Effects of Participation and Collaboration on Perceived Effectiveness of Core Public Health Functions

With Amber Sinclair, now forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health. The abstract:

Previous efforts to measure the effectiveness of core public health services at the community level have found evidence of wide variation and substantial gaps in performance. This analysis uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Local Public Health Systems conducted in 1998 and 2006 to examine the effects of two public health system characteristics – a health department’s contribution to core function effort and the participation of other types of agencies/organizations in the core function – on the effectiveness of community delivery of core assessment, policy development and assurance functions. Since there is already a well- developed literature on public-sector participation and collaboration, our contribution in this paper is to offer a novel empirical assessment of the state of participation and collaboration among public health organizations. Perceived effectiveness increased over time for all three core function areas, with effectiveness ranging from 41% to 53% in 2006. Multivariate results show that local health department contribution to effort is significantly positively associated with health department directors’ perceived effectiveness of public health core functions. The significance of participation of individual types of agencies/organizations varies by core functions area, with the exception of local government agencies and hospitals being significantly positively associated with all three core function areas. The research furthers our understanding of the significance of LHD contribution and participation of other individual agencies/organizations in the perceived effectiveness of delivery of core functions.

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