Framing health inequalities for local intervention: comparative case studies

Sociol Health Illn. 2012 Jan;34(1):49-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2011.01362.x. Epub 2011 Jun 10.


This article explores how health inequalities are constructed as an object for policy intervention by considering four framings: politics, audit, evidence and treatment. A thematic analysis of 197 interviews conducted with local managers in England, Scotland and Wales is used to explore how these framings emerge from local narratives. The three different national policy regimes create contrasting contexts, especially regarding the different degrees of emphasis in these regimes on audit and performance management. We find that politics dominates how health inequalities are framed for intervention, affecting their prioritisation in practice and how audit, evidence and treatment are described as deployed in local strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Priorities / economics
  • Health Priorities / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Local Government*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Policy Making
  • Politics*
  • Public Health Administration / economics
  • Public Health Administration / methods
  • Sociology, Medical
  • State Medicine / economics
  • State Medicine / organization & administration*
  • United Kingdom