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EPODE for the Promotion of Health Equity [EPHE] [20111209] - Project
General objectives

EPHE will build on the EPODE methodology (a capacity building approach) and on the outcomes from the EEN Book of Recommendations to create synergies within the EU research framework programme and to favor multiplier effects and sustainability.EPHE aims to analyse from 2012 to 2015: 1)the added value of the implementation of an adapted EPODE methodology for the reduction of socioeconomic inequalities in health-related diet and physical activity behaviours of families with children aged 6 to 12 living in 7 different European communities; as a priority where premature mortality exceeds 20% of the EU average and with different socioeconomic profiles. 2)opportunities to sustain the implementation of EPHE best practices in other EU regions and Member States (MS) via EU structural funds focusing on the replicability and transferability at a larger scale of those to leverage the experience to develop action plans by MS and to make use of structural funds for the promotion of health equity.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

Contrary to mass public health communication campaigns delivering health prevention messages, EPHE will work at community level in key settings to develop integrated action locally. Studies show disadvantaged groups are more anxious and suspicious faced with health prevention messages. Conveying positive and non-stigmatizing messages, not focused on long-term health benefits but on immediate social and emotional benefits are recommended. This should foster the desire to adopt healthier habits within this population.EPHE will target the whole community focusing on most deprived families with children aged 6-12. Studies show investment in early years is one of the greatest potentials to reduce health inequalities within a generation. EPHE will analyse the possibility for regions/MS to transfer and reproduce EPHE findings at a large scale, especially via the support of EU structural funds to support integrated health promotion activities specifically towards highest needs vulnerable populations and will provide a capacity-building framework for this purpose.

Methods and means

European Coordination Team will coordinate the project: selection of an intervention (IC) and a comparison community per country. In each IC, identifying an EPHE local project mediator to coordinate the project locally, with creation of a steering committee (representatives from various sectors, many working with vulnerable groups), to generate peer dynamics to increase intervention outreach and sustainability. Each IC will benefit from financial support over the 2 years. The project will be supported by EPHE Scientific Advisory Team who will agree on a protocol for evaluation and support tailored actions to reduce health inequalities and increase Equity. Each IC will be supported by an EPHE State coordination team, providing materials, training and coaching, developing activity sheets for the organization of projects and actions towards the population. A survey will review previous EU structural funds mobilizations to present the potential and methods for authorities to invest in EPHE.

Expected outcomes period

A practical scientific framework to analyse and address the social gradient in health inequalities in relation to diet and physical activity-related behaviours of families with children aged 6 to 12. An adaptation of the EPODE framework at community level to tackle the issue of health inequalities. A pilot testing in real-life conditions. A final report and book of recommendations, strategies and methods proposed to local, regional and national authorities to invest in EPHE and similar best practices via the EU Cohesion Policy and Structural Funds. Awareness raised among KOLs and Decision Makers about the interest of CBIs to tackle health inequalities in synergy with existing programmes(including EEN) and mobilizing EU structural funds at MS and Regional levels. Increased political will expressed by the communities involved in EPHE to pursue action in the reduction of health inequalities. A network of university partners interested in socioeconomic inequalities in health-related diet and physical activity behaviours for future coordinated research plans.

Start date: 01/10/2012
End date: 01/10/2015
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 834 017,40