Community and health sector partnerships for primary prevention in Australia: Developing a typology
The Australian health system requires novel strategies to implement widespread primary prevention to reduce the burden of chronic illness. One approach is for health sectors to draw on resources available in communities of place and to form partnerships which maximize the relevance and uptake of initiatives designed to promote healthy lifestyles. This article presents a typology of conceptual approaches to community and health sector partnerships, developed through an extensive literature search and empirically tested using in-depth case studies across regional Australia. The article finds that the health sector’s orientation to primary prevention is generally instrumental involving highly targeted outcomes and pre-defined programmes. Communities of place have multifaceted priorities that include building the social and economic sustainability of their community. While these approaches might appear incompatible, careful ‘manipulation’ and ‘massaging’ of instrumental objectives to adjust to community agendas and the presence of ‘boundary crossers’ can lead to successful primary prevention outcomes.