Concept: Basic income
Income inequality and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association and a scoping review of mechanisms
- World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)
- Published almost 2 years ago
Most countries have witnessed a dramatic increase of income inequality in the past three decades. This paper addresses the question of whether income inequality is associated with the population prevalence of depression and, if so, the potential mechanisms and pathways which may explain this association. Our systematic review included 26 studies, mostly from high-income countries. Nearly two-thirds of all studies and five out of six longitudinal studies reported a statistically significant positive relationship between income inequality and risk of depression; only one study reported a statistically significant negative relationship. Twelve studies were included in a meta-analysis with dichotomized inequality groupings. The pooled risk ratio was 1.19 (95% CI: 1.07-1.31), demonstrating greater risk of depression in populations with higher income inequality relative to populations with lower inequality. Multiple studies reported subgroup effects, including greater impacts of income inequality among women and low-income populations. We propose an ecological framework, with mechanisms operating at the national level (the neo-material hypothesis), neighbourhood level (the social capital and the social comparison hypotheses) and individual level (psychological stress and social defeat hypotheses) to explain this association. We conclude that policy makers should actively promote actions to reduce income inequality, such as progressive taxation policies and a basic universal income. Mental health professionals should champion such policies, as well as promote the delivery of interventions which target the pathways and proximal determinants, such as building life skills in adolescents and provision of psychological therapies and packages of care with demonstrated effectiveness for settings of poverty and high income inequality.
Human rabies infection continues to be a significant public health burden globally, and is occasionally imported to high income settings where the Milwaukee Protocol for intensive care management has recently been employed, with limited success in improving survival. Access to molecular diagnostics, pre- and post-mortem, and documentation of pathophysiological responses while using the Milwaukee protocol, can add useful insights for the future of rabies management.
This article examines how isolated instances of sexual violence affect adult female survivors' employment and economic well-being. This study draws on data from 27 in-depth, qualitative interviews with sexual assault survivors and rape crisis service providers. The findings suggest that sexual assault and the related trauma response can disrupt survivors' employment in several ways, including time off, diminished performance, job loss, and inability to work. By disrupting income or reducing earning power, all of these employment consequences have implications for survivors' economic well-being in the months or years following the assault. In addition, I argue that for many survivors, these employment consequences compound one another and ultimately shift survivors' long-term economic trajectories. By highlighting survivors' lived experiences of the financial aftermath of sexual assault, these findings help to illuminate the processes by which sexual violence decreases survivors' income over the life course. Understanding the financial effects of sexual violence can help researchers better understand and predict the recovery process, while helping practitioners to design more effective interventions for survivors.
Workplace wellness programs are written into law as exceptions to otherwise protective antidiscrimination provisions, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expands employers' ability to treat workers differently based on their health. Rather than assume that wellness programs promote health and save money, here I approach them as legally sanctioned discrimination. What exactly wellness discrimination might look like in practice across many contexts is an open question, but there is good reason to be wary of the power of wellness to create and reproduce hierarchy, to promote homogeneity, narrow-mindedness, and moralism about how to live one’s life, and to cover for discrimination based on health, weight, income, age, pregnancy, and disability.
To assess whether being employed in a smoke-free workplace is associated with living in a smoke-free home in 15 low and middle income countries (LMICs).
Objectives. We examined whether Jobs First, a multicenter randomized trial of a welfare reform program conducted in Connecticut, demonstrated increases in employment, income, and health insurance relative to traditional welfare (Aid to Families with Dependent Children). We also investigated if higher earnings and employment improved mortality of the participants. Methods. We revisited the Jobs First randomized trial, successfully linking 4612 participant identifiers to 15 years of prospective mortality follow-up data through 2010, producing 240 deaths. The analysis was powered to detect a 20% change in mortality hazards. Results. Significant employment and income benefits were realized among Jobs First recipients relative to traditional welfare recipients, particularly for the most disadvantaged groups. However, although none of these reached statistical significance, all participants in Jobs First (overall, across centers, and all subgroups) experienced higher mortality hazards than traditional welfare recipients. Conclusions. Increases in income and employment produced by Jobs First relative to traditional welfare improved socioeconomic status but did not improve survival. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print May 16, 2013: e1-e5. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301072).
The combination of public and private medical practice is widespread in many health systems and has important consequences for health care cost and quality. However, its forms and prevalence vary widely and are poorly understood. This paper examines factors associated with public and private sector work by medical specialists using a nationally representative sample of Australian doctors. We find considerable variations in the practice patterns, remuneration contracts and professional arrangements across doctors in different work sectors. Both specialists in mixed practice and private practice differ from public sector specialists with regard to their annual earnings, sources of income, maternity and other leave taken and number of practice locations. Public sector specialists are likely to be younger, to be international medical graduates, devote a higher percentage of time to education and research, and are more likely to do after hours and on-call work compared with private sector specialists. Gender and total hours worked do not differ between doctors across the different practice types.
BACKGROUND: The implementation of comprehensive smoke-free laws has been associated with reductions in second-hand smoke exposure at home in several high income countries. There is little information on whether these benefits extend to low income and middle income countries with a growing tobacco-related disease burden such as India. METHODS: State and individual-level analysis of cross-sectional data from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey India, 2009/2010. Associations between working in a smoke-free indoor environment and living in a smoke-free home were examined using correlation at the state level, and multivariate logistic regression at the individual level. RESULTS: The percentage of respondents employed indoors (outside the home) working in smoke-free environments who lived in a smoke-free home was 64.0% compared with 41.7% of those who worked where smoking occurred. Indian states with higher proportions of smoke-free workplaces had higher proportions of smoke-free homes (rs=0.54, p<0.005). In the individual-level analysis, working in a smoke-free workplace was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of living in a smoke-free home (adjusted OR=2.07; 95% CI 1.64 to 2.52) after adjustment for potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of smoke-free legislation in India was associated with a higher proportion of adults reporting a smoke-free home. These findings further strengthen the case for accelerated implementation of Article 8 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in low and middle income countries.
The financial remuneration of health workers (HWs) is a key concern to address human resources for health challenges. In low-income settings, the exploration of the sources of income available to HWs, their determinants and the livelihoods strategies that those remunerations entail are essential to gain a better understanding of the motivation of the workers and the effects on their performance and on service provision. This is even more relevant in a setting such as the DR Congo, characterized by the inability of the state to provide public services via a well-supported and financed public workforce. Based on a quantitative survey of 1771 HWs in four provinces of the DR Congo, this article looks at the level and the relative importance of each revenue. It finds that Congolese HWs earn their living from a variety of sources and enact different strategies for their financial survival. The main income is represented by the share of user fees for those employed in facilities, and per diems and top-ups from external agencies for those in Health Zone Management Teams (in both cases, with the exception of doctors), while governmental allowances are less relevant. The determinants at individual and facility level of the total income are also modelled, revealing that the distribution of most revenues systematically favours those working in already favourable conditions (urban facilities, administrative positions and positions of authority within facilities). This may impact negatively on the motivation and performance of HWs and on their distribution patters. Finally, our analysis highlights that, as health financing and health workforce reforms modify the livelihood opportunities of HWs, their design and implementation go beyond technical aspects and are unavoidably political. A better consideration of these issues is necessary to propose contextually grounded and politically savvy approaches to reform in the DR Congo.
Within high income countries, mental health is now the leading cause of long term sickness absence in the workplace. Managers are in a position to make changes and decisions that have a positive effect on the wellbeing of staff, the recovery of employees with mental ill health, and potentially prevent future mental health problems. However, managers report addressing workplace mental health issues as challenging. The aim of the HeadCoach trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of a newly developed online training intervention to determine whether it is able to build managers' confidence to better support individuals within their teams who are experiencing mental ill health, and the confidence to promote manager behaviour likely to result in a more mentally healthy workplace.