Promoting good practice in health promotion in Spain: the potential role of a new agency

Gac Sanit. 2016 Nov;30 Suppl 1:19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2016.07.005.


Health promotion (HP) activities should be evaluated both in terms of process and results. However there remains a lack of information regarding the types of HP community interventions that are performed in our country, which of these are based on the best available evidence, and how the evidence available can be translated into HP recommendations for action? Spain does not have a dedicated body to answer such questions. If one existed, its role should be to identify the full range of interventions available to promote health, evaluate them and, in cases where there are positive results, facilitate their transfer and implementation. The aim of this article is to reflect on the need and usefulness of an institution with these functions. It also aims to identify the possible strengths and weaknesses of such an institution and what external experiences could be used in developing it. The discussion draws on the experience of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) highlighting possibilities for collaborative strategies. One might argue that the largely published English language evidence base needs simply to be translated to improve knowledge. However, good practice in HP is based and nurtured within the context where it is to be implemented. Therefore, a strategy to improve practice cannot rely solely on direct translations. Successful evidence-based HP must rely not only on robust scientific evidence but also on a process that ensures appropriate contextualization, that tests methodologies and develops guidance for action appropriate to the country, and that systematizes the process and evaluates the impact once the guidance have been put into practice.

Keywords: Community intervention; Evidence; Evidencia; Health promotion; Intervención en la comunidad; Promoción de la salud.

MeSH terms

  • Government Agencies*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Spain