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Farmer S.,Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit | Hanratty B.,University of Liverpool
Journal of Public Health (United Kingdom) | Year: 2012

Background: The consumption of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs by young people is a public health concern. This study aimed to explore the associations between subjective wellbeing, living in a low-income household and substance use by schoolchildren. Methods: Data were analysed from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of schoolchildren in England (Tellus4, 2009). Participants were 3903 children aged 10 and 15 years from two local authorities in the North West. Eligibility for free school meals provided a proxy for living in a low-income household. Multiple logistic regression was conducted with the main outcome measure, a composite indicator of self-reported regular substance use. Results: More boys than girls had experimented with drugs or alcohol, but in the fourth year of secondary education, girls were significantly more likely than boys to have been drunk (P ≤ 0.001). In the multivariate analysis, older age was the most important factor associated with the consumption of substances. Living in a low-income household was associated with substance use, adjusting for age and subjective wellbeing (adj. OR 1.78, 95 CI 1.36-2.34). Respondents who reported being happy (adj. OR 0.67, 95 CI 0.52-0.86) or able to communicate with their family (adj. OR 0.51, 95 CI 0.39-0.65), were less likely to be regular users. Conclusions: Interventions to prevent regular substance use should be carefully targeted by age. Policies aimed at social determinants may be an important adjunct to individual-level interventions to reduce some inequalities in health associated with substance misuse. © 2012 The Author 2012, Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. Source

Vivancos R.,University of East Anglia | Vivancos R.,Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit | Showell D.,Suffolk Primary Care Trust | Keeble B.,Suffolk Primary Care Trust | And 4 more authors.
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2011

Avian influenza is a highly infectious disease in poultry and although the risk of human infection is low, concerns exist that it could evolve into a new human strain of pandemic potential if reassortment with a human influenza virus occurs. In January 2007, the UK government introduced a programme to vaccinate poultry workers to reduce the potential of such an event. This study evaluates the delivery, uptake and costs of the programme in three counties of England. A questionnaire survey was completed by consultants in public health in all the Primary Care Trusts in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire in May 2007. The delivery of the programme varied between Primary Care Trusts, including being delivered in some cases by clinics in primary care, by general practitioners and occupational health services in others. The uptake of vaccination was low ranging from 7% to 29% at a cost of £29 to £132 per person vaccinated. Vaccination of poultry workers as a public health measure to prevent an influenza pandemic is likely to be ineffective with the level of coverage found in this evaluation in our region. © Crown Copyright 2009. Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office/Queen's Printer 126 for Scotland and Department of Public Health. Source

Stewart A.G.,Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit | Holden A.,University of the West of England | Holden V.,Strata Environmental | Hursthouse A.S.,University of West of Scotland
Environmental Geochemistry and Health | Year: 2012

The Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH) is a forum for multidisciplinary interaction relating the geochemical environment to health. With national funding, SEGH identified collaborative opportunities through the MULTITUDE series of workshops (2007-2011). We reviewed the meetings by electronic questionnaire (39 % response). Smaller meetings saw most returning delegates, suggesting networking and personal interaction is a key positive feature of SEGH; 31 % of practitioners and 25 % of academics participated in more than one meeting. Collaboration between SEGH participants resulted in joint funding (13 academics, 4 practitioners, 1 other) and joint papers (19, 5, 3). Evidence of behavioural change was seen in comments in five themes regarding the impacts of the conferences: support for current direction; impact on education practice (academics); new approaches; networking; multidisciplinary work. Multidisciplinary meetings and resulting networking were seen as having real value by many respondents, who encouraged further active pursuit of these activities. SEGH is eager to continue these activities which transform research, education and practice, resulting in a better understanding of the structure and processes comprising the broad geochemical environment on health. Comments showed the value and strength of small, well-organised conferences, bringing together a mixed group of disciplines, both research and applied, in a relaxed atmosphere. The absence of serious negative critique along with clear, positive comments suggests that there is a substantial level of support for, and even pleasure in, SEGH multidisciplinary conferences and workshops over the past years. It is encouraging that annual European conferences are viewed as such a positive achievement. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Stewart A.G.,Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit | Luria P.,Liverpool John Moores University | Reid J.,Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit | Reid J.,Liverpool John Moores University | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2010

Applied research in a public health setting seeks to provide professionals with insights and knowledge into complex environmental issues to guide actions that reduce inequalities and improve health. We describe ten environmental case studies that explore the public perception of health risk. We employed logical analysis of components of each case study and comparative information to generate new evidence. The findings highlight how concerns about environmental issues measurably affect people's wellbeing and led to the development of new understanding about the benefits of taking an earlier and more inclusive approach to risk communication that can now be tested further. © 2010 by the authors. Source

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