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Population in the Human SciencesConcepts, Models, Evidence$
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Philip Kreager, Bruce Winney, Stanley Ulijaszek, and Cristian Capelli

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199688203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688203.001.0001

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Interventions in Context

Interventions in Context

(p.545) Chapter 19 Interventions in Context
Population in the Human Sciences

Stephen J. Kunitz

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines a general typology of public health interventions, illustrated by the history of programmes for native American Indian populations. Three types of intervention are noted: definitive procedures, like immunization, which do not entail ongoing behavioural change; population-based procedures that can be applied uniformly across all individuals, and clinical interventions that focus on high-risk individuals. These strategies reflect top-down population approaches and comprehensive monitoring to assess impacts. In contrast to definitive procedures are halfway technologies and approaches, where health problems can be ameliorated but not fully resolved and characteristically involve significant changes of behaviour. For American Indian populations, as with much of the world, conditions requiring halfway approaches—diabetes, heart disease, cancers—have become much more prevalent. Halfway interventions pose significant problems for conventional statistics and closed population models, because they entail continuing social evolution, which does not fit easily into datasets composed of discrete classifications and unrepeatable events.

Keywords:   public health, intervention strategies, population heterogeneity, American Indian populations, contextualized methodologies

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