Using geodemographics to tackle public health inequalities...
One of Warrington Primary Care Trust’s top public health priorities is tackling health inequalities. Analysis of routine data and health statistics highlighted the stark variation in health experience and health need within the borough.
The vast majority of analysis that is undertaken by the PCT is on a geographic level, comparing data for the least and most deprived super output areas. Whilst this level of analysis is useful in describing health needs and the pattern of inequalities within Warrington, they wanted to explore the use of population segmentation tools that would help guide them in targeting appropriate interventions to reduce health inequalities.
Beacon Dodsworth’s geodemographic classification, P² People & Places, allows the PCT to segment the population at a very local level. The detailed descriptors provide useful information on the general characteristics of populations living in local areas, giving more detail on attributes such as age, income and ethnicity.
The detailed descriptors also help guide the PCT on the appropriate means of targeting different population groups, for example by providing information on supermarket of choice and media preferences.
Since purchasing P² People & Places, Warrington PCT has incorporated the data into their various routine datasets, which means that they have the facility to add P² to any analysis that they do.
To date, they have used the P² data within a smoking cessation equity audit, a diabetes health needs assessment, and are currently using it to help inform a social marketing campaign around obesity amongst women living in deprived areas.
P² People & Places provides an additional dimension to any descriptive, geographical-based analysis that is undertaken in the PCT. In addition to providing further descriptive information on population groups, P² enables them to drill down and identify various sub-groups within the population.
This provides a starting point for making decisions on how to target population groups appropriately. This more detailed demographic data helps the PCT to better understand their population, and therefore helps to ensure that the appropriate services and interventions are put in place.
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