Public Health Leadership to Advance Health Equity: A Scoping Review and Metasummary
Betker, Ruth Claire
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Health inequities are health differences that are systematic across a population, result from the social conditions in which people live, and are considered unfair when by reasonable means they could be avoided. Health inequities are a pressing public health issue locally, nationally, and globally, and addressing these inequities is a matter of social justice. Public health leadership has been identified as critical for advancing health equity. Public health leadership has been defined as influence that moves individuals, communities, organizations, and systems toward achieving goals that will result in better health and well-being. But what type of leadership is required in public health to address the social determinants of health and advance health equity? How is it described? How is that leadership developed and supported? To begin to answer these questions and contribute to the knowledge and science of leadership in public health, an extensive scoping review of the literature was undertaken using Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) six-phase framework. The scoping review explored the evidence base (close to 8,000 articles) and iteratively revealed the factors that contribute to public health leadership at the individual, organizational, community, and system levels. Further discussion is provided regarding innovative and emerging tools, strategies, and mechanisms for public health leadership. The study considered two further questions in an additional phase of the review using a metasummary method: How is leadership described in this literature set and what is the relationship between leadership and health equity in these studies? The responses to these questions are reflected through a series of data visualizations and thematic presentations. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of the findings and a set of considerations for practice, theory, policy, education, and research. These considerations are intended to provide a foundation for the development and support of public health leaders and leadership to address the determinants of health and advance health equity.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorPetrucka, Pammla; Smadu, Marlene
CommitteeNeudorf, Cory; Leeseberg-Stamler, Lynnette; Falk-Rafael, Adeline; Bassendowski, Sandra
Copyright DateDecember 2016