How Can Primary Care Prevent Health Inequalities? New Connections and Research Priorities

22 May 2020 - 23 May 2020

SG1/2, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DT

Further details about this workshop will be made available in the near future. 

Please email conferences@crassh.cam.ac.uk if you would like to be kept informed about the event, or have any other questions. 

 

Convenors

Ann Louise Kinmonth (University of Cambridge)

Mike Kelly (University of Cambridge)

Natasha Kriznik (University of Cambridge)

Simon Szreter (University of Cambridge)

 

Summary

Inequalities in health remain a challenge globally. In the UK, despite long-term trends of average improvement in life expectancy, stark inequalities persist. There is a social gradient in lifespan; people living in the most deprived areas experience on average the lowest life expectancy, and the fewest years in good health. Thus, those living in the most deprived areas can expect nearly twenty fewer years of good health compared with those in the least deprived areas. There is evidence that health care systems grounded in primary care are associated with healthier populations, but the wider, multilevel, dynamic mechanisms by which this is achieved are poorly defined. 

Primary care is widely held to contribute to equitable health care and outcomes through 1) improved access to treatment and disease prevention among disadvantaged groups, 2) continuing therapeutic relationships and 3) community participation and health promotion. However, despite universal access, these attributes can exacerbate inequalities if taken up preferentially by the more advantaged.

Analyses both between and within countries have drawn attention to the importance of social context and whole health service systems in amplifying or muffling impacts of primary care on inequality in health, but evidence is either focussed on determinants within primary care, for example in the consultation, or at system level, where it is largely ecological.  Interdisciplinary work to define and test complex mechanisms is lacking.

This workshop will build on existing research of the role of primary care in reducing inequality, bringing together post-graduate students and early career researchers who have an interest and experience in inequality and health with interdisciplinary researchers, working towards defining an academic network and future post-doctoral research project. Participants in the workshop will consider the mechanisms by which, over time, primary care might work to lessen or exacerbate inequalities in health, and to hypothesise ways in which primary care can better contribute to reducing those inequalities. 

 

Sponsors

                   

Supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and St John's College.