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.

2022 Reports

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs): Short report [683KB]

Date of Publication: May 2022 New.

The aim of this report is to provide answers to some of the frequently asked questions around the accuracy and relevance of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) use with the latest evidence on RATs and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2). New research is being released regularly so this paper represents our understanding at the time of writing (early May 2022).

2021 Reports

Evaluation of the All Right? Campaign for tangata whaiora/mental health service users in Canterbury, New Zealand

Date of Publication: June 2021 in Health Promotion International

This research focussed on the reach and impact of All Right? specifically for tangata whaiora/ mental health service users. Evaluation objectives were primarily focussed on assessing the extent which mental health service users engaged with All Right? and to determine the impact of this interaction.

Findings indicated that mental health service users responded to All Right? to a greater extent than the general target population. Key factors facilitating mental health service users’ engagement with the campaign was that it is directed at whole-of-population level, and by the perceived impact of reducing mental illness-related stigma. This research concluded that population-wide wellbeing campaigns in the post-disaster context – when done well – can positively impact the wellbeing of the overall population, including mental health service users.

Through the eyes of kaiako, tamariki and whānau: Evaluating the Toothbrushing Programme Pilot – Te Hā o Aoraki – at Arowhenua Māori School [1 MB]

Date of Publication: February 2021

A Toothbrushing Programme – Te Hā o Aoraki – was implemented at Arowhenua Māori School in South Canterbury late in 2020. A decision was made to capture the initial experiences of the kaiako, tamariki and whānau participating in the programme during Term 4 of 2020 as part of the evaluation of this piloted programme.

The survey findings from each respondent group – kaiako, tamariki and whānau – were overwhelmingly supportive of the toothbrushing programme. Both kaiako and whānau respondents agreed that the toothbrushing programme should remain as an ongoing part of the school day.

Evaluation of the All Right? campaign COVID-19 response: Getting Through Together [545KB]

Date of Publication: January 2021

This evaluation found that Getting Through Together had produced meaningful messaging that had wide appeal in a rapidly evolving situation, including targeted messages for Māori. The supporting population-based survey indicated that Getting Through Together had achieved a 71 percent reach within the Christchurch population.

Success factors for creating and implementing Getting Through Together included:

  • key organisations being ready to respond – enabling a quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic with strong, evidence-based psychosocial messaging;
  • the ability and willingness of the three key organisations to form an effective partnership quickly;
  • effective leadership from the All Right? campaign team; and
  • strong input into the look and feel of the campaign by the Mental Health Foundation Māori development team, including developing messaging specifically for Māori.

2019 Reports

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

Date of Publication: September 2019

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.’

Page last updated: 22/06/2022

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