Addressing inequalities in health through a community-led, place based, collaborative approach to promoting physical activity
ISPAH ePoster Library. Gibson E. Oct 15, 2018; 225473; 165
Emma Gibson
Emma Gibson
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Abstract IntroductionCross-sectoral partnerships can strengthen the integration of evidence into policy and practice, engaging communities experiencing greatest inequalities to promote physical activity (PA). MethodsA collaborative, embedded research project was undertaken involving Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a local authority in NE England, a voluntary and community sector organisation (VCS) and local communities. Participatory methods were used, alongside interviews and focus groups (FGs) with community members (n=27), children (n=30), teachers (n=12) and interviews with VCS staff (n=12). ResultsOur findings show that community-led interventions are effective in promoting PA, engaging families and local primary schools in a whole system approach to active living. This collective endeavour requires cross-sectoral responses to the structural, financial, and environmental barriers identified. Effective partnerships and shared decision making offer promising ways of achieving change in the physical and social environment, driven by community members. Two practical examples are given of co-produced solutions to address traffic concerns, change attitudes to leisure facilities and stimulate evidence-informed changes in policy and practice. We show how wider benefits were achieved, including increased connectivity, self-confidence, and enhanced social relationships.ConclusionsTargeted, place-based approaches require trusting relationships between agencies, researchers and local communities to tackle deep-rooted inequalities in health. Robust, visionary, leadership supported by non-judgmental, trusted staff can engage people in transformative change to promote PA. Embedded researchers can facilitate links between academia, policy and practice, increase understanding of local context, and address the wider determinants of health with communities facing disadvantage. External funding details Study funded by Gateshead Council
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