School of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Studies

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The School of Public Health and Interdisciplinary Studies research institutes and centres play an important role in specialist teaching and research conducted by academic staff and postgraduate students. This places AUT students at the forefront of much of the ground-breaking research undertaken in New Zealand in the field of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling, and Public Health.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 340
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    Reconnecting Māori in a Post-COVID-19 World: A Blessing in Disguise
    (SAGE, 2023-11-23) Wepa, D; Smith, R; Gemmell, L
    Connectedness for Māori (Indigenous people of New Zealand) is considered a protective factor that maintains hauora (good health) and contributes to holistic wellbeing. A scoping review of the literature was conducted to examine how Māori maintained connectedness during COVID-19. Key themes identified were the digital divide, cultural isolation and revival of traditional practices. Māori methodology and qualitative design involved 10 individual interviews and two hui (gatherings) face-to-face and online with members of Ngāti Kahungunu (an East Coast tribe descended from the eponymous ancestor Kahungunu) from New Zealand to explore how they maintained connectedness during COVID-19. Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis identified the following three themes: The digital divide, the pandemic seen as blessing in disguise and preventing marae (traditional meeting places) from becoming white elephants. The findings of this study will assist the community to develop a bigger project and implement protective factors to remain connected beyond physical space and place.
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    Who Is the Language Policy for? Translation Discrepancies and Their Implications to (Dis)trust
    (Te Ara Poutama, Auckland University of Technology, 2024-05-22) Ting, Chien Ju; Teng, Wei
    This paper investigates the impact of language policy translation as a discursive action on historical and political mechanisms of trust within the context of Indigenous language revitalization in Taiwan. Combining a critical discourse studies approach and translation theories, we examine the translation discrepancies between the Chinese source text and the English translation of Tawain’s Indigenous Language Development Act (2017). We focus on the analysis of the interpersonal meanings conveyed by two Chinese modal verbs (ying/應 and de/得), aiming to elucidate how Taiwan’s Government positions itself within both language versions. The findings suggest that the government constructs itself as more actively responsible for the Indigenous language development in the English version. This strategic move reflects the government’s commitment to enhancing Taiwan’s international reputation as the English version is meant for global audiences. Considering language policy is inherently ideological with the government’s political intentions, we discuss the implication of distrust created by the translation discrepancy. This study highlights that language policy translation can be recontextualized to suit a government’s political agendas and ideological appropriations.
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    Healthcare Provider Payments: Acceptance and Preferences of Myanmar General Practitioners
    (AUTSA, GRS and Tuwhera Open Access, 2022-04-12) Kyu, Ei Mon Thinn
    Universal Health Coverage (UHC), or people's access to quality essential health services without financial hardship, is one of the sustainable development goals for UN member countries to achieve by 2030. However, progress towards UHC has been uneven globally due to weaknesses in health financing. Although high-income countries such as New Zealand have been practising UHC for decades, it remains challenging for low-to-middle income countries to meet the goal in time. Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation now on the verge of becoming a failed state due to the military coup, has struggled to restructure its healthcare financing mechanisms, especially in purchasing health services from private providers. Previous literature is biased to the Global North, with limited reference to Southeast Asia and little research focused on providers' perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs prior to introducing nationwide strategic purchasing payment mechanisms. These research gaps created an opportunity to investigate the relationships between General Practitioners' (GPs) socio-demographic characteristics and clinic services profile and their perceptions on payment methods. This research sought to examine Myanmar GPs' acceptance of, and preferences for, four major healthcare payment methods. A cross-sectional study was used, recruiting 622 participants with a convenience sampling method. A Qualtrics online survey was disseminated to Myanmar GPs through three different channels. The research showed that performance-based payment was the most acceptable and preferred payment method, followed by fee-forservice. Salary payments were reported as the least acceptable and preferred paymenttype, while findings on capitation were inconclusive. Despite the potential for this research to inform strategic purchasing arrangements in Myanmar, the scope for applying these findings, as initially intended, is not realistic in the immediate future because of the current political turmoil. In this context, the study's results provide valuable insights into the possible role of alternative provider payment architectures, particularly during public health emergencies.
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    Case Commentary: A ‘Merciful Approach’ to Discipline for a New Zealand Lawyer’s Misconduct
    (Informa UK Limited, 2024-05-12) Diesfeld, Kate; Rychert, Marta; Surgenor, Lois J; Kelly, Olivia; Kersey, Kate
    A recent decision reveals how a New Zealand’s disciplinary tribunal promoted justice for an unwell lawyer in a case of professional misconduct. In 2023, the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal (LCDT) applied a ‘merciful approach’ when assessing the lawyer’s misconduct and health issues. In Auckland Standards Committee 3 v Ms W [Citation2023], the LCDT discussed the impacts of reproductive treatment in relation to the practitioner’s conduct. This decision is the foundation to compare the disciplinary regime for legal and health practitioners in New Zealand. The article outlines New Zealand’s framework for discipline of lawyers, noting the absence of a health pathway. The article discusses opportunities to resolve cases involving impaired lawyers outside the disciplinary system, including benefits and disadvantages of mandatory reporting. While focusing on the legal profession, the discussion is relevant to other professions and examines health-promoting regulatory strategies from other jurisdictions.
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    Highlighting Models of Indigenous Leadership and Self-Governance for COVID-19 Vaccination Programmes
    (SAGE, 2024-03-11) Clark, Katrina; Crooks, Kristy; Jeyanathan, Bavatharane; Ahmed, Fatima; Kataquapit, Gisele; Sutherland, Celine; Tsuji, Leonard; Moriarity, Robert; Spence, Nicholas; Sekercioglu, Faith; Liberda, Eric; Charania, Nadia
    The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Indigenous populations worldwide placing much importance on rapid and equitable vaccination. Nevertheless, many Indigenous communities have reported high vaccine hesitancy and low COVID-19 vaccine uptake. This may be attributed to various factors, including a lack of support for Indigenous leadership efforts to protect their communities and the pervasive infodemic targeting First Nations Peoples. In August 2022, we hosted an international symposium to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous community leaders, clinicians, and researchers to discuss pandemic experiences and lessons learnt. This commentary highlights examples of harnessing Indigenous leadership and self-governance to design and deliver tailored community-based and culturally appropriate COVID-19 vaccination programmes that improved vaccine uptake in Australia and Canada. These case studies demonstrate that Indigenous social-governance systems need to be valued, respected, and upheld if we are to make meaningful efforts to address health inequities among Indigenous communities during future pandemics.
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