Advertisement

Child Indicators Research

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 169–183 | Cite as

Looking Beyond the Bright Lights: Identifying Canadian Indicators of Health for Children in Rural and Northern Regions

  • Alain Paul Gauthier
  • Nancy L. Young
  • Susan J. Snelling
  • Ellen Sears
  • Tricia Burke
Article

Abstract

Indicators of health are important to inform public health policies and identify health disparities among population sub-groups. However, to date most indicator-driven health reports: a) have focused primarily on illness, such as rates of mortality and common chronic conditions; b) have come from an adult health care perspective; or c) have not considered the influence of geographical location on health. The purpose of this project was to identify indicators of child health and well-being that would be most applicable to rural and northern regions of Canada. Indicator selection began with a detailed review of the academic and grey literature, followed by formal consultation with a small group of experts, then a series of consultations with an extended group of 12 experts using a Delphi-approach and an on-line survey. The result was the identification of 33 indicators of child health and well-being relevant to rural and northern regions of Canada. The approach used to identify these indicators is distinct from previous efforts, and their application may begin to ‘shed light’ on the health and well-being of this understudied and vulnerable segment of the Canadian population.

Keywords

Child health Delphi Indicators Northern Ontario Population health Rural Youth health Canada 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Dr. Young is supported by a Canada Research Chair from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. The project was financially supported by a Louise Picard Public Health Research Grant and by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation; Youth Internship Program.

References

  1. Bollman, R. D., & Biggs, B. (1992). Rural and small town Canada: An overview. In R. D. Bollman (Ed.), Rural and small town Canada (pp. 1–43). Toronto: Thompson Education Publishing, Inc.Google Scholar
  2. Boyce, W. (2004). Young people in Canada: their health and well-being. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/dca-dea/publications/hbsc-2004/pdf/hbsc_report_2004_e.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  3. Boydell, K. M., Pong, R., Volpe, T., Tilleczek, K., Wilson, E., & Lemieux, S. (2006). Family perspectives on pathways to mental health care for children and youth in rural communities. The Journal of Rural Health, 22(2), 182–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Canadian Child and Youth Health Coalition. (2008). Child and youth health indicator program. http://www.ccyhc.org/work_indicators.html. Accessed 3 August 2010.
  5. Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2006). Health indicators. http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/products/Indicators_2006_e.pdf. Accessed 5 April 2010.
  6. Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2009). The Health Indicators Project: Report from the Third Consensus Conference on Health Indicators. http://ecomm.cihi.ca/ec/product.asp?dep_id=22&sku=HIPRFTCCHIEPDF. Accessed 7 April 2010
  7. Canadian Institute of Child Health. (1989). The health of Canada’s children: A CICH profile. Ottawa: Canadian Institute of Child Health.Google Scholar
  8. Canadian Institute of Child Health. (1994). The health of Canada’s children: A CICH profile (2nd ed.). Ottawa: Canadian Institute of Child Health.Google Scholar
  9. Canadian Institute of Child Health. (2000). The health of Canada’s children: A CICH profile (3rd ed.). Ottawa: Canadian Institute of Child Health.Google Scholar
  10. Chen, E., Martin, A. D., & Matthews, K. A. (2007). Trajectories of socioeconomic status across children’s lifetime predict health. Pediatrics, 120(2), E297–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. DesMeules, M., Pong, R., Lagacé, C., Heng, D., Manuel, D., Pitblado, R., et al. (2006). How healthy are rural Canadians? An assessment of their health status and health determinants. http://www.phacaspc.gc.ca/publicat/rural06/pdf/ruralcanadians_2006_report_e.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  12. Dooley, D., Fielding, J., & Levi, L. (1996). Health and unemployment. Annual Review of Public Health, 17, 449–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. du Plessis, V., Beshiri, R., Bollman, R., & Clemenson, H. (2001). Definitions of rural. Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin, 3(3)Google Scholar
  14. Ermisch, J., Francesconi, M., & Pevalin, D. J. (2004). Parental partnership and joblessness in childhood and their influence on young people’s outcomes. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 167(1), 69–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. European Union Community Health Monitoring Programme. (2002). child health indicators of life and development (Child): Report to the European Commission.Google Scholar
  16. Evans, R. G., & Stoddart, G. L. (1990). Producing health, consuming health care. Social Science & Medicine, 31(12), 1347–1363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Federal, Provincial and Territorial Advisory Committee on Population Health. (1996). Report on the health of Canadians: Technical appendix. Prepared for the meeting of ministers of health, Toronto.Google Scholar
  18. Fischer, R. G. (1978). The Delphi method: A description, review, and criticism. Journal of Academic Libranianship, 4, 64–70.Google Scholar
  19. Hasson, F., Kenney, S., & McKenna, H. (2000). Research guidelines for the Delphi survey technique. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32, 1008–1015.Google Scholar
  20. Haselth, G., & Ryser, L. (2006). Trends in service delivery: examples from rural and small town Canada, 1998 to 2005. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 1, 69–90.Google Scholar
  21. Health Canada. Healthy Canadians: A Federal Report on Comparable Health Indicators. (2004). http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/alt_formats/hpb-dgps/pdf/pubs/system-regime/2004-fed-comp-indicat/2004-fed-comp-indicat-eng.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  22. Health Canada. Healthy Canadians: A Federal Report on Comparable Health Indicators. (2006). http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/alt_formats/hpb-dgps/pdf/pubs/2006-fed-comp-indicat/2006-fed-comp-indicat-eng.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  23. Health Canada. Healthy Canadians: A Federal Report on Comparable Health Indicators. (2008). http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/alt_formats/hpb-dgps/pdf/pubs/system-regime/2008-fed-comp-indicat/index-eng.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  24. Hertzman, C. (1999). The biological embedding of early experience and its effects on health in adulthood. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 896(1), 85–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jacobs, B., et al. (2000). Canadian acute respiratory illness and flu scale (CARIFS): development of a valid measure for childhood respiratory infections. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 53(8), 793–799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. King, A. J. C., Boyce, W. F., & King, M. A. (1999). Trends in the health of Canadian youth. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/dca-dea/7–18yrs-ans/trends-eng.php. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  27. Kirby, M., & LeBreton, M. (2002). The health of Canadians—the federal role. Volume six: Recommendations for reform. http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/2/parlbus/commbus/senate/Com-e/soci-e/rep-e/repoct02vol6-e.htm. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  28. Mahon, N. E., Yarcheski, A., & Yarcheski, T. J. (2004). Social support and positive health practices in early adolescents: a text of mediating variables. Clinical Nursing Research, 13, 126–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McKenna, H. P. (1994). The Delphi technique: a worthwhile approach for nursing?. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19, 1221–1225.Google Scholar
  30. Ng, E., Wilkins, R., Pole, J., & Adams, O. (1999). How far to the nearest physician. Rural and Small Town Analysis Bulletin, 1(5), 1–7.Google Scholar
  31. Pitblado, R. J. (2005). So, what do we mean by “rural”, “remote”, and “northern”? The Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 37, 163–168.Google Scholar
  32. Pong, R. W., & Pitblado, J. R. (2005). Geographic distribution of physicians in Canada: Beyond how many and where. http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/products/Geographic_Distribution_of_Physicians_FINAL_e.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  33. Rennie, D. C., Lawson, J. A., Cockcroft, D. W., Senthilselvan, A., & McDuffie, H. H. (2004). Differences in respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function in children in 2 Saskatchewan communities. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 92(1), 52–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Romanow, R. J. (2002). Building on values: The future of health care in Canada. http://publications.gc.ca/pub?id=237274&sl=0. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  35. Starfield, B. (2002). Forward to supplement on children’s health. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 93, S7.Google Scholar
  36. Tepper, J. D., Schultz, S. E., Rothwell, D. M., & Chan, B. (2006). Physician services in rural and Northern Ontario. http://www.ices.on.ca/file/Physician_Services_in_Rural_and_Northern_Ontario.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  37. To, T., et al. (2006). The burden of asthma in Ontario in ICES investigative reports. http://www.ices.on.ca/file/Burden_of_Asthma_Aug-07.pdf. Accessed 7 April 2010.
  38. World Health Organization. (1946). Definition of health. Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19–22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.Google Scholar
  39. World Health Organization. (1982). Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) Project, A World Health Organization collaborative cross-national study, jointly funded by WHO and 42 participating countries.Google Scholar
  40. World Health Organization. (2004) Young people’s health in context. Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) Study: International report from the 2001/2002 survey. Health policy for children and adolescents. In C. Currie, et al. (Eds.) Vol. 4. 2004: Geneva.Google Scholar
  41. Young, N. L., Yoshida, K. K., Williams, J. I., Bombardier, C., & Wright, J. G. (1995). The role of children in reporting their physical disability. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 76(10), 913–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zylke, J. W., & DeAngelis, C. D. (2007). Pediatric chronic diseases—stealing childhood. Journal of the American Medical Association, 29(24), 2765–2766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Paul Gauthier
    • 1
    • 3
  • Nancy L. Young
    • 1
  • Susan J. Snelling
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ellen Sears
    • 1
  • Tricia Burke
    • 1
  1. 1.Laurentian UniversitySudburyCanada
  2. 2.Sudbury & District Health UnitSudburyCanada
  3. 3.Ben Avery Physical Education Center, School of Human KineticsLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada

Personalised recommendations