Health promotion evaluation

Health promotion evaluation:

Health promotion evaluation is an assessment of the extent to which health promotion actions achieve a “valued” outcome.

Reference: new definition

The extent to which health promotion actions enable individuals or communities to exert control over their health represents a central element of health promotion evaluation.

In many cases it is difficult to trace the pathway which links particular health promotion activities to health outcomes. This may be for a number of reasons, for example, because of the technical difficulties of isolating cause and effect in complex, “real-life” situations. Therefore, most recent outcome models in health promotion distinguish between different types of outcomes and suggest a hierarchy among them. Health promotion outcomes represent the first point of assessment and reflect modifications to those personal, social and environmental factors which are a means to improve people’s control over their health. Changes in the determinants of health are defined as intermediate health outcomes. Changes in health status represent health outcomes.

In most cases, there is also “value” placed on the process by which different outcomes are achieved. In terms of valued processes, evaluations of health promotion activities may be participatory, involving all those with a vested interest in the initiative; interdisciplinary, by involving a variety of disciplinary perspectives; integrated into all stages of the development and implementation of a health promotion initiative; and help build the capacity of individuals, communities, organizations and governments to address important health problems.

Source: Health Promotion Glossary (1998), WHO/HPR/HEP/98.1