ERIC Number: EJ1020001
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Structural Approaches to Health Promotion: What Do We Need to Know about Policy and Environmental Change?
Lieberman, Lisa; Golden, Shelley D.; Earp, Jo Anne L.
Health Education & Behavior, v40 n5 p520-525 Oct 2013
Although the public health literature has increasingly called on practitioners to implement changes to social, environmental, and political structures as a means of improving population health, recent research suggests that articles evaluating organization, community, or policy changes are more limited than those focused on programs with individuals or their social networks. Even when these approaches appear promising, we do not fully understand whether they will benefit all population groups or can be successful in the absence of accompanying individually oriented programs. The role of this broad category of approaches, including both policy and environmental changes, in decreasing health disparities is also unclear, often benefiting some communities more than others. Finally, the political nature of policy and environmental change, including the impact on personal autonomy, raises questions about the appropriate role for public health professionals in advancing specific policies and practices that alter the conditions in which people live. This article addresses these issues and ends with a series of questions about the effectiveness and ethical implementation of what we have termed "structural initiatives."
Descriptors: Public Health, Health Promotion, Health Education, Health, Ethics, Public Policy, Program Evaluation, Intervention, Holistic Approach, Models, Teacher Role, Personal Autonomy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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