Publications by authors named "Bernice Downey"

5 Publications

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The Perinatal Mental Health of Indigenous Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Can J Psychiatry 2020 03 10;65(3):149-163. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

MD/PhD Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Objective: Although Indigenous women are exposed to high rates of risk factors for perinatal mental health problems, the magnitude of their risk is not known. This lack of data impedes the development of appropriate screening and treatment protocols, as well as the proper allocation of resources for Indigenous women. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare rates of perinatal mental health problems among Indigenous and non-Indigenous women.

Methods: We searched Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Web of Science from their inceptions until February 2019. Studies were included if they assessed mental health in Indigenous women during pregnancy and/or up to 12 months postpartum.

Results: Twenty-six articles met study inclusion criteria and 21 were eligible for meta-analysis. Indigenous identity was associated with higher odds of mental health problems (odds ratio [] 1.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25 to 2.11). Odds were higher still when analyses were restricted to problems of greater severity ( 1.95; 95% CI, 1.21 to 3.16) and young Indigenous women ( 1.86; 95% CI, 1.51 to 2.28).

Conclusion: Indigenous women are at increased risk of mental health problems during the perinatal period, particularly depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. However, resiliency among Indigenous women, cultural teachings, and methodological issues may be affecting estimates. Future research should utilize more representative samples, adapt and validate diagnostic and symptom measures for Indigenous groups, and engage Indigenous actors, leaders, and related allies to help improve the accuracy of estimates, as well as the well-being of Indigenous mothers, their families, and future generations.

Trial Registration: PROSPERO-CRD42018108638.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0706743719877029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019461PMC
March 2020

Primary care intervention to address cardiovascular disease medication health literacy among Indigenous peoples: Canadian results of a pre-post-design study.

Can J Public Health 2018 02 9;109(1):117-127. Epub 2018 Mar 9.

Centre for Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Context: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a leading cause of illness and death for Indigenous people in Canada and globally. Appropriate medication can significantly improve health outcomes for persons diagnosed with CVD or for those at high risk of CVD. Poor health literacy has been identified as a major barrier that interferes with client understanding and taking of CVD medication. Strengthening health literacy within health services is particularly relevant in Indigenous contexts, where there are systemic barriers to accessing literacy skills.

Objective: The aim of this study is to test the effect of a customized, structured health literacy educational program addressing CVD medications.

Methods: Pre-post-design involves health providers and Indigenous clients at the De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre (DAHC) in Ontario, Canada. Forty-seven Indigenous clients with or at high risk of CVD received three educational sessions delivered by a trained Indigenous nurse over a 4- to 7-week period. A tablet application, pill card and booklet supported the sessions. Primary outcomes were knowledge of CVD medications and health literacy practices, which were assessed before and after the programe.

Results: Following the program compared to before, mean medication knowledge scores were 3.3 to 6.1 times higher for the four included CVD medications. Participants were also more likely to refer to the customized pill card and booklet for information and answer questions from others regarding CVD.

Conclusions: This customized education program was highly effective in increasing medication knowledge and health literacy practice among Indigenous people with CVD or at risk of CVD attending the program at an urban Indigenous health centre.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/s41997-018-0034-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5904243PMC
February 2018

Postoperative Remote Automated Monitoring: Need for and State of the Science.

Can J Cardiol 2018 07 25;34(7):850-862. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Worldwide, more than 230 million adults have major noncardiac surgery each year. Although surgery can improve quality and duration of life, it can also precipitate major complications. Moreover, a substantial proportion of deaths occur after discharge. Current systems for monitoring patients postoperatively, on surgical wards and after transition to home, are inadequate. On the surgical ward, vital signs evaluation usually occurs only every 4-8 hours. Reduced in-hospital ward monitoring, followed by no vital signs monitoring at home, leads to thousands of cases of undetected/delayed detection of hemodynamic compromise. In this article we review work to date on postoperative remote automated monitoring on surgical wards and strategy for advancing this field. Key considerations for overcoming current barriers to implementing remote automated monitoring in Canada are also presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2018.04.021DOI Listing
July 2018

Health literacy: health professionals' understandings and their perceptions of barriers that Indigenous patients encounter.

BMC Health Serv Res 2014 Nov 29;14:614. Epub 2014 Nov 29.

Background: Despite the growing interest in health literacy, little research has been done around health professionals' knowledge of health literacy or understandings of the barriers to health literacy that patients face when navigating the health care system. Indigenous peoples in New Zealand (NZ), Canada and Australia experience numerous inequalities in health status and outcomes and international evidence reveals that Indigenous, minority, and socio-economically disadvantaged populations have greater literacy needs. To address concerns in Indigenous health literacy, a two-pronged approach inclusive of both education of health professionals, and structural reform reducing demands the system places on Indigenous patients, are important steps towards reducing these inequalities.

Methods: Four Indigenous health care services were involved in the study. Interviews and one focus group were employed to explore the experiences of health professionals working with patients who had experienced cardiovascular disease (CVD) and were taking medications to prevent future events. A thematic analysis was completed and these insights were used in the development of an intervention that was tested as phase two of the study.

Results: Analysis of the data identified ten common themes. This paper concentrates on health professionals' understanding of health literacy and perceptions of barriers that their patients face when accessing healthcare. Health professionals' concepts of health literacy varied and were associated with their perceptions of the barriers that their patients face when attempting to build health literacy skills. These concepts ranged from definitions of health literacy that were focussed on patient deficit to broader definitions that focussed on both patients and the health system. All participants identified a combination of cultural, social and systemic barriers as impediments to their Indigenous patients improving their health literacy knowledge and practices.

Conclusions: This study suggests that health professionals have a limited understanding of health literacy and of the consequences of low health literacy for their Indigenous patients. This lack of understanding combined with the perceived barriers to improving health literacy limit health professionals' ability to improve their Indigenous patients' health literacy skills and may limit patients' capacity to improve understanding of their illness and instructions on how to manage their health condition/s.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-014-0614-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4267746PMC
November 2014

Nursing, Indigenous peoples and cultural safety: so what? Now what?

Contemp Nurse 2006 Sep;22(2):327-32

Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.5555/conu.2006.22.2.327DOI Listing
September 2006