Health Data, Services & Policy Improvement


Surveillance data is a critical component in developing effective, equitable health and social policies. However, too often significant gaps exist in the ability of surveillance systems to measure health issues for men, women, and for groupings of men and women. When this is the case, improvements that could be gained in policy and practice by adjusting for the differing needs and priorities of men and women are lost. We can address this issue by focusing on 1) bettering our understanding of the health of women in girls in Canada by improving health surveillance systems, 2) using sex-disaggregated and gender-sensitive data to identify critical themes and priorities in women’s health, and 3) developing responsive, gender-sensitive health and social policy options.

BCCEWH researchers pursue a range of health service improvement and policy relevant projects, many of which are inter-disciplinary, and all of which aim to better the health and lives of Canadian women and girls.

Current project example(s)

Smoking on the Margins

Smoking on the Margins is a study currently under way related to outdoor tobacco policy.  Information has been collected on how the ban on smoking in parks and on beaches was introduced in Vancouver, how it is enforced, and what the response to the ban has been from several groups of people, including current smokers, and women and men who use the parks and beaches. With this research we aim to help designers of outdoor smoking restrictions develop a balanced approach that reduces second-hand smoke exposure, supports people who wish to quit smoking, and does not lead to counter-productive stigmatization or marginalization of current smokers.

Funded by: Canadian Institutes for Health Research
Principal Applicants: Ann Pederson and Chizimuzo Okoli
Co-Principal Applicants: Joan Bottorff, Lorraine Greaves, Natalie Hemsing, Nancy Poole

The Source

The Source is a web-based resource centre of women’s health data, documents, and reports. The Source provides introductory sex- and gender-based analyses (SGBA) on prominent topics in women’s health, followed by links to provincial, national, and international data sources, reports, and reviews.  We are currently working on updating the data related to women’s alcohol use and invite researchers, policy analysts and others to share data and reports which address this important topic in girls’ and women’s health research.

BCCEWH researchers are also involved in projects with several provincial and territorial governments related to health service and policy improvements. One key area of health system improvement is to integrate an understanding of the prevalence of trauma in girls’ and women’s lives and promote trauma-informed practice and policy in treatment and support systems.

Recent Peer Reviewed Publications

  1. Bialystok, L., Poole, N. & Greaves, L. (2013). Preconception care: A call for Canadian guidelines. Canadian Family Physician. 59(10): 1037-1039.
  2.  Liwander, A., Pederson, A. and E. Boyle. (2013). Why the Canadian sedentary behaviour guidelines should reflect sex and gender. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 104(7­), e479-e481.
  3.  Moshrefzadeh, A., Rice, W., Pederson, A. and C.T. Okoli. (2013) A content analysis of media coverage of the introduction of a smoke-free bylaw in Vancouver parks and beaches. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10(9): 4444-4453. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10094444
  4. Okoli, CTC., Johnson A., Pederson A., Adkins S. and W. Rice. (2013). Changes in smoking behaviours following a smoke-free legislation in parks and on beaches. BMJ Open, 3(6). doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002916
  5. Okoli, CTC., Pederson A., Rice W. (2013). Support for a smoke-free bylaw in parks and on beaches. Health Policy, 111(2), 127-134. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2013.03.018

Recent Books

  1. Armstrong, P., Clow, B., Grant, K., Haworth-Brockman, M., Jackson, B. E., Pederson, A., & M. Seeley. (Eds.). (2012). Thinking women and health care reform in Canada. Toronto: Women’s Press.
    Click here for order information

Recent Reports and Knowledge Exchange Materials

  1. Rethinking Women and Healthy Living in Canada, 2013
  2. Trauma Informed Practice Guide, 2013

Linked Websites

Visit the Source website 

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