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Prev Chronic Dis. 2010 Jul;7(4):A77. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

Measuring the impact of public health policy.

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Prevention Research Center in St Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St Louis, 660 S Euclid, Campus Box 8109, Saint Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Effective health policies and allocation of public health resources can substantially improve public health. An objective of public health practitioners and researchers is to identify key metrics that would help improve effective policies and terminate poor ones. We review articles published in 2008 surrounding measurement issues for public health policy and present a set of recommendations for future emphasis. We found that a set of consensus metrics for population health performance should be developed. However, considerable work is needed to develop appropriate metrics covering policy approaches that can affect large populations, intervention approaches within organizations, and individual-level behavioral approaches for prevention or disease management.

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