Manifestations of integrated public health policy in Dutch municipalities

D. Peters*, J. Harting, H. van Oers, J. Schuit, N. de Vries, K. Stronks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Integrated public health policy (IPHP) aims at integrating health considerations into policies of other sectors. Since the limited empirical evidence available may hamper its further development, we systematically analysed empirical manifestations of IPHP, by placing policy strategies along a continuum of less-to-more policy integration, going from intersectoral action (IA) to healthy public policy (HPP) to health in all policies (HiAP). Our case study included 34 municipal projects of the Dutch Gezonde Slagkracht Programme (2009-15), which supports the development and implementation of IPHP on overweight, alcohol and drug abuse, and smoking. Our content analysis of project application forms and interviews with all project leaders used a framework approach involving the policy strategies and the following policy variables: initiator, actors, policy goals, determinants and policy instruments. Most projects showed a combination of policy strategies. However, manifestations of IPHP in overweight projects predominantly involved IA. More policy integration was apparent in alcohol/drugs projects (HPP) and in all-theme projects (HiAP). More policy integration was related to broad goal definitions, which allowed for the involvement of actors representing several policy sectors. This enabled the implementation of a mix of policy instruments. Determinants of health were not explicitly used as a starting point of the policy process. If a policy problem justifies policy integration beyond IA, it might be helpful to start from the determinants of health (epidemiological reality), systematically transform them into policy (policy reality) and set broad policy goals, since this gives actors from other sectors the opportunity to participate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-302
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number2
Early online date10 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • determinants of health
  • government programs
  • healthy public policy
  • multisectoral policy response


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