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Evaluating Health PromotionPractice and Methods$
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Margaret Thorogood and Yolande Coombes

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569298

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569298.001.0001

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Evaluating environmental interventions through natural experiments

Evaluating environmental interventions through natural experiments

Chapter:
(p.135) Chapter 10 Evaluating environmental interventions through natural experiments
Source:
Evaluating Health Promotion
Author(s):

Melvyn Hillsdon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569298.003.0010

Natural experiments occur when policy or the forces of nature conspire to produce environments where variations in exposure to health-promoting or health-damaging environments are ‘naturally’ allocated. This might include changes to housing provision, recreational facilities, supermarkets, or transport infrastructure. They are important as they provide an opportunity to evaluate the effects of the wider determinants of health in real-world settings where randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are not feasible. This chapter explores the relationship between the built environment and health behaviours. In particular, it focuses on the challenges and opportunities for evaluating interventions that have manipulated some aspect of the environment either directly or indirectly for health gain.

Keywords:   environmental interventions, health promotion, health behaviour, health interventions, public health, natural experiments

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