Voorstad on the Move

The research concerns a community health promotion program in a socioeconomic deprived city district in Deventer, in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Voorstad is the name of this city district with 10.750 inhabitants. Socioeconomic status, as well as the health status of the inhabitants are relatively low compared to other parts of Deventer. Voorstad on the move (VoM), the health promotion program, is implemented from july 2016 till jan 2020 and accompanied by an evaluation study based on an integral ecological model.

The community health program ‘Voorstad on the move’ (VoM) was built on the results of an explorative study of the health situation (oct-dec 2015). To gain insight in the health issues and needs of the community, seven focus groups with inhabitants (n=40) were held and 30 professionals, community workers of different disciplines, were interviewed. These qualitative data were supplemented with data from health monitors and the local citizens survey.
The aspects of health most mentioned by low ses inhabitants are feeling at ease (no stress), being in control and being together with friends, family, neighbors (joint activities). Health problems according to professionals and found in the health surveys, eg. obesity, smoking and other unhealthy lifestyles were barely mentioned by the inhabitants when talking about health. There  appeared to be a comprehensive infrastructure of public, welfare, sports and care organizations in Voorstad. The discrepancy in perceptions on health and wellbeing and the importance of it for having ‘a good life’ between the low ses inhabitants and professionals emphasize the need to take the viewpoints of the target groups as a starting point, .

The overall research aim is to study the impacts and action elements on different levels in a participative and integral community health program to reduce socioeconomic health differences. Methodologically, this study will generate more insight in the benefits of action research working with the integral ecological model for the development, implementation and evaluation of the ‘Voorstad on the move’ program. 

The project is carried out by Marja de Jong