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

Definition

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.

Description

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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References and Readings

  1. Evans, R. G., Barer, M. L., & Marmor, T. R. (Eds.). (1994). Why are some people healthy and others are not? The determinants of health of populations. Hawthorne: Aldine De Gruyter.Google Scholar
  2. Evans, R. G., & Stoddart, G. L. (1990). Producing health, consuming health care. Social Science & Medicine, 31(12), 1347–1363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Frankish, C. J., Green, L. W., Ratner, P. A., Chomik, T., & Larsen C. (1996). Health impact assessment as a tool for population health promotion and public policy. A Report Submitted to the Health Promotion Division of Health Canada. Institute of Health Promotion Research, University of British Columbia.Google Scholar
  4. Glouberman, S., & Miller, J. (2003). Evolution of the determinants of health, health policy, and health information systems in Canada. American Journal of Public Health, 93(3), 388–392.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hawe, P. (2007). What is population health? Retrieved from http://www.ucalgary.ca/PHIRC/pdf/Hawe_2007-PopHealth.pdf
  6. Health, S. (1999). A population health framework for Saskatchewan regional health authorities. Regina: Saskatchewan Health.Google Scholar
  7. Hertzman, C., Frank, J., & Evans, R. G. (1994). Heterogeneities in health status and the determinants of population health. In R. G. Evans, M. L. Barer, & T. R. Marmor (Eds.), Why are some people healthy and others not? (pp. 67–92). New York: Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  8. Jeffery, R. W. (1989). Risk behaviors and health: Contrasting individual and population perspectives. American Psychologist, 44(9), 1194–1202.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kindig, D., & Stoddart, G. (2003). What is population health? American Journal of Public Health, 93(3), 380–383.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Link, B. G., & Phelan, J. (1995). Social conditions as fundamental causes of disease. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 35, 80–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lynch, J. W., Smith, G. D., Kaplan, G. A., & House, J. S. (2000). Income inequality and mortality: Importance to health of individual income, psychosocial environment, or material conditions. British Medical Journal, 320(7243), 1200–1204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Marmot, M. G. (2003). Understanding social inequalities in health. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 46(3), S9–S23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Public Health Agency of Canada (1996). Towards a common understanding: Clarifying the core concepts of population health approach. Discussion paper. Cat. No. H39-391/1996E ISBN 0-662-25122-9. Retrieved from: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/docs/common-commune/index-eng.php
  14. Rose, G. (1985). Sick individuals and sick populations. International Journal of Epidemiology, 14(1), 32–38.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Wanless, D. (2003). Securing good health for the whole population: Population health trends. London: HM Treasury.Google Scholar

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