Settings for health promotion: an analytic framework to guide intervention design and implementation

Health Promot Pract. 2009 Oct;10(4):505-16. doi: 10.1177/1524839909341025.


Taking a settings approach to health promotion means addressing the contexts within which people live, work, and play and making these the object of inquiry and intervention as well as the needs and capacities of people to be found in different settings. This approach can increase the likelihood of success because it offers opportunities to situate practice in its context. Members of the setting can optimize interventions for specific contextual contingencies, target crucial factors in the organizational context influencing behavior, and render settings themselves more health promoting. A number of attempts have been made to systematize evidence regarding the effectiveness of interventions in different types of settings (e.g., school-based health promotion, community development). Few, if any, attempts have been made to systematically develop a template or framework for analyzing those features of settings that should influence intervention design and delivery. This article lays out the core elements of such a framework in the form of a nested series of questions to guide analysis. Furthermore, it offers advice on additional considerations that should be taken into account when operationalizing a settings approach in the field.

MeSH terms

  • Environment Design
  • Environment*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Schools / organization & administration*
  • Social Change
  • Systems Analysis*
  • Workplace / organization & administration*
  • Workplace / psychology