Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Evaluating Health Promotion: Practice and Methods (Third Edition)

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Evaluating Health Promotion: Practice and Methods (Third Edition)

Article excerpt

Evaluating Health Promotion: Practice and Methods (Third Edition) Edited by Margaret Thorogood and Yolande Coombes. Published by Oxford University Press, 2010. Paperback 240pp. Price £29.95. ISBN 978 0 19 956929 8

This book is a useful addition to the health promotion library and is relevant for practitioners, researchers and policymakers. Divided into three parts - evaluation methods, examples of practice and involving stakeholders - themes covered include, inter alia, economic, electronic, process, and social marketing evaluation. On the positive side the book is well written and well laid out with boxes in each chapter containing case studies and summary points. On the negative side the authors make the mistake of defining health promotion far too broadly, as in activities "can range from vaccination to prevent disease at one end....to the promotion of social networks on the other". This definition inevitably means that the evaluation of such a variety of interventions is also very broad and encompasses every research method and paradigm. The history of public health in the UK described in chapter two is completely irrelevant to the evaluation of health promotion but for some reason books with a UK provenance seem unable to avoid including it.

I was surprised to find no reference to the World Health Organization's (1998), Health Promotion Evaluation: Recommendations for policymakers, which strongly advocates for mixed methods as does this book, so that argument has already been made and won. …

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