Understanding and tackling ethnic inequalities in health

Understanding and tackling ethnic inequalities in health

Understanding and tackling ethnic inequalities in health An ESRC Research Seminar Series Organisers: Sarah Salway and Kiran Nanchahal Background Interest in links between race, ethnicity & health is not new. Huge increase in available data, and significant shift in policy, in last 10-15 years. Evidence of large and persistent inequality (and diversity) in many aspects of social, economic and health-related well-being between ethnic groups.

Growing number of ethnic health researchers. Increased programme activity at local level. Background (2) Improving health of minority ethnic groups central component of governments agenda to reduce social exclusion and inequalities in health Significant action at policy level across many government departments: new research programmes, new focused interventions, and new targets for achieving reduction in ethnic minority disadvantage. Increased recognition of ways in which different dimensions of disadvantage inter-relate.

Background (3) Wide range of factors contribute to health outcomes in ethnic minority groups: Differential access & quality of health services Socio-cultural influences Socio-economic disadvantage Racial discrimination

Migration and life events Genetic or biological variation Need cross-disciplinary methods of enquiry and multi-sector intervention ESRC Research Seminar Series Aims and objectives Promote discussion networks between academic researchers and strengthen their contribution to long term health of the social sciences Value to research

Setting or enhancing personal research agendas Increasing range of personal research contacts Increasing degree of collaborative research Value to policy makers Impact on knowledge and perceptions of the research field Political impact on area of operation or policy Aims of this seminar series To bring together academics from wide range of institutional settings, practitioners, policy-makers, and other users of research.

To share current knowledge regarding patterns and determinants of health among different ethnic groups, as well as best practice in researching ethnicity and health. To engage in debate surrounding current issues and challenges regarding the generation and application of knowledge to effective practice. Some issues and challenges What is ethnicity? fluid and complex

Health-focused research often not based on theoretical framework. How can inequality be understood, monitored and addressed if categories keep shifting? How can greater understanding of lived experiences: What I am, and What it means to be me, be put to practical use to bring about positive change? Potential pitfalls of attention to ethnicity Reification of ethnic groups and contribution to boundaries of exclusion. Lack of representation of powerless groups, racism, victim-blaming, stereotyping. Overlooking of other axes of inequality (and their interrelationships). Issues and challenges (2)

Ever-increasing diversity (countries of origin, lifestage, generation, class) Is detailed understanding of particular situations useful? Can we expect to tailor services to meet diverse needs? Or, should generic cultural competencies be the objective? Can investigations move beyond the descriptive to the predictive? Problems of generalisability of findings over time, e.g. current studies on older groups. Issues and challenges (3) Translating knowledge into policy and practice Gap between academia and world of service provision

Need for more researcher-practitioners and multiexperience teams. Danger of nuanced interpretations being translated into stereotypical responses. What should be the boundaries of the health sector? Who should be concerned about ethnic minority health? What other issues should concern health practitioners? How can local knowledge be built upon?

What models of participation & empowerment work well? How can local initiatives be scaled up effectively? Participation in the series Sectors Academics Policy makers Service providers Hierarchy Senior/ Junior staff Suggestions for Speakers & discussants Publicity o

Feedback New collaborations? New initiatives? New ways of looking at things? Seminars & convenors (2005) 1. February 2005, London James Nazroo & Sarah Salway 2. June 2005, Leeds Karl Atkin & Elizabeth Anionwu Understanding the links between socioeconomic deprivation & health among ethnic minority groups

Using assessments of biological and genetic risk to inform policy priorities Gender, generation and identity: socio-cultural constructions and their influences on health 3. October 2005, London Seeromanie Harding & Kiran Nanchahal Seminars & convenors (2006) 4. January 2006, Warwick David Owen & Hannah Bradby Migration, trans-national

links and life-course influences on health 5. April 2006, Leicester Mark Johnson & Raj Bhopal Cultural competence in health and social research 6. July 2006, Sheffield Kate Gerrish & Sarah Salway Evidence into practice: increasing appropriateness and cultural competence of health and social care provision Up-to-date information

URL : www.shef.ac.uk/ethnichealthinequalities Many thanks to.. ESRC for providing funding The Brady Centre Our speakers and discussants Linda Belk for administration All participants

A reminder Seminar 2 June 2005, Leeds Convenors: Karl Atkin & Elizabeth Anionwu Using assessments of biological and genetic risk to inform policy priorities www.shef.ac.uk/ethnichealthinequalities

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