Implementing community-based health promotion in socio-economically disadvantaged areas: a qualitative study

Emma Lawlor, Margaret Cupples, Michael Donnelly, Mark Tully

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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There is a gradient relationship between socio-economic status and health. We investigated the views and perceptions of health promotion service providers regarding factors that affect lack of engagement in public health initiatives by residents in socio-economically disadvantaged (SED) communities.

We conducted semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of key providers (n = 15) of community-based health promotion services to elicit their views about engagement-related factors and their experiences of the provision, delivery and impact of health promotion in SED areas. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis.

Failure to (i) recognise within SED communities, socio-cultural norms of health-related behaviour and (ii) communicate to local residents an understanding of complex lifestyle influences appeared to affect adversely service engagement and contribute to the development of negative attitudes towards health promotion. Engagement is more likely when services are delivered within familiar settings, peer support is available, initiatives are organized within existing groups, external incentives are offered and there are options regarding times and locations. Collaborative working between providers and communities facilitates efficient, context-sensitive service delivery.

Knowledge of a local community and its socio-environmental context alongside a collaborative, facilitative and tailored approach to delivery are required to ensure successful engagement of SED communities in health promotion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2019


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