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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2006 Jun;60(6):458-63.

Community health advocacy.

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  • 1Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4945, USA.


Competing health needs of diverse populations and ever shrinking resources available to support these needs often serve as the impetus for the initiation of advocacy efforts to improve community health. However, perceptions of what constitutes a community differ, as do approaches to advocacy itself. This glossary addresses five key questions: (1) What is advocacy?; (2) What is meant by community?; (3) What are the different approaches to community health advocacy?; (4) How are priorities established in the face of competing health advocacy goals?; (5) How can community health advocacy efforts be evaluated?; and (6) What challenges may be encountered in advocating for community health? Each of these issues could serve as the basis for a text on that subject alone. Accordingly, this article is not meant to be comprehensive text on these issues but is, instead, intended to highlight key foundational issues. And, although advocacy efforts can be conducted by individuals, this article focuses specifically on advocacy efforts of communities, however they may be defined and characterised.

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