The Norwegian "Campaign Against Home Accidents" was launched nationwide during 1988 to 1991, with the goal of reducing the incidence of home accidents by 20%. The aim of the campaign was to urge primarily the municipal health services to form local accident prevention groups and to implement local measures for prevention of home accidents. On the basis of two surveys, after one year and at the end of the national campaign, an evaluation was carried out concerning the participation of the municipal health services in the campaign and the impact of the campaign on local accident prevention activities. The results indicate that the national campaign engaged the majority of the municipalities and stimulated local accident prevention work to some extent. Most local activities were health education measures, whereas environmental intervention were less commonly reported. Involvement in the campaign was the variable most related to level of accident prevention activities at the end of the campaign period. However, the relationship was only modest. Restricted economical resources, too little emphasis on environmental change, lack of political involvement and insufficient use of coalition partners at the community level are suggested as the major explanations for the limited effect of the campaign.
BACKGROUND: The types and quantity of non-response in surveys influence the extent to which the results may be generalized. This study analysed trends in non-response in the Danish Health Interview Surveys from 1987 to 1994 and used the National Patient Registry to assess whether non-response biased the estimated population prevalence of morbidity when solely based on responders. METHODS: The data were for the 23,096 adults sampled for the Danish Health Interview Surveys in 1987, 1991 and 1994. All were followed using the National Patient Registry to obtain such information as hospital admissions. RESULTS: Non-response increased from 20.0% in 1987 to 22.6% in 1994. Four combinations of background variables characterized the non-response: gender and age; gender and civil status; county of residence and age; survey year and age. Non-respondents and respondents had identical gender- and age-standardized hospital admission rates for approximately 5 years before and 2 years after data collection, but non-respondents had a significantly higher rate immediately before and during data collection. Admissions rates were analysed according to reasons for non-response. Refusers had a lower admission rate than respondents before data collection but similar during and after data collection. The rate was higher during the whole period among ill or disabled non-respondents. Among people who could not be contacted during the data collection period a higher admission rate was only found immediately before and during data collection. CONCLUSIONS: Although admission rates differed between respondents and non-respondents these differences were too small to bias the estimated population prevalence of morbidity when solely based on respondents.
In order to achieve true community participation in mental health care, a redistribution of decision-making power is needed. Currently, this power is almost exclusively in the hands of psychiatric institutions and the state. Community participation would require greater representation from community organizations. This paper describes the history of the alternative resources movement in Quebec. This movement has challenged the health care system and promoted innovative therapeutic approaches. In this process, community organizations have been faced with the difficult task of gaining more power while maintaining strong links with the communities they serve.
As part of the thrust by Health and Welfare, Canada, to strengthen community health services, the National Health Research and Development Program commissioned a series of literature reviews. I undertook to review organizational models for community-based services, but said that this would be done in the context of the developing organization of the national health insurance program. With the help of colleagues I examined the literature from a number of different viewpoints. This article will present our findings on the development of policy and will trace the difficulties in making a shift towards providing more care in the community. We found that organization theories were helpful for explaining developments in the health service as a whole and the place of community-based services within it. We were able to use these theories to analyse efforts at restructuring. They provide explanations for the concurrent existence of policies of rationalization and cutbacks with policies of expansion in the area of health promotion.
BACKGROUND: Non-response in health surveys may lead to bias in estimates of health care utilisation. The magnitude, direction and composition of the bias are usually not well known. When data from health surveys are merged with data from registers at the individual level, analyses can reveal non-response bias. Our aim was to estimate the composition, direction and magnitude of non-response bias in the estimation of health care costs in two types of health interview surveys. METHODS: The surveys were (1) a national personal interview survey of 22 484 Danes (2) a telephone interview survey of 5000 Danes living in Funen County. Data were linked with register information on health care utilisation in hospitals and primary care. Health care utilisation was estimated for respondents and non-respondents, and the difference was explained by a decomposition method of bias components. RESULTS: The surveys produced the same pattern of non-response, but with slight differences in non-response bias. Response rates for the interview and telephone surveys were 75 and 69%, respectively. Refusal was the most frequent reason for non-response (22 and 20% of those sampled, respectively), whereas illness, non-contact, and other reasons were less frequent. Respondents used 3-6% less health care than non-respondents at the aggregate level, but the opposite was true for some specific types of health care. Non-response due to illness was the main contributor to non-response bias. CONCLUSIONS: Different types of non-response have different bias effects. However, the magnitude of the bias encourages the continued use of interview health surveys.
Recent reformulations of health promotion focus on empowerment as both a means and an end in health promotion practice. Both concepts, however, are rarely examined for their assumptions about social change processes or the potential of community groups, professionals, and institutions to create healthier living situations. This article attends to some of these assumptions, expressing ideas generated during 6 years of professional training workshops with over 2,500 community health practitioners in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The article first argues that health promotion is not a social movement but a professional and bureaucratic response to the new knowledge challenges of social movements. As such, it has both empowering and disempowering aspects. The article analyzes empowerment as a dialectical relation in which power is simultaneously given and taken, and illustrates this in the context of health promotion programs. A model of an empowering professional (institutional) health promotion practice is presented, in which linkages among personal services, small group supports, community organizing, coalition advocacy, and political action are made explicit. Practice examples are provided to illustrate each level of the empowering relation, and the article concludes with a brief discussion of the model's educational and organizational utility.
This article examines the charge that the "New Perspective" on health (as exemplified by the Lalonde Report in Canada, by Prevention and Health in the United Kingdom) represents an abandonment of liberal principles in favor of a collectivist and paternalistic role for the state. It looks first at the problems confronting modern health policy, and at the reasoning behind the New Perspective's approach. It then explores whether and how the charge of paternalism applies to that approach, and just what such a charge implies. The article concludes with a discussion of the "liberal paternalist" viewpoint towards health policy, a viewpoint that combines respect for individual liberty with an interest in taking effective public action to improve the health status of modern populations.