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Title: Leading community development for health improvement
Author: Grady, Mike
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 4123
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2009
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There has been increasing interest in participatory approaches to health promotion. However, there is a lack of consensus on key definitions and limited evidence of the effectiveness of community development in contributing to health and wellbeing. This study evaluates from the perspective of user participants involved in community development projects in a deprived metropolitan area, the impact of that participation on overall health and wellbeing. The study highlights the impact of stress, depression, social isolation and the abrasive effects of multiple deprivation on the lives of the user participants. The main findings showed that a robust Community Development Strategy had been agreed by the partner agencies and this aligned with individual community development projects to address social cohesion and health inequality. The user participants self-reported being healthier and happier as a consequence of their participation. Participation had a positive psycho-social impact on service users increasing confidence, competence and self-esteem and created a wider social network and a greater social cohesion. For some participants, the additional support offered by involvement promoted better individual functioning. Others adopted a more activist role looking beyond individual needs, taking action to identify and address community needs. The study recommends action at a national level to promote a co-ordinated response to address the social determinants of health and at a local level for Local Strategic Partnerships to promote sustainable funded community development to address health inequalities and multiple deprivation focused on the wider determinants of health.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available