218901 Intentional design of health promoting neighborhoods: A strategic tool of participatory community assessment

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

Lea Ayers Ayers LaFave, PhD, RN , Community Health Institute, Bow, NH
Dorothy Bazos, RN, PhD , Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth, Dartmouth College, Lebanon, NH
Anna Thomas, MPH , Deputy Director, City of Manchester Health Department, Manchester, NH
Background Determinants of health models summarize the myriad of dynamic and interdependent factors influencing the health of community populations but do not explicitly address leadership or strategic factors necessary to make these models effective. Qualitative analysis of our needs assessment was designed to give insight to these elements from a public perspective. Methods Qualitative data collected from 19 key leaders and 13 focus groups including 115 individuals representing vulnerable populations provided depth and validation to quantitative data. Participants described factors of an ideal community, issues facing them and that the Mayor consider for improvement. Constant comparison yielded themes that were sorted by frequency and coded using the Evans and Stoddart Field Model domains. The emergent improvement model integrated the notion of intentionality within each domain. Results The concept of intentionality of community design emerged through transcript analyses from a majority of key leaders (n=16) and all focus groups. Intentionality of leadership, values and strategic planning were seen as critically important to community design elements of transportation, community involvement, fostering socialization, recreation and the physical environment, education, and revitalization. Themes drawn from the analyses generated a model for community design including intentional values-based leadership and development of places, programs, and policies that cultivate and maintain a healthy local environment. Conclusions Intentionality of community design is a high-level concept that provides a framework for comprehensive participatory community needs assessment and health improvement processes including mapping data elements, summarizing data, and bringing diverse stakeholders to the planning table to proactively address critical issues.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Program planning
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify three elements of intentionality important to community design from the public perspective. Describe a model for community improvement that incorporates the notion of intentionality.

Keywords: Assessments, Community Health Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in the assessment, data analysis and reporting of findings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.