Interventions to reduce cost-of-living impacts on health inequalities 

An Institute of Health Equity review has highlighted the importance of readable and accessible information.

The review looked at interventions aiming to reduce the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

It makes a series of recommendations, including that communications on complex information should meet readability and accessibility guidance, and be relevant to people's lives.

The report also highlights the importance of community engagement and working with the voluntary sector.

Read the full report via the Institute of Health Equity website here

Study: Consequences of misinformation sharing on social media

A new study aims to identify the possible causes of misinformation sharing on social media and its consequences. 

Results from the systematic review, which looked at COVID-19 misinformation, indicated anxiety, fear and perceived risks were major motivators.

These were followed by entertainment, information-seeking, socialisation and self-promotion, lack of trust in science, lack of self-efficacy, and altruism. 

The review also identified the consequences of misinformation in three key areas – individual and society, healthcare institutions and workers, and Government and its institutions.

These consequences included:

  • Mental health issues
  • A shift in focus of healthcare providers from infection prevention to dissemination of accurate information
  • Ruined public trust

Read the full study findings via the SAGE journals website here.

Preconception, pregnancy and healthy weight in childhood

A Food Foundation report argues the Government must do more to break the cycle of health inequalities which results in more than 1 in 5 children in England starting school overweight or obese.

It argues greater support is needed to support low-income women of child-bearing age and expectant parents to eat well.

Policies targeting preconception and pregnancy are largely absent from Government strategies to improve diet-related health.

However, the Food Foundation argues this is a crucial time to lay foundations for a child’s healthy growth trajectory and adult health.

Read more about the report via the Food Foundation website here.

In January, the Government published analysis of preconception health among migrant women in England.

The report includes analysis of social factors, including whether mothers felt they had adequate support.

Download the full analysis findings via the GOV.UK website here.

Study: The relation between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviours

A new study aims to determine whether an individual’s level of eHealth literacy affects actual health-related behaviours.

A systematic review and meta-analysis found a moderate positive correlation between eHealth literacy and health-related behaviours.

Authors argue this indicates eHealth literacy can be a mediator in the process by which health information leads to changes in behaviours. 

However, larger-scale studies are needed to evaluate the detailed relationship for health promotion in the future.

Read the study findings in full here via the JMIR website.

Combating misinformation as a core function of public health

This article outlines how a Misinformation Response Unit was set up by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene during COVID-19.

The unit monitored messages containing dangerous misinformation on multiple media platforms, including social media, non-English media, international sites and community forums. 

It then worked collaboratively with more than 100 community partners to tailor culturally-appropriate, scientifically-accurate messages to different populations.

While further evaluation is needed, initial external and internal interviews suggest the unit helped counter misinformation, leading to improved health and vaccine equity.

Read the full article via the NEJM Catalyst website.

Long Covid Lived Experience Survey insight report published

The ALLIANCE has published its Long Covid Lived Experience survey results in an insight report.

The survey ran throughout September 2022 and asked individuals living with Long Covid and unpaid carers about their priorities for services and healthcare provisions in the future.

Participants were asked what was working well, and not so well, in their Long Covid care, what could be improved, and what would make the biggest impact on their quality of life.

The full findings from the survey can downloaded via the ALLIANCE website here.

Tackling health inequalities – a timeline

The Royal Society of Medicine has published a timeline of work to tackle health inequalities in England.

The timeline begins in 1842 when Edwin Chadwick established a link between poor living standards and the spread of infectious diseases.

It then provides a historical overview of measures to tackle health inequalities in England from the first statutory intervention in health in 1848 to the Health and Care Bill being granted Royal Assent in 2022. 

View and download the full timeline via the Royal Society of Medicine website here.

Study: Communicating with children about life-threatening conditions

A new study explores how communication frameworks could be amended to ensure cultural appropriateness and applicability when communicating with children about life-threatening conditions.

The study was based on the experiences of healthcare professionals working in South Africa and Uganda.

Authors concluded culturally-sensitive communication frameworks could help healthcare professionals to talk with families about what children need to know when they or a caregiver have a serious illness. 

More broadly, effective communication could be facilitated by promoting healthcare professionals’ and communities’ understanding of the benefits of telling children about illness within the family. 

Read the study findings in full via the BMJ website here.

Social Prescribing Standard awarded mandatory status

The Social Prescribing Standard developed by PIF member PRSB has received an Information Standards Notice.

This makes its use a requirement in specific care settings.

Find out more about the standard, and when it is mandatory, via the PRSB website here.

Self Care Week 2022 review published

PIF member the Self Care Forum has published a review of its 2022 Self Care Week activity.

The review shows more than 800 organisations and individuals took part and The Power of Self Care was the most downloaded resource.

Read more highlights from the review via the Self Care website here.

Event: Shaping through storytelling

A free workshop hosted by the Coalition for Personalised Care will explore how stories can change the health and social care landscape.

The workshop is the first in a series of three focusing on Storytelling: the 3Ss of co-production.

It takes place from 1.30pm to 3pm on Tuesday, 28 February.

Book your place via the Eventbrite website here.

Event: Rare Disease Day webinar

The Office for Rare Conditions Glasgow and Genetic Alliance UK are hosting a free webinar to mark Rare Disease Day.

Topics will include living with a rare condition and how to support people living with a rare condition.

The webinar takes place from 1pm to 2pm on Monday, 27 February.

Book your place via the Eventbrite website here.