Article

Homelessness and Vaccination Strategies: Problems and Potential Solutions to Vaccinate Vulnerable Populations  

Elena Mitevska, Priyanka Gill, and Monty Ghosh

People experiencing homelessness (PEH) are at a higher risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses. They have higher rates of chronic illnesses that predispose them to communicable diseases, and this is compounded by poor access to sanitation. While vaccination is especially important in PEH, they tend to have lower rates of vaccine uptake compared to the general population. Factors impacting this discrepancy include difficulty accessing vaccines and public health programs, lack of access to primary care services, and distrust of the health care system. Despite this, there is evidence to suggest that many PEH are accepting of vaccinations and are willing to get vaccinated provided the right approach and interactions. Understanding client-specific barriers along with education and counseling are key to improving vaccine uptake in PEH, and programs targeted specifically at PEH can improve vaccine uptake and ultimately the health of PEH.

Article

Implementation and Dissemination of Evidence-based Programs for the Prevention and Management of Chronic Conditions in Older Adults: Theoretical Perspectives and Case Examples from the United States  

Marcia G. Ory, Chinelo K. Nsobundu, and Yeka W. Nmadu

More than 50 million Americans are currently 65 and older, with current projections estimating that there will be nearly 100 million by 2060. While there is great variability among the older population, many older adults will be disproportionately affected by negative health and well-being consequences associated with chronic diseases, increased fall risk, and physical inactivity. The implementation and dissemination of evidence-based programs can play a major role in the prevention and management of these conditions, thus improving quality of life for the growing number of older adults worldwide. These goals are consistent with the World Health Organization Declaration of the Decade of Healthy Ageing. Research and practice around evidence-based programs for chronic illness management and related conditions in older adults have spearheaded many new opportunities to promote healthy aging as well as revealing challenges in getting effective programs and policies implemented and widely disseminated. For example, most evidence-based programs are not readily scalable or sustainable. Reasons for this may include delay in implementing programs as a result of contextual barriers or the lack of infrastructure for dissemination. These challenges emphasize the need for strategies to ensure the successful implementation and dissemination of evidence-based programs for older adults. Dissemination and implementation science (DIS) provides a broad framework to design interventions and identify implementation strategies that work in diverse real-world clinical and community settings to meet the need of diverse populations. Advancements in research and practice require a basic understanding of (a) principles of DIS; (b) relevant theories, frameworks, and conceptual models; (c) awareness of national and international case examples of chronic disease, falls, and physical activity initiatives for better management of health and functioning in older adults; and (d) shared lessons from research and practice. This lens helps underscore the importance of the evidence-based program movement to the aging services network.

Article

Inclusive Medicine and Medical Education: Increasing the Number of Clinicians With Disabilities  

Kristina Petersen, Zoie Sheets, Satendra Singh, Zina Jawadi, Dawn Michael, and Lisa Meeks

For two decades, leaders in medical education have emphasized the importance of increasing diversity within the physician workforce to better reflect the general population, including people with disabilities. Historically, the barriers in medical education for the inclusion of learners with disabilities have been many. As we progress through the early 21st century, researchers are seeking to reduce or eliminate these barriers to improve access to medical school education by readily putting forth the value of disability as diversity. Inclusive and accessible learning environments for those with disabilities benefit all learners. Carrying these findings into the healthcare profession brings further evidence to show the concordance between patients and physicians with disabilities through the lived experiences of being a patient with increased empathy and patient-focused care. With the inclusion of learners and practitioners with disabilities, their lived experiences, and allies contributing to the environments and standards in medical education and the medical profession, significant contributions for equitable opportunities and improvements can be made that ultimately benefit all.

Article

Intervention Approaches for Osteoarthritis  

Susan Hughes, Cheryl Der Ananian, and Andrew DeMott

Osteoarthritis (OA) currently affects 32.5 million people in the United States at a cost of $136.8 billion. The available literature on the epidemiology of OA shows that the number of people affected will increase exponentially by the year 2040, affecting 78.4 million people. There is an abundance of evidence that self-management and physical activity (PA) approaches improve multiple outcomes for individuals with arthritis. However, these programs are not widely accessible to the population that can benefit from them across the United States. Two national organizations—the arthritis program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Administration on Community Living (ACL)—have established similar, but distinct, criteria for the review of evidence-based programs and seek to promote their dissemination. The CDC arthritis program has reviewed the evidence bases of arthritis-appropriate, evidence-based intervention programs and classified them as self-management or PA approaches. These “recognized” programs are recommended for national dissemination by the CDC. The ACL has also recognized several of the same programs by using its own criteria and classified them as Self-Management or Falls Prevention approaches. The different review criteria used by these two national public organizations present significant challenges for investigators who design interventions. The situation is further compounded by an investment in funding that hugely supports the discovery of interventions as opposed to the dissemination of interventions that have demonstrated efficacy. The National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis: 2020 Update presents a blueprint that includes nine strategies for improving public health outcomes among persons with OA. These recommendations should be considered by interventionists in the future when developing programs. Other areas that can substantially benefit from further research include weight management and weight loss, injury prevention, technology-based interventions, addressing comorbid conditions, and understanding program mechanisms of action. Finally, underscoring all of these approaches and common to them is the need to enroll underserved populations to improve health equity. Underserved populations disproportionately include African Americans, Hispanics, persons with low socioeconomic status, and persons who live in rural areas of the United States. Policy recommendations to render future approaches to improving health outcomes for persons with OA are (a) to increase funding for the dissemination of programs that demonstrated efficacy and effectiveness, (b) to increase the transparency of the review and funding processes across public agencies, and (c) to nurture, broker, and provide sustainable funding streams to maintain evidence-based programming for all persons with OA across the United States.

Article

Malnutrition  

Roger Shrimpton

Malnutrition is caused by consuming a diet with either too little and/or too much of one or more nutrients, such that the body malfunctions. These nutrients can be the macronutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that provide the body with its building blocks and energy, or the micronutrients including vitamins and minerals, that help the body to function. Infectious diseases, such as diarrhea, can also cause malnutrition through decreased nutrient absorption, decreased intake of food, increased metabolic requirements, and direct nutrient loss. A double burden of malnutrition (both overnutrition and undernutrition) often occurs across the life course of individuals and can also coexist in the same communities and even the same households. While about a quarter of the world’s children are stunted, due to both maternal and young child undernutrition, overweight and obesity affects about one in three adults and one in ten children. Anemia, most commonly due to iron deficiency, is also affecting about a third of women of reproductive age and almost half of preschool children. Around 90% of nations have a serious burden of either two or three of these different forms of malnutrition. Malnutrition is one of the principal and growing causes of global disease and mortality, affecting at least half of the world’s inhabitants. Programs for tackling maternal and child undernutrition have gained impetus in the last decade with a consensus developing around a package of effective interventions. The nutrition-specific interventions, mostly delivered through the health sector, are directed at immediate levels of causality, while nutrition-sensitive interventions, directed at the underlying and basic levels of causality are delivered through other sectors such as agriculture, education, social welfare, as well as water and sanitation. Less consensus exists around the interventions needed to reduce overnutrition and the associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease. Prevention is certainly better than cure, however, and creating enabling environments for healthy food choices seems to be the most promising approach. Achieving “healthy diets for all,” by reducing consumption of meat and ultra-processed foods, as well as increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, would help control rising rates of obesity and reduce NCD mortality. Adopting such healthy diets would also greatly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions: the agriculture sector is responsible for producing a third of emissions, and a reduction on livestock farming would contribute to reducing global warming. Public health nutrition capacity to manage such nutrition programs is still widely lacking, however, and much still needs to be done to improve these programs and their governance.

Article

Menopause  

Funmilola M. OlaOlorun and Wen Shen

Menopause is the natural senescence of ovarian hormonal production, and it eventually occurs in every woman. The age at which menopause occurs varies between cultures and ethnicities. Menopause can also be the result of medical or surgical interventions, in which case it can occur at a much younger age. Primary symptoms, as well as attitudes toward menopause, also vary between cultures. Presently, the gold standard for treatment of menopause symptoms is hormone therapy; however, many other options have also been shown to be efficacious, and active research is ongoing to develop better and safer treatments. In a high-resource setting, the sequelae/physiologic changes associated with menopause can impact a woman’s physical and mental health for the rest of her life. In addition to “hot flashes,” other less well-known conditions include heart disease, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, depression, and cognitive decline. In the United States, cardiac disease is the leading cause of mortality in women over the age of 65. The growing understanding of the physiology of menopause is beginning to inform strategies either to prevent or to attenuate these common health conditions. As the baby boomers age, the distribution of age cohorts will increase the burden of disease toward post-reproductive women. In addition to providing appropriate medical care, public health efforts must focus on this population due to the financial impact of this age cohort of women.

Article

Parent–Adult Child Ties and Older Adult Health and Well-Being  

J. Jill Suitor, Yifei Hou, Catherine Stepniak, Robert T. Frase, and Destiny Ogle

Parents and children continue to impact each other’s lives across the life course. Intergenerational relationships affect older adults’ physical and psychological well-being in a multitude of complex processes. Contact and interaction with adult offspring, as well as both giving and receiving support and caregiving, can have either positive or negative effects on parents’ well-being, depending upon whether these experiences are perceived by the older adults as enriching, harmonious, and desired. Furthermore, the impact of parent–adult child relations on older adults’ health is shaped by social structural characteristics of families and individual family members, such as race, ethnicity, and gender, as well as by cultural contexts within and across nations. Generally, close intergenerational relationships characterized by high levels of contact and reciprocal exchanges of support positively affect older parents’ well-being, whereas tense intergenerational relationships characterized by adult children’s problems or disregard for older adults’ values and autonomy negatively affect older parents’ well-being.

Article

Prevention of Suicide  

Danuta Wasserman

Around 700,000 people take their lives each year worldwide. Suicide accounts for approximately 1.3% of all deaths and therefore represents a major public health problem. The global age-standardized suicide rate is 9 per 100,000 population, yet there are large variations among genders, ages, countries, and world regions. The stress–vulnerability model of suicidal behaviors has been proposed to explain how a diathesis, developed through the influence of genetic and neurodevelopmental factors in relation to perinatal, postnatal, and life experiences, interacts with different risk and protective factors that either decrease or enhance the individual’s level of resilience to stress and suicidal risk. Public health suicide prevention strategies include suicide means restriction, reducing harmful substance use, promoting responsible media reporting, public-awareness campaigns, gatekeeper trainings, school-based interventions, crisis helplines, and postvention. Mental health strategies comprise identification, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons in distress and at risk for suicide. Multicomponent strategies that use a combination of evidence-based methods from public and mental health sectors are recommended. Future work should aim at enhancing the quality of epidemiological data, improving the research on protective and ideation-to-action factors, expanding the quantity and quality of data coming from low- and middle-income countries, and evaluating the cost-effectiveness of different suicide prevention strategies.

Article

Priming Healthcare for Health Equity Management  

Ebbin D. Dotson, Kimson E. Johnson, and Jada Irving

Health equity management (HEM) is defined as an actionable framework that supports the development of an industry-defining position for healthcare organizations and senior leaders to guide their business practices for investments in and financial gains from health equity. As healthcare leaders confront the disparate racial and ethnic burdens caused by the nation’s racialized societal history, making investments that increase health equity can help eliminate health disparities. To achieve health equity, leaders must cultivate a sense of interdependence among stakeholders and community members to effectively communicate the importance of collaboration, which is a shared understanding of the necessary actions that engage stakeholders around a central purpose. Achieving health equity forces healthcare systems to consider the notion that creating an equitable environment, where the costs of health inequity and barriers to achieving community and population health are shared with stakeholders and community members, might be addressed by the modification of certain management practices. HEM encompasses an applied management model to help healthcare organizations maximize their efforts to increase health equity for vulnerable populations. It provides a stepwise approach to help frame the social, economic, and educational changes necessary for leaders to invest in health equity initiatives. The HEM involves the following actions: (a) redefining health equity, (b) identifying upstream inequalities, (c) realigning fiscal investments, and (d) leveraging community partnerships. Establishing and sustaining health equity initiatives through HEM ensures that both economic and social criteria are systematically considered, and financial investments are prioritized for sustained impact. Without addressing all four, the efforts of healthcare organizations will fall short of what it will take to effect lasting change. Redefining health equity requires incorporating upstream and downstream inequities to offer a lens to align mission, assess capacity, and leverage profitable partnerships. The systematic approach to HEM goals and principles can be integrated at various organizational levels as a tool to successfully address health inequalities and social determinants of health.