The use of health promotion initiatives by municipalities in Belgium: a retrospective observational studyReport as inadecuate

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(2010)VALUE IN HEALTH.13(7).p.A428-A428 Mark abstract Objective: Growing attention is currently given to preventive healthcare. Prevention can decline the appearance of several diseases and as a consequence lead to a decrease of health care expenses. The aim of this study is to evaluate if municipalities in Belgium currently use intervention strategies for optimizing the health behavior of citizens. Special attention was given to what extent certain high-risk groups are reached.Methods: The design consisted of a retrospective observational design. The general services or – if existing – the sports services of 570 Belgian cities (308 in the Flanders and 262 in the Walloon region) were invited by e-mail to participate in the study. After the first mailing, another two mailings were performed. The data were collected using an online questionnaire with closed questions. PASW Statistics 18 was used for statistical analysis.Results: The response rate in the Flemish region and Walloon region was respectively 57.47% and 16.41%. In Flanders, 94.9% of respondents reported that they organize health promotion initiatives, while in Wallonia this percentage was 65.1%. Most common organized initiatives in the Flanders region were sport (74.4%) and social welfare (46.4%) initiatives. In Wallonia most common initiatives were prevention of disease/vaccination (45.3%) and sport (44%). Both in Flanders and Wallonia, initiatives concerning mental health were little organized. In general, the initiatives aimed at certain high-risk groups such as persons with mental health problems, older and disabled persons were scarce. On the level of municipal policy lack of appropriate financing was reported as the most common barrier for not organizing preventive strategies.Conclusions: On the level of municipal policy reinforcement of the value of preventive strategies concerning health promotion with appropriate financing is required. When organizing preventive initiatives, special attention to reach certain high-risk groups will be needed.

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Author: Nick Verhaeghe , Tine Barbe and Lieven Annemans



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