Evaluating health promotion is complex

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7142.1463 (Published 09 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1463
  1. Viv Speller, Senior lecturer,
  2. Alyson Learmonth, Director of health promotion,
  3. Dominic Harrison, Health promotion general manager
  1. Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX
  2. North Durham Community Health Care Trust, Chester-le-Street, Durham DH3 3UR
  3. North West Lancashire Health Promotion Unit, Sharoe Green Hospital, Preston PR2 8DU

    EDITOR—The authors responding to our article on the search for evidence of effective health promotion fail to understand the complexity of evaluating health promotion.1 Britton et al acknowledge that health promotion attempts to intervene at a community or national level, but they contradict this by stating that “most health promotion interventions involve individual behaviour change.” This is true of most health promotion research because behavioural interventions are conducive to experimental evaluation, unlike health goals of organisational and environmental change.

    We stand by our argument that …

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