Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Urban Aboriginal people face unique health challenges

10.07.2014

For the first time, researchers have access to detailed information about how an urban Aboriginal population in Canada uses health care. A new study, called Our Health Counts, uses this health database to clearly demonstrate the unique challenges faced by urban Aboriginal people in Canada – according to researchers at St. Michael's Hospital.

The findings, published today in BMJ Open, illustrate striking disparities between urban First Nations individuals and the general population.


"We found elevated emergency room use, multiple barriers to health care access and significant rates of chronic disease among urban Aboriginal adults," said Dr. Michelle Firestone, an associate scientist with St. Michael's Hospital's Centre for Research on Inner City Health.

Credit: St. Michael's Hospital

Researchers interviewed 554 First Nations adults in Hamilton, Ont. – chosen for its large Aboriginal population and strong infrastructure of Aboriginal community health and social services. Researchers collected data for factors that influence a person's health such as poverty, illness and income for Hamilton's First Nations population.

"Compared to Hamilton's general adult population, we found elevated emergency room use, multiple barriers to health care access and significant rates of chronic disease among urban Aboriginal adults," said Dr. Michelle Firestone, an associate scientist with St. Michael's Hospital's Centre for Research on Inner City Health.

More than 10 per cent of First Nations adults visited the emergency room six times or more in the previous two years – only 1.6 per cent of Hamilton's general adult population could say the same.

"Hamilton has extensive health and social services but 40 per cent of respondents felt their access to health care was either fair or poor," said Dr. Firestone, who holds a PhD in public health. "This shows geography is not the only health care barrier for First Nations people."

Almost half of respondents reported that long waiting lists to see a specialist were a barrier. Other common barriers included not being able to arrange transportation; not being able to afford direct costs or transportation; services not covered by non-insured health benefits and lack of trust in health care providers.

More than 60 per cent of Aboriginal people living in Ontario live in urban areas. An increasing number of First Nations individuals are moving to urban centers to seek better housing, employment and education opportunities and for the services and amenities available.

The most common chronic conditions of Hamilton's First Nations adults included arthritis (30.7 per cent), high blood pressure (25.8 per cent), asthma (19 per cent) and diabetes (15.6 per cent).

Among First Nations adults living in Hamilton:

  • 73 per cent of respondents reported an upper respiratory tract infection in the past 12 months
  • 25 per cent reported having been injured over the past 12 months
  • 78 per cent earn less than $20,000 per year
  • 70 per cent live in the city's lowest-income neighbourhoods 

Aboriginal people are often excluded, unidentified, or under-represented in most Canadian health information databases. Our Health Counts fills this health information void by using respondent-driven sampling – a research method used to recruit hidden or stigmatized populations by relying on participants to identify the next wave of study recruits. Our Health Counts is the first respondent-driven sampling of urban First Nations people in Canada.

"Our Health Counts is a significant contribution to public health," said Dr. Firestone. "This data will have important implications for health service delivery, programming and policy development. It should directly inform strategic directions and improve health of urban Aboriginal people in Ontario."

###

This project was funded by the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Aboriginal Health Transition Fund.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital's recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Geoff Koehler
Media Relations Adviser
St. Michael's Hospital
koehlerg@smh.ca
416-864-6060, ext. 6537

Geoff Koehler | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Aboriginal chronic disease social services

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Newly discovered 'multicomponent' virus can infect animals
26.08.2016 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht Symmetry crucial for building key biomaterial collagen in the lab
26.08.2016 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Symmetry crucial for building key biomaterial collagen in the lab

26.08.2016 | Health and Medicine

Volcanic eruption masked acceleration in sea level rise

26.08.2016 | Earth Sciences

Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits

26.08.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>