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Evidence-based Public HealthEffectiveness and efficiency$
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Amanda Killoran and Mike P. Kelly

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563623

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563623.001.0001

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Improving population health through area-based social interventions: generating evidence in a complex world

Improving population health through area-based social interventions: generating evidence in a complex world

Chapter:
(p.287) Chapter 18 Improving population health through area-based social interventions: generating evidence in a complex world
Source:
Evidence-based Public Health
Author(s):

Steven Cummins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563623.003.018

Targeted interventions to improve population health have long been a feature of public health practice in high-income nations. Area-based interventions focused on improving the health of deprived communities have been a particularly important part of government policy since 1997. Such an approach has coincided with an increasing recognition of the role of ‘context’ in shaping individual health outcomes. The idea that risk factors for poor health and health inequality are not just properties of the individual but are also properties of neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, and other environmental settings, is a welcome one. However, the challenge for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers is to populate a sparse evidence base for the effectiveness of environmental interventions targeted at specific communities. Drawing on the evaluation of a ‘natural’ community experiment to improve diet in Glasgow — the Glasgow Superstore Project — this chapter outlines some of the challenges of generating evidence for the effectiveness of area-based strategies for heath improvement.

Keywords:   health programmes, public health interventions, social interventions, Glasgow Superstore Project, area-based strategies

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