Public Health Reports: Evidence-based public health action

Effective public health action is informed by evidence. The Christchurch Information Team supports public health practice through the provision of best evidence. The team carries out a range of activities to inform the work of our organisation, the wider health sector, and other partnering organisations, including:

  • literature searches;
  • reviews of best practice and evidence;
  • evaluation;
  • questionnaire or instrument development and design;
  • qualitative and quantitative data analysis;
  • infectious diseases surveillance;
  • information systems design; and
  • data capture and management.

2019 Reports

Hanmer Springs Smokefree and Vapefree Zone: Evaluation report [3.98MB]

Date of Publication: September 2019 New.

The alpine tourist centre of Hanmer Springs recently trialed a voluntary smokefree and vapefree zone over a six month period across designated retail/business streets and adjacent public spaces. The smokefree and vapefree zone was the result of a collaborative partnership with the Cancer Society, the Canterbury DHB, local council, businesses, and the community.

This evaluation aimed to assess and report on the general levels of awareness of the zone, the attitudes of stakeholders, the overall level of support for the continuation of the zone, smoking/vaping prevalence, and any unintended consequences of the zone.

This evaluation finds the Hanmer Springs Smokefree and Vapefree Zone to be an evidence-informed policy tool for limiting exposure to cigarette smoke and smoking and vaping behaviours. The weight of evidence from this evaluation points towards a net benefit both for individuals and for the community from a Smokefree and Vapefree CBD Zone in Hanmer Springs.

Investing in public health: An update [794KB]

Date of Publication: July 2019

This report provides recently-published examples of cost-effective or cost-saving public health interventions that contribute to significant population health gains. Interventions are grouped under three headings to highlight the strengths and challenges that different types of interventions offer: health promotion, preventive interventions, and health protection. It is also important to consider other benefits and challenges of different intervention types as well as their cost-effectiveness and impact on equity – such as acceptability to stakeholders, feasibility of implementation, strength of the evidence, potential for other consequences (positive and negative), and sustainability. The report also provides a brief overview of approaches to public health investment in selected overseas countries.

This update provides further evidence to support investment in public health for disease prevention and health promotion, particularly for diseases and risk factors that contribute to substantial health loss and inequity in New Zealand.

Public Health Service Configurations: A brief literature review – 2019 update [1.83MB]

Date of Publication: June 2019

Developed countries, with different histories, cultures and political experiences, have evolved different institutional arrangements for funding and delivering health services – despite the broadly common objectives of universal access, effective care, improved health outcomes, efficient use of resources, high-quality services, and responsiveness. Different system configurations may influence governance characteristics, economies of scale and scope, inter-organisational partnerships, resourcing and staffing, innovation, and many other factors.

This review explores how both public health capacities and configurations can shape positive shifts in population health outcomes.

Evaluation of the Community Engagement with Alcohol Licensing Project [983KB]

Date of Publication: March 2019

Community and Public Health initiated a formal project to engage with local communities in Christchurch and surrounding districts around higher risk alcohol licence applications in 2015 – in partnership with Community Law and Community Action on Youth and Drugs (CAYAD).

A number of factors indicated that the project had been successful, including: increased community participation in objecting to higher risk alcohol licensing applications compared to prior to the project; increased community knowledge of alcohol licensing applications;  increased community knowledge of how to successfully object to alcohol licensing applications; and success at hearings (for applications where there had been community engagement with the project) including both withdrawal of the applicant prior to the DLC hearing and applications being declined.

Key stakeholders indicated the following success factors for the project: having a central person bringing together the key stakeholders; partnerships between key stakeholders; notification of applications to key contacts in the affected communities (with consistent information on how to oppose the application); workshops held by Community and Public Health and Community Law Canterbury to inform and educate the community on the submission process; and a focus on equity.

Evaluation of the WAVE (Wellbeing and Vitality in Education) programme 2018 [1.12MB]

Date of Publication: January 2019

WAVE (Wellbeing and Vitality in Education) is an education setting-based health promotion programme in South Canterbury. Evaluation results demonstrated that WAVE continues to be valued by education settings for its central role in collaborative partnerships between health and education in South Canterbury, which continue to grow stronger with time.  Success factors for WAVE included that facilitators were viewed as credible, trusted and responsive sources of information and advice; that WAVE provided support to education settings for planning around health; and that WAVE provided access to resources which may otherwise be difficult to obtain.

WAVE was viewed as a catalyst for health and education working together in South Canterbury across all levels of education. Education settings’ overall level of satisfaction with WAVE was high and the programme was perceived as having an impact on both health and education outcomes for students. A concern was expressed by a number of settings that WAVE funding may not continue.  There was a strong belief that there is an ongoing need for WAVE in order to maintain the strong partnership between health and education in South Canterbury.

Evaluation of the All Right? Campaign’s Facebook intervention post-disaster in Canterbury, New Zealand

Date of Publication: January 2019 in Health Promotion International

The All Right? campaign was developed as a mental health promotion campaign following the 2010–2011 Canterbury earthquakes. One aspect of the overall campaign was the utilisation of social media as a means of promoting wellbeing messages. This research evaluates the use of the All Right? Facebook page as a means of promoting wellbeing after a major natural disaster.

Findings indicate that the All Right? Facebook page has become a valued source of consistent wellbeing tips and advice -‘the place that I go’. The overall success of the All Right? Facebook page was reliant on being part of a trusted population-wide mental health promotion campaign.

2018 Reports

BuyCycles: Evaluation of a novel approach towards alleviating transport disadvantage [1.33MB]

Date of Publication: October 2018

Transport is a determinant of health that enables access to employment and education opportunities, recreation and social activities, health and social services, and resources for everyday life. However, people may experience transport disadvantage when they cannot access appropriate, timely or affordable transport options.

BuyCycles is a health promotion initiative using a supported purchase model, developed by Community and Public Health. The BuyCycles pilot offers clients of community mental health services in Christchurch an opportunity to purchase a second-hand bicycle at a low cost and develop a suitable payment plan. This evaluation looked at the first seven months of the pilot, up until 31st August 2018.

The First 1000 Days: A South Island report for the Hauora Alliance [1.47MB]

Date of Publication: September 2018

Recent years have seen numerous calls to action on early childhood both in New Zealand and overseas. A growing body of evidence confirms that experiences during the first 1000 days – the period from conception until a child’s second birthday – have a far-reaching impact on health, educational, and social outcomes, and on health equity.

The purpose of this report is to inform inter-sectoral planning, action, and monitoring to support the best start in life for every child in the South Island/ Te Waipounamu. It has been prepared for the Hauora Alliance to inform planning by the Alliance and its member organisations.

Health promotion in early childhood education settings: Rapid evidence review [1.62MB]

Date of Publication: June 2018

Development during early childhood lays the foundation for health, education, social, employment and economic outcomes throughout the life course. Many young New Zealand children spend time in early childhood education (ECE) settings, making them an ideal location for health promotion.

This rapid evidence review presents evidence from recently-published reviews on the effectiveness of health promotion interventions in several areas – sun safety, physical activity, oral health, nutrition, social and emotional wellbeing, and hand hygiene – delivered in ECE settings. Literature from New Zealand is included where relevant.

Pastoral care and pastoral care teams: a review to inform policy and practice in schools [1.40MB]

Date of Publication: February 2018

There is limited guidance available to schools about pastoral care best practice – about how to actually do the work of pastoral care in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and their families/whānau – although there is much talk about the importance of pastoral care and the work of pastoral care teams.

This review was prepared in response to requests from schools who wanted to know more. It brings together the findings of a search of peer-reviewed literature, relevant websites and other grey literature, and also presents the findings of interviews conducted with teachers and other key professionals about their involvement in, and experience of, pastoral care teams in school settings.

Evaluation of Thursdays in Black at Lincoln University [0.98MB]

Date of Publication: February 2018

Thursdays in Black is an international campaign that works to ‘raise awareness and progress towards a world without rape and violence’. Thursdays in Black (TIB) has been adapted and delivered for the student population at Lincoln University since 2016.

This evaluation indicates that the TIB campaign has had high visibility on the Lincoln University campus, and the campaign is seen by students as important and empowering by offering ‘new knowledge and how to deal with difficult situations.’

2017 Reports

Education setting-based health promotion in New Zealand: evaluating the wellbeing and vitality in education (WAVE) programme

Date of Publication: November 2017 in Health Promotion International

Wellbeing and vitality in education (WAVE) is an education setting based health promotion initiative in South Canterbury, New Zealand. A mixed method approach was used for assessing change over time. Evaluation of the WAVE programme shows that a robust partnership between health and education sectors can provide the basis for high levels of participation and significant changes in practice across all levels of education and a whole province.

Alcohol use by West Coast young people: A survey of young people’s and adults’ views [1.57MB PDF]

Date of Publication: August 2017

This report summarises the findings from the West Coast student alcohol survey and the West Coast adult alcohol survey completed between March and May 2017. Local data was collected to raise awareness across the West Coast on any issues relating to alcohol use by young people.

This report provides information that may assist health promoters, schools, and partner agencies with reducing alcohol-related harm in their communities (especially for more vulnerable groups).

Evaluative Case Study: Gap Filler a creative urban regeneration initiative – a public health perspective [2.66MB PDF]

Date of Publication: May 2017

Gap Filler (a registered charity) emerged following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes of 2010/11 and responded with a large number of innovative urban regeneration initiatives. Gap Filler has been prolific in the delivery of a broad range of artistic, creative, educational, enabling and inspiring interventions that have gained considerable profile and following among locals and visitors alike. The projects have ranged from small short-term installations or activities to major medium-term architectural-build projects.

This evaluative case study highlights some of the complexities inherent in measuring the ‘effects’ of community-level wellbeing interventions. The report also discusses recovery, resilience and wellbeing concepts generally as well as exploring the attributes of successful community-based initiatives. Finally, the report proposes considerations for funders and other stakeholders.

Evaluation of Community and Public Health’s contribution to the Integrated Assessment of the Waimakariri Residential Red Zone Recovery Plan [908KB PDF]

Date of Publication: February 2017

The Minister for Earthquake Recovery directed the Waimakariri District Council (WDC) to produce a statutory plan to guide the recovery of the Waimakariri residential red zones in September 2015. The direction required the WDC to carry out an impact assessment as part of the planning process.

WDC requested support from Community and Public Health (C&PH) to perform an integrated assessment. This report evaluates the approach taken by Community and Public Health to assist the Waimakariri District Council with this impact assessment.

Active and public transport infrastructure: a public health perspective [4.41MB PDF]

Date of Publication: May 2016 – revised Feburary 2017

This literature review provides public health unit staff, planners and decision makers with an overview of transport planning principles and a summary of the key infrastructure initiatives (and their application, including retrofitting) that help to provide a safe, healthy and efficient active and public transport network.

Page last updated: 07/04/2020

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