What role can implementation science play in tailoring rights-based strategies to promote more equitable health outcomes?

January 31st 2022, 13h-14h30, on Zoom

Dr. Diya Uberoi, postdoctoral fellow at the McGill Research Group on Health Law, discussed her research focusing on the role rights-based strategies play in promoting more equitable health outcomes. Dr. Uberoi's presentation considered the way in which implementation science can enhance our understanding of the contexts in which civil society organizations (CSOs) rights-based strategies may result in more improved health outcomes. According to our presenter, although significant reform has been achieved by organizations in countries around the world, several contextual barriers still hinder CSOs ability to realize more equitable access to care. With its ability to highlight the contexts in which CSO advocacy and litigation strategies succeed or fail, implementation science offers a viable approach to guide CSOs in their efforts. 

Gender, Work-Family Conflict & Depressive Symptoms During the COVID-19 Pandemic among Quebec Graduate Student

29 November 2022, 13-14h, on Zoom

Last November, we welcomed Professor Amélie Quesnel-Vallée as part of our seminar seminars, where she shared her research on the gendered experience of the lockdown and its association with depressive symptoms among graduate students in Quebec.

Increasing gender differences in mental health following the COVID-19 crisis represent a major public health concern. Pandemic mitigation public health measures could severely impact populations with a high prevalence of mental health problems such as graduate students. Professor Quesnel-Vallée research examines whether inequalities in depressive symptoms between women and men are linked to their differential exposure or their vulnerability to work, family and study conditions, and what is the mediating role of work-to-family interference (WIF) and family-to-work interference (FIW).

This observational study used path analysis to test our hypotheses using a cross-sectional data collected from 1,790 graduate students from three universities in Quebec. The exposure hypothesis received more support. Women reported more stress regarding new teaching methods, which was associated directly with more depressive symptoms, and indirectly through WIF. Women were more worried about COVID-19, which was associated with more depressive symptoms, and indirectly through WIF and FIW. However, women reported less FIW and more emotional support, both respectively associated with less depressive symptoms. The policy measures taken after the COVID-19 were not gender-neutral. This study demonstrates the importance of taking the potentially gendered effects of policies into consideration, and points to mitigating actions that can forestall the exacerbation of gendered inequalities in mental health.

The Swiss vaccination enigma: Between panacea, federalism, and skepticism

1 November 2021, 13-14h30, on Zoom

On November 1st, the RGHL held its first virtual seminar. Professor Mélanie Levy, an assistant professor at the Faculty of Law and co-director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, presented on the topic of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus in Switzerland to a Zoom audience.

Professor Lévy argued that partly due to federalism and the lack of digitalization, the rollout of Swiss vaccination programs in early 2021 was slow and error prone. Now, vaccine skepticism in a significant part of the Swiss population jeopardizes the return to a life without restrictions. Professor Levy discussed a range of possible tools promote vaccination and increase individuals’ willingness to get vaccinated, from vaccine mandates, to financial incentives and indirect mechanisms. She highlighted that the dichotomy between public health and individual liberty points to solidarity as a normative principle to address the frictions within Swiss society regarding vaccination. Finally, she discussed the principle of solidarity, which she argued highlights Switzerland’s international obligations in the context of the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the hitherto inequitable distribution of vaccines.

 Thank you Professor Levy for joining us virtually!

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