Structural Approaches in Public Health

ISBN 13: 9780415500852

Structural Approaches in Public Health

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9780415500852: Structural Approaches in Public Health
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A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2014!

That health has many social determinants is well established and a myriad range of structural factors – social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental – are now known to impact on population well-being. Public health practice has started exploring and responding to a range of health-related challenges from a structural paradigm, including individual and population vulnerability to infection with HIV and AIDS, injury-prevention, obesity, and smoking cessation.

Recognising the inadequacy of public health responses that focus solely on individual behaviour change to improve population health outcomes, this text promotes a more holistic approach. Discussing the structural factors related to health and well-being that are both within and outside of an individual’s control, it explores what form structural approaches can take, the underlying theory of structure as a risk factor and the local realities, environments, and priorities that public health practitioners need to take into consideration. Anchored in empirical evidence, the book provides case studies of innovative and influential interventions – from the 100% condom program, to urban planning, injury prevention, and the provision of adequate clean drinking water and sanitation systems – and concludes with a section on implementing and evaluating structural public health programs.

This comprehensive text brings together a selection of internationally-recognised authors to provide an overview for students and practitioners working in or concerned with public health around the globe.

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About the Author:

Marni Sommer is Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, and Director of the Global Health Track for the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, USA. She is the Executive Editor of the journal Global Public Health.

Richard Parker is Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Anthropology, and Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Politics, and Health at Columbia University, USA. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Global Public Health.

Review:

‘The book is a welcome addition to the literature for professionals and researchers interested in the art and science of defining, designing, implementing, and evaluating structural public health programs. ... This outstanding book should be required reading for those interested in enhancing their understanding of the complexities involved in structural and environmental approaches in public health. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.’ D.E. Bill, West Chester University, in CHOICE, May 2014 

‘Structural approaches are essential to advance population health, and yet they are often under-resourced and less promoted as compared to medical interventions. This book uniquely brings together the experience of some of the world's experts in this field, covering many aspects of public health’ – Peter Piot, Professor of Global Health and Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

‘This book is a must for anyone interested in understanding public health prevention and intervention science in general and structural interventions in particular. The chapters represent a multitude of disciplinary and international perspectives that cover the complex theoretical underpinnings of the field as intelligently as they do its implications for the design and evaluation of specific interventions. Together, the chapters remind us that the successful promotion of public health, both globally and locally, urgently requires solutions that attend to inequality within and between societies, and identify a range of concrete directions and opportunities for developing such solutions.’ – Kim M. Blankenship, Professor and Director of the Center on Health, Risk and Society, American University, USA

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