Research Outputs

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  • Publication
    Heart health in Oberwart - an evidence-based regional Health Promotion Programm in Rural Austria
    (Oxford University Press, 2009-11-27) ; ;
    Matyas, E. 
    Harbacher, W. 
    Augustin, T. 
    ; ;
    Ballmann, I. 
    INn the district of Oberwart, Burgenland, Austria, cardiovas- cular mortality is above the Austrian average. A high pre- valence of several risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as overweight, smoking, lack of physical activity, hypertension and high cholesterol levels is evident. Especially, alcohol and tobacco consumption in young people is alarmingly high. Thus—for the first time in Austria—a 3-year regional, comprehensive, gender and culturally sensitive heart health programme is initiated in the school and community setting aiming at the development of sustainable health promotion structures in order to improve the health status of the population.The programme was designed along the lines of successful regional heart health programmes like the North Karelia Project or more recent initiatives like the Otsego-Schoharie Healthy Heart Program in the USA or the Norsjo bzw. Vasterbotten Intervention Programm (VIP) in Sweden. Empowerment and participation of the local population at risk are the key elements of the programme. Additionally, it is intended to introduce the concept of ‘Health in all Policies’ at the community level. Community readiness will be assessed first and interventions influencing major lifestyle factors like diet, smoking and physical activity will be planned in a participatory way involving the target groups of the project (youth aged 14–18 years and man and women aged 30–60 years). Interventions will include health communication and information as well as group approaches to individual behavioural change and school/community health promotion programmes comprising capacity building. The University of Applied Sciences, Burgenland has the overall responsibility for the programme and project management, whilst the EBM Review Centre of the Medical University Graz will be carrying out the programme evaluation. Joanneum Research is assisting the monitoring and evaluation process. It is anticipated that the control group design will enable knowledge and best practice transfer to other interested regions.