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Primary Health Care and Women:
An Annotated Bibliography

Prepared on behalf of the National Coordinating Group on Health Care Reform and Women
  © April 2001




Introduction

This bibliography has been developed on behalf of the National Coordinating Group on Health Care Reform and Women. Its purpose is to address the following question: Do policy and research related to primary [health] care consider gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other differences, and in what ways are these differences considered? With this question as the dominant concern, the citations are listed under six categories:

  • definitions of primary health care and primary care
  • gender and other differences in policy and research
  • care recipients and their access to care
  • services and providers
  • payment schemes for patients and providers
  • decision–making structures related to how, when, where, and what care is delivered.

The second category, gender and other differences in policy and research, while implicit to the entire work, is also made explicit through the use of a separate category.

The term "primary health care" was initially framed in this work as an over-arching term inclusive of "primary care". This is an important consideration since the terms are often used interchangeably in literature. In addition, primary care is often conflated with medical care, based no doubt on the fact that for many people throughout the developed world the physician is their point of entry to the health care system. This bibliography is not limited in its scope to primary health care, primary care, or medical–based care.

As work on the bibliography progressed, it became increasingly evident that primary health care is not an over–arching concept for primary care. Primary care is physicianoriented and physician–directed care. To a high degree, the focus of research in primary care is on individuals and their access to diagnostic and treatment services. Primary health care emerges infrequently in surprising places welcomed mainly by vulnerable and underserved groups. The providers, often nurses and a growing number of other health care professionals, offer a range of services: treatment, prevention, support, and health promotion. Their interests are directed toward individuals and groups and at times toward populations. Their interest also at times extends beyond service provision to the economic, social, cultural, and political experiences that shape peoples lives. But let the bibliography make its own contribution so that the reader can attach the meanings she/he perceives.


Prepared by: Carolyn Schellenberg
on behalf of: the National Coordinating Group on Health Care Reform and Women
an initiative of : The Centres of Excellence for Women's Health Program of Health Canada

 

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