Special Issue "Community-Based Approaches for Reducing Health Inequities"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kathryn M. Cardarelli
Website
Guest Editor
College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
Interests: community-based participatory research; interventions; evaluation; prevention research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite improvements in health status in many populations, inequities by race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and other factors remain. Structural and social determinants of health directly and indirectly influence health inequities. For this Special Issue, we invite submissions that advance methodology and statistical analytical techniques in elucidating causal mechanisms underlying health inequities, research that examines community-based interventions to reduce health inequities, and academic-community partnerships to address health inequities. Research that acknowledges the complex, dynamic nature of multilevel influences on health inequities is encouraged. We are also particularly interested in studies that test interventions that target policy, systems, and environmental change. Research may be either theoretical or empirical and can include systematic reviews.

Dr. Kathryn M. Cardarelli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Health promotion
  • disease prevention
  • health equity
  • social determinants of health
  • empowerment
  • participatory action research
  • community capacity building
  • racism and health
  • community engagement

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Authentic Youth Engagement in Environmental Health Research and Advocacy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2154; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042154 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Training in environmental health (EH) engages and inspires youth to tackle health promotion and policy change. Yet, there is little guidance on how to successfully nurture and sustain youth engagement. This paper compares four case studies of youth engagement to promote EH in [...] Read more.
Training in environmental health (EH) engages and inspires youth to tackle health promotion and policy change. Yet, there is little guidance on how to successfully nurture and sustain youth engagement. This paper compares four case studies of youth engagement to promote EH in rural and urban communities using the Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES!) framework. Of the case studies in rural (Central Appalachia) and urban (Cincinnati, Ohio) communities, two employ citizen science approaches using PhotoVoice and environmental sampling; one engages youth in a science communication camp; and one focuses on policy advocacy. We compare and contrast these case studies using the YES! Critical Components and Empowerment levels. The case studies were discussed at the 2020 Partnerships in Environmental Public Health Meeting, where participants identified challenges and possible solutions for promoting and maintaining authentic youth engagement in EH research and advocacy. Analysis of the case studies indicated that youth engagement activities focusing on the individual were more common than those targeting the organizational setting or the community. Youth demonstrate agency to impact EH issues in their communities by engaging in hands-on opportunities to practice citizen science and advocacy. Overcoming challenges to authentic young engagement is important to sustain this work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community-Based Approaches for Reducing Health Inequities)
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Open AccessArticle
Community-Based Approaches to Reducing Health Inequities and Fostering Environmental Justice through Global Youth-Engaged Citizen Science
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030892 - 21 Jan 2021
Viewed by 761
Abstract
Growing socioeconomic and structural disparities within and between nations have created unprecedented health inequities that have been felt most keenly among the world’s youth. While policy approaches can help to mitigate such inequities, they are often challenging to enact in under-resourced and marginalized [...] Read more.
Growing socioeconomic and structural disparities within and between nations have created unprecedented health inequities that have been felt most keenly among the world’s youth. While policy approaches can help to mitigate such inequities, they are often challenging to enact in under-resourced and marginalized communities. Community-engaged participatory action research provides an alternative or complementary means for addressing the physical and social environmental contexts that can impact health inequities. The purpose of this article is to describe the application of a particular form of technology-enabled participatory action research, called the Our Voice citizen science research model, with youth. An overview of 20 Our Voice studies occurring across five continents indicates that youth and young adults from varied backgrounds and with interests in diverse issues affecting their communities can participate successfully in multiple contributory research processes, including those representing the full scientific endeavor. These activities can, in turn, lead to changes in physical and social environments of relevance to health, wellbeing, and, at times, climate stabilization. The article ends with future directions for the advancement of this type of community-engaged citizen science among young people across the socioeconomic spectrum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community-Based Approaches for Reducing Health Inequities)
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Open AccessArticle
High School Students as Citizen Scientists to Decrease Radon Exposure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249178 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 613
Abstract
Residents in rural Kentucky (KY) and suburban Ohio (OH) expressed concerns about radon exposure and lung cancer. Although 85% of lung cancer cases are caused by tobacco smoke, radon exposure accounts for 10–15% of lung cancer cases. Academic and community members from the [...] Read more.
Residents in rural Kentucky (KY) and suburban Ohio (OH) expressed concerns about radon exposure and lung cancer. Although 85% of lung cancer cases are caused by tobacco smoke, radon exposure accounts for 10–15% of lung cancer cases. Academic and community members from the University of KY and the University of Cincinnati developed and pilot-tested a family-centered, youth-engaged home radon testing toolkit. The radon toolkit included radon information, and how to test, interpret, and report back findings. We educated youth as citizen scientists and their teachers in human subjects protection and home radon testing using the toolkit in the classroom. Youth citizen scientists explained the study to their parents and obtained informed consent. One hundred students were trained in human subjects protection, 27 had parental permission to be citizen scientists, and 18 homeowners completed surveys. Radon values ranged from < 14.8 Bq/m3 to 277.5 Bq/m3. Youth were interested and engaged in citizen science and this family-centered, school-based project provided a unique opportunity to further the healthy housing and quality education components of the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Further research is needed to test the impact of student-led, family-centered citizen science projects in environmental health as part of school curricula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community-Based Approaches for Reducing Health Inequities)
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Open AccessArticle
Observations by and Conversations with Health Workers and Hospital Personnel Involved in Transferring Māori Patients and Whānau to Waikato Hospital in Aotearoa New Zealand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8833; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238833 - 27 Nov 2020
Viewed by 561
Abstract
The predominant focus of Aotearoa New Zealand’s public health system on biomedical models of health has left little room for meaningful engagement with holistic indigenous approaches. Culturally appropriate provision and support are recognized for their relevance and importance during hospital transferals. Hospital staff [...] Read more.
The predominant focus of Aotearoa New Zealand’s public health system on biomedical models of health has left little room for meaningful engagement with holistic indigenous approaches. Culturally appropriate provision and support are recognized for their relevance and importance during hospital transferals. Hospital staff involved in transfers to one of New Zealand’s trauma centers share their observations of whānau Māori engagement during an admission away from their home base. Sixteen key informants share their experiences, which are presented as strategies and challenges to whānau engagement. Three main themes highlight challenges within the health system that make it difficult for hospital staff to engage whānau in the desired ways and as often as both parties would like. Key informants described services and practices that are not designed with patients and their whānau in mind; instead they are designed by clinicians around the needs of administrative systems. As employees within the public health system, key informants felt powerless to challenge dominant settings. Nevertheless, employees managed to circumnavigate processes. Our findings highlight the need for continued decolonization and anti-racism work within public health settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community-Based Approaches for Reducing Health Inequities)

Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of the Community Health Club Literature Describing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Outcomes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041880 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 353
Abstract
The Community Health Club (CHC) model is a community-based health promotion program that utilizes water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education as the first stage of a longitudinal development process. Although the CHC model has been implemented in fourteen countries over 20 years, this [...] Read more.
The Community Health Club (CHC) model is a community-based health promotion program that utilizes water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) education as the first stage of a longitudinal development process. Although the CHC model has been implemented in fourteen countries over 20 years, this is the first review of the literature describing the model’s outcomes and impact. We conducted a review of the literature that provided quantitative or qualitative evidence of CHC interventions focused on WASH in low- and middle-income countries. We identified 25 articles that met our inclusion criteria. We found six major outcomes: WASH behaviors and knowledge, social capital, collective action, health, and cost or cost-effectiveness. The most consistent evidence was associated with WASH behaviors and knowledge, with significant effects on defecation practices, hand washing behaviors, and WASH knowledge. We also found qualitative evidence of impact on social capital and collective action. CHCs catalyze favorable changes in WASH behaviors and knowledge, yielding outcomes commensurate with other WASH promotion strategies. This review provides insights into the model’s theory of change, helping identify areas for further investigation. The CHC model’s holistic focus and emphasis on individual and collective change offer promising potential to address multiple health and development determinants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community-Based Approaches for Reducing Health Inequities)
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