Community health promotion: A framework to facilitate and evaluate supportive social environments for health
The evaluation of community health promotion designed to create supportive social environments for health is still in its infancy. There is a lack of consensus on concepts, a lack of information on interventions that bring about social change, and a lack of feasible methods and tools. Consequently, the effectiveness of community health promotion may not be evaluated under all relevant headings. Therefore, this study aims to contribute to the evaluation of change in the social environment by presenting a framework. On the basis of the relevant literature we describe the relation between social environment and health predicting mediators. We selected participation and collaboration as core concepts in moderating the social environment of health because these terms give insight into the actual dynamics of health promotion practice. We synthesize the results into a framework with operational variables and offer four guidelines on how to apply the framework: use the variables as a menu, set specific aims for social change processes, use an action research approach, and triangulate data. The framework and guidelines enable the start-up, facilitation and evaluation of social change and learning processes and provide common ground for researchers and practitioners to improve the practice of their professions.
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