Leeds Health Education Database




1.      Objectives

2.      Criteria for inclusion in database

3.      Results

4.      Why were papers excluded from the database?

5.      Conclusions

6.      Health topics in the database

7.      Journals in the database


1. Objectives


This project began in 1997 with the objectives:


  1. To document evaluated health education and health communication interventions in developing countries
  2. To critically assess the evidence for effectiveness of health education in developing countries
  3. To develop guidelines on ingredients for successful intervention programmes


2. Criteria for inclusion in database


  1. The health education/health communication should be described in sufficient detail
  2. There should be evidence of impact of the health communication on the community.
  3. There should be evidence to attribute the impact achieved to the health education/communication activity either through the use of controls or other means.
  4. Data can be quantitative or qualitative - in both cases adequate information should be provided on the evaluation methodology including sampling, data collection and data-analysis/statistical testing.
  5. The intervention should take place in a developing country
  6. The report should be in a published or easily accessible source and be dated after 1975.


3. Results


·        600 potential interventions were initially identified. On examination almost half were rejected on various grounds including lack of impact data, baseline, controls, statistical tests and controls leaving:

·        353 publications in the database -

·        of which 63 were classified as borderline in that they did not fully meet criteria for inclusion but had some special features which justified retention subject to further consideration.

·        More than two thirds (278) of the entries in the database were published since 1990.

·        These publications with accompanying abstracts and key words have been entered onto a microcomputer bibliographic database using ‘Reference manager’ software.

·        The content of the abstracts have been organized under the headings Target group/Country, Intervention Methodology, Evaluation Method and Impact Achieved.


4. Why were papers excluded from the Leeds Health Education Database?


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General reasons


·        The health promotion component was not adequately described with no description of the methods used, personnel involved or the content.

·        Health promotion was only one of many components of a programme its contribution was not evaluated.

·        The report was a descriptive study of activities and/or coverage with no data on impact -

·        The intervention was evaluated in terms of performance of the health worker e.g. improved prescribing practices, referral, treatment, communication skill and not impact on the community.

·        The outcome measures were not properly defined (e.g. a knowledge scale was used without adequate definition of the knowledge measured).

·        The objectives were inappropriate objectives either for epidemiological or ethical reasons


Data collection/analysis/presentation


·        Lack of detail of sampling/use of self-selected samples

·        Lack of information on data-collection instruments

·        Data reported as % but raw data not provided to judge validity

·        Lack of statistical treatment and significance tests to justify assumptions
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·        No base line data provided or alternative means to demonstrate that there has been an impact

·        No controls or alternative methods for ascribing the impact to the intervention

·        Findings of qualitative studies presented with no accompanying description of method used for analysis of qualitative data

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5. Conclusions


Evidence exists for many health topics and methods that well designed health education/communication programmes can bring about changes in knowledge, attitudes, behaviour change and in some cases improvements in health


Most of the published evaluations in developing countries have been on sexual health, infectious and tropical diseases. There has been little effort directed at emerging problems such as cancers both tobacco-related and others, hypertension, accident prevention, drug abuse, adolescent health, disability awareness, occupational health and the workplace setting.


Most of the published studies explored traditional areas of health and behaviour change.


There were very few evaluation studies of programmes using empowerment participation or community participation


The impact of advocacy on health promoting policies has not been evaluated


Many of the programmes which provide good evidence of effectiveness are small scale pilot programmes. There is a need for research to explore issues of scaling up and introducing good practice into health and education infrastructure.


Many good programmes have not been evaluated or have been poorly written up in the literature. There is a need to provide technical and financial support for evaluation, documentation and dissemination of health promotion activities.






What health topics are included in the database?





Family planning


MCH -general


Safe motherhood






Oral rehydration


Acute respiratory infection


Growth monitoring




Infectious diseases (malaria, TB, Onchocerciasis, Worms, Leprosy, Dengue)


Water, sanitation and hygiene education


Oral Health


Eye Health


Chronic (heart disease, cancer, smoking, alcohol, drugs


Miscellaneous: accidents, disability, mental health, patient education




What are the main sources for database entries?



No. papers in database



Social Science and Medicine


International Quarterly of Community Health Education


AIDS, Lancet, Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health


Studies in Family Planning


Bulletin of the World Health Organization


Indian Pediatrics, International Journal of Health Education,




AIDS Care, Health Education Research, Health Policy and Planning, International Family Planning Perspectives, Journal of Diarrhoeal Diseases Research




Hygie, International Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, South African Medical Journal, Transactions of the Royal Society Tropical Medicine and Hygiene




AIDS Education and Prevention, Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Patient Education and Counseling, Public Health, Tropical Doctor, Tropical Medicine and International Health


Journal of Tropical Paediatrics



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