The Institute of Medicine has issued numerous reports calling for the public health workforce to be adept in policy-making, communication, science translation, and other advocacy skills. Public health competencies include advocacy capabilities, but few public health graduate institutions provide systematic training for translating public health science into policy action. Specialized health-advocacy training is needed to provide future leaders with policy-making knowledge and skills in generating public support, policy-maker communications, and policy campaign operations that could lead to improvements in the outcomes of public health initiatives. Advocacy training should draw on nonprofit and government practitioners who have a range of advocacy experiences and skills. This article describes a potential model curriculum for introductory health-advocacy theory and skills based on the course, Health Advocacy, a winner of the Delta Omega Innovative Public Health Curriculum Award, at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
The scale-up of malaria control efforts in recent years, coupled with major investments in malaria research, has produced impressive public health impact in a number of countries and has led to the development of new tools and strategies aimed at further consolidating malaria control goals. As a result, there is a growing need for the malaria policy setting process to rapidly review increasing amounts of evidence.
The World Health Organization Global Malaria Programme, in keeping with its mandate to set evidence-informed policies for malaria control, has convened the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee as a mechanism to increase the timeliness, transparency, independence and relevance of its recommendations to World Health Organization member states in relation to malaria control and elimination.
The Malaria Policy Advisory Committee, composed of 15 world-renowned malaria experts, will meet in full twice a year, with the inaugural meeting scheduled for 31 January to 2 February 2012 in Geneva. Policy recommendations, and the evidence to support them, will be published within two months of every meeting as part of an open access Malaria Journal thematic series. This article is a prelude to that series and provides the global malaria community with the background and overview of the Committee and its terms of reference.
global; malaria; policy recommendations; WHO
The full benefit of prevention science will not be realized until we learn how to influence organizational practices. The marketing of tobacco, alcohol, and food and corporate advocacy for economic policies that maintain family poverty are examples of practices we must influence. This paper analyzes the evolution of such practices in terms of their selection by economic consequences. A strategy for addressing these critical risk factors should include: (a) systematic research on the impact of corporate practices on each of the most common and costly psychological and behavior problems; (b) empirical analyses of the consequences that select harmful corporate practices; (c) assessment of the impact of policies that could affect problematic corporate practices; and (d) research on advocacy organizations to understand the factors that influence their growth and to help them develop effective strategies for influencing corporate externalities.
Prevention; Intervention; Policymakers; Organizational practices; Advocacy
The tobacco industry utilizes third parties to advance its policy agenda. On excise taxes, the industry identified organized labor and progressive groups as potential allies whose advocacy could undermine public support for tax increases. To attract such collaboration, the industry framed the issue as one of tax fairness, creating a labor management committee to provide distance from tobacco companies and furthering progressive allies’ interests through financial and logistical support. Internal industry documents indicate that this strategic use of ideas, institutions, and interests facilitated the recruitment of leading progressive organizations as allies. By placing excise taxes within a strategic policy nexus that promotes mutual public interest goals, public health advocates may use a similar strategy in forging their own excise tax coalitions.
Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in India with the country accounting for 1 in 5 of all TB cases reported globally. An advocacy, communication and social mobilisation project for Tuberculosis control was implemented and evaluated in Odisha state of India. The purpose of the study was to identify the impact of project interventions including the use of 'Interface NGOs' and involvement of community groups such as women's self-help groups, local government bodies, village health sanitation committees, and general health staff in promoting TB control efforts.
The study utilized a rapid assessment and response (RAR) methodology. The approach combined both qualitative field work approaches, including semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with empirical data collection and desk research.
Results revealed that a combination of factors including the involvement of Interface NGOs, coupled with increased training and engagement of front line health workers and community groups, and dissemination of community based resources, contributed to improved awareness and knowledge about TB in the targeted districts. Project activities also contributed towards improving health worker and community effectiveness to raise the TB agenda, and improved TB literacy and treatment adherence. Engagement of successfully treated patients also assisted in reducing community stigma and discrimination.
The expanded use of advocacy, communication and social mobilisation activities in TB control has resulted in a number of benefits. These include bridging pre-existing gaps between the health system and the community through support and coordination of general health services stakeholders, NGOs and the community. The strategic use of 'tailored messages' to address specific TB problems in low performing areas also led to more positive behavioural outcomes and improved efficiencies in service delivery. Implications for future studies are that a comprehensive and well planned range of ACSM activities can enhance TB knowledge, attitudes and behaviours while also mobilising specific community groups to build community efficacy to combat TB. The use of rapid assessments combined with other complementary evaluation approaches can be effective when reviewing the impact of TB advocacy, communication and social mobilisation activities.
tuberculosis; advocacy; communication; social mobilisation; rapid assessment and review
Exposure assessment has shifted from pollutant monitoring in air, soil, and water toward personal exposure measurements and biomonitoring. This trend along with the paucity of health effect data for many of the pollutants studied raise ethical and scientific challenges for reporting results to study participants.
We interviewed 26 individuals involved in biomonitoring studies, including academic scientists, scientists from environmental advocacy organizations, IRB officials, and study participants; observed meetings where stakeholders discussed these issues; and reviewed the relevant literature to assess emerging ethical, scientific, and policy debates about personal exposure assessment and biomonitoring, including public demand for information on the human health effects of chemical body burdens.
We identify three frameworks for report-back in personal exposure studies: clinical ethics; community-based participatory research; and citizen science 'data judo.' The first approach emphasizes reporting results only when the health significance of exposures is known, while the latter two represent new communication strategies where study participants play a role in interpreting, disseminating, and leveraging results to promote community health. We identify five critical areas to consider in planning future biomonitoring studies.
Public deliberation about communication in personal exposure assessment research suggests that new forms of community-based research ethics and participatory scientific practice are emerging.
To examine the association between the presence of community advocacy groups (CAGs) and female sex workers' (FSWs) access to social entitlements and outcomes of police advocacy.
Data were used from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2010–2011 among 1986 FSWs and 104 NGO outreach workers from five districts of Andhra Pradesh. FSWs were recruited using a probability-based sampling from 104 primary sampling units (PSUs). A PSU is a geographical area covered by one outreach worker and is expected to have an active CAG as per community mobilisation efforts. The presence of active CAGs was defined as the presence of an active committee or advocacy group in the area (PSU). Outcome indicators included acquisition of different social entitlements and measures of police response as reported by FSWs. Multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations.
Areas with active CAGs compared with their counterparts had a significantly higher mean number of FSWs linked to ration cards (12.8 vs 6.8; p<0.01), bank accounts (9.3 vs 5.9; p=0.05) and health insurance (13.1 vs 7.0; p=0.02). A significantly higher percentage of FSWs from areas with active CAGs as compared with others reported that the police treat them more fairly now than a year before (79.7% vs 70.3%; p<0.05) and the police explained the reasons for arrest when arrested the last time (95.7% vs 87%; p<0.05).
FSWs from areas with active CAGs were more likely to access certain social entitlements and to receive a fair response from the police, highlighting the contributions of CAGs in community mobilisation.
Structural interventions; sex workers; HIV prevention intervention; community advocacy; social capital; empowerment; HIV; AIDS; public health; violence; epidemiology; statistics
The Malaria Policy Advisory Committee to the World Health Organization met for the first time from 31 January to 2 February 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. This article provides a summary of the discussions, conclusions and recommendations from that meeting, as part of the newly launched Malaria Journal thematic series “WHO Malaria Policy Advisory Committee: Reports and Recommendations”.
Summaries are provided, referencing the relevant background documents, for the meeting sessions on global malaria control, drug resistance and containment, rapid diagnostic test procurement criteria, larviciding, classification of countries for elimination, estimating malaria cases and deaths, and seasonal malaria chemoprevention. Policy statements, position statements, and guidelines that will arise from the MPAC meeting conclusions and recommendations will be formally issued and disseminated to World Health Organization member states by the World Health Organization Global Malaria Programme.
Global; Malaria; Policy development; WHO; Drug resistance; Diagnostic tests; Mosquito control; Elimination; Surveillance; Chemoprevention
The "Rating the States" (RTS) Program of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is designed to bring public attention to the status of State government efforts to combat alcohol-impaired driving. MADD's 1993 report, which evaluated each State with a grade from A to D, brought renewed visibility to MADD's fight for new prevention policies and helped to advance key State legislation. Because of MADD's national press conference and other media activities, more than 60 million Americans saw or heard a news story related to the program. This article outlines the program's objectives and methodology, efforts to publicize the results, and what was achieved in terms of news media coverage and in advancing public policy change. The RTS Program is a proven media advocacy strategy for prompting State legislatures and Governors to enact new policies. The article concludes with guidelines for other public health advocacy groups that may want to emulate this strategy.
In healthcare, a great deal of time, money and energy go into producing public reports for a wide range of audiences. Reporting strategies often target audiences like the general public, whose behaviour is not readily changed by the information in report cards. However, when it comes to effectively targeting groups that can actually use the data to achieve significant impacts, one audience stands out from the rest: health system managers and providers, who can interpret and apply performance data to improve the quality of care their organizations deliver. The evidence behind performance reports was recently summarized in Evidence Boost for Quality, a special subseries of Evidence Boost, produced by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation to showcase healthcare issues where research indicates a preferred course of action in health services management and policy. To access archived issues of Evidence Boost, visit .
A comprehensive population health-forecasting model has the potential to interject new and valuable information about the future health status of the population based on current conditions, socioeconomic and demographic trends, and potential changes in policies and programs. Our Health Forecasting Model uses a continuous-time microsimulation framework to simulate individuals' lifetime histories by using birth, risk exposures, disease incidence, and death rates to mark changes in the state of the individual. The model generates a reference forecast of future health in California, including details on physical activity, obesity, coronary heart disease, all-cause mortality, and medical expenditures. We use the model to answer specific research questions, inform debate on important policy issues in public health, support community advocacy, and provide analysis on the long-term impact of proposed changes in policies and programs, thus informing stakeholders at all levels and supporting decisions that can improve the health of populations.
Over the past decade, the Dutch government has pursued a research-based approach to tackle socioeconomic inequalities in health. We report on the most recent phase in this approach: the development of a strategy to reduce health inequalities in the Netherlands by an independent committee. In addition, we will reflect on the way the report of this committee has influenced health policy and practice.
A 6-year research and development program was conducted which covered a number of different policy options and consisted of 12 intervention studies. The study results were discussed with experts and policy makers. A government advisory committee developed a comprehensive strategy that intends to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in disability-free life expectancy by 25% in 2020. The strategy covers 4 different entry-points for reducing socioeconomic inequalities in health, contains 26 specific recommendations, and includes 11 quantitative policy targets. Further research and development efforts are also recommended.
Although the Dutch approach has been influenced by similar efforts in other European countries, particularly the United Kingdom and Sweden, it is unique in terms of its emphasis on building a systematic evidence-base for interventions and policies to reduce health inequalities. Both researchers and policy-makers were involved in the process, and there are clear indications that some of the recommendations are being adopted by health policy-makers and health care practice, although more so at the local than at the national level.
The Public Population Project in Genomics and Society (P3G) is a not-for profit international consortium with members from more than 40 countries. Its objective is to lead, catalyze, and co-ordinate international efforts and expertise in order to optimize the use of population studies, biobanks, research databases, and other similar health and social science research infrastructures. The year 2011–2012 witnessed a plethora of special issues of journals on the return of results but few discussed the particular situation of population studies that serve as resources for future unspecified research. P3G considers it important to propose a policy that distinguishes between the contexts of population research and disease (clinical) research involving patients and then delineates actual and future obligations. The objectives of this Policy Statement are to: (1) delineate the particular characteristics of population studies, (2) distinguish the circumstances surrounding access by researchers to such studies, and (3) develop a framework for the return of research results and incidental findings.
AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) developed a Knowledge Management Strategy that focused on creating, capturing and applying health knowledge to close the gap between communities and health systems in Africa. There was need to identify AMREF's current Knowledge Management implementation status, problems and constraints encountered after two years of enforcement of the strategy and suggest the way forward.
This study was conducted between October 2011 and February 2012. Quantitative data on number and foci of AMREF research publications were collected using a questionnaire. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were used to gather data on explanations for the trend of publications and the status of the implementation of the 2010-2014 Knowledge Management Strategy. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS computer software whereas content analysis of themes was employed on qualitative data.
Between 1960 and 2011, AMREF produced 257 peer reviewed publications, 158 books and manuals and about 1,188 technical publications including evaluations, guidelines and technical reports. However, the numbers of publications declined from around the year 2000. Large quantities of unpublished and unclassified materials are also in the custody of Heritage. Barriers to Knowledge Management included: lack of incentives for documentation and dissemination; limited documentation and use of good practices in programming; and superficial attention to results or use of evidence.
Alternative ways of reorganizing Knowledge Management will enable AMREF to use evidence-based knowledge to advocate for appropriate changes in African health policies and practices.
Knowledge management; databases; learning culture; Africa
The advocacy–research partnership has been identified as a key method of conducting the feminist and activist research that is important to domestic violence. However, these partnerships are often fraught with challenges that may jeopardize their development, sustainability, and potential impact on policy. Previous commentators have identified key challenges to engaging in advocate–researcher collaborations. This article takes particular care to set forth an advocate perspective through the authors’ experience of planning and executing a collaborative study on the effects of mandatory arrest. The authors use a study that was specifically designed to affect policy to offer insight into the challenges faced and to make recommendations for successfully incorporating social action in advocacy–researcher collaborations.
domestic violence; advocate research collaborations
Despite the central influence of public policies on health and welfare, relatively little is known about actual health care policy-making processes. This presentation will offer preliminary results from a federally funded project aimed at gaining insights into the interrelations among interest-group strategies, media discourses and political debates in health care. The policy debate on health care privatization in Quebec is used as a case study.
Two sources of data were used: media sources and political debates. Media sources were the six main provincial newspapers in Quebec, two national newspapers and The Canadian Press, as well as transcripts from specific news-related programs of three national television stations and two national radio stations. Political debates were obtained through transcripts of all question periods in the Parliament and debates in the standing committee on health. Sources were systematically searched to identify all relevant data. Multiple search syntaxes were developed and tested to maximize sensitivity and specificity. All data was entered and coded into qualitative analysis software.
Data was analyzed longitudinally from June 2005 to January 1, 2010. Four levels of results will be presented: 1) Descriptive analysis of the interest groups involved, their policy preferences and the rhetoric they employed to support their views. 2) Descriptive analysis of the main policy proposals that structured the debate as well as of the coalition of groups behind those proposals. 3) Graphic longitudinal analysis of the intensity of the debate and of the relative importance and evolution of various policy proposals. 4) Preliminary results on the nature, direction and level of inter-influence between the policy and media agendas.
This presentation provides empirical evidence on current policy-making processes in health care. It shows, unsurprisingly, that policy-making is a circumvoluted process of inter-influence among interest groups, politicians and the media. It also highlights the fact that scientific evidence actually plays a minor (if any) role in policy processes.
PMID: 23155352 CAMSID: cams2440
The Israel Journal of Health Policy Research (IJHPR) seeks to promote intensive intellectual interactions among scholars and practitioners from Israel and other countries regarding all aspects of health policy and health care, with a special focus on Israel. During 2012, its first year of operation, the journal succeeded in publishing an impressive volume of policy-relevant articles by a remarkably diverse set of authors. The journal's success to date would not have been possible without the vital contributions of the editorial board, the authors, the reviewers, the readers, BioMed Central (the journal's publisher), and the Israel National Institute for Health Policy (the journal's sponsor). The challenges ahead include promoting greater reader involvement, and enhancing the journal's policy and educational impact.
Systematic reviewers are increasingly trying to obtain regulatory clinical study reports (CSRs) to correct for publication bias. For instance, our organization, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, routinely asks drug manufacturers to provide full CSRs of studies considered in health technology assessments. However, since cooperation is voluntary, CSRs are available only for a subset of studies analysed. In the case of the inhaled insulin Exubera, the manufacturer refused to cooperate and in 2007 we asked the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to provide the relevant CSRs, but EMA denied access. Other researchers have reported similar experiences.
In 2010 EMA introduced a new policy on access to regulatory documents, including CSRs, and has also undertaken further steps. The new policy has already borne fruit: in 2011, by providing additional sections of relevant CSRs, EMA made an important contribution to a review of oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
Unfortunately, speedy implementation of the new policy may be endangered. We define a CSR following the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH) E3 guideline. Although this guideline requires individual patient data listings, it does not necessarily require that these listings be made available in a computer-readable format, as proposed by some regulators from EMA and other agencies. However, access to raw data in a computer-readable format poses additional problems; merging this issue with that of access to CSRs could hamper the relatively simple implementation of the EMA policy. Moreover, EMA plans to release CSRs only on request; we suggest making these documents routinely available on the EMA website.
Public access to regulatory data also carries potential risks. In our view, the issue of patient confidentiality has been largely resolved by current European legislation. The risk of other problems, such as conflicts of interest (CoIs) of independent researchers or quality issues can be reduced by transparency measures, such as the implementation of processes to evaluate CoIs and the publication of methods and protocols.
In conclusion, regulatory data are an indispensable source for systematic reviews. Because of EMA’s policy change, a milestone for data transparency in clinical research is within reach; let’s hope it is not unnecessarily delayed.
Systematic reviews; Publication bias; Regulatory authorities; European Medicines Agency; Clinical study reports; Individual patient data listings; Raw data
Global advances in patient safety have been hampered by the lack of a uniform classification of patient safety concepts. This is a significant barrier to developing strategies to reduce risk, performing evidence-based research and evaluating existing healthcare policies relevant to patient safety. Since 2005, the World Health Organization's World Alliance for Patient Safety has undertaken the Project to Develop an International Classification for Patient Safety (ICPS) to devise a classification which transforms patient safety information collected from disparate systems into a common format to facilitate aggregation, analysis and learning across disciplines, borders and time. A drafting group, comprised of experts from the fields of patient safety, classification theory, health informatics, consumer/patient advocacy, law and medicine, identified and defined key patient safety concepts and developed an internationally agreed conceptual framework for the ICPS based upon existing patient safety classifications. The conceptual framework was iteratively improved through technical expert meetings and a two-stage web-based modified Delphi survey of over 250 international experts. This work culminated in a conceptual framework consisting of ten high level classes: incident type, patient outcomes, patient characteristics, incident characteristics, contributing factors/hazards, organizational outcomes, detection, mitigating factors, ameliorating actions and actions taken to reduce risk. While the framework for the ICPS is in place, several challenges remain. Concepts need to be defined, guidance for using the classification needs to be provided, and further real-world testing needs to occur to progressively refine the ICPS to ensure it is fit for purpose.
classification; patient safety; incident; conceptual framework
It is not clear which research misconduct policies are adopted by biomedical journals. This study assessed the prevalence and content policies of the most influential biomedical journals on misconduct and procedures for handling and responding to allegations of misconduct.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of misconduct policies of 399 high-impact biomedical journals in 27 biomedical categories of the Journal Citation Reports in December 2011. Journal websites were reviewed for information relevant to misconduct policies.
Of 399 journals, 140 (35.1%) provided explicit definitions of misconduct. Falsification was explicitly mentioned by 113 (28.3%) journals, fabrication by 104 (26.1%), plagiarism by 224 (56.1%), duplication by 242 (60.7%) and image manipulation by 154 (38.6%). Procedures for responding to misconduct were described in 179 (44.9%) websites, including retraction, (30.8%) and expression of concern (16.3%). Plagiarism-checking services were used by 112 (28.1%) journals. The prevalences of all types of misconduct policies were higher in journals that endorsed any policy from editors’ associations, Office of Research Integrity or professional societies compared to those that did not state adherence to these policy-producing bodies. Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell had the most journals included (22.6% and 14.8%, respectively), with Wiley journals having greater a prevalence of misconduct definition and policies on falsification, fabrication and expression of concern and Elsevier of plagiarism-checking services.
Only a third of top-ranking peer-reviewed journals had publicly-available definitions of misconduct and less than a half described procedures for handling allegations of misconduct. As endorsement of international policies from policy-producing bodies was positively associated with implementation of policies and procedures, journals and their publishers should standardize their policies globally in order to increase public trust in the integrity of the published record in biomedicine.
To develop a domestic violence surveillance system.
Material and Methods
The strategies included implementation of a standard digitalized reporting and analysis system along with advocacy with community decision makers, strengthening inter-institutional attention networks, consultation for constructing internal flow charts, sensitizing and training network teams in charge of providing health care in cases of domestic violence and supporting improved public policy prevention initiatives.
A total of 6 893 cases were observed using 2004 and 2005 surveillance system data. The system reports that 80% of the affected were women, followed by 36% children under 14 years. The identified aggressors were mainly females' partners. The system was useful for improving victim services.
Findings indicate that significant gains were made in facilitating the attention and treatment of victims of domestic violence, improving the procedural response process and enhancing the quality of information provided to policy-making bodies.
domestic violence; health surveillance; inter-sectorial action; prevention and control; public policies
The California Health Interview Survey, the largest state health survey in the United States, uses community-based participatory research principles to develop each cycle. Other large-scale health surveys rarely include participatory research approaches. Every 2 years, the California Health Interview Survey generates state and local population-based data on health insurance coverage, access to health care, chronic disease prevalence and management, health behaviors and disease prevention, and other health issues in California. The survey is used for policy and program development, advocacy, and research.
The development of the California Health Interview Survey involves more than 145 people from more than 60 state and local policymaking bodies, public health agencies, advocacy groups, research organizations, and health care organizations. They participate as volunteers in an advisory board, on technical advisory committees, and in work groups that interact with California Health Interview Survey research staff in an accountable advisory process that shapes survey topics, measures, and sample design and determines languages selected for translation. Survey results and data are provided to the communities involved in the survey.
California Health Interview Survey data have been widely used by local, state, and national public health leaders, policymakers, advocates, and researchers to improve access to health insurance and health care services and to develop and target prevention programs for obesity and chronic illnesses.
The California Health Interview Survey participatory research model has been an effective approach to planning and implementing a health survey and should be considered by developers of other large health surveys.
Europrise is a Network of Excellence supported by the European Commission within the 6th Framework programme from 2007 to 2012. The Network has involved over 50 institutions from 13 European countries together with 3 industrial partners and 6 African countries. The Network encompasses an integrated program of research, training, dissemination and advocacy within the field of HIV vaccines and microbicides. A central and timely theme of the Network is the development of the unique concept of co-usage of vaccines and microbicides. Training of PhD students has been a major task, and some of these post-graduate students have here summarized novel ideas emanating from presentations at the last annual Europrise meeting in Prague. The latest data and ideas concerning HIV vaccine and microbicide studies are included in this review; these studies are so recent that the majority have yet to be published. Data were presented and discussed concerning novel immunisation strategies; microbicides and PrEP (alone and in combination with vaccines); mucosal transmission of HIV/SIV; mucosal vaccination; novel adjuvants; neutralizing antibodies; innate immune responses; HIV/SIV pathogenesis and disease progression; new methods and reagents. These – necessarily overlapping topics - are comprehensively summarised by the Europrise students in the context of other recent exciting data.
HIV; Vaccine; Microbicide; PrEP
Using the consumer-oriented approach of social and commercial marketers, this article presents a process for crafting messages designed to improve people's health behaviors. The process, termed consumer-based health communications (CHC), transforms scientific recommendations into message strategies that are relevant to the consumer. The core of CHC is consumer research conducted to understand the consumer's reality, and thereby allowing six strategic questions to be answered. The immediate result of the CHC process is a strategy statement--a few pages that lay out who the target consumer is, what action should be taken, what to promise and how to make the promise credible, how and when to reach him or her, and what image to convey. The strategy statement then guides the execution of all communication efforts, be they public relations, mass media, direct marketing, media advocacy, or interpersonal influence. It identifies the most important "levers" for contact with the consumer. Everyone from creative specialists through management and program personnel can use the strategy statement as a touchstone to guide and judge the effectiveness of their efforts. The article provides a step by step illustration of the CHC process using the 5 A Day campaign as an example.
This glocal (global knowledge with local action) symposium was convened by a professional therapeutic massage bodywork professional organization to bring together the fields of economics, politics, and traditional and complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) to begin development of effective TCAM advocacy worldwide. The symposium addressed the core question, “What information will be needed to address issues that will arise as TCAM practitioners advocate for a respectful and equalfooting access to health care provision, public and private, worldwide?”
Participants and Setting
The 35 international participants convened in a Victoria, Canada hotel. They were selectively invited to provide expertise in: advocacy, politics, public policy, economics, TCAM practice, integrative practice, sociology and TCAM research, education, media and language framing, psychology, and mediation.
The two-day symposium used a facilitated dialogue and knowledge-sharing design process geared to achieving group-supported recommendations. Invited panelists discussed each agenda topic, followed by facilitated discussion with the entire group.
In general, participants agreed that advocacy from a TCAM perspective is needed. Additionally, more research should use methods with more relevance to everyday health care provision and health care costs such as effectiveness comparative trials and cost effectiveness studies. A number of specific advocacy steps were recommended. Most focused on developing local support for better access and equity regarding TCAM within local health care systems and advocacy work, which needs to both understand and engage the local TCAM practitioners and those using the TCAM services.
The increasing awareness of TCAM and advancement toward integrative medicine—including traditional medicines and perspectives—are themes currently in development worldwide. Now is a good time for TCAM practitioners to open dialogue to develop better partnerships in health care. Such dialogue is facilitated when diverse people at the health care table understand each other’s perspectives. More discussions like this, with diverse people across more disciplines, need to occur worldwide.
congresses; consumer advocacy; delivery of health care - integrated; complementary therapies; holistic health; economics; organizing; financing; policy