London 2001 Conference Abstracts: L. Briziarelli et al.

Prof. Lamberto Briziarelli*, Dr. Masanotti Giuseppe**

Documentation without Information

*Director The Experimental Centre of Health Education, Department of Hygiene, University of Perugia.
**Collaborator The Experimental Centre of Health Education, Department of Hygiene, University of Perugia.
Contact: L. Briziarelli

The documentation and information policies in Public Health and Health Promotion throw out Europe, even with some differences, are insufficient for who is called to work and for who demands- payees (the population).

In the last decade documentation policies have had some attention, in fact, today there are numerous databases full of data of all kind. If we analyse these database we see that:

  • Most are incomplete (mostly on the purpose of global Health Promotion);
  • The data collected often do not have any use for who is called to program health services, and
  • These database are reserved only for experts and a limited part of the population.

Most of the data collected have no sense when it comes to Public Health or more specifically to health promotion, because they give only a peace of a much bigger picture. This is clear if we realise that the data contained in most of the database have been collected using methods and instruments of traditional epidemiology. Who is called to operate in Public health needs to link the illness with the possible determinants and traditional epidemiology is not able to give this.

Even if with all the limits that these database present, rarely these data are transformed in information for the population, that payees and that makes the demand especially in the field of health. Most of the information in circulation today is functional for who, in that moment, wants a certain message to pass to the population. In a situation like this in which the data collected is insufficient, only limited information is given to the population and only in “special” occasions makes it impossible for who operates in public health to program on correct bases.

Today there are some international organisations (WHO and E.C.) initiatives that propose information systems for example: Health Observatory, Verona Challenge, Health Impact Assessment (HIA), Euro database and so on� Especially the HIA strategy can give, to who operates in Public Health, the information necessary to program health services independently by the environment in which we are called to work in today.

What is necessary to point out is that all the new systems base or need to base on a good documentation and information system, so that all the data collected can be fully given and comprehensive for the population. It’s necessary that every person, in a liberal environment, have access to the same information.

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