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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


SANDIN-VAZQUEZ, María  and  SARRIA-SANTAMERA, Antonio. Health impact assessment: assessing the effectiveness of policies in population health. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.82, n.3, pp.261-272. ISSN 2173-9110.

Health Impact Assessment is a comprehensive methodology proposed by the World Health Organization to determine the impact on health of projects, policies and strategies that are no originally specifically health-related but that could have on effect on health. This work aims to review the methodological approaches to Health Impact Assessment, and determine its value in Public Health. Health Impact Assessment is a multidisciplinary process that combines both qualitative and quantitative evidence in a decision-making frame. It is based on a model of health that includes the economic, political, social, psychological, and environmental determinants of health. If interventions with a real impact on the population’s health require a comprehensive and structural approach, with Public Health measures taken at political level, those responsible for implementing such measures have to engage in the decision-making process and in the assessment of its effectiveness. To conduct Health Impact Assessment it is necessary to facilitate the integration of the existing data in order to perform the initial diagnosis and be able to investigate the late effects of the policy measures implemented. This way it will be possible to systematically monitor the effects on health of the actions which derive from Health Impact Assessment, thus maximizing potential positive effects on health and preventing the potential adverse effects.

Keywords : Health Impact Assessment; Public Health.

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