Health Promotion in Italy: structures and activities of the NHS
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University of Siena, Post Graduate School of Public Health, University of Siena, Italy, Via Aldo Moro, 2, Italy
University of Siena, Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, Italy
Italian Society of Health Promotion - SIPS
Training and Skillis Unit, Local Health Authority Rome 1, Rome, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A891
Background and Objective:
The Ministry of Health is the primary health decision-making body, in Italy. It produces the National Health Plan, which is taken over by the Regions, to reference the Local Health Authorities (LHAs) responsible for health promotion (HP) activities. The objective of the study was to investigate structured HP activities at the national, regional and territorial levels.

From February 2020 to July 2021, an online search was conducted on existing HP structures, projects (divided by 17 themes) and responsibilities. The sources were the official websites of the Ministry of Health, the 21 italian Regions, and the LHAs.

Over a “prevalent period” 2014-2021, we found 41 active facilities dedicated to HP: 7 Complex Operating Units and 34 Simple Units. In another 30 facilities, we found HP activities despite the absence of dedicated units. The most treated topic seems to be a physical activity (63%), followed by addictions (53%), nutrition (48%), prevention (33%), at the tail end, dental hygiene and family/parenting (both at 7%). One of the LHAs of Turin and LHA of Salerno have the highest number of topics.

Despite the growing need to find complete and clear answers on the web, the results showed a great heterogeneity in the Italian context regarding HP activities published online, both in the organization of structures and in the implementation of projects. It is hypothesized that the phenomenon depends more on less attention to the digitization of information and less on actual HP-related offerings.

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