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You are here: Home FAQ How do multiple intervention programs relate to a population health approach?
How do multiple intervention programs relate to a population health approach? Print E-mail
Ontario Public Health Practioners
  • Population health theory states that complex interactions among behavioural, biological, cultural, social, environmental, economic and political factors determine health, and these determinants interact with each other. The effects of one determinant may mitigate or compound the effects of other determinants.
  • Population-health approaches, like the socio-ecological model of health multiple intervention programs are based on, are integrated; they address all the factors that determine health.
  • Multiple intervention programs are designed to affect whole groups of people rather than individuals (Edwards, Mill, & Kothari, 2004). Refer to Box B1 and C1 below.

BOX B1: What is population health?

Population Health Framework

BOX C1: What is population health?

In 1997, the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Advisory Committee on Population Health defined population health as “the health of a population as measured by health status indicators and as influenced by social, economic and physical environments, personal health practices, individual capacity and coping skills, human biology, early childhood development, and health services. As an approach, population health focuses on the interrelated conditions and factors that influence the health of populations over the life course, identifies systematic variations in their patterns of occurrence, and applies the resulting knowledge to develop and implement policies and actions to improve the health and well-being of those populations.”

The overarching goals of a population-health approach are to maintain and improve the health of the entire population and to reduce health inequities between population groups.

There are underlying assumptions in population health:

  1. The complex interactions between individual characteristics, social and economic factors and physical environments determine health
  2. Strategies to improve population health must address the entire range of factors that determine health
  3. Important health gains can be achieved by focusing interventions on the health of the entire population (or significant sub-populations) rather than individuals
  4. Improving health is a shared responsibility that requires the development of healthy public policies in areas outside the traditional health system
  5. The health of a population is closely linked to the distribution of wealth across the population
Last Updated on Sunday, 31 May 2009 17:48