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About this book

This book provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to the many definitions, theories and approaches in public health. It is an important book for students and practitioners who are interested in public health, and for those who are keen to improve it.

Table of Contents

A

Activism

Abstract
Activism is action on behalf of a cause, action that goes beyond what is considered to be routine in society (Martin, 2007).
Glenn Laverack

Addiction

Abstract
Addiction is the continuation of a behaviour despite adverse consequences and is characterized by an inability to consistently abstain, to control personal behaviour, cravings, the diminished recognition of significant problems or dysfunctional emotional responses (Angres and Bettinard-Angres, 2008).
Glenn Laverack

Adulthood and Later Life

Abstract
The adult lifespan covers an age range from about 18 to 60 years. Most societies determine adulthood based on reaching either biological maturity or a legally and socially specified age regarded as being independent and responsible (Hubley, Copeman and Woodall, 2013).
Glenn Laverack

Advocacy

Abstract
Advocacy involves people acting on behalf of themselves or on behalf of others to argue a position and to influence the outcome of decisions (Smithies and Webster, 1998).
Glenn Laverack

Asset-Based Community Development

Abstract
Asset-based community development (ABCD) is a methodology that seeks to use the strengths within communities as a means for more sustainable development (Kretzmann and McKnight, 1996).
Glenn Laverack

Autonomy

Abstract
Autonomy refers to the capacity to be self-governing, to making the decisions that will influence one’s life and health. It is linked to what it is to be a person, to be able to choose freely and to be able to formulate how one wants to live one’s life (Kant, Gregor and Reath, 1997).
Glenn Laverack

B

Baby Friendly

Abstract
The baby friendly initiative aims at improving the care of pregnant women, mothers and newborns at maternity and other health care facilities to promote and support breastfeeding (UNICEF, 2014).
Glenn Laverack

Behaviour Change

Abstract
Behaviour change is the process of enabling others to achieve an action, for example, in regard to health behaviour, by an individual, and regardless of actual or perceived health status. The purpose is to promote, protect or maintain health and well-being (WHO, 1998).
Glenn Laverack

C

Capacity Building

Abstract
Capacity building is a process that increases assets and attributes through increasing the knowledge, skills and competencies of the different partners to lead to greater sustainability (Gibbon, Labonte and Laverack, 2002).
Glenn Laverack

Child Protection

Abstract
Child protection refers to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children including commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital cutting. Child protection is also associated with the terms child abuse, child neglect, child exploitation and child maltreatment (UNICEF, 2006).
Glenn Laverack

Climate Change

Abstract
Climate change refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural causes or as a result of a human activity and can lead to increased vulnerability for poor health (WHO, 2011).
Glenn Laverack

Communicable Disease

Abstract
Communicable disease, also called infectious and transmissible disease, comprises illnesses resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic and biological agents in individuals and in population groups (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2013).
Glenn Laverack

Community

Abstract
A community is a specific group of people, sometimes living in a defined geographical area, who can share a common culture, set of values and norms and are arranged in a social structure according to relationships and function (WHO, 1998).
Glenn Laverack

Counter Tactics

Abstract
Counter tactics are a range of actions designed to influence government, researchers, public opinion and policy analysis in support of a counter cause (Hager, 2009).
Glenn Laverack

Critical Education

Abstract
Critical education is a process which allows people to understand the root causes, social context, ideology and personal consequences of an action, policy or discourse (Freire, 2005).
Glenn Laverack

D

Definition

Abstract
Public health aims to promote health, prevent disease, treat illnesses, prolong life, care for the infirm and to provide health services. The public health system can provide a framework to encompass the different sectors that contribute to the health of the public (Hunter, Marks and Smith, 2010).
Glenn Laverack

Disability

Abstract
Disability is an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. A person may be considered disabled if he or she has a condition that affects his or her ability to function without assistance at a level needed to maintain their health and well-being (WHO, 2011).
Glenn Laverack

E

Empowerment

Abstract
Empowerment in the broadest sense is the process by which people work together to increase control over events that determine their lives and health (Werner, 1988).
Glenn Laverack

Environmental Health

Abstract
Environmental health is concerned with the way that the natural and built environment including air, food, water, radiation, chemicals, disease vectors and housing can affect our health and well-being (Friis, 2010).
Glenn Laverack

Epidemiology

Abstract
Epidemiology is the study (or the science of the study) of the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. Epidemiology informs policy decisions and an evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for disease and preventive health care goals (Porta and Last, 2008).
Glenn Laverack

Evidence Based

Abstract
Evidence-based practice, in whatever professional context, involves not only evidence but the judgement (knowledge and experience) of the practitioner and also of their professional partners including members of the community (Craig and Smyth, 2002).
Glenn Laverack

F

Fear-Based Campaigns

Abstract
A fear-based campaign is an intervention that threatens the target audience with harmful outcomes for starting or continuing a particular high-risk behaviour (Corcoran, 2013).
Glenn Laverack

Female Genital Cutting

Abstract
Female genital cutting (FGC), also known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), comprises all procedures involving partial or a total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-therapeutic reasons (WHO, 2008b).
Glenn Laverack

Food Poverty

Abstract
Food poverty can occur when an individual or household is unable to obtain healthy, nutritious food, or cannot access the food they need to eat to avoid hunger (Food Ethics Council, 2014).
Glenn Laverack

G

Gender Mainstreaming

Abstract
Gender mainstreaming is an acknowledgement that gender equality is best achieved by integrating both women’s and men’s health concerns (Smith and Robertson, 2008).
Glenn Laverack

Globalization

Abstract
Globalisation describes processes by which people become more connected and interdependent through increased economic integration, communication, cultural diffusion and international travel (Labonte and Laverack, 2008).
Glenn Laverack

H

Health

Abstract
Health can be defined as a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (World Health Organization, 1998).
Glenn Laverack

Health Economics

Abstract
Health economics is a branch of economics concerned with issues related to efficiency, effectiveness, value and behaviour in the production and consumption of health and health care (Glied and Smith, 2013).
Glenn Laverack

Health Impact Assessment

Abstract
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is the assessment of the health effects, positive or negative, of a project, programme or policy. It is concerned with the future consequences of plans, proposals and policies on the health of communities and populations (Birley, 2011).
Glenn Laverack

Health in All Policies

Abstract
Health in All Policies (HiAP) is an approach that cuts across sectors and systematically takes into account the health implications of decisions, seeks synergies and avoids harmful health impacts in order to improve population health and health equity (WHO, 2014).
Glenn Laverack

Health Information Systems

Abstract
Health information systems are an integrated effort to collect, process, report and use health information and other knowledge to influence policymaking, programme action and research (Lippeveld, 2001).
Glenn Laverack

Health Networks

Abstract
A health network is a structure of relationships, both personal and professional, through which individuals maintain and receive emotional support, resources, services and information for the improvement of their health and well-being (Walker, MacBride and Vachon, 1977).
Glenn Laverack

Health Policy

Abstract
Health policy is concerned with the financing and operation of health care services through taking decisions, setting goals and stating ways to address these goals through, for example, projects, legislation, guidelines and codes of practice (Brown, 1992).
Glenn Laverack

Health Promotion

Abstract
Health promotion remains a contested concept and whilst there is no singularly accepted definition, it can be broadly interpreted as aiming to enable people to take more control over the determinants of their lives and health. Health promotion is both a set of principles involving equity and empowerment and a practice encompassing a range of communication, capacity building, training and politically orientated activities. Health promoters try to increase the assets and attributes of individuals, groups, organizations and communities to gain more control over decisions and resources regarding their health and well-being (Laverack, 2014).
Glenn Laverack

Human Resources for Health

Abstract
Human resources for health also known as health human resources or the health workforce are all people engaged in actions whose primary intent is to enhance health. Human resources for health deals with the planning, development, performance, management, staff retention, research and development for the health care sector (WHO, 2006a).
Glenn Laverack

Hygiene

Abstract
Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases. Good hygiene is theoretically capable of reducing most instances of infection with pathogens transmitted, for example, by the faecal-oral route (Curtis and Cairncross, 2003).
Glenn Laverack

I

Indigenous Peoples

Abstract
Indigenous peoples are estimated at more than 370 million or about 6% of the world population and consist of approximately 5000 distinct peoples in over 70 countries. Other terms that are used to describe indigenous peoples include ‘first nations’, ‘Aboriginal’ and ‘first peoples’ (WHO, 2007).
Glenn Laverack

Inequalities Agenda

Abstract
The inequality agenda refers to how resources are distributed across society, for example, the difference between average incomes, and how countries redistribute resources to share the income that they produce as this directly affects the extent and depth of poverty (European Anti-poverty Network, 2014).
Glenn Laverack

Injury

Abstract
Injury can be categorized as being intentional, including homicide, war, violence, abuse and suicide, and unintentional, including all other forms of injury that are predictable and therefore mostly preventable (WHO, 2004a).
Glenn Laverack

J

Journalism

Abstract
Journalism is a method of inquiry and literary style that aims to provide a service to the public by the dissemination and analysis of information including the use of print publishing, electronic broadcasting, the media and digital technology (Harcup, 2009).
Glenn Laverack

K

Knowledge, Attitude and Practice

Abstract
Knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) is an approach that can be used to promote and evaluate an increase in the knowledge, attitude and practices or behaviours of targeted individuals and groups (Corcoran, 2013).
Glenn Laverack

L

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender

Abstract
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) is intended to emphasize a diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures and refers to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender and not exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (Swain, 2007).
Glenn Laverack

Lifestyle

Abstract
A lifestyle is a way of living based on identifiable patterns of behaviour which can create a pattern of individual’ personal characteristics, social interactions and socioeconomic and environmental conditions (WHO, 1998).
Glenn Laverack

M

Malnutrition

Abstract
Malnutrition refers to insufficient, excessive or imbalanced consumption of nutrients. Malnutrition increases the risk of infection and infectious diseases, and even moderate malnutrition weakens the immune system (Lawrence and Worsley, 2007).
Glenn Laverack

Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Abstract
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) collectively refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, newborn infants under 28 days of age, children under 5 years and up to 10 years of age. MNCH can be used to describe programmes that are inclusive of interventions to improve and protect the health of mothers, their newborn and other children including the making pregnancy safer initiative (WHO, 2010c).
Glenn Laverack

Men’s Health

Abstract
Men’s health is concerned with identifying, preventing and treating conditions that are most common or specific to men (Sabo and Gordon, 1995).
Glenn Laverack

Mental Health

Abstract
Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which people are able to realize their potential and can cope with the everyday stresses of life, can work productively and are able to make a valued contribution to society (WHO, 2001).
Glenn Laverack

N

Needs Assessment

Abstract
Needs assessment is a process that can be used to identify the needs that have been reported by an individual or group (Gilmore 2011).
Glenn Laverack

Non-Communicable Disease

Abstract
Non-communicable or chronic disease persists over a long time and is most prevalent, but not exclusive to, the population aged over 65 years of age (WHO, 2002).
Glenn Laverack

O

Overweight and Obesity

Abstract
Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), that is, a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in metres). A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight (WHO, 2013).
Glenn Laverack

P

Participation

Abstract
Participation builds the interaction of people so that they can address a broad range of common needs by sharing their ideas and experiences (Rifkin, 2011).
Glenn Laverack

Participatory Rural Appraisal

Abstract
Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) is an approach that aims to incorporate the knowledge and opinions of people in the planning, evaluation and management of projects and programmes (Chambers, 1997).
Glenn Laverack

Peer Education

Abstract
Peer education supports people to promote health-enhancing change among their peers. Rather than health professionals educating members of the public, lay persons are felt to be in the best position to encourage healthy behaviour amongst each other (Kelly et al., 1992).
Glenn Laverack

Policy Change

Abstract
Policy is made up of a combination of agendas and actions rather than just one simple decision and is usually the result of governing processes that can be subject to negotiations between a wide range of public, civil society and private actors (Sorensen and Torfmg 2007).
Glenn Laverack

Population Growth

Abstract
Population growth refers to the increase in the number of members of a population estimated over a given time period, such as on a yearly basis (United Nations, 2014).
Glenn Laverack

Power

Abstract
Power can be hard or soft and defines the capacity of some people to produce intended effects on others (Wrong, 1988).
Glenn Laverack

Prevention Paradox

Abstract
The prevention paradox describes the seemingly contradictory situation when the majority of cases of a disease come from a population at low or moderate risk, and only a minority of cases come from the high-risk population of the same disease (Rose, 1985).
Glenn Laverack

Prostitution

Abstract
The term ‘prostitution’ has taken on a meaning of’ sex for sale by force’, such as child sexual exploitation, whilst ‘sex work’ denotes an industry of work by choice. However, the terms prostitution (prostitutes) and sex work (sex workers) are often used synonymously (Laverack and Whipple, 2010).
Glenn Laverack

R

Reformers

Abstract
Historically, public health has played an important role in influencing legislation on sanitation, housing, human rights and working conditions. These actions were also influenced by the desire of government to reduce its own responsibilities and to improve the efficiency of the nation’s workforce. Public health reform was as much due to the discourse of economic production as it was with empowerment and good governance. The period around 1848 was especially pivotal because of a number of key social movements that pursued an agenda of social justice including the socialist and trade union movements in Europe, the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements in the United States and resistance to imperialism in India. Europe saw the revolution in France and in 1848 the first public health act was sanctioned in Britain (Krieger and Birn, 1998).
Glenn Laverack

Risk Communication

Abstract
Risk communication is an interactive process of exchange of information among individuals, groups and institutions about the nature of risk, and which expresses concern, opinions or reactions to risk messages, or to legal and institutional arrangements (Committee on Risk Perception and Communication, 1989).
Glenn Laverack

Risk Factors

Abstract
Risk factors refer to social, economic or biological status, behaviours or environments and are associated with an increased susceptibility to a specific disease, illness or injury (WHO, 1998).
Glenn Laverack

S

Schools

Abstract
A healthy school environment includes health education, health services, nutrition and food safety, physical education and counselling. The school implements policies and practices that respect an individual’s well-being and dignity and works with the local community to help it contribute to the health of the pupils (WHO, 1997).
Glenn Laverack

Sexual Health

Abstract
Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality and not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity (WHO, 2006b).
Glenn Laverack

Social Determinants of Health

Abstract
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age; circumstances that are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources and which are themselves influenced by policy choices (WHO, 2008).
Glenn Laverack

Social Entrepreneurship

Abstract
Social entrepreneurship is the process of pursuing innovative solutions to social problems by drawing upon appropriate thinking in all aspects of the business and non-profit sectors (Dees, 2001).
Glenn Laverack

Social Movements

Abstract
A social movement can be defined as a sustained and organized public effort targeting those in authority, using both conventional and unconventional strategies to achieve its goals (Tilly and Lesley, 2012).
Glenn Laverack

T

Theory of Change

Abstract
The Theory of Change (ToC) is a method for participatory planning and evaluation that can be used to promote social change by defining long-term goals and then mapping backwards to identify necessary preconditions and interventions (Brest, 2010).
Glenn Laverack

Tobacco Control

Abstract
Tobacco control attempts to restrict or prevent the use of tobacco products and includes price and tax increases, structural interventions such as tobacco-free environments, banning advertising and promotion, packaging and labelling and cessation initiatives (David et al., 2010).
Glenn Laverack

U

Upstream and Downstream

Abstract
The terms ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’ refer to the level of intervention to positively impact on the health of people. At the individual (downstream) level, people may be treated for a condition using targeted strategies such as drug therapy for hypertension. At the population (upstream) level, public health works to address the determinants of health which relate to the conditions under which people live such as improved income and better access to health services (McKinlay, 1979).
Glenn Laverack

V

Violence

Abstract
Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development or deprivation (World Health Organization, 2002a).
Glenn Laverack

Volunteerism

Abstract
Volunteerism is an activity that involves spending time doing something for free to benefit the environment or other people (Volunteering England, 2012).
Glenn Laverack

W

Women’s Health

Abstract
Women’s health is concerned with identifying, preventing and treating conditions that are most common or specific to women (WHO, 2013b).
Glenn Laverack

Workplace Health

Abstract
A workplace health approach is based upon four fundamental complementary principles: health promotion, occupational health and safety, human resource management and sustainable development (Chu et al., 2000).
Glenn Laverack

Y

Youth

Abstract
Definitions of youth, adolescents or young people vary according to age but are generally interpreted as being between the ages of 10 and 24 years (Patton et al., 2009).
Glenn Laverack

Z

Zero-Sum

Abstract
A zero-sum situation exists when one can only possess x amount of power to the extent that someone else has an absence of an equivalent amount of power (Laverack, 2004).
Glenn Laverack
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