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.
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.
The feasibility of using a tailored communications approach to reduce binge drinking among young males in Florida
Binge drinking is a critical public health concern, with alcohol-related deaths claiming 88,000 lives each year. In Florida, the prevalence of binge drinking and risk for alcohol-related traffic fatalities is highest among white males aged 18-34. This study evaluates Drunken Rewind, a targeted animated digital media campaign implemented in west Orange County, Florida. The series amassed over 900,000 views and 1,762 followers across four social media platforms. Viewer retention rate was between 67%-73% across three seasons. A total of 68.3% of comments on the videos were positive. This study adds evidence that a digital intervention aimed at reducing binge drinking can be feasibly implemented and positively received by a population that is difficult to reach with public health messaging. This approach may be useful when applied to other health issues young adults perceive to have lower risk.
Using Google’s COVID-19 Vaccine Search Insights to Increase Vaccine Confidence and Demand Among BIPOC Communities
In communities across the United States, those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With funding from The Rockefeller Foundation, we have been working to increase vaccine confidence and demand among BIPOC communities in Oakland, Houston, Chicago, Newark, and Baltimore as part of the Equity-First Vaccination Initiative (EVI). This case study highlights ways that we monitor numerous media sources. We focus particularly on Google’s publicly available Vaccine Search Insights, which we use to inform our communications support.
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 campaign used evidence-based approaches with a collective impact framework. Two surveys using validated measures of mental health knowledge, attitudes, and reported and intended behaviors were conducted at baseline and at 10-month follow-up to evaluate the campaign within the Omaha & Council Bluffs intervention region and a control region in Iowa. The analysis carried out revealed significant improvements in desires for social distance and perceptions toward treatment efficacy within the intervention group. Improvements were seen across measures of personal and community attitudes towards mental health conditions, confidence in supporting others, and likelihood of disclosing a mental health condition. The trends were generally not replicated within the control group. Respondents aware of the campaign showed fewer stigmatizing views, including lower desires for social distance, improved attitudes toward treatment, and significant improvements in providing support and caring for their own mental health. 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.