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JournalISSN: 2167-7247

Public Health Research 

About: Public Health Research is an academic journal. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Psychological intervention & Population. It has an ISSN identifier of 2167-7247. It is also open access. Over the lifetime, 477 publication(s) have been published receiving 3510 citation(s).

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TL;DR: A multimethod systematic review builds on the evidence that underpins the current UK guidance on community engagement to identify theoretical models underpinning community engagement and to explore mechanisms and contexts through which communities are engaged to identify community engagement approaches that are effective in reducing health inequalities.
Abstract: Background: Community engagement has been advanced as a promising way of improving health and reducing health inequalities; however, the approach is not yet supported by a strong evidence base. Objectives: To undertake a multimethod systematic review which builds on the evidence that underpins the current UK guidance on community engagement; to identify theoretical models underpinning community engagement; to explore mechanisms and contexts through which communities are engaged; to identify community engagement approaches that are effective in reducing health inequalities, under what circumstances and for whom; and to determine the processes and costs associated with their implementation. Data sources: Databases including the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), The Campbell Library, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) database, the NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED) and EPPI-Centre’s Trials Register of Promoting Health Interventions (TRoPHI) and Database of Promoting Health Effectiveness Reviews (DoPHER) were searched from 1990 to August 2011 for systematic reviews and primary studies. Trials evaluating community engagement interventions reporting health outcomes were included. Review methods: Study eligibility criteria: published after 1990; outcome, economic, or process evaluation; intervention relevant to community engagement; written in English; measured and reported health or community outcomes, or presents cost, resource, or implementation data characterises study populations or reports differential impacts in terms of social determinants of health; conducted in an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country. Study appraisal: risk of bias for outcome evaluations; assessment of validity and relevance for process evaluations; comparison against an economic evaluation checklist for economic evaluations. Synthesis methods: four synthesis approaches were adopted for the different evidence types: theoretical, quantitative, process, and economic evidence. Results: The theoretical synthesis identified key models of community engagement that are underpinned by different theories of changes. Results from 131 studies included in a meta-analysis indicate that there is solid evidence that community engagement interventions have a positive impact on health behaviours, health consequences, self-efficacy and perceived social support outcomes, across various conditions There is insufficient evidence – particularly for long-term outcomes and indirect beneficiaries – to determine whether one particular model of community engagement is likely to be more effective than any other. There are also insufficient data to test the effects on health inequalities, although there is some evidence to suggest that interventions that improve social inequalities (as measured by social support) also improve health behaviours. There is weak evidence from the effectiveness and process evaluations that certain implementation factors may affect intervention success. From the economic analysis, there is weak but inconsistent evidence that community engagement interventions are cost-effective. By combining findings across the syntheses, we produced a new conceptual framework. Limitations: Differences in the populations, intervention approaches and health outcomes made it difficult to pinpoint specific strategies for intervention effectiveness. The syntheses of process and economic evidence were limited by the small (generally not rigorous) evidence base. Conclusions: Community engagement interventions are effective across a wide range of contexts and using a variety of mechanisms. Public health initiatives should incorporate community engagement into intervention design. Evaluations should place greater emphasis on long-term outcomes, outcomes for indirect beneficiaries, process evaluation, and reporting costs and resources data. The theories of change identified and the newly developed conceptual framework are useful tools for researchers and practitioners. We identified trends in the evidence that could provide useful directions for future intervention design and evaluation.

265 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: There is non-definitive evidence for the feasibility and effectiveness of school environment interventions involving community/relationship building, empowering student participation in modifying schools' food/physical activity environments, and playground improvements and Multilevel studies suggest that schools that add value educationally may promote student health.
Abstract: Background: In contrast to curriculum-based health education interventions in schools, the school environment approach promotes health by modifying schools’ physical/social environment. This systematic review reports on the health effects of the school environment and processes by which these might occur. It includes theories, intervention outcome and process evaluations, quantitative studies and qualitative studies. Research questions: Research question (RQ)1: What theories are used to inform school environment interventions or explain school-level health influences? What testable hypotheses are suggested? RQ2: What are the effects on student health/inequalities of school environment interventions addressing organisation/management; teaching/pastoral care/discipline; and the physical environment? What are the costs? RQ3: How feasible/acceptable and context dependent are such interventions? RQ4: What are the effects on student health/inequalities of school-level measures of organisation/management; teaching/ pastoral care/discipline; and the physical environment? RQ5: Through what processes might such influences occur? Data sources: A total of 16 databases were searched between 30 July 2010 and 23 September 2010 to identify relevant studies, including the British Educational Index, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, the Health Management Information Consortium, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsycINFO. In addition, references of included studies were checked and authors contacted. Review methods: In stage 1, we mapped references concerning how the school environment affects health and consulted stakeholders to identify stage 2 priorities. In stage 2, we undertook five reviews corresponding to our RQs.

140 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An ethical–empirical decision aid/checklist is developed that offers a critical framework with which to evaluate current research practice and is a resource for promoting more ethical and evidence-based public health research that is methodologically robust while being sensitive to the experiences of disability.
Abstract: Background: Public health interventions that are effective in the general population are often assumed to apply to people with impairments. However, the evidence to support this is limited and hence there is a need for public health research to take a more explicit account of disability and the perspectives of people with impairments. Objectives: (1) To examine the literature on theories and models of disability; (2) to assess whether or not, and how, intervention studies of effectiveness could incorporate more inclusive approaches that are consistent with these theories and models; and (3) to use the findings to draw out implications for improving evaluative study designs and evidence-based practice. Review methods: The project is a scoping review of the literature. The first stage examines theories and models of disability and reflects on possible connections between theories of disability and public health paradigms. This discussion is used to develop an ethical–empirical decision aid/checklist, informed by a human rights approach to disability and ecological approaches to public health. We apply this decision aid in the second stage of the review to evaluate the extent to which the 30 generic public health reviews of interventions and the 30 disability-specific public health interventions include the diverse experiences of disability. Five deliberation panels were also organised to further refine the decision aid: one with health-care professionals and four with politically and socially active disabled people. Results: The evidence from the review indicated that there has been limited public health engagement with theories and models of disability. Outcome measures were often insensitive to the experiences of disability. Even when disabled people were included, studies rarely engaged with their experiences in any meaningful way. More inclusive research should reflect how people live and ‘flourish’ with disability. Limitations: The scoping review provides a broad appraisal of a particular field. It generates ideas for future practice rather than a definite framework for action. Conclusions: Our ethical–empirical decision aid offers a critical framework with which to evaluate current research practice. It also offers a resource for promoting more ethical and evidence-based public health research that is methodologically robust while being sensitive to the experiences of disability. Future work: Developing more inclusive research and interventions that avoid conceptualising disability as either a ‘burden’ or ‘problem’ is an important starting point. This includes exploring ways of refining and validating current common outcome measures to ensure that they capture a diverse range of disabling experiences, as well as generating evidence on meaningful ways of engaging a broad range of disabled children and adults in the research process.

84 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: IDIs are effective for knowledge acquisition and sexual behaviour, and could usefully contribute to sexual health education in schools, in clinic settings and online; however, there are obstacles to overcome, such as access to information technology and ensuring the quality and safety of interventions.
Abstract: Background: Young people are at risk of poor sexual health and are, therefore, in need of comprehensive, effective sexual health education. Young people are confident and constant users of digital technology, such as the internet and mobile phones, and there are many innovative possibilities for sexual health education involving these technologies. Objectives: To summarise evidence on effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and mechanism of action of interactive digital interventions (IDIs) for sexual health; optimal practice for intervention development; contexts for successful implementation; research methods for digital intervention evaluation; and the future potential of sexual health promotion via digital media. Design: Literature review of evidence on digital interventions for sexual health for young people, integrating the findings with the views of young people, parents and experts in digital media/sexual health. IDIs are defined as digital media programmes that provide health information and tailored decision support, behaviour-change support and/or emotional support. We focus on sexual well-being for young people aged 13–24 years in the UK. Results: There are many imaginative IDIs for sexual health promotion, but few interventions address issues that are important to young people, such as sexual pleasure and relationships. It is vital to collaborate with young people and to use Behaviour-Change Theory in designing interventions. We located 19 randomised controlled trials of IDIs for sexual health promotion for young people, finding a moderate effect on sexual health knowledge [standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.17 to 0.92], a small effect on confidence (self-efficacy) (SMD 0.11, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.20) and a positive effect on sexual behaviour (odds ratio 1.28, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.61), but no significant effects on safer sex intention or biological outcomes. One study suggests that IDIs may be as good as face-to-face interventions for sexual health knowledge and safer sex intention. There are no existing data on the cost-effectiveness of IDIs for sexual health promotion. The impact of an IDI will be determined by the proportion of the target population reached, intervention efficacy, adoption in a setting, how well it is delivered and maintenance/sustainability. All of these elements must be addressed for IDIs to be successful. More collaboration is needed to capitalise on the knowledge of users and stakeholders, the design and software skills of the commercial sector and the theoretical expertise and evaluation skills of academia. Conclusions: IDIs are effective for knowledge acquisition and sexual behaviour, and could usefully contribute to sexual health education in schools, in clinic settings and online; however, there are obstacles to overcome, such as access to information technology and ensuring the quality and safety of interventions.

73 citations

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