Public Health Reports: Evidence-based public health action
Effective public health action is informed by evidence. The Public Health Analysts at Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health upport public health practice through the provision of best evidence. They carry out a range of activities to inform the work of Te Mana Ora, the wider health sector, and other partnering organisations, including:
- literature searches;
- reviews of best practice and evidence;
- questionnaire or instrument development and design;
- qualitative and quantitative data analysis;
- infectious diseases surveillance;
- information systems design; and
- data capture and management.
Note: The Public Health Analysts based at Te Mana Ora | Community and Public Health are now part of the Intelligence team for Te Waipounamu within the National Public Health Service.
Date of Publication: May 2023
Loneliness and social isolation are associated with a range of negative outcomes for health and wellbeing. There is concern about loneliness and social isolation levels increasing as a result of societal changes and events, such as more people living alone, weaker community ties, more interaction taking place online, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Loneliness is typically characterised as an issue of old age, however young people are often disproportionately impacted by loneliness, including in New Zealand. This report explores understandings and experiences of loneliness and social isolation across the life course to support the interpretation of loneliness data and inform wellbeing promotion planning.
Climate Change and Health in Waitaha Canterbury: A scoping and profiling report to inform Health Impact Assessment [2.77MB]
Date of Publication: May 2023
The central purpose of this report is to increase understanding of the interactions between people, the environment, and the climate in Waitaha Canterbury.
It is designed to provide planners and decision-makers and the wider community with information that can shape the development of effective responses to climate change.
This report describes a range of climate change related determinants of health – incorporating broad perspectives of health and wellbeing. It encompasses the first steps of assessing the health and wellbeing impacts of climate change across Waitaha Canterbury and the potential effects on the health and wellbeing of the population and the distribution of those effects.
Date of Publication: September 2022
This discussion paper explores policies that work to reduce food insecurity. The effectiveness of policy and community programmes to reduce food insecurity is considered. Canterbury-specific data on food insecurity are included, with national comparisons presented where possible.
Food insecurity in Canterbury is more common for those who have a low household income, and Māori are more likely to be food insecure than those of European ethnicity. This is line with national patterns of food insecurity.
Date of Publication: May 2022
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.