Perspectives on population health theory and practice among health workers in a health region
Gibson, Terrance Ward John
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How do health workers understand population health as a concept and as it relates to their practice? How does an accreditation of a health region lead to an understanding of a population health approach? The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which health region staff understands population health and to determine how the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA) accreditation process addresses population health perspectives. The goal was to ascertain the knowledge, practices, and attitudes of the staff with respect to population health in general and with respect to an accreditation process in order to see how a health region integrates a population health component into its services. A case study of the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) was used to determine how a health region can integrate a population health component into the design and delivery of its services. The case study was comprised of a literature review, secondary data review from the 2001 Accreditation Survey Report, and primary data collection from people involved in the 2004 accreditation self-assessment which took place in the health region from March through June, 2004, which was facilitated by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation (CCHSA). Primary data was captured through the use of key informant interviews of twenty employees in the health region. The participants were selected from the sponsors and leads of the accreditation teams that are most connected to a population health perspective; other participants were invited from those teams. These teams were selected by the author after reviewing the results of the CCHSA 2001 Accreditation Report that highlighted areas for improvement. This variety of input from across the teams triangulated the responses. In addition, key informants representing senior management, (i.e. the medical health officer(s) and the Chief Executive Officer for SHR), were also interviewed. These people were included in order to capture the knowledge practices and attitudes of the visionaries and leaders of the region and their ideas with respect to the direction for population health. The thesis closes with a discussion on implications for the policy arena and opportunities for the CCHSA to improve the population health content in their accreditation documents.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentCommunity Health and Epidemiology
ProgramCommunity Health and Epidemiology
CommitteeReeder, Bruce; Abonyi, Sylvia
Copyright DateJanuary 2006
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