Associations between density and quality of health promotion programmes and built environment features across Jerusalem

Omri Besor, Ora Paltiel, Orly Manor, Milka Donchin, Orly Rauch, Vered Kaufman-Shriqui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Health promotion programmes (HPPs) have the potential to influence individual health, depending on their quality and characteristics. Little is known about how they interact with built environment features and neighbourhood demographics in cities with substantial health disparities. Methods: Using the European Quality Instrument for Health Promotion (EQUIHP), we assessed the quality of HPPs, operating between 2016 and 2017, among adults aged 18-75 in Jerusalem. Areas were characterized by ethnicity and area socioeconomic level. Health information (body mass index, physical activity level) was obtained from the city profile survey. Geospatial information on the location and length of walking paths and bicycle lanes was obtained. Spearman correlations were used to assess associations among variables. Results: Ninety-three HPPs operating in 349 locations in Jerusalem were identified. Programmes were unevenly distributed across urban planning areas (UPAs), with the highest density observed in the southwest, areas populated mainly by non-orthodox Jewish residents. However, the best performing HPPs based on EQUIHP score were in the north and east UPAs, inhabited primarily by Arab residents. At a neighbourhood level, characteristics of the built environment positively correlated with higher total EQUIHP scores: The ratio between walking lane length to the neighbourhood's population size (r = 0.413, P < 0.001) and length of bicycle lane per population (r = 0.309, P = 0.5). Median EQUIHP score negatively correlated with the number of programmes per neighbourhood size (m2) (r =-0.327, P = 0.006) and neighbourhood average socioeconomic status (SES; r =-0.266, P = 0.027). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher quality HPPs were preferentially located in areas of lower SES and served minority populations in Jerusalem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1196
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


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