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Identifying adverse effects of area-based health policy: An ethnographic study of a deprived neighbourhood in England
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-22, 14:17 authored by Oli Williams
Health interventions commonly have adverse effects. Addressing these could significantly improve health outcomes. This paper addresses an adverse effect common in the promotion of health behaviours: exacerbation of health inequalities between low- and high-socioeconomic groups. Health behaviours – particularly, physical activity - are positioned within the context of social inequality and the inequitable spatial distribution of resources. Area-based health policy that targets deprived areas is assessed for its capacity to promote health behaviours without exacerbating inequality. Data are derived from a 16-month ethnography in a deprived English neighbourhood that was the target of area-based intervention that prioritised the promotion of physical activity. Findings provide evidence of adverse intervention effects that further disadvantaged the low-socioeconomic population. Analysis demonstrates how this was ultimately the outcome of localised policy drifting away from initial commitments to equitable service access. These findings increase understanding of the processes through which adverse intervention effects arise and how they can be mitigated.
My time is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (CLAHRC West) at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.
CitationHealth & Place, 2017, 45, pp. 85-91
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)