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Tackling the Gradient: Applying Public Health Policies to Effectively Reduce Health Inequalities amongst Families and Children (GRADIENT)
Start date: 01 Apr 2009, End date: 31 Mar 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Health inequalities are currently regarded as one of the most important public health challenges in the EU. There is however not sufficient knowledge of what actions are effective to reduce the gradient in health inequalities. 'Tackling the Gradient' aims to address this, to ensure that political momentum is maintained and that operational strategies can be developed to make progress on this issue. The focus of the research project will be on families and children, since the greatest impact on reducing the health gradient can be achieved through early life policy interventions and by creating equal opportunities during childhood and adolescence. This project involves the following components, which directly address the theme of the call: • Develop a common Evaluation Framework that can be applied across the EU to assess and determine what works. • Determine whether and why traditional public health and health promotion policy measures don’t reach or fail to change behaviours amongst the more socially deprived groups. • Explore some currently understudied protective factors (particularly the influence of social capital on children, adolescents and families) that could be important to tackling the health gradient. • Identify what targeted and universal policy approaches to protect families and children from falling into poverty and ill health are currently being applied, and appear to be effective in tackling the health inequalities gradient • Widely disseminate the outcomes and results to politicians and practitioners in the form of scientifically sound recommendations at the local, national and EU levels. The research will be undertaken by a consortium comprising of 34 members from 12 institutions across Europe. The work will be coordinated by EuroHealthNet, which has considerable expertise in managing EU projects in the area of health inequalities, and is well placed to feed research results into policy making processes at the national and EU level."
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