New Article: Simchai and Keshet, New Age in Israel

Simchai, Dalit and Yael Keshet. “New Age in Israel: Formative ethos, identity blindness, and implications for healthcare.” Health (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363459315595848

 

Abstract

This article presents a critical analysis of New Age culture. We draw on two empirical studies conducted in Israel and show that the lofty notions about freedom from the shackles of socially structured identities and the unifying potential this holds, as well as the claim regarding the basic equality of human beings, are utopian. Blindness toward ethno-national identity reinforces identification with a self-evident hegemonic perception, thereby leading to the exclusion of peripheral groups such as indigenous populations. This exclusion is manifested in the discourse symbolically as well as in the praxis of complementary and alternative medicine, which is one of the main fields in which New Age culture is involved. Thus, the unifying ethos in the New Age culture becomes an illusionary paradise. This article contributes to the study of power relationships between New Age culture in diverse Western countries and the native and peripheral populations of these countries, and to the sociological study of complementary and alternative medicine incorporated into health organizations.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Lerner-Geva et al, Improving the Lifestyle Habits of Kindergarten Children in Israel

Lerner-Geva, Liat, Elinor Bar-Zvi, Gila Levitan, Valentina Boyko, Brian Reichman, and Orit Pinhas-Hamiel. “An Intervention for Improving the Lifestyle Habits of Kindergarten Children in Israel: A Cluster-Randomised Controlled Trial Investigation.” Public Health Nutrition 18.9 (2015): 1537-44.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S136898001400024X

 

Abstract

Objective To assess the effectiveness of an intervention programme to improve kindergarten children’s eating and leisure habits in Israel.

Design A cluster-randomised controlled trial.

Setting Six full-day kindergartens in Israel were randomly divided into three groups. Group A received the full intervention programme, which included lessons on good eating habits and daily physical exercise. Group B received a partial intervention of lessons only. Group C, the reference group, did not receive any intervention.

Subjects Children aged 4–6 years (n 204) were recruited for the study.

Methods Objective data for weight and height were collected to calculate BMI Z-scores. Activity, sedentary time, sleeping hours and daily energy intake were assessed via a parental questionnaire. Nutritional knowledge was assessed by a single dietitian using a questionnaire addressed to the children. Assessments were done at baseline and at the end of the intervention.

Results After adjustment for baseline levels we observed a significant reduction in daily energy intake for the full intervention group A (P = 0·03). A positive intervention effect was demonstrated on nutritional knowledge in the partial intervention group B (P = 0·03), although no significant change was demonstrated for BMI Z-score.

Conclusions The study supports the incorporation of education on healthy lifestyle habits and physical activity into the curricula of kindergartens.

New Article: Pförtner et al, Family Affluence and Smoking among 15-year-old Adolescents

Pförtner, Timo-Kolja, Irene Moor, Katharina Rathmann, Anne Hublet, Michal Molcho, Anton E. Kunst, and Matthias Richter. “The Association between Family Affluence and Smoking among 15-year-old Adolescents in 33 European Countries, Israel and Canada: The Role of National Wealth.” Addiction 110.1 (2015): 162-73.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.12741

 

Abstract

Aims

To examine the role of national wealth in the association between family affluence and adolescent weekly smoking, early smoking behaviour and weekly smoking among former experimenters.

Design and Participants

Data were used from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study conducted in 2005/2006 in 35 countries from Europe and North America that comprises 60 490 students aged 15 years. Multi-level logistic regression was conducted using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods (MCMC) to explore whether associations between family affluence and smoking outcomes were dependent upon national wealth.

Measurement

Family Affluence Scale (FAS) as an indicator for the socio-economic position of students. Current weekly smoking behaviour is defined as at least weekly smoking (dichotomous). Early smoking behaviour is measured by smoking more than a first puff before age 13 years (dichotomous). Weekly smoking among former experimenters is restricted to those who had tried a first puff in the past.

Findings

The logistic multi-level models indicated an association of family affluence with current weekly smoking [odds ratio (OR) = 1.088; 95% credible interval (CrI) = 1.055–1.121, P < 0.001], early smoking behaviour (OR = 1.066; CrI = 1.028–1.104, P < 0.001) and smoking among former experimenters (OR = 1.100; CrI = 1.071–1.130; P < 0.001). Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was associated positively and significantly with the relationship between family affluence and current weekly smoking (OR = 1.005; CrI = 1.003–1.007; P < 0.001), early smoking behaviour (OR = 1.003; CrI = 1.000–1.005; P = 0.012) and smoking among former experimenters (OR = 1.004; CrI = 1.002–1.006; P < 0.001). The association of family affluence and smoking outcomes was significantly stronger for girls.

Conclusions

The difference in smoking prevalence between rich and poor is greater in more affluent countries.

Report: A Picture of the Nation, 2015; Taub Center for Social Policy

The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel Presents:

A Picture of the Nation: Israel’s Society and Economy in Figures, one of the Center’s most popular publications, provides concise and thought-provoking information on Israel’s long-run economic and social trajectories.  Each page of this booklet contains a single graph and short, accompanying text that, when combined, provide the reader with a broad and comprehensive understanding of key socioeconomic issues in Israel today.  Policy makers, the media, the general public, and the global Jewish community look to the Picture of the Nation as an invaluable and highly accessible resource on topics ranging from the labor market to education, poverty and much more.

For the English page, including PDF and PPT versions of the report, as well as previous reports (2002-2014), click here.

For the Hebrew page, click here.

PDF version in English: Picture of the Nation, 2015.

PDF version in Hebrew: תמונת מצב המדינה, 2015.

New Article: Agmon et al, Mentoring on Healthy Behaviors and Well-Being among Israeli Youth in Boarding Schools

Agmon, Maayan, Cheryl Zlotnick, and Anat Finkelstein. “The Relationship between Mentoring on Healthy Behaviors and Well-Being among Israeli Youth in Boarding Schools: A Mixed-Methods Study.” BMC Pediatrics (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12887-015-0327-6

 

Abstract

Background

Although 10% of Israeli youth live in boarding schools, few studies, except for those focusing on mental health, have examined the well-being of this population subgroup. Thus, the aims of this study were to explore: (1) the prevalence rates of five aspects of well-being (i.e., healthy habits, avoidance of risky behaviors, peer relationships, adult relationships, and school environment) in youth residing at Israeli boarding schools; (2) the relationships between youth well-being and youth perception of their mentor; and (3) the different subgroups of youth with higher rates of risky and healthy behaviors.

Methods

This study used a mixed-methods approach including a quantitative survey of youth (n = 158) to examine the association between youth behaviors and perception of their mentor; and a qualitative study consisting of interviews (n = 15) with boarding school staff to better understand the context of these findings.

Results

Greater proportions of boarding school youth, who had positive perceptions of their mentor (the significant adult or parent surrogate), believed both that their teachers thought they were good students (p < 0.01), and that they themselves were good students (p < 0.01). This finding is supported by the qualitative interviews with mentors. Youth living in a boarding school had very similar healthy habits compared to other youth living in Israel; however, youth in the general population, compared to those in the boarding schools, were eating more sweets (OR = 1.39, 95% CI = 1.02-1.90) and engaging in higher levels of television use (OR = 2.64, 95% CI = 1.97-3.54).

Conclusions

Mentors, the significant adult for youth living in residential education environments, have a major influence on school performance, the major focus of their work; mentors had no impact on healthy behaviors. Overall, there were many similarities in healthy behaviors between youth at boarding schools and youth in the general population; however, the differences in healthy habits seemed related to policies governing the boarding schools as well as its structural elements.

New Article: Rosca et al, The Israeli National Substance Abuse Treatment Registry

Rosca, Paula, Alexander Grinshpoon, Keren Goldman, Anatoly Margolis, and Alexander M. Ponizovsky. “The Israeli National Substance Abuse Treatment Registry (INSATR): A Review of the Registry-based Research Findings and Future Implications.” Frontiers in Clinical Medicine 2.1 (2015): 20-27.

 
 

URL: http://www.vkingpub.com/UploadFiles/2015-01/374/2015012009354888839.pdf [PDF]

 
 

Abstract

Substance-related disorders are a major public health problem, requiring the development of primary and secondary prevention programs. The Department for the Treatment of Substance Abuse in the Israeli Ministry of Health maintains an administrative database that includes information on all patients enrolled in substitution programs for substance-related disorders. The Israel National Substance Abuse Treatment Registry (INSATR) was introduced in 1996 to ascertain demographic and clinical characteristics of patients, treatment details and legal data that can contribute to the improvement of care coordination, improved population health outcomes and more robust research data for epidemiological, clinical and service policy research. The aim of this report is to describe the INSATR and illustrate its benefits through a review of the findings of INSATR-related clinical trials and linkage studies to other national registries: the National Psychiatric Hospitalization Registry, National Cancer Registry and National AIDS Registry. The INSATR has demonstrated meaningful use in the assessment of quality of care and quality assurance, and in public health service policies research directed to the development of secondary prevention programs for individuals with substance-related problems in the community.

 
 

Dissertation: Razon, Citizenship, Science, and Medicine in the Negev/Naqab

Razon, Na’amah. Producing Equality: Citizenship, Science, and Medicine in the Negev/Naqab. University of California, San Francisco, 2013.

 

URL: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1461769531

 

Abstract

In 1994 Israel passed the National Health Insurance Law (NHIL), guaranteeing universal and equal healthcare services to all citizens. Universal healthcare, while unprecedented in Israel, did not have a significant impact on the country’s Jewish majority. Yet for minority citizens such as the Bedouin community in the southern Israel, the NHIL transformed access to medical services, increasing insurance coverage from 60% to 100%, and changing the patient demographic in the regional hospital. Nonetheless, since 1995 when the law was implemented, disparities in health outcomes between Jewish and Arab citizens in the country have widened. Healthcare reform took place within a geo-political landscape that continues to marginalize its Arab citizens. Thus the paradigm of equality of healthcare intersects with national policies that create a differential citizenship in Israel. This dissertation, Producing Equality: Citizenship, Science, and Medicine in the Negev/Naqab , examines the impact of Israel’s National Health Insurance Law as a site to understand how Israel’s policies of inclusion and exclusion of Bedouin Arab citizens become entangled. My work highlights the tensions that exist between expansive and technical medical care that the state allocates to its Bedouin citizens, and the limited financial and political support the Bedouin community receives from the government in other spheres. Healthcare in southern Israel provides an important site to study the active production of the boundaries of citizenship, medicine, and reconfiguring of discrimination. I argue that the emphasis on scientific discourse in the medical arena ignores the social and political problems that place much of the Bedouin community in poor health. Therefore social, political, and historical questions that are central to understanding health disparities in the region remain beyond the scope of what providers view as relevant to their work. This bounding of medical care allows for the continuation of discriminatory policies towards the Bedouin citizens, while permitting the state and healthcare providers to assert they provide equal care to all patients.

Subject: Medical Ethics; Middle Eastern Studies; Public health

Classification: 0497: Medical Ethics; 0555: Middle Eastern Studies; 0573: Public health

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Bedouins, Citizenship, Equality, Israel, National Health Insurance Law, Access to services

Number of pages: 279

Publication year: 2013

Degree date: 2013

School code: 0034

Source: DAI-B 75/02(E), Aug 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781303486456

Advisor: Kaufman, Sharon

Committee member: Whitmarsh, Ian, Briggs, Charles

University/institution: University of California, San Francisco

Department: Medical Anthropology

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Source type: Dissertations & Theses

Language: English

Document type: Dissertation/Thesis

Dissertation/thesis number: 3599403

ProQuest document ID: 1461769531