SBI & Health Inequalities

30 Jan

What do we know about how SBI (aka IBA) may impact on health inequalities?  The evidence we have so far is fairly limited on this.  There has been a suggestion that effectiveness may be less well-proven for women for example, but little conclusive in relation to SBI for those from lower socio-economic groups.

As those interested in SBI/IBA, we need to be aware of to whom the SBIs are being delivered.  I would love to see an analysis of the socio-economic characteristics of those for whom it has proven effective and comparing that to different lengths of intervention.  Until we have that, I think we need to be taking a careful look at how mass delivery of SBI might impact on health inequalities.  If those who are most likely to engage with it, are those who are least in need in general, then it is possible that SBI will increase health inequalities.

The Cochrane systematic review of SBI in primary care concluded that:

“There is a clear need for more evaluative research on brief interventions with women, younger people and those from cultural minority groups. In addition there is a need for more research in transitional and developing countries.”

No mention of socioeconomic deprivation or health inequalities though – this would seem a clear gap in what we know and something we should be mindful of.

For more info on health inequalities – check out the Glasgow Centre for Population Health’s Framework described in their:

Briefing Paper 23: The development of a framework for monitoring and reviewing health and social inequalities.

Briefing Paper 30: Focus on Inequalities: A Framework for Action

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