Health inequalities are one of the main challenges for public health policy. To reduce and eliminate health inequalities, we need to conduct an initial assessment of health inequalities, using appropriate indicators, and conduct systematic and long-term monitoring of health inequalities. My research aims to analyze the social determinants of health and health inequities among working-age Ukrainian population; identify indicators for monitoring health inequities; and, develop an evidence-based model for a new approach to public health policy in Ukraine based on social determinants of health and illness.
An explanatory sequential mixed methods design will be used. In the first, quantitative phase of the research, I will conduct a secondary data analysis of existing Ukrainian data, as well as, develop and implement a national survey of health inequalities. I will also conduct a secondary data analysis of an EU-database for analyzing country differences to compare population health outcomes in Ukraine vis-à-vis the EU. The second, qualitative phase, will involve in-depth interviews with people experiencing vulnerability in health. Also this phase includes developing case studies of good policy practices to tackle inequalities in health in the EU countries for potential adoption in Ukraine as well as developing a policy paper considering ways to tackle health inequalities in Ukraine. The proposed research is important not only for scientists but also useful for the national government as a base for developing strategies to reduce and eliminate health inequalities.
Iryna Mazhak received her PhD degree from the Institute of Sociology of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in 2012. She was Fulbright Visiting Researcher at University of Alabama in Birmingham (USA) on a Fulbright Faculty Development Program in 2014-2015. Her research has focused on the social determinants of health and health inequalities among working-age population in Ukraine.