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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

RAMOS, Pilar et al. Healthy and participative schools: evaluation of a public health strategy. Gac Sanit [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.2, pp.104-110. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2012.04.002.

Objective: Let's foster health¿ is an intervention strategy in health promotion for use in primary and secondary schools and based on evidence, participation, consensus and the commitment of all members of the educational community. The aim of the present study was to evaluate this strategy according to the achievement of two specific aims: 1) the educational community's opinion of the implementation process, and 2) changes due to the strategy. Methods: From 2010 to 2011, researchers conducted 1) a descriptive qualitative study to evaluate the implementation process by identifying facilitators, barriers, needs and suggestions using focus groups and in-depth interviews, and 2) a before-and-after quasi-experimental study with a comparison group using specific questionnaires aimed at evaluating participation and compliance with features of Health Promoting Schools. Both education and health professionals were used as information sources. Results: The main facilitators were the involvement of management structures and faculty during implementation. The most important barrier was lack of time and resources. Participating centers in Let's foster health! complied with the parameters defining Health Promoting Schools to a higher degree than the control group: these centers became more involved, carrying out more preventive actions and implementing health-related decisions in the curriculum and the center's policy. Conclusions Let's foster health¿ is a participative and community intervention strategy based on the characteristics of Health Promoting Schools that encourages health-promoting environments.

Keywords : Program evaluation; Schools; Social participation; Participative planning; Health promotion.

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