ISSN 1178-6191

Maori Health Review

Making Education Easy Issue 35-2012

Maori Health Review
Maori Health Review
Maori Health Review

The gap in the subjective wellbeing of Māori and New Zealand Europeans widened between 2005 and 2009

Authors: Sibley C et al

Summary: These researchers compared the self-reported subjective wellbeing of Māori and New Zealand Europeans in two NZ national postal samples. The first sample was collected in 2005 before the global financial crisis of 2007/2010. The second was collected in 2009 while the crisis was ongoing. The first sample contained 289 Māori and 2,769 NZ Europeans; numbers in the second sample were 964 and 4,073, respectively. While NZ Europeans’ scores on the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI) were near-identical across the 2005 and 2009 samples, scores for Māori, which were already lower than NZ Europeans on the PWI in 2005, were further decreased in 2009.

Comment: This study validates for many what they intuitively felt to be happening. The findings also provide powerful evidence showing that privilege contributes to better health outcomes, and that targeted interventions are necessary to ‘close the gap’ in health outcomes between Māori and NZ European.

Reference: Soc Indic Res. 2011;104(1):103-15.


Improving health and energy efficiency through community-based housing interventions

Authors: Howden-Chapman P et al

Summary: Outcomes are reported from two New Zealand community-based housing interventions designed to improve the energy efficiency of older housing and thereby the occupants’ health. The Housing, Insulation and Health Study showed that insulating 1,350 houses, built before insulation was required, improved the occupants’ health and wellbeing as well as household energy efficiency. The Housing, Heating and Health Study investigated the impact of installing more effective heating in insulated houses for 409 households, where there was a child with doctor-diagnosed asthma. The intervention increased indoor temperatures and halved NO2 levels. Children reported less poor health, lower levels of asthma symptoms and sleep disturbances by wheeze and dry cough. Children also had fewer days off school.

Comment: Having addressed health outcomes based on urban design and at the town planning level, this study draws attention to the next level down – adequate housing. And of course the benefits of energy efficiency extend beyond health to financial and environmental.

Reference: Int J Public Health. 2011 Aug 20. [Epub ahead of print]


Diabetes self-management education in South Auckland, New Zealand, 2007-2008

Authors: Silva M et al

Summary: This study evaluated a diabetes self-management education program implemented as part of a district-wide approach in South Auckland, New Zealand. Selfmanagement attitudes and behaviours were monitored with the use of questionnaires before program implementation and 3 months after it ended. There was evidence of the program improving participants’ attitudes toward their own ability to manage their diabetes; in diet, physical activity, and foot care, as well as haemoglobin A1c levels. Participants also reduced their sense of isolation when dealing with their diabetes.

Comment: Great to see the results of a project led by a community-DHB partnership. And an open acknowledgement of the effort, resource and time required to engage those with perhaps highest unmet need.

Reference: Prev Chronic Dis. 2011;8(2):A42.