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Advancing complexity-informed health promotion: a scoping review to link health promotion and co-creation

By D. von Heimburg and V. Cluley


A complexity-informed approach has recently been proposed as a hopeful revolution for health promotion (HP), requesting appropriate ways of tackling the complexities of health, equity and well-being. In addition, co-creation has gained traction as an approach to tackle complexity. HP and co-creation are established concepts that have long been enacted in practice. Although each concept is premised on similar approaches to value-creation such as participation and collaboration, little has been done to link the two approaches. To advance complexity-informed HP, this scoping review presents findings from peer-reviewed articles, published in English, between 2009 and March 2020. Articles were identified through searches of academic databases. Twenty-seven articles met the inclusion criteria, explicitly linking HP and co-creation. Included articles were charted by descriptive information and main focus, and advanced by a thematic analysis. Four themes suggest a potential avenue for advancing complexity-informed HP: (i) dealing with complexity, (ii) value creation, (iii) the value of the values and (iv) benefits and challenges. While current links between HP and co-creation are scarce they are increasing and promising. Based on the findings from the review, propositions to advance complexity-informed HP is outlined and discussed. Overall it is argued that co-creation and HP are mutually beneficial concepts, providing a framework for participative, collaborative, context-sensitive and knowledge-based practice that reflects the complex nature of health. More research is needed to highlight potential and challenges of integrating co-creation in HP, especially related to health equity and sustainable development

Topics: HD28, RA0421
Publisher: 'Oxford University Press (OUP)'
Year: 2020
DOI identifier: 10.1093/heapro/daaa063
OAI identifier:
Provided by: City Research Online
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