Promoting the health of vulnerable populations: Three steps towards a systems-based re-orientation of public health intervention research

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  • Morten Hulvej Rod
  • Rod, Naja Hulvej
  • Federica Russo
  • Charlotte Demant Klinker
  • Ria Reis
  • Karien Stronks

This paper proposes a novel framework for the development of interventions in vulnerable populations. The framework combines a complex systems lens with syndemic theory. Whereas funding bodies, research organizations and reporting guidelines tend to encourage intervention research that (i) focuses on singular and predefined health outcomes, (ii) searches for generalizable cause-effect relationships, and (iii) aims to identify universally effective interventions, the paper suggests that a different direction is needed for addressing health inequities: We need to (i) start with exploratory analysis of population-level data, and (ii) invest in contextualized in-depth knowledge of the complex dynamics that produce health inequities in specific populations and settings, while we (iii) work with stakeholders at multiple levels to create change within systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102984
JournalHealth and Place
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Complex systems, Equity, Interventions, Syndemics, Vulnerable populations

ID: 347651320