Looking Beyond the Bright Lights: Identifying Canadian Indicators of Health for Children in Rural and Northern Regions
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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.
KeywordsChild health Delphi Indicators Northern Ontario Population health Rural Youth health Canada
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.
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