Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Prev Med. 2006 Aug;31(2):118-26.

Evaluating health effects of transport interventions methodologic case study.

Author information

  • 1Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow, Scotland. d.ogilvie@msoc.mrc.gla.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is little evidence about the effects of environmental interventions on population levels of physical activity. Major transport projects may promote or discourage physical activity in the form of walking and cycling, but researching the health effects of such "natural experiments" in transport policy or infrastructure is challenging.

METHODS:

Case study of attempts in 2004-2005 to evaluate the effects of two major transport projects in Scotland: an urban congestion charging scheme in Edinburgh, and a new urban motorway (freeway) in Glasgow.

RESULTS:

These interventions are typical of many major transport projects. They are unique to their context. They cannot easily be separated from the other components of the wider policies within which they occur. When, where, and how they are implemented are political decisions over which researchers have no control. Baseline data collection required for longitudinal studies may need to be planned before the intervention is certain to take place. There is no simple way of defining a population or area exposed to the intervention or of defining control groups. Changes in quantitative measures of health-related behavior may be difficult to detect.

CONCLUSIONS:

Major transport projects have clear potential to influence population health, but it is difficult to define the interventions, categorize exposure, or measure outcomes in ways that are likely to be seen as credible in the field of public health intervention research. A final study design is proposed in which multiple methods and spatial levels of analysis are combined in a longitudinal quasi-experimental study.

PMID:
16829328
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk