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Open Access Research article

Social deprivation and exposure to health promotion. A study of the distribution of health promotion resources to schools in England

Corina M Chivu1* and Daniel D Reidpath2

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Public Health Research Brunel University Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB83PH UK

2 Professor of Population Health & Director of Public Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences Monash University Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, 46150, Selangor DE Malaysia

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:473  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-473

Published: 10 August 2010

Abstract

Background

Area deprivation is a known determinant of health. It is also known that area deprivation is associated with lower impact health promotion. It is less well known, however, whether deprived areas are less responsive to health promotion, or whether they are less exposed. Using data from a national, school-based campaign to promote vaccination against the human papilloma virus (HPV), the relationship between area deprivation and exposure was examined.

Methods

Taking advantage of a health promotion campaign to provide information to schools about HPV vaccination, a cross sectional study was conducted to examine the relationship between area level, social deprivation, and take-up of (i.e., exposure to) available health promotion material. The sample was 4,750 schools across England, including government maintained and independent schools. The relationship between area deprivation and exposure was examined using bi- and multivariate logistic regression.

Results

It was found that schools in the least deprived quintile had 1.32 times the odds of requesting health promotion materials than schools in the most deprived areas (p = .01). This effect was independent of the school size, the type of school, and the geographic region.

Conclusion

The relationship between area deprivation and the impact of health promotion may be due, at least in part, to differential levels of exposure. The study was limited in scope, pointing to the need for more research, but also points to potentially important policy implications.