142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

A Systematic Review of Local and State Boards of Health

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 2:50 PM - 3:10 PM

Elizabeth Harper, MPH , University of Kentucky College of Public Health, National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research, Lexington, KY
Research Objective: Traditionally, boards of health (BoHs) are composed of elected or appointed community members that represent the health interests of their community through their oversight of local and state health departments. Studies examining boards have found mixed results regarding their impact on the public health system.  The aim of this study is to compile findings from BoHs in a systematic review by identifying common themes and creating a research agenda to guide and prioritize future governance research.

Methods: The literature search was conducted in February 2014 following PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews. Searches were run in three literature databases: EBSCO’s version of MEDLINE, Web of Knowledge, and Business Source Complete. Search terms were also entered into Google Scholar to account for any relevant grey literature. Peer reviewed and grey literature was included in this systematic review if (1) local or state boards were examined or part of the analysis, or (2) the study examined the impact of boards on the local or state public health system in terms of economics, health outcomes, policy, or service provision. Variables including study design, type of board, statistical analyses performed, study quality, variables, and results were collected for the included articles.

Results: The preliminary analysis identified 232 articles from the search criteria. After review a total 205 articles were excluded because of duplication, place of publication, or because the article was about primary care, clinical science, disease, or law. The final sample consisted of 27 articles,; 15 of these articles directly examined boards, 12 articles studied boards indirectly. Discussion: The final sample of articles supported the hypothesis that local and state boards of health have a significant impact on the public health system. Future priorities for governance research include primary data collection and analysis to identify optimal board authority, composition, and activities.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the current research about LBoHs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been studying public health governance for the past four years while earning a doctorate of public health services management and policy at the University of Kentucky. This presentation represents a chapter of my dissertation that I completed under the mentorship of Glen Mays, Douglas Scutchfield, and Julia Costich.
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.