Community partnership research in population health promotion: The development of tools and measures for planning and evaluation

Strong evidence suggests that the health system is not the primary factor determining the health of Canadians. Non-medical factors – such as income, social support, education, employment, housing, health practices, child development, gender and culture – are crucial determinants of health and quality of life. Regional health authorities across BC are increasingly taking a population health approach, which addresses these non-medical factors, in community-based initiatives. However, these efforts are often complex and involve diverse participants from within and outside the health system, making it difficult to evaluate their effectiveness. Dr. James Frankish is studying how health authorities are addressing non-medical determinants of health. He is developing and testing tools to provide evidence-based evaluation of community-level effects resulting from population health initiatives. A particular focus is inclusion of vulnerable populations in these initiatives and related policy and practice implications. Dr. Frankish is also the leader of the MSFHR/CIHR program for Transdisciplinary Training in Community Partnership Research: Bridging Research to Practice, which is co-funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.