New methods and tools to monitor health outcomes among minorities and indigenous people
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Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare Finland
Public Health Agency of Sweden Sweden
Italian National Institute for Health, Migration and Poverty Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1419
Health inequalities are preventable disparities that affect the burden of disease and the opportunities to achieve optimal health. In many countries the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how the consequences of health inequalities affect our societies. Reducing inequalities is also central in the sustainable development goal framework. Inequalities are observed both between countries and within countries. Population groups such as ethnic minorities and indigenous people, are reported to be at high risk to experience health inequalities. For some of these groups, research clearly indicates higher rates of poor health while for others there is insufficient evidence and data to scientifically track their health status. Reaching minorities and indigenous populations with traditional methods, for example with national health surveys, is usually limited at best. These population groups are generally hard to reach, both in terms of research and public health interventions. To further develop the capacity of public health and research institutions to systematically track the health status of hard-to-reach groups as well as to identify the health needs of people invisible to health services, new research methods and tools need to be identified and shared. It is important to recognize that a further burden on the health of these population groups comes from the discrimination, violence and abuse (physical or psychological) to which they are often subjected. How to measure that impact on the health status of these hard-to-reach individuals is an additional part of the workshop. The specific aim of this workshop is to explore new and innovative methods to measure and monitor the health status of hard-to-reach groups. Different methods to identify and define these groups, effective tools/methods to reach them, and to encourage their involvement and engagement in both research and health programmes are the main objectives of the workshop. In the discussions we will include how to also measure the impact of different types of discrimination. Sharing among us studies and experiences with different methods will revitalize and push this area forward. This is especially welcome in an era with new digital tools such as smart phones and social media. The workshop is organized jointly by Sweden, Finland and Italy (Public Health Agency of Sweden, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and Italian National Institute for Health, Migration and Poverty). The presentations will be followed by small group discussions on the topic of the presentations and brainstorming around new ways or methods to systematically assess the health of the hard-to-reach-groups. The focus is on transferring knowledge through intensive interaction with the audience. Minority health data is vital for the identification and monitoring of health inequalities that stem from racism, bias and discrimination, and from other health determinants. Data on the hard-to-reach populations is also needed to inform interventions to improve equity in health-care access, quality, and outcomes. The workshops aim is to increase the capacity and knowledge of participants on the latest innovative methods to implement research to monitor the health status of minority and hard-to-reach groups.