This project is just getting under way, and thus its impact is yet uncertain.
impact statement issue
The field of population health has been characterized by attention to: (1) multiple determinants of health, recognizing medical care and individual behavior but highlighting the importance of social determinants of health, and (2) health disparities between population groups. One major component of the project, titled Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH), is to conduct and disseminate county rankings across the United States. These rankings are likely to be based on multiple determinants of health (including social, structural, and environmental factors) and incorporate information about the distribution of health (health disparities) in communities. Increasing awareness of and concern about social determinants and health disparities will be essential to ensure that these efforts are successful in promoting multi-sectoral investments to improve population health and reduce disparities.
impact statement response
We began work on this project last year by conducting a review of literature on persuasive message strategies for policy change. We are now in phase 2, collecting data on message strategies that have been used by existing campaigns working on this issue. Phase 3 (formative research) and phase 4 (summative evaluation research) will continue over the next three years.
impact statement summary
The goal of this research is to develop and test messages to raise public awareness of and concern about social determinants of health and health disparities. We aim to identify best practices for messaging and to disseminate a message design “toolkit” for use in local communities to mobilize action toward community health. These goals will require the development and empirical testing of innovative strategies that highlight non-medical and non-behavioral determinants of health. Different messaging strategies may be needed for different stakeholders, which include both the general public (via public opinion) and policymakers (across sectors).