What works in tackling health inequalities?

Pathways, policies and practice through the lifecourse

By Sheena Asthana and Joyce Halliday

What works in tackling health inequalities?

In recent years, tackling health inequalities has become a key policy objective in the UK. However, doubts remain about how best to translate broad policy recommendations into practice. One key area of uncertainty concerns the role of local level initiatives.

This book identifies the key targets for intervention through a detailed exploration of the pathways and processes that give rise to health inequalities across the lifecourse. It sets this against an examination of both local practice and the national policy context, to establish what works in health inequalities policy, how and why. Authoritative yet accessible, the book provides a comprehensive account of theory, policy and practice. It spans the lifecourse from the early years to old age and explores the links between biological, psychological, social, educational and economic factors and a range of health outcomes. In addition it describes key policy initiatives, assesses research evidence of 'what works' and examines the limitations of the existing evidence base and highlights key areas of debate.

What works in tackling health inequalities? is essential reading for academics and students in medical sociology, social psychology, social policy and public health, and for policy makers and practitioners working in public health and social exclusion.

Sheena Asthana is Professor of Health Policy at the University of Plymouth. She has a particular interest in health inequalities and health services research. Joyce Halliday is RCUK Academic Fellow in the School of Sociology, Politics and Law at the University of Plymouth and has considerable experience of evaluating area-based initiatives.

Introduction; Part one: The research and policy context of health inequalities: Researching health inequalities; The National Policy context; Part two: Health inequalities pathways, policies and practice through the lifecourse: Early life and health inequalities: research evidence; Early life: policy and practice; Health inequalities during childhood and youth: research evidence; Health inequalities during childhood and youth: policy and practice; Inequalities in health behaviours and the life trajectories of children and youth: research evidence; Inequalities in health behaviours and the life trajectories of children and youth: policy and practice; Health inequalities during adulthood: research evidence; Health inequalities during adulthood: policy and practice; Health inequalites during older age: research evidence; Older age: policy and practice; Part three: Tackling health inequalities: developing an evidence base for public health: Towards a new framework for evidence based public health.

"... the book fills an important gap. It bridges the worlds of research, policy and practice. It offers those seeking to understand and tackle health inequalities - as students, researchers or practitioners - a carefully crafted and balanced overview of scientific evidence." Equal Opportunities International

"Explores the links between biological, psychological, social, educational and economic factors, and a range of health outcomes, describes key policy initiatives, assesses research evidence of 'what works' and examines the limitations of the existing evidence base." International Social Security Review

'...painstaking in its review of existing evidence, clear-sighted in its generalisations and likely to be a useful work of reference for researchers.' Sociology of Health & Illness

"An authoritative and comprehensive account by two key researchers in this emerging and important new field." Daniel Dorling, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

About the book

In recent years, tackling health inequalities has become a key policy objective in the UK. However, doubts remain about how best to translate broad policy recommendations into practice. One key area of uncertainty concerns the role of local level initiatives.

This book identifies the key targets for intervention through a detailed exploration of the pathways and processes that give rise to health inequalities across the lifecourse. It sets this against an examination of both local practice and the national policy context, to establish what works in health inequalities policy, how and why. Authoritative yet accessible, the book provides a comprehensive account of theory, policy and practice. It spans the lifecourse from the early years to old age and explores the links between biological, psychological, social, educational and economic factors and a range of health outcomes. In addition it describes key policy initiatives, assesses research evidence of 'what works' and examines the limitations of the existing evidence base and highlights key areas of debate.

What works in tackling health inequalities? is essential reading for academics and students in medical sociology, social psychology, social policy and public health, and for policy makers and practitioners working in public health and social exclusion.

Content

Introduction; Part one: The research and policy context of health inequalities: Researching health inequalities; The National Policy context; Part two: Health inequalities pathways, policies and practice through the lifecourse: Early life and health inequalities: research evidence; Early life: policy and practice; Health inequalities during childhood and youth: research evidence; Health inequalities during childhood and youth: policy and practice; Inequalities in health behaviours and the life trajectories of children and youth: research evidence; Inequalities in health behaviours and the life trajectories of children and youth: policy and practice; Health inequalities during adulthood: research evidence; Health inequalities during adulthood: policy and practice; Health inequalites during older age: research evidence; Older age: policy and practice; Part three: Tackling health inequalities: developing an evidence base for public health: Towards a new framework for evidence based public health.

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