Journal article reveals unacceptably high levels of socioeconomic disadvantage

August 27, 2019

A paper by the BC Healthy Connections Project team has just been published in the prestigious journal BMC Public Health.

This “baseline” paper provides a profile of participants in a BC-based scientific evaluation of the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program when they first entered the study, in early pregnancy. The paper reveals a group of girls and young women coping with substantial adversities. In addition to low income, most also face single parenthood, limited education, housing instability, severe anxiety or depression and experiences of maltreatment themselves when they were younger.

“Despite Canada’s public programs,” the paper concludes, “these pregnant girls and young women were not being adequately reached by social services. Our study adds new data to inform early intervention planning, suggesting that unacceptably high levels of socioeconomic disadvantage exist for some young British Columbians.”

The paper suggests that greater health and social supports and services are warranted for the young mothers and children involved, as well as for populations like them. The authors note that most of the adversities they have depicted are avoidable — with NFP being the starting point for prevention programming that can better support young families.

BMC Public Health is an open access, peer-reviewed journal, publishing articles on the epidemiology of disease and the understanding of all aspects of public health. The journal has a special focus on the social determinants of health, the environmental, behavioural, and occupational correlates of health and disease, and the impact of health policies, practices and interventions on the community.

A full copy of the paper may be seen here.

The BC Healthy Connections Project is continuing to follow these girls and young women and their children. Future reports will cover prenatal findings and the impact of NFP on child development and mental health when children reach age two years.