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Publishing on Policy: Trends in Public Health

, PhD, CHES, , MPH

Preventing Chronic Disease

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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      Abstract

      Our goal was to explore the number and topics of policy articles published in general public health journals. We conducted an audit of articles in 16 public health journals from 1998 through 2008. Results showed no trends for the decade studied; only 3.7% of all articles published in these journals were policy-related, and the topics most represented were smoking/tobacco, health care, and school policy. As policy research on public health issues continues to develop, researchers have an opportunity to increase dissemination through publication in general public health journals.

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      Most cited references 8

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      An ecological perspective on health promotion programs.

       D Bibeau,  K McLeroy,  K Glanz (1987)
      During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in societal interest in preventing disability and death in the United States by changing individual behaviors linked to the risk of contracting chronic diseases. This renewed interest in health promotion and disease prevention has not been without its critics. Some critics have accused proponents of life-style interventions of promoting a victim-blaming ideology by neglecting the importance of social influences on health and disease. This article proposes an ecological model for health promotion which focuses attention on both individual and social environmental factors as targets for health promotion interventions. It addresses the importance of interventions directed at changing interpersonal, organizational, community, and public policy, factors which support and maintain unhealthy behaviors. The model assumes that appropriate changes in the social environment will produce changes in individuals, and that the support of individuals in the population is essential for implementing environmental changes.
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        Environmental and policy determinants of physical activity in the United States.

        This study examined (1) descriptive patterns in perceived environmental and policy determinants of physical activity and (2) associations between these factors and behavior. A cross-sectional study was conducted from 1999 to 2000 among US adults; individuals at lower income levels were oversampled. Availability of areas for physical activity was generally higher among men than among women. The 4 most commonly reported personal barriers were lack of time, feeling too tired, obtaining enough exercise at one's job, and no motivation to exercise. Neighborhood characteristics, including the presence of sidewalks, enjoyable scenery, heavy traffic, and hills, were positively associated with physical activity. There was a high level of support for health policy-related measures. Up to one third of individuals who had used environmental supports reported an increase in physical activity. An array of environmental and policy determinants, particularly those related to the physical environment, are associated with physical activity and should be taken into account in the design of interventions.
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          Shaping the context of health: a review of environmental and policy approaches in the prevention of chronic diseases.

          Given the growing attention on how environmental and policy interventions can affect chronic disease burden, our objectives are to describe (a) effective and promising interventions to address tobacco use, physical activity, and healthy eating and (b) lessons learned from the literature and practice experience in applying environmental and policy approaches. A total of 17 interventions were reviewed, organized across 3 domains affecting the physical environment/access, economic environment, and communication environment. Many of these interventions are effective. Several lessons are important to consider, such as the need to start with environmental and policy approaches, intervene comprehensively and across multiple levels, make use of economic evaluations, make better use of existing analytic tools, understand the politics and local context, address health disparities, and conduct sound policy research.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
            Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
            Contributors
            Prevention Research Center in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
            ,
            Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
            Journal
            Prev Chronic Dis
            Preventing Chronic Disease
            Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
            1545-1151
            January 2011
            15 December 2010
            : 8
            : 1
            3044033
            21159234
            PCDv81_09_0247
            Categories
            Brief
            Peer Reviewed

            Health & Social care

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