Adverse effects of public health interventions: a conceptual framework

Lorenc, T; Oliver, K; (2013) Adverse effects of public health interventions: a conceptual framework. Journal of epidemiology and community health, 68 (3). pp. 288-290. ISSN 0143-005X DOI:

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Public health interventions may have a range of adverse effects. However, there is limited guidance as to how evaluations should address the possibility of adverse effects. This discussion paper briefly presents a framework for thinking about the potential harms of public health interventions, focusing on the following categories: direct harms; psychological harms; equity harms; group and social harms; and opportunity harms. We conclude that the possibility of adverse effects needs to be taken into account by those implementing and evaluating interventions, and requires a broad perspective on the potential impacts of public health strategies.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 24336237
Web of Science ID: 330536300016


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