Prevention in Living Environments – the Setting Approach
DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2015.0213-0219german translation / full article
Summary: In Germany, a law concerning prevention that is scheduled to take effect in 2016 will qualitatively and quantitatively enhance the existing emphasis on living environments in primary prevention and health promotion. Whereas the spheres of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, areas for which care mostly occurs on an individual and medical basis, have long been established both legally and financially; social or other non-medical primary prevention efforts lack such backing. Given the dominance of chronic-degenerative diseases and of socially induced health inequalities, which remain important in Germany and continue to increase in significance, these are the areas where there is great potential for improving population health. The most apt zones of intervention are the social structures that help to produce the elements involved in impacting health and any incentives for healthful behaviours (living environments/setting). Interventions can be assessed and valued based on their ability to fulfil several criteria: 1. joint stress reduction and resource enhancement, 2. enhancement of unspecific interventions, 3. prioritization of context and its framing, 4. prioritization of participation and 5. quality assurance. Workplace health promotion in the form of participative organizational development offers one example of an intervention that successfully fulfils these criteria. The transferability of this approach has been tested in day-care facilities, schools, city districts, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, etc.