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Community Pract. 2007 Jul;80(7):30-4.

Health Impact Assessment as a framework for evaluation of local complex projects.

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South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust.


Health impact assessment (HIA) has been used to predict effects of a local parenting strategy and develop an evaluation framework. Methods used included literature searches, inequalities profiling, interviews with key informants and a review of available cost data. Four priority areas, where parenting can potentially impact, were identified: education, antisocial behaviour, lifestyle choices and mental health. The results concerning mental health are presented here. Improving the quality of parenting can impact on a child's mental health. The costs relating to the mental health outcomes are high and parenting is a cost-effective method to address the family dynamics that impact on this. Intermediary indicators, including clear boundaries, time spent as a family and parental involvement can be used to evaluate the intervention in the short-term, although there are difficulties in their measurement. The HIA process can improve cross-sectorial working, increased community participation and keep inequalities on the agenda.

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