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Public Health. 2010 May;124(5):253-8. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2010.03.008. Epub 2010 May 11.

Profiling health in the UK and Ireland.

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South East Public Health Observatory, Oxford OX4 2GX, UK.


The technique of describing health using a range of measures has been termed 'health profiling'. This article discusses the emergence of health profiling in the UK and Ireland over recent years, led by the public health observatories (PHOs). The steps in developing health profiles are described, including defining the purpose, consulting users, choosing indicators, establishing the methods of presentation, disseminating and evaluating. Health profiles have developed and improved through collaboration between the PHOs in the UK and Ireland. Looking to the future, the PHOs are developing inter-related health profiles ranging from small area to European regions, enhanced and informed by the addition of themed profiles for different population groups, lifestyles and diseases.

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