Whatever is a theoretical framework?

This is a question that comes up time and again and Health Promotion Practice (which is currently releasing some of its top read articles as  open access) recently published a paper on Developing a Theoretical Framework for Complex Community-Based Interventions (Angeles et al, 2014).

Developing and applying theoretical frameworks helps continually advance knowledge. The above paper is particularly relevant to many environmental health issues as it looks at complex community interventions. Very briefly summarised, it tells us that we need to start with identifying the essential elements of the interventions, identify variables and how these relate, consider existing models and theoretic frameworks, developing hypothesis, validation and revisions.

Another paper of great interest to environmental health practitioners in this open access release is Writing Well: A Writing Style Checklist to Promote Publication Among Practitioners (Goldman and Schmalz, 2013). It says, “No matter who you are or in what setting you work, you, the frontline practitioner, have something to say that your colleagues and related medical, health, and human and social service professionals, among others, need to hear. We need practitioners—particularly those of you on the frontline—to write about what you’ve done and what you’ve learned. There are knowledge gaps to be filled and issues to be raised that only practitioners, with their day in and day out field experience, can provide.” I for one couldn’t agree more – for an example of a Chartered Institute of Environmental Health publication on effective housing interventions and some reviews, click here and scroll down. Take a look at its chapter templates and think how you could write up your work in this type of format.

You may well wonder why EHRNet haven’t been writing more about this. Well we are! The five of us are currently in the final stages of a research and publication chapter for the forthcoming edition of Clay’s Handbook of Environmental Health due 2016. Issues including theoretical frameworks and writing for publication in environmental health are covered based to an extent on our own experiences, workshops we have delivered and things we have learnt along the way.

We are also meanwhile working on several various publications between us, more on this to follow….


Guest blog: RSPH Student Membership opportunities

Originally posted on Blogging about Public Health and Wellbeing:

The Royal Society for Public Health has launched a brand new student membership package at just £25 and would like to invite you to join!

We are a leading public health organisation with a membership covering all aspects of public health, from microbiology to health promotion and environmental health to nursing. Our vision is that everyone has the opportunity to optimise their health and wellbeing and we are actively involved with advocacy, media campaigns, policy development and projects on behalf of our members and the public.

Our student membership provides a range of benefits to help expand your knowledge and demonstrate your commitment to a career in public health:

  • Browse our brand new jobs board for job opportunities and career profiles
  • Connect with our extensive network of public health professionals and members
  • Compete in a new essay competition open to all graduate students for the chance to be published in…

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Call for papers: Journal of Environmental Health Research

Do you have some work you are interested in publishing in a peer reviewed journal? We are currently seeking papers for the next edition of the Journal of Environmental Health Research. This journal seeks to raise the profile of environmental health work. One of its objectives is to showcase the effective in strategies and interventions of environmental health practitioners in their daily work (with permission from their organisations), which often goes unpublished. You may be interested to hear that Effective Strategies and Interventions – environmental health and the private housing sector was authored very largely by those working at the front line of environmental health practice and now appears on the NICE evidence base, showing how our work is valued.

Such peer reviewed publications are increasingly important in contributing to the evidence base in adding to professional standing and credibility as well as helping locate environmental health more prominently in decision making and resource allocation. You are strongly encouraged to write for JEHR, which seeks to support new as well as established writers and the editor Dr Chris Day would be happy to hear your ideas. We are very well aware that many successful environmental health strategies and interventions never make it to publication, a disservice to the profession. Don’t forget that members of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health are eligible to claim CPD for work like this.

Happy writing!



‘Can do’ councils | Gill Leng Housing Solutions: realising your ambitions

It is easy to look at other people and wonder in awe how they seem to get so much done and it is also easy to find reasons why we can’t do something. Sometimes we can feel trapped by our organisations, our workload and out-of-work commitments. But sometimes, if we are honest, it is down to ourselves to try to make change and lead on something, or it may never get done. Finding time and energy is often about being authentic and true to ourselves in what we believe in and what we value. What we need is more of a ‘can do’ approach. Gill Leng always seems to be someone who remains positive and gets things done and continues to work for better housing and health. Take a look at her blog on how to be a ‘can do’ council, there are lots of useful ideas for public health too.

‘Can do’ councils | Gill Leng Housing Solutions: realising your ambitions.

Guest Blog: Samir Jeraj, Race Equality Foundation

Many thanks to Samir, who writes:
“Housing is key to tackling health inequalities. That’s why the Race Equality Foundation organised an event focusing on this issue, but specifically in private rented housing. A greater number of people in the UK now live in private renting than in social renting, and that number is increasing. Private renters live in housing that is, on average, poorer quality: a third don’t meet the decent homes standard, and just under a fifth have a category 1 health hazard present. Added to this is the fact that a private renter has far less security – most can be given two months’ notice to leave their home without reason, irrespective of whether they’ve been there for six months or six years. The event heard from people working in Local Government, Public Health, and Renter campaigns – it also launched a briefing on Ethnicity, Health, and the Private rented sector.”
Samir also wrote up a piece for for 24 Dash on ethnicity, health and the private rented sector which you can find here.

National Energy Action Awards to Tackle Fuel Poverty

Community Action Awards 2014-16: Tackling fuel poverty together in local communities

Apply for phase 2 before 9 January 2015

Are you involved in an exciting, innovative project to tackle fuel poverty in your local community?

NEA, British Gas and the Department of Energy and Climate Change are inviting applications to the Community Action Awards, which recognise best practice amongst those who are working to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency in their local communities. The scheme is running from 2014-16 with a total of 25 awards made to community groups, third sector organisations, health agencies, local authorities and other public and not-for-profit organisations in England and Wales that demonstrate innovative approaches to tackling fuel poverty

Winners will receive £1,500 to develop or enhance their project; a free place at the NEA Annual Conference; and practical and financial support to hold a community celebration event.

The published deadlines are:
• Phase 2 – 9 January 2015
• Phase 3 – 17 April 2015
• Phase 4 – 2 October 2015
• Phase 5 – 8 January 2016

For further information and to apply go to http://www.nea.org.uk/communityactionawards