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Identifying the Relative Priorities of Subpopulations for Containing Infectious Disease Spread  [PDF]
Shang Xia, Jiming Liu, William Cheung
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065271
Abstract: In response to the outbreak of an emerging infectious disease, e.g., H1N1 influenza, public health authorities will take timely and effective intervention measures to contain disease spread. However, due to the scarcity of required resources and the consequent social-economic impacts, interventions may be suggested to cover only certain subpopulations, e.g., immunizing vulnerable children and the elderly as well as closing schools or workplaces for social distancing. Here we are interested in addressing the question of how to identify the relative priorities of subpopulations for two measures of disease intervention, namely vaccination and contact reduction, especially when these measures are implemented together at the same time. We consider the measure of vaccination that immunizes susceptible individuals in different age subpopulations and the measure of contact reduction that cuts down individuals’ effective contacts in different social settings, e.g., schools, households, workplaces, and general communities. In addition, we construct individuals’ cross-age contact frequency matrix by inferring basic contact patterns respectively for different social settings from the socio-demographical census data. By doing so, we present a prioritization approach to identifying the target subpopulations that will lead to the greatest reduction in the number of disease transmissions. We calculate the relative priorities of subpopulations by considering the marginal effects of reducing the reproduction number for the cases of vaccine allocation by age and contact reduction by social setting. We examine the proposed approach by revisiting the real-world scenario of the 2009 Hong Kong H1N1 influenza epidemic and determine the relative priorities of subpopulations for age-specific vaccination and setting-specific contact reduction. We simulate the influenza-like disease spread under different settings of intervention. The results have shown that the proposed approach can improve the effectiveness of disease control by containing disease transmissions in a host population.
Limited Functional Health Literacy, Health Information Sources, and Health Behavior among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Japan  [PDF]
Yuko Yoshida,Hajime Iwasa,Shu Kumagai,Takao Suzuki,Hideyo Yoshida
ISRN Geriatrics , 2014, DOI: 10.1155/2014/952908
Abstract: The objectives of this study were to explore how health information sources vary by functional health literacy levels and the relationship between health literacy and health behaviors among the old-old, community-dwelling adults. A cross-sectional study was used. The sample included 620 participants from a rural community in northern Japan. We used structured questionnaires to gather demographic information and assess health-related behaviors, information sources utilized, and functional health literacy. Functional health literacy scores were categorized into three groups, namely, low, middle, and high literacy. Individuals with limited health literacy were more likely to drink less alcohol, were less physically active, had less dietary variety, and had a low rate of medical check-ups. They were also less likely to use printed media, organization or medical procedure, electronic media, and accessed fewer health-related information sources. This study highlights the necessity of information tools that facilitate better access to information among older adults with limited health literacy. 1. Introduction Limited health literacy is a barrier to adequate health care. Health literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” [1]. People with limited health literacy typically have a poor understanding of their medical condition and medical prescriptions, as well as poorer disease management, making it difficult for them to make good decisions regarding various aspects of their health [2]. Limited health literacy among older adults is a major concern because it has implications for their overall health. Previous research has shown a limited health literacy rate of around 24% [3–5] among community-dwelling older adults. Therefore, in the interests of community service, it is important to consider ways of providing health information to older adults who have limited health literacy. Previous studies have shown that limited health literacy is independently associated with a poorer health status, inclusive of physical and mental health [4], as well as mortality [6–9]. Older adults with limited health literacy have a poor understanding of health-related information [10] and tend to have limited access to health care services [3, 11]. Thus, health care access may act as a mediator between limited health literacy and poor health status among older adults. Furthermore, varying health literacy levels may contribute to disparities
Tay-Sachs and French Canadians: A Case of Gene-Culture Co-evolution?  [PDF]
Peter Frost
Advances in Anthropology (AA) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/aa.2012.23016
Abstract: Tay-Sachs, an inherited neurological disorder, is unusually common among French Canadians from eastern Quebec. Two alleles are responsible, one being specific to the north shore of the St. Lawrence and the other to the south shore. This pattern of convergent evolution suggests the presence of a selection pressure limited to eastern Quebec. Both alleles probably arose after the British conquest of Quebec in 1759 or at least were uncommon previously. To explain the high incidence of Tay-Sachs among Ashkenazi Jews, some authors have invoked heterozygote advantage, i.e., heterozygous individuals enjoy a higher rate of neuronal growth, and thus greater learning capacity, without the neurological deterioration of homozygous individuals. Such an advantage would have helped Ashkenazim perform the mental effort required for work in trade and crafts. A similar situation may have developed in eastern Quebec, where the relative scarcity of British and American merchants made it easier for French Canadians to enter occupations that required literacy, numeracy, and future time orientation.
The Single Item Literacy Screener: Evaluation of a brief instrument to identify limited reading ability
Nancy S Morris, Charles D MacLean, Lisa D Chew, Benjamin Littenberg
BMC Family Practice , 2006, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-7-21
Abstract: Cross-sectional interview with 999 adults with diabetes residing in Vermont and bordering states. Participants were randomly recruited from Primary Care practices in the Vermont Diabetes Information System June 2003 – December 2004. The main outcome was limited reading ability. The primary predictor was the SILS.Of the 999 persons screened, 169 (17%) had limited reading ability. The sensitivity of the SILS in detecting limited reading ability was 54% [95% CI: 47%, 61%] and the specificity was 83% [95% CI: 81%, 86%] with an area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics Curve (ROC) of 0.73 [95% CI: 0.69, 0.78]. Seven hundred seventy (77%) screened negative on the SILS and 692 of these subjects had adequate reading skills (negative predictive value = 0.90 [95% CI: 0.88, 0.92]). Of the 229 who scored positive on the SILS, 92 had limited reading ability (positive predictive value = 0.4 [95% CI: 0.34, 0.47]).The SILS is a simple instrument designed to identify patients with limited reading ability who need help reading health-related materials. The SILS performs moderately well at ruling out limited reading ability in adults and allows providers to target additional assessment of health literacy skills to those most in need. Further study of the use of the SILS in clinical settings and with more diverse populations is warranted.Optimal health care requires an informed and active patient who can seek, obtain, and understand health information. Health literacy, a concept that focuses specifically on literacy concerns within the context of health, has many components including numeracy, oral literacy, print literacy, and cultural and conceptual knowledge [1]. Education, culture, language, and the characteristics of the health-related setting all mediate one's capacity to process health related information [1]. In this paper we measured one component of health literacy, namely reading ability.There is increasing evidence supporting an association between limited reading a
Identifying Key Early Literacy and School Readiness Issues: Exploring a Strategy for Assessing Community Needs  [cached]
Daniel J. Weigel,Sally S. Martin
Early Childhood Research & Practice , 2006,
Abstract: Much effort has been expended in developing intervention programs to help improve the early literacy and school readiness skills of young children. This article presents the results of a needs assessment project aimed at identifying priorities for community intervention programs aimed at ensuring that young children enter school ready to learn. A panel of 30 carefully selected early childhood panelists completed 4 rounds of questionnaires designed to develop a prioritized list of key community needs and programs. The panelists identified 39 broad issues and prioritized these in terms of critical importance. Participants also identified key existing assets and needed community efforts to address the highest rated priorities. Several implications for educational intervention and service provision can be drawn from this project. The article may provide a blueprint for others wishing to identify key community needs related to important early childhood issues.
1944. The Canadians in Normandy  [cached]
W.A. Dorning
Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies , 2012, DOI: 10.5787/15-1-498
Abstract: The story of the Allied invasion of France in June 1944 has been told in countless military-history books. Previous publications on the Allied invasion and the subsequent Normandy campaign have, however, tended to concentrate on the British and American role in the fighting, while the Canadian contribution has received scant attention. This in itself is surprising, as the Canadians played a far from peripheral role in the invasion and the campaign which followed in the hinterland of Normandy. The Canadians eventually fielded an entire Army under own Command (the First Canadian Army) comprising nearly 100000 troops in the Normandy campaign, and they were frequently allocated a central and crucial role in the overall Allied strategy by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in France, Gen Montgomery. Indeed, on more than one occasion, the Canadian contribution was decisive to the successful achievement of the Allied strategy.
Tracing the Life Courses of Canadians  [PDF]
Ravanera, Zenaida R.,Rajulton, Fernando,Burch, Thomas K.
Canadian Studies in Population , 1994,
Abstract: This paper examines the life courses of Canadians through an event history analysis of data from the 1990 General Social Survey on Family and Friends. The sequences and the timing of transitions into various life course stages, and the durations of stay in those stages are analyzed through multiple-decrement life tables. Changes in the life courses over 10-year birth cohorts from 1910 to 1970 and differentials by gender are highlighted in the paper. The analysis reveals that what is traditionally thought of as a "typical" life course is experienced only by one-fourth to one-third of a cohort. With the increasing diversity of life course stages among younger cohorts, it would no longer be adequate to consider only the "typical" life stages in future analyses.
Assessing and Addressing Health Literacy
Sandy Cornett
Online Journal of Issues in Nursing , 2009,
Abstract: The ability to communicate effectively with patients who have low health literacy depends on our ability to recognize this problem and to create a patient-centered and shame-free healthcare environment. Because of the shame and embarrassment these patients experience, they often use their well-developed coping skills to mask their limited literacy. Although a number of reading- and comprehension-assessment tools are available, there is debate whether or not these tools should be used clinically. This article provides guidance in regard to establishing an environment that promotes health literacy, assessing health literacy levels, utilizing strategies to increase health literacy, evaluating the learning that has occurred, and incorporating health literacy concepts into the nursing curriculum.
FINANCIAL LITERACY IN INDIA
R. RAVIKUMAR,S.D. SIVAKUMAR,M. JAWAHARLAL,N. VENKATESA PALANICHAMY
Golden Research Thoughts , 2013, DOI: 10.9780/22315063
Abstract: Financial literacy is gaining importance in recent years as number new products have been continuously offered in the financial markets. Whatever the type of business such as corporates, small business and family run business the financial management is vital important. Financial literacy enables the efficient financial management ultimately results in increased profitability and reduces cost. The global researchers indicated that, India is least financially literate country. Keeping these things in mind the Reserve Bank of India imitated financial literacy programs to improve the financial literacy of Indians. In case of agriculture the commercialized way of farming calls for farmers to act as entrepreneur. The farm entrepreneur should have enough financial literacy on financial planning, acquisition and allocation of finance to become successful in farming. Now very limited research has been done on the financial literacy of farmers in India. This paper call for research in financial literacy of farmer and its impact on farm productivity by emphasizing the importance of financial literacy in India
Health Literacy: Challenges and Strategies
N. Egbert,K. M. Nanna
Online Journal of Issues in Nursing , 2009,
Abstract: Although health literacy is a concept new to many members of the healthcare community, it has quickly caught the attention of researchers, policy makers, and clinicians due to its widespread impact on health and well-being. Despite the enormous implications of low health literacy, there remains a significant amount of confusion surrounding the concept and its connection with healthcare outcomes. The purpose of this article is to outline the scope of low health literacy as a concept and explore ways that researchers and clinicians can reduce its negative impact on health outcomes. First, the major definitions of health literacy are presented in a brief overview. Then, the concepts of obtaining, processing/understanding, and using information serve as a working framework for discussing both the challenges of low health literacy and strategies to address low health literacy. The authors conclude by identifying areas of research that are needed to advance the conceptualization of health literacy.
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