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Advancing tools to promote health equity across European Union regions: the EURO-HEALTHY project

Santana, P; Freitas, Â; Stefanik, I; Costa, C; Oliveira, M; Rodrigues, TC; Vieira, A; ... EURO-HEALTHY investigators, ; + view all (2020) Advancing tools to promote health equity across European Union regions: the EURO-HEALTHY project. Health Research Policy and Systems , 18 , Article 18. 10.1186/s12961-020-0526-y. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Population health measurements are recognised as appropriate tools to support public health monitoring. Yet, there is still a lack of tools that offer a basis for policy appraisal and for foreseeing impacts on health equity. In the context of persistent regional inequalities, it is critical to ascertain which regions are performing best, which factors might shape future health outcomes and where there is room for improvement. METHODS: Under the EURO-HEALTHY project, tools combining the technical elements of multi-criteria value models and the social elements of participatory processes were developed to measure health in multiple dimensions and to inform policies. The flagship tool is the Population Health Index (PHI), a multidimensional measure that evaluates health from the lens of equity in health determinants and health outcomes, further divided into sub-indices. Foresight tools for policy analysis were also developed, namely: (1) scenarios of future patterns of population health in Europe in 2030, combining group elicitation with the Extreme-World method and (2) a multi-criteria evaluation framework informing policy appraisal (case study of Lisbon). Finally, a WebGIS was built to map and communicate the results to wider audiences. RESULTS: The Population Health Index was applied to all European Union (EU) regions, indicating which regions are lagging behind and where investments are most needed to close the health gap. Three scenarios for 2030 were produced - (1) the 'Failing Europe' scenario (worst case/increasing inequalities), (2) the 'Sustainable Prosperity' scenario (best case/decreasing inequalities) and (3) the 'Being Stuck' scenario (the EU and Member States maintain the status quo). Finally, the policy appraisal exercise conducted in Lisbon illustrates which policies have higher potential to improve health and how their feasibility can change according to different scenarios. CONCLUSIONS: The article makes a theoretical and practical contribution to the field of population health. Theoretically, it contributes to the conceptualisation of health in a broader sense by advancing a model able to integrate multiple aspects of health, including health outcomes and multisectoral determinants. Empirically, the model and tools are closely tied to what is measurable when using the EU context but offering opportunities to be upscaled to other settings.

Type: Article
Title: Advancing tools to promote health equity across European Union regions: the EURO-HEALTHY project
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12961-020-0526-y
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-020-0526-y
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: European Union regions, Foresight, Geographic inequalities, Health equity, Participatory approach, Policy evaluation, Population Health Index, Scenarios, WebGIS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094567
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