Strategies to Inform Public Health Programs that Address Social Isolation and Loneliness among Older Adults
Social isolation and loneliness are associated with a lengthy list of health conditions. Social isolation skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the early months when social distancing and isolation were part of public health guidelines. With those age 65+ disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, many older adults have spent years living isolated, with fear and uncertainty about their own health and the health of their loved ones. Despite its importance, research and interventions addressing older adults have been historically underfunded and deprioritized. This case study reviews results from PGP's research on this topic, and provides our perspective on the future of programs that target older adults.
Mental Health Stigma Reduction in the Midwest: Evidence from a Digital Campaign Using a Collective Impact Model
A digital media campaign was implemented to reduce mental health stigma in the Omaha Metropolitan area, a key component of improving mental health outcomes. The results suggest that the implemented evidenced-based approach created positive shifts in stigma reduction. This evaluation further supports the potential effectiveness of scaling and adapting digital media campaigns for stigma reduction in different geographic locations.
What next? Expanding our view of city planning and global health, and implementing and monitoring evidence-informed policy
This Lancet Global Health Series on urban design, transport, and health aimed to facilitate development of a global system of health-related policy and spatial indicators to assess achievements and deficiencies in urban and transport policies and features. This final paper in the Series summarises key findings, considers what to do next, and outlines urgent key actions.
Creating a Documentary Film to Tell the Story of Substance Use on Martha’s Vineyard
In 2019, The Public Good Projects (PGP), along with its sister creative agency Straight to Tell, joined the Martha’s Vineyard Substance Use Disorder Coalition in a partnership to address substance use on Martha’s Vineyard. The first phase involved formative research, which formed the foundation for the second phase - a full-length documentary filmed by Straight To Tell. This case study provides results from the formative research behind On Island, and comments on the potential for documentary films to galvanize a community-based response to substance use.
City planning policies to support health and sustainability: an international comparison of policy indicators for 25 cities
This study assesses policy frameworks for city planning for 25 cities across 19 lower-middle-income countries, upper-middle-income countries, and high-income countries to identify whether these policies supported the creation of healthy and sustainable cities.
Determining thresholds for spatial urban design and transport features that support walking to create healthy and sustainable cities
Through this study authors aimed to identify the minimum thresholds for urban design and transport features associated with two physical activity criteria: at least 80% probability of engaging in any walking for transport and WHO's target of at least 15% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity through walking.
Using open data and open-source software to develop spatial indicators of urban design and transport features for achieving healthy and sustainable cities
This study developed a reusable, open-source urban indicator computational framework using open data to enable consistent local and global comparative analyses. We show this framework by calculating spatial indicators—for 25 diverse cities in 19 countries—of urban design and transport features that support health and sustainability. We link these indicators to cities’ policy contexts, and identify populations living above and below critical thresholds for physical activity through walking.
A Collaboration between Healthcare and Esports to Impact Youth Mental Health and Wellness: Evaluating the Presence of Mind Initiative
Esports is a rapidly growing industry with a vast reach, and has a largely untapped potential for health interventions that reach young adults. This study used a longitudinal survey to evaluate Presence of Mind, a mental health initiative embedded into pre-existing esports networks, designed to reach young adult gamers. Results showed that embedding a healthcare-led mental health initiative within pre-existing esports networks appears to be an effective way to support the mental health of young esports players and fans.
The Impact of COVID-19 Prevention Imagery on Responses to Social Media Influencer Posts
Using social media influencers to deliver positive health behavior information is a proven public health communication strategy. Since 2016, PGP has leveraged social media influencers to deliver messages for campaigns ranging from mental health to opioid use disorder stigma to COVID-19 vaccination. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, PGP launched El Beacon, a national network of vaccinated Hispanic influencers and volunteers, primarily with Hispanic social media followers, who are committed to sharing messages repeatedly for public health. This case study examines the impact of COVID-19 prevention imagery on reactions and responses to content.
A Digital Media Campaign to Increase Access to Pregnancy-Related Health Information for Black Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Low birthweight is a health issue disproportionately experienced by Black women. This study examines the feasibility of a digital low birthweight campaign to increase knowledge about low birthweight and pregnancy among Black women in Hillsborough, Florida. Results suggest that using a highly targeted digital intervention can be a well-received and potentially effective way to deliver pregnancy-related health information to Black women, even during a global pandemic. This strategy has numerous benefits in reaching women who may fall outside traditional health marketing approaches.