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Community health and wellbeing
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Improving health in populations in which health is poor is a complex process. This book argues that the traditional government approach of exhorting individuals to live healthier lifestyles is not enough - action to promote public health needs to take place not just through public agencies, but also by engaging community assets and resources in their broadest sense. The book reports lessons from the experience of planning, establishing and delivering such action by the five-year Sustainable Health Action Research Programme (SHARP) in Wales. It critically examines the experience of SHARP in relation to current literature on policy; community health and health inequalities; and action research. The authors make clear how this regional development has produced opportunities for developing general concepts and theory about community-based policy developments that are relevant across national boundaries and show that complex and sustained community action, and effective local partnership, are fundamental components of the mix of factors required to address health inequalities successfully. The book concludes by indicating the connections between SHARP and earlier traditions of community-based action, and by arguing that we need to be bolder in our approaches to community-based health improvement and more flexible in our understanding of the ways in which knowledge and inform developments in health policy. The book will be of interest to practitioners and activists working in community-based projects; students in community development, health studies and medical sociology; professionals working in health promotion, community nursing and allied areas; and policy makers working at local, regional and national levels.
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Table of Contents

Health inequalities in their place ~ Gareth Williams; 'Policy experiments': policy making, implementation and learning ~ Steve Cropper and Mark Goodwin; Policy innovation to tackle health inequalities ~ Alison Porter, Chris Roberts and Angela Clements; Action research partnerships: contributing to evidence and intelligent change ~ Steve Cropper, Helen Snooks, Angela Evans, Janet Pinder and Kevin Shales; Engaging with communities ~ Bronwen Bermingham and Alison Porter; The role of the community-based action researcher ~ Martin O'Neill; Evaluation, evidence and learning in community-based action research ~ Sandra Carlisle, Helen Snooks, Angela Evans and David Cohen; Social theory, social policy and sustainable communities ~ Robert Moore; Beyond the experimenting society ~ Gareth Williams, Steve Cropper, Alison Porter and Helen Snooks.

About the Author

Steve Cropper is Professor of Management in the Centre for Health Planning and Management at Keele University.Alison Porter is a researcher at the School of Medicine at Swansea University.Gareth Williams is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.Sandra Carlisle is currently Research Fellow in the Public Health Section of the University of Glasgow.Robert Moore is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Liverpool.Martin O'Neill Academic Coordinator on the Gates project at Gamorgan University.Chris Roberts is a social researcher in the Public Health and Health Professions Department, Welsh Assembly Government.Helen Snooks is Professor of Health Services Research at Swansea University.

Reviews

"We understand health inequalities pretty well. We're less clear what to do about them. This book shows what can be achieved by activists, researchers and policy makers working together. It takes us beyond description to action for health."Professor Graham Hart, University College London

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