Some basic points on the article
The question of the current discussion is related to modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Life story interviews on which the investigation of the key reasons of infant death is based on were conducted in New Zealand. SIDS rates in the country are recognised to be extremely high among the indigenous Maori population. Thus, nineteen mothers of Maori infants participated in the research.
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The authors’ main argument
The authors of the article draw readers’ attention to poor health conditions people in New Zealand experience. They analyze the interdependence between general health outcomes and SIDS. Much attention is paid to the importance of health promotion programs that can help reduce the modifiable risk factors, among which the most dominant are smoking in pregnancy, infant thermal stress, the sleeping environment safety, a mother’s general mode of life, etc. (Mitchell 2009). According to the authors, the secondary reasons for SIDS, which belong to the so-called non-modifiable risk factors, should not be much discussed; as they are not related to health promotion programs and therefore, can be even omitted. In my opinion, the position is wrong, as such non-modifiable variables as mothers’ socioeconomic status along with unmarried motherhood can be regarded as extremely important to reveal the key reasons for SIDS among the indigenous Maori population. Moreover, it was proved that the environments of poverty and deprivation aggravate the situation with SIDS (Blair et al. 2006). In other words, it becomes evident that low socio-economic circumstances, which belong to non-modifiable risk factors, cannot be neglected, as they affect the increases of SIDS. Keeping in mind that both -modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors are equally important, one can conclude that the major reasons for SIDS are to be equally discussed. There is no need to consider the factors separately and distinguish between more dominant variables and less dominant ones.
The role of socio-economic policies and health promotion interventions
The authors of the current article state that to reduce the levels of SIDS a wide range of strategies must be considered. When speaking about common actions which are to be followed to prevent SIDS, one is to keep in mind that there are socio-economic policies as well as health promotion interventions that are recognized to be of particular concern, as they can affect the situation with SIDS in a positive way. For instance, it seems to be obvious that Maori families must be informed about biological and behavioral factors, which can influence SIDS reduction. The government, in turn, is to be deeply concerned with social and economic deprivation the population of the country faces. Therefore, both –social and personal issues are considered to be equally significant (McManus et al. 2005).
The importance of the qualitative research
I fully agree that the qualitative research the authors rely on in their investigation is the most appropriate method, which can be used to disclose the major factors which impact the levels of SIDS among the Maori population. In my opinion, the chosen method gives an opportunity to analyze a variety of different situations Maori mothers experienced and therefore, to sort out the most common variables, which lead to SIDS as well as the individualized factors SIDS rates depend upon. Furthermore, there is a strong need to clarify that qualitative research allows analyzing life story interviews in detail (Edwards et al. 2007).
The findings of the investigation
The findings of the investigation provided the researchers with an opportunity to understand the role of socio-economic environments (non-modifiable factors) in SIDS increases. Thus, it was revealed that the participants of the investigation grew up in low socio-economic environments. The researchers organized the obtained data in the following way: they distinguished between childhood experiences and adult ones. Restricted knowledge of customary practices is related to childhood experiences. In most cases, women stated that they had no time to build self-confidence while being responsible for housework. On the other hand, the results showed that adult experience is also related to negative economic and social conditions.
Taking into account the obtained findings, one can probably state that social and health equality is to be promoted in order to reduce SIDS (Marmot 2007).
Keeping in mind the analysis of both – modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors in relation to SIDS, it becomes obvious that equal attention is to be paid to biological and behavioral variables along with social and economic ones (Essex et al. 2008). Health promotion programs are to be of governmental concern.
Blair, P, Sidebotham, P, Berry, P, Evans, M, & Fleming, P 2006, ‘Major Epidemiological Changes in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: A 20-year Population-Based Study in the UK’, Lancet, vol. 367, no. 9507, pp. 314-319.
Edwards, S, Moewaka Barnes, H & McCreanor, T 2007, ‘Maori Family Culture: A Context of Youth Development in Counties/Manukau’, Kotuitui, vol. 2, pp. 1-15.
Essex, C, Counsell, A & Geddis, D 2008, ‘The Demographic Characteristics of Early and Late Attendeesor Antenatal Care’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 306-308.
Marmot, M 2007, ‘Achieving Health Equity: From Root Causes to Fair Outcomes’, Lancet, vol. 370, pp. 1153-1163.
McManus, V, Abel, S, McCreanor, T, Haretuku, R, & Tipene-Leach, D 2005. Experiences of Maori SIDS Mothers, Caregivers, and Whanau, Maori SIDS Prevention Programme & Tomaiora, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Mitchell, E 2009, ‘What is the Mechanism of SIDS? Clues from Epidemiology’, Developmental Psychobiology, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 215-222.