Primary Health Care,
Objectives: To synthesise data on the impact on health and key
socioeconomic determinants of health and health inequalities reported in
evaluations of national UK regeneration programmes.
Data Sources: Eight electronic databases were searched from 1980 to 2004
(IBSS, COPAC, HMIC, IDOX, INSIDE, Medline, Urbadisc/Accompline, Web of
Knowledge). Bibliographies of located documents and relevant web sites
were searched. Experts and government departmental libraries were also
Review methods: Evaluations that reported achievements drawing on data
from at least two target areas of a national urban regeneration
programme in the UK were included. Process evaluations and evaluations
reporting only business outcomes were excluded. All methods of
evaluation were included. Impact data on direct health outcomes and
direct measures of socioeconomic determinants of health were narratively
Results: 19 evaluations reported impacts on health or socioeconomic
determinants of health; data from 10 evaluations were synthesised. Three
evaluations reported health impacts; in one evaluation three of four
measures of self reported health deteriorated, typically by around 4%.
Two other evaluations reported overall reductions in mortality rates.
Most socioeconomic outcomes assessed showed an overall improvement after
regeneration investment; however, the effect size was often similar to
national trends. In addition, some evaluations reported adverse impacts.
Conclusion: There is little evidence of the impact of national urban
regeneration investment on socioeconomic or health outcomes. Where
impacts have been assessed, these are often small and positive but
adverse impacts have also occurred. Impact data from future evaluations
are required to inform healthy public policy; in the meantime work to
exploit and synthesise "best available" data is required.