Table 1

Group demographics and details related to group consultations
Group 1 Group 2
Event Summer School Plenary workshop: “Closing the Social Determinants of Health Paradigm Gap in Less than a Generation” National non-governmental organization consultation on the social determinants of health
Date August 2009 November 2009
Number of Participants 50 by head count estimate at start of session 12
Participant Details Front-line public health and other health practitioners, staff and volunteers from community and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multisectoral health managers, students and academic researchers, the latter two groups representing three universities. A majority of the registrants were female and were working within the government health sector at various levels. Members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council. Well-educated health, education, social service, and public administration professionals in their mid- to late careers, including a number of retired volunteers. Participants consisted of 10 women and 2 men.
Pre-reading None Provided; pre-reading material noted in Methods
Questions Posed 1. How would you describe to a layperson what the SDOH framework is, and what types of actions might be taken on the social determinants of health to reduce health inequalities? 1. What do you understand the SDOH framework to mean?
2. Imagine a thoughtful person who rejects the SDOH notion – what would they say to those immersed in the SDOH paradigm, and what would they be most likely to argue against? 2. Do you see the SDOH framework as having merit and why? If not, why not?
3. Identify the cleavage issues (philosophical, value-based) as well as the information deficits between the two views. 3. For the components of the framework that you see as having merit, how might we move things forward?
Format of Discussion Participants were free to divide themselves among 8 groups, each group with its own specific topic focus to provide context for the discussion: tobacco, mental health, Aboriginal health, interpersonal violence, homelessness, food insecurity, and two open discussion groups. Fishbowl technique for group discussion: 6 members involved in discussion sitting in an inner circle, while the remaining 6 members observed sitting in an outer circle. Switched after 45 min of discussion.
Plenary feedback followed. Plenary feedback followed.
Duration 2 hours of group discussion 45 minutes of group discussion for each group (total 90 minutes)
30 minutes plenary feedback 30 minutes plenary feedback
Recording Procedure Hand-written facilitator notes were taken throughout the discussion, and key points were summarized and shared in the plenary session. The emphasis of these reports were on ‘ah ha’ thoughts, i.e., moments of enlightenment, and ‘stuck’, unresolved issues. All of the discussions were recorded with two digital recorders; handwritten notes by the project coordinator; facilitator flip chart notes.
Consent Research ethics board approval. Multiple pre-notifications about the session were circulated to registrants and assent was obtained from all participants at the beginning of the workshop. Research ethics board approval. Verbal consent was obtained from all participants at the beginning of the session.

McIntyre et al.

McIntyre et al. BMC Research Notes 2013 6:247   doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-247

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