Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Population Health

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1169


Population health is a general approach to assessing and managing health at the level of the whole population. Reduction of health-care inequities, prevention of illness, and contextual improvement are all central objectives of the population health approach.


Population health is an approach that aims to improve the health of entire population with an emphasis on understanding and decreasing health inequities among groups of people within the population (Hertzman, Frank, & Evans, 1994). This approach deviates from a traditional biomedical approach that focuses treatment at an individual level and instead targets group-level phenomena through the implementation of broad-based and widely diffusible health interventions (Jeffery, 1989; Rose, 1985). Rather than focusing on treating illnesses after they emerge, population health interventions are characterized by a strong emphasis on primary prevention, or preventing illness before it develops. As such, modifiable...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Studies and GerontologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Applied Health SciencesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada