Specific Activities of the Lupina Foundation

The Lupina Foundation is active in the following areas:

Health Anxiety

Individuals suffering from health anxiety are a drain on resources in every area of medical practice. There have been estimates that illness worries varying from rational concerns to constant incapacitating fears occurs in 10-20% of normal people. It has been estimated that 30-80% of patients who consult physicians present with symptoms for which there are no physical basis. Health anxiety can arise in two major situations. Patients can present to medical personnel with a preoccupation with fears of having, or the idea that they have, a serious disease based on a misintepretation of one or more bodily signs or symptoms. The second aspect is that patients with general or serious medical conditions become dysfunctional with their preoccupations and fears with their condition. The preoccupation with bodily symptoms, whether a disease is present or not, causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. In addition, medical personnel frequently formulate demanding profiles of constant reassurance seeking patients whether they have or do not have demonstrable medical conditions or diseases. These attitudes may and do lead to less than optimal health care. In addition, there are cases where individuals with advanced medical conditions do not present to medical personnel because of their health anxiety.

Social Factors in Health Risk

The relationship between income inequality, socioeconomic status and population has been demonstrated across a numerous studies, both between and within countries, for most major causes of death and morbidity. The role of socioeconomic factors was highlighted in the 1998 annual report of the National Center for Health Statistics. Social factors in health risk were first noted in the Whitehall Study of British civil servants. A gradient has been reported relating morbidity and mortality to socioeconomic status. In other words, not only were the lowest groups affected, but the relationship continues up the socioeconomic ladder. Behavioural risk was found to be less important than income disparities. In addressing these areas, among the aspects to be explored are issues of governance and the role of civil society groups.

Access to Health Services

Access to health services by under-serviced groups is affected by demographic, gender and socio-economic factors. In their search to improve the health of underserviced people, policy makers have redefined the concept of underservice to include a broad range of fundamental factors affecting population health. One possible explanation for the correlation between income inequality and health outcomes is that as the social distance between the rich and the poor widens, their interests diverge. Investment in public goods e.g. education, childcare, health, become less appealing for the better off because they are able to finance these expenditures privately. In the US, trend lines indicate that states with higher income inequality generally spend less that their more equal counterparts on education, welfare, health care and other public services.

To assist individuals or organizations in formulating proposals, the following examples may be helpful. The foundation has underdevelopment at the University of Toronto in support of a programme of Research Fellowships in the area of Health and Society.

Examples include:

  • Health Care and Poor Relief in the 19th Century

    A historical study of the role of the place of womenÕs health care in the Poor Relief system in Canada during the 19th century and the emergence of the modern welfare system

  • Economic Factors in Access to Home Care

    A study of the impact of economic factors in assessing home care services in Ontario.

  • Social and Economic Determinants of Health Status

    A review of all the existing scientific literature on social and economic determinants of health status.

  • Pharmaceutical Pricing in Developing Countries

    A study of the policy of drug pricing and its impact on health in developing countries.

  • Access to Gynecological Services by Immigrant Muslim Women

    A comparative study of access to gynecological services by immigrant Muslim women in Toronto and Stuttgart.

  • Health Reform in China

    A study on the impact of urban reform and access to health services in Shanghai.



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