Update (June 5, 2013): We are pleased to announce that Josée Lapalme has been awarded the 2012 PHIRNET Award for Excellence in PHIR for this webinar! Congratulations, Josée!

Neighbourhood interventions for youth: A systematic review

Date: April 19, 2012
Times: 13h00 to 14h15 Eastern Time (Montréal)
Presenter: Josée Lapalme

Systematic reviews appraise and summarize research to better understand knowledge and its limits in a specific area of study. Specific criteria have been established to help researchers assess public health interventions for their quality and effectiveness. However, Hawe et al. (2009)* highlight limitations in conventional thinking of population health interventions and advance alternative principles based on an eco-systems framework to critically evaluate these interventions. This PHIRNET research internship aims to develop a narrative systematic review integrating the novel approach proposed by Hawe et al. into the conventional guidelines.

Increasingly, neighbourhood interventions for youth take the form of neighbourhood programs targeting positive youth development (PYD). According to research, these programs can increase overall well-being, which may be a more effective way of preventing problem behaviour in youth than problem targeted programs. However, no recent systematic review has been conducted to evaluate neighbourhood interventions targeting PYD and most of these interventions are limited to neighbourhood programs. Therefore, this review will update the current literature by analyzing neighbourhood interventions targeting PYD for youth ages 11 to 18 years. Also, the definition of these interventions will be broadened to include neighbourhood-level programs, initiatives, and policies.

Results will highlight how interventions were designed and implemented as well as the effectiveness of interventions to promote PYD. Encountered challenges by these interventions will also be discussed. The knowledge generated from this review may inform health professionals of the importance of neighbourhood interventions promoting PYD as well as how to best develop and implement these interventions.

Discussion questions:

1. What role do ‘conventional’ systematic reviews of population health interventions play in our understanding of these interventions? Do the eco-systems approach’s guidelines provide relevant insight on these interventions?

2. How can PHIR researchers collaborate with health directorate interventionists? Should PHIR researchers shape their research to meet the needs of these interventionists?