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Type: Journal article
Title: Economic rationalisation of health behaviours: the dangers of attempting policy discussions in a vacuum
Author: Reilly, R.
Rowley, K.
Luke, J.
Doyle, J.
Ritte, R.
O'Shea, R.
Brown, A.
Citation: Social Science and Medicine, 2014; 114:200-203
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0277-9536
Statement of
Rachel Reilly, Kevin Rowley Joanne Luke Joyce Doyle Rebecca Ritte Rebekah O, Shea Alex Brown
Abstract: When analysing the health behaviours of any group of people, understanding the constraints and possibilities for individual agency as shaped by the broader societal context is critical. In recent decades, our understanding of the ways in which physical and social environments influence health and health behaviours has expanded greatly. The authors of a recent analysis of Australian Aboriginal health data using an economic ‘rational choice model,’ published in this journal, claim to make a useful contribution to policy discussions relating to Aboriginal health, but neglect context. By doing so, they neglect the very factors that determine the success or failure of policy change. Notwithstanding the technical sophistication of the analyses, by ignoring most relevant determinants of health, the conclusions misrepresent the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and therefore risk perpetuating harm, rather than improving health.
Keywords: Australia; Aboriginal health; health policy; health inequalities; social determinants; lifestyle; rational choice model; research ethics
Rights: © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
RMID: 0030059430
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.04.036
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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