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

22 May 2020, 12:30 - 17:00

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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, and 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. 

This is a closed event

 

Sponsors

                   

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

Administrative assistance: conferences@crassh.cam.ac.uk

This is a closed event.

Participants in the workshop will work with international and national research leaders to:

  1. Consider the mechanisms by which, over time, primary care might work to lessen or exacerbate inequalities in health, using an interdisciplinary perspective;
  2. Hypothesise ways in which primary care can better contribute to reducing those inequalities; 
  3. Consider research priorities and soluble research questions in this area.

This workshop aims to bring together postgraduate students and early career researchers who have an interest or experience in inequality and health and primary care research, with more established interdisciplinary researchers. 


Planned outputs include:

  • Contribution to the development of interdisciplinary research on Primary Care and health inequalities.
  • The development of a supportive young researcher network. We hope that attendees would continue to work together on an appropriate project and form a small supportive research network.

Participants will be from a range of disciplines and specialities, including (but not limited to) sociology, anthropology, geography,  history, clinical medicine, public health, health services research, and psychology.