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    Exploring intersections of age, gender, immigration, ethnicity, and widowhood among older Chinese immigrants in Canada
    (2023) Wang, Qianyun; Walsh, Christine A.; Tong, Hongmei
    The population of older adults in Canadian society is aging and becoming more ethnically diverse. Some scholars have explored the lived experiences of older immigrants in Western societies; however, studies on widowhood experiences among older immigrants are extremely limited. By adopting an intersectionality framework, this study seeks to address this gap by examining the influences of age, gender, immigrant status, and ethnicity on the lived experience of widowed older Chinese immigrants in Calgary, Canada. Data were collected from twelve in-depth qualitative interviews and thematically analyzed. Older Chinese immigrants’ widowhood experiences were located within intersections of multiple identities. Findings suggest that an intersectionality perspective could be used to better inform the development of social work practice and policy-making for older immigrants.
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    Reclaiming the history of social work education in Africa: initial learnings from the Association for Social Work Education in Africa (ASWEA) document analysis project
    (2023) Kreitzer, Linda; Ouedraogo, Valerie; Lombard, Antoinette; Twikirize, Janestic; Abukari, Ziblim; Tassé, Abye; Musah, Yassannah
    In Ghana, there are symbols that draw clarity to a point of view or speech. These are Adinkra symbols, and each is accompanied by a proverb or moral statement. The Sankofa is a bird looking back and this symbolizes the importance of learning from the past. Our research group has put this symbol into action. Three social welfare conferences held in the 1960s (Ghana, Zambia, and Egypt) concerning social work in West Africa and three expert group workshops of social work educators in the early 1970s, paved the way for the creation of The Association for Social Work Education in Africa (ASWEA) in 1973 with the support of the international community, African governments, and nongovernment organizations. Its purpose was to bring together academics and practitioners interested in African social work education to discuss the issue of social work education in Africa and to be a guiding light to make social work education and practice relevant to social issues in Africa. This included promoting the profession on the continent, supporting research and teaching, providing an avenue to exchange information and experience throughout Africa about the profession of social work, and to address the need to make social work education culturally relevant to the continent of Africa. With a history of colonialism, independence, and westernization, social work education in Africa needed to revolutionize its training and practice to address the needs of the continent.
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    Health inequities experienced by people with developmental disabilities
    (2022) Khanlou, N.; Khan, A.; Vazquez, L. M.; Nunes, F.; Felice, S.; Gateri, Hellen; Srivastava, R.; McMillan, S.; Francis Xavier, J. M.
    The overall purpose of our project is to develop guidelines and recommendations to guide nurses and other service providers as how to deliver effective quality nursing care for persons with DDs. In this Information Sheet, we report on the findings of a survey conducted with nine young adults with DDs, (with the assistance of their caregivers, as needed) to gather the views and perceptions of these youth about their nursing care experiences. A trained interviewer conducted the surveys via an online video platform (Zoom Pro). The participants were six females and three males, between the ages of 16 and 25 years. The DDs impacting these youth included Autism, ADD, cerebral palsy, cortical visual disabilities, global developmental delay, PDD-NOS along with a gene mutation, Fine-Lubinsky syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
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    Transition into the caregiver role among older adults: a study of social participation and social support based on the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Ageing
    (2023) Li, Lun; Wister, Andrew; Lee, Yeonjung; Mitchell, Barbara
    Objectives Older adults (65 years and older) are increasingly providing care for their spouses, family members, and nonkin others (e.g., friends and neighbors). However, available knowledge of older caregivers is limited to spousal caregivers and their psychological outcomes. Other caregiver role types or social outcomes among older caregivers are less well studied. Thus, this study examines the social participation and social support among older caregivers by comparing 3 types of older caregivers, including spousal caregivers, nonspouse family caregivers, and nonkin caregivers. Methods Participants for this study were drawn from the Baseline and Follow-up 1 data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. A total of 3,789 older adults became caregivers during the 2 data collection time points. Linear mixed models were applied to examine the change of social participation and social support among the three caregiver role types over the course of survey. Results The study finds that after transitioning into the caregiving role, spousal caregivers, and nonkin caregivers experienced a decline in social participation, and spousal caregivers also received less social support over time. When comparing the 3 caregiver role types, spousal caregivers reported the greatest decline in social participation and social support. Discussion This study adds to the relatively limited knowledge of older caregivers by presenting the changes in social participation and social support after transitioning into 3 types of caregiver roles. The results indicate the need to provide support for caregivers, particularly spousal and nonkin caregivers, to help them maintain social relationships and networks for participation and support.
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    Examination of the healthy caregiver effect among older adults: findings from the Canadian longitudinal study on aging
    (2023) Li, Lun; Wister, Andrew; Mitchell, Barbara
    Introduction: The Healthy Caregiver Hypothesis (HCH) suggests that caregiving is associated with beneficial health impacts for family caregivers. However, mixed results have been reported, particularly when different levels of caregiving intensity were examined. This study analyzes the relationship between caregiving intensity and three health indicators (functional health, chronic illness, and self-rated general health) among Canadian older adults over 3 years. Methods: We drew upon a subsample of 11,344 participants aged 65 years and older from the Baseline and Follow-up 1 data of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging and used linear mixed models to test the hypothesis based on different levels of caregiving intensity. Results: Older adults who provided low-intensity care recently or continuously reported better functional health and self-rated health than noncaregivers. In contrast, older adults with low-intensity caregiving responsibility reported more chronic conditions over time compared to noncaregivers, but this association was not found for high-intensity caregivers. Discussion/Conclusion: This study elucidates the HCH by incorporating caregiving intensity to understand patterns of better functional health and perceived health but more chronic conditions. The findings yielded from different health indicators suggest the impact of caregiving on health may be domain specific.
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    Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Muslim older immigrants in Edmonton, Alberta: a community-based participatory research project with a local mosque
    (2023) Rehmani, Amyna Ismail; Abdi, Khadija; Mabrouk, Esra Ben; Zhao, Tianqi; Salami, Bukola; Jones, Allyson; Tong, Hongmei; Salma, Jordana
    Objective: Older Muslim immigrants experience multiple vulnerabilities living in Canada. This study explores the experiences of Muslim older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic to identify ways to build community resilience as part of a community-based participatory research partnership with a mosque in Edmonton, Alberta. Methods: Using a mixed-methods approach, check-in surveys (n = 88) followed by semi-structured interviews (n = 16) were conducted to assess the impact of COVID-19 on older adults from the mosque congregation. Quantitative findings were reported through descriptive statistics, and thematic analysis guided the identification of key findings from the interviews using the socioecological model. Results: Three major themes were identified in consultation with a Muslim community advisory committee: (a) triple jeopardy leading to loneliness, (b) decreased access to resources for connectivity, and (c) organizational struggles to provide support during the pandemic. The findings from the survey and interviews highlight various supports that were missing during the pandemic for this population. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the challenges associated with aging in the Muslim population and contributed to further marginalization, with mosques being sites of support during times of crises. Policymakers and service providers must explore ways of engaging mosque-based support systems in meeting the needs of older Muslim adults during pandemics.
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    Multimorbidity resilience and health behaviors among older adults: a longitudinal study using the Canadian longitudinal study on aging
    (2022) Wister, Andrew; Li, Lun; Whitmore, Carly; Ferris, Jennifer; Klasa, Katarzyna; Linkov, Igor
    There has been a growing interest in examining why some individuals adapt and bounce back from multimorbidity (resilience) better than others. This paper investigates the positive role of protective health behaviors on multimorbidity resilience (MR) among older adults focusing on older persons with two or more concurrent chronic conditions, and separately for three multimorbidity chronic illness clusters.
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    The effects of loneliness on depressive symptoms among older adults during COVID-19: longitudinal analyses of the Canadian longitudinal study on aging
    (2023) Wister, Andrew; Li, Lun; Levasseur, Mélanie; Kadowaki, Laura; Pickering, John
    Objectives: This paper examines the longitudinal effects of changes in the association between loneliness and depressive symptoms during the pandemic among older adults (65+). Methods Baseline (2011–2015) and Follow-up 1 (2015–2018) from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), and the Baseline and Exit waves of the CLSA COVID-19 study (April–December, 2020) (n = 12,469) were used. Loneliness was measured using the 3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale and depression using the CES_D- 9. Results Loneliness is associated with depressive symptoms pre-pandemic; and changes in level of loneliness between FUP1 and the COVID Exit survey, adjusting for covariates. No interaction between loneliness and caregiving, and with multimorbidity, on depressive symptoms were observed, and several covariates exhibited associations with depressive symptoms. Discussion Strong support is found for an association between loneliness on depressive symptoms among older adults during the pandemic. Public health approaches addressing loneliness could reduce the burden of depression on older populations.
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    Dimensions of critical social work practice in India
    (2023) Vareed, Baiju
    Critical social work opens a dialogue for social change by challenging the prevailing socio-economic conditions of the people and examining the underlying factors that contribute to the inequality and misery of people. Critical social work includes different theoretical and practice frameworks such as radical social work, anti-oppressive social work, and environmental social work. As a practice approach, critical social work applies to working with individuals, groups, and communities as well as in the clinical and developmental sectors. While all the approaches have their scope of practice in India, this article will focus on understanding and applying structural social work, feminist approaches to social work and Dalit social work in the Indian context. Considering the country's social context, it can be argued that Dalit social work falls within critical social work in India, where the writings and actions of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar contribute to critical social work in India and other parts of the world. The article critically analyses power structures in the country and the manifestation of oppression in different forms and discusses how the practice of critical social work can aid in personal liberation and emancipation in an Indian context.
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    Identity, power, and social work practice in India
    (2023) Vareed, Baiju
    A person's identity puts them in different social categories, positions, and statuses. An individual's social position has corresponding power or powerlessness, which influences their interaction with others in the community. The individual identities, social positions, and authority of social workers place them in a higher level of power in relation to the people they serve. This imbalance of power between social workers and clients affects the helping process. This article discusses how personal identity and power influence social work practice in the Indian context. Social structures like caste-based discrimination and patriarchal norms contribute to inequitable social positioning in the country. Following a critical social work approach, the paper presents the different dimensions of power in the social work relationship and proposes means for sharing power with the clients.
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    Social inclusion and immigrant older adults
    (2021) Tong, Hongmei; Walsh, Christine A.; Bouchard, Nathalie; Lai, Daniel W. L.
    Social inclusion is crucial to older adults as it facilitates them to stay actively; gives them a sense of belonging, purpose, and accomplishment; and enhances their quality of life. Social inclusion also offers opportunities for older adults to continue contributing to the development of society based on their needs, preferences, and abilities. Given the population of immigrants has grown globally, and immigrant older adults are often neglected in policy making, this chapter will discuss the concepts of social inclusion and social exclusion in the context of immigration and specifically for immigrant older adults based on current literature and previous studies. Policy implications and practice recommendations will be outlined.
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    Refugee status is associated with double the odds of psychological distress in mid-to-late life: findings from the Canadian longitudinal study on aging
    (2020) Tong, Hongmei; Lung, Yu; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Kobayashi, Karen M.; Davison, Karen M.; Agbeyaka, Senyo; Fuller‑Thomson, Esme
    Psychological distress is associated with a range of negative outcomes including lower quality of life and an increased risk of premature all-cause mortality. The prevalence of, and factors associated with, psychological distress among middle-aged and older Canadians are understudied. Using the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) baseline data, this study examined factors associated with psychological distress among adults between 45 and 85 years, including refugee status and a wide range of sociodemographic, health-related and social support characteristics. Psychological distress was measured by Kessler’s Psychological Distress Scale-K10 scores. Bivariate and multivariable binary logistic regression analyses were conducted. The prevalence of psychological distress was significantly higher among the 244 refugees (23.8%), compared to 23,149 Canadian-born Canadians (12.8%) and 4,765 non-refugee immigrants (12.6%), despite the fact that the average time the refugees had lived in Canada was more than four decades. The results of the binary logistic regression analysis indicated refugees had twice the age-sex adjusted odds of psychological distress (OR = 2.31, 95% CI: 1.74, 3.07). Even after further adjustment for 16 potential risk factors, a significant relationship remained between refugee status and psychological distress (OR = 1.56; 95% CI = 1.12, 2.17). Other significant factors associated with psychological distress included younger age, female gender, visible minority status, lower household income, not having an undergraduate degree, multimorbidities, chronic pain, and lack of social support. Policies and interventions addressing psychological distress among Canadians in mid- to later life should target refugees and other vulnerable groups.
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    Post‑traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mid‑age and older adults difers by immigrant status and ethnicity, nutrition, and other determinants of health in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)
    (2021) Davison, Karen M.; Hyland, Christina E.; West, Meghan L.; Lin, Shen (Lamson); Tong, Hongmei; Kobayashi, Karen M.; Fuller‑Thomson, Esme
    This study aimed to address knowledge gaps about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mid-age and older adults, with particular attention to the relationship of PTSD with nutrition and with ethnicity and immigrant status.
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    ayahpatisi: practice as ceremony
    (2020) Dion, Amber; Tyler, Stephanie; Pace, Christie; Delver, Karen
    Western theory and practice are over-represented in child welfare services for Indigenous peoples, not the other way around. Contributors to this collection invert the long-held, colonial relationship between Indigenous peoples and systems of child welfare in Canada.
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    Current and future needs of gerontological social work practice in Alberta: findings from the World Café at the Gerontological Symposium in Edmonton, Canada
    (2022) Azulai, Anna; Tong, Hongmei; Quinn, Kathaleen; Mykietka, Kelly
    The growing aging population in Canada has multi-faceted psycho-social needs. Social workers are well-positioned to address these needs, despite many challenges. This paper reports findings from the World Café at the Gerontology Symposium in Alberta, Canada, held in 2018. The goal was to learn from social work practitioners, researchers, and educators (N=49) about current and future needs of gerontological social work in Alberta. There were two research questions: 1) What strategies do social workers need on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels to help better serve the growing older adult population in Alberta? (R1) 2) How can social workers promote the value and contribution of gerontological social work within the interprofessional community? (R2) The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Ten R1-related themes emerged: personal traits of a social worker; professional skills; bio-psycho-social needs of older adults; community connections; access to benefits; gerontological social work education; integrated healthcare; aging policy; ageism; and advocacy to strengthen the voice of older adults. The three R2-related themes include strengthening the status of the social work profession; building trust through demonstrated skills; and interprofessional education and practice.
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    Anti-oppressive practice in anti-trafficking intervention in Nepal
    (2019) Dhungel, Rita
    A significant number of stakeholders are working on anti-trafficking interventions and have played a substantial role in both preventing trafficking and protecting trafficking survivors with a focus on rescue and reintegration. This article examines how various stakeholders, including Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), educators, media representatives, police officials, lawyers, and the community as a whole, have defined “successful” reintegration. The goals of this article are two-fold: (1) to explore the range of programs and services available to survivors to assist in the process of reintegration; and (2) to unpack what the construct of “successful” reintegration actually means to stakeholders, as this subjective standpoint will have an impact on the design, delivery and evaluation of the programs and services. Participatory action research was used as a tool to construct and refine knowledge around the two goals, and the article’s content is based on the research production of eight female trafficking survivors, recognized as co-researchers in this paper, who interviewed a range of stakeholders, and analyzed the resulting data by coding and categorizing. The findings of the study, together with implications for social work practice, will be discussed in this article.
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    Intercultural understanding and pedagogy of empathy: a cultural experiential learning from an interdisciplinary dialogue project
    (2021) Ouedraogo, Valerie
    This paper is grounded on Manassis’ four steps of the pedagogy of empathy. These empathic steps are coupled with Killick’s Critical Intercultural Practice as analytical lenses for my teaching notes and students’ reflective writings. My paper is a pedagogical reflection on the development of intercultural understanding in the context of a Bachelor of Social Work course called Intercultural Practice in Social Work. Social workers who are informed by intercultural learning, knowledge, and skills are well-equipped to work with individuals, families, and community to consider cultural differences and identities. MacEwan University’s Interdisciplinary Dialogue Project is used to enhance experiential learning stimuli in the Intercultural Practice course content, design, and delivery. The discussions and lessons learned illustrate the development of students’ intercultural understanding as participants in the interdisciplinary dialogues.
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    A transformative approach to social work education
    (2017) Dhungel, Rita; Lorenzetti, Liza; Lorenzetti, Diane; Oshchepkova, Tatiana; Haile, Lemlem
    The paper presents an overview of “The Journey Guides Program” - a mentorship and experiential learning framework developed by the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary in Canada. This program was implemented in an Advanced Graduate Seminar, a preparatory course for graduate Social Work students prior to entering their field placements. The purpose of this program is to advance practice-based knowledge in transformative learning. This article begins by discussing critical pedagogy, the theoretical framework that underpinned “The Journey Guides Program”, followed by a description of the eight-step process the authors adopted to implement this program. This paper concludes by presenting our evaluation plan and subsequent steps.
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    Transformative impacts: trafficking survivors for sexual exploitation and their involvement in an emancipatory study in Nepal
    (2016) Dhungel, Rita
    Trafficking of girls and women for sexual exploitations and their reintegration have become serious social issues in the world, particularly in Nepal, drawing the attention of local and international communities, including United Nations, government, academia, practitioners and activists. Nevertheless, the paucity of research on reintegration of trafficking survivors in the Nepalese context exhibits the need for further research. For example, in previous studies, the experiences of trafficking survivors in their reintegration have been examined and some strategies have been proposed through a qualitative approach. However, no studies have been conducted from social justice and feminist paradigms, and therefore the study was designed to bridge the gaps identified in academic investigations. Through the use of Participatory Action Research (PAR), the purpose for this study is to promote transformational/experiential learning opportunities to trafficking survivors and measure its transformative change. By using a number of PAR tools, eight trafficking survivors as co-researchers have examined under researched experiences of survivors on transformational learning opportunities and its implications to transformative impacts. For the purpose of the study, the survivors were significantly involved in analyzing data, mainly in categorizing and coding, however, a praxis (action-reflection-action) encouraging participants to engage in meaningful dialogues and actions, was executed as emancipatory research and liberatory educational tools throughout the study period. The results demonstrate that personal and social transformations were achieved, grounded in experiential evidence in personal narratives. Implications of the study are discussed in the conclusion.
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    How do regulated nurse professionals in Alberta assess geriatric depression in residential care facilities?
    (2019) Azulai, Anna; Walsh, Christine A.
    Although geriatric depression is a prevalent, serious, and under-recognized mental health condition in residential care facilities, there is a dearth of related research in Canada. This exploratory mixed methods study examines the perspectives and practices of regulated nurse professionals on assessment of geriatric depression in residential care facilities in Alberta. Findings from the quantitative surveys (n = 635) and qualitative interviews (n = 14) suggest that geriatric depression is not systematically assessed in these care settings due to multiple challenges, including confusing assessment protocol, inconsistent use and contested clinical utility of current assessment methods in facilities, limited availability of mental health professionals in facilities, and the varied views of regulated nurse professionals on who is responsible for depression assessment in facilities. Implications and future research directions are discussed