Strengthening the evidence base on social determinants of health: measuring everyday discrimination through a CCHS rapid response module - HPCDP: Volume 36-2, February 2016

Volume 36 · Number 2 · February 2016

Release notice

Strengthening the evidence base on social determinants of health: measuring everyday discrimination through a CCHS rapid response module

https://doi.org/10.24095/hpcdp.36.2.04

In March 2014, Statistics Canada released new data on discrimination in Canada, the collection of which was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). These data are now available to researchers across the country through the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN).

A growing body of evidence indicates that discrimination is related to adverse health outcomes (including mental health,Footnote 1,Footnote 2 family violenceFootnote 3,Footnote 4 and obesityFootnote 5). Discrimination has a spectrum of effects across multiple levels: it can be expressed in "micro-aggressions" (assaults on dignity and social status) or in severe verbal or physical assaults, which may result in psychosocial effects such as stress and distress or in physical injury; it can also lead to negative outcomes for health and well-being by creating and reinforcing social inequalities (e.g. in income, housing, employment), which in turn, limit access to resources and opportunities.Footnote 6

However, our capacity to measure discrimination in Canada has been limited. While national surveys have included questions on some aspect of interpersonal discrimination, several have been designed to focus only on a specific sub-population of Canadians. In order to strengthen the evidence base, help raise awareness, enhance our ability to communicate effectively about this issue and support better research and interventions on the links between discrimination and key health and social outcomes, the Social Determinants and Science Integration Directorate of PHAC funded a Rapid Response Module (RRM) in the 2013 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). The RRM comprised questions adapted from the Everyday Discrimination Scale.Footnote 2

The CCHS RRM provides unique information that has never been collected previously on a nationally representative sample in Canada. This information will add a new perspective on self-reported interpersonal discrimination, complementing data that have been collected by other Canadian surveys.

Links to CRDCN:

Links to Statistics Canada:

References

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