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Studying health inequalitiesAn applied approach$
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Jonathan Wistow, Tim Blackman, David Byrne, and Gerald Wistow

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305286

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305286.001.0001

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Health inequalities: adopting a whole system approach

Health inequalities: adopting a whole system approach

(p.49) Three Health inequalities: adopting a whole system approach
Studying health inequalities

Jonathan Wistow

Tim Blackman

David Byrne

Gerald Wistow

Policy Press

Health inequality outcomes in local systems reflect the design of services, interactions between agents and contextual attributes. This chapter outlines an approach to understanding health inequalities by adopting a whole systems approach that firstly focuses on different types of policy and practice, ways of working and types of interventions adopted in local health systems. Secondly, a range of contextual conditions, such as levels of deprivation, crime rates, demographics and educational attainment are outlined. Together these ‘conditions’ form a longlist of factors potentially influencing progress towards narrowing of health inequalities gaps. The chapter concludes with a discussion about how binary approaches to causation can be complex by reflecting the transition from one type of system to another e.g., the difference between a local authority area narrowing it’s health inequalities gap and one that is not.

Keywords:   whole systems approach, local systems, policy and practice, contextual conditions, complex binary causation

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