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A review of health impact assessment frameworks

Mindell, J.S.; Boltong, A.; Forde, I.; (2008) A review of health impact assessment frameworks. Journal of Public Health , 122 (11) pp. 1177-1187. 10.1016/j.puhe.2008.03.014. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Consideration of health impacts of non-health sector policies has been encouraged in many countries, with health impact assessment (HIA) increasingly used worldwide for this purpose. HIA aims to assess the potential impacts of a proposal and make recommendations to improve the potential health outcomes and minimize inequalities. Although many of the same techniques can be used, such as community consultation, engagement or profiling, HIA differs from other community health approaches in its starting point, purpose and relationship to interventions. Many frameworks have been produced to aid practitioners in conducting HIA. Objective: To review the many HIA frameworks in a systematic and comparative way. Study design: Systematic review. Method: The literature was searched to identify published frameworks giving sufficient guidance for those with the necessary skills to be able to undertake an HIA. Results: Approaches to HIA reflect their origins, particularly those derived from Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Early HIA resources tended to use a biomedical model of health and examine projects. Later developmentswere designed for usewith policy proposals, and tended to use a socio-economic or environmental model of health. There aremore similarities than differences in approaches to HIA, with convergence over time, such as the distinction between ‘narrow’ and ‘broad’ focus HIA disappearing. Consideration of health disparities is integral to most HIA frameworks but not universal. A few resources focus solely on inequalities. The extent of community participation advocated varies considerably. Conclusion: It is important to select an HIA framework designed for a comparable context, level of proposal and available resources.

Type: Article
Title: A review of health impact assessment frameworks
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2008.03.014
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2008.03.014
Language: English
Additional information: Review paper
Keywords: Health impact assessment (HIA); Review; Frameworks; Guidelines; Policy
UCL classification: 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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/5218
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