Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Review of Education-Focused Health Impact Assessments Conducted in the United States

Gase, Lauren N.; Defosset, Amelia R.; Gakh, Maxim; Harris, Celia; Weisman, Susan R.; Dannenberg, Andrew L. (2017). Review of Education-Focused Health Impact Assessments Conducted in the United States. Journal Of School Health, 87(12), 911 – 922.

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BACKGROUNDHealth impact assessment (HIA) provides a structured process for examining the potential health impacts of proposed policies, plans, programs, and projects. This study systematically reviewed HIAs conducted in the United States on prekindergarten, primary, and secondary education-focused decisions. METHODSRelevant HIA reports were identified from web sources in late 2015. Key data elements were abstracted from each report. Four case studies were selected to highlight diversity of topics, methods, and impacts of the assessment process. RESULTSTwenty HIAs completed in 2003-2015 from 8 states on issues related to prekindergarten through secondary education were identified. The types of decisions examined included school structure and funding, transportation to and from school, physical modifications to school facilities, in-school physical activity and nutrition, and school discipline and climate. Assessments employed a range of methods to characterize the nature, magnitude, and severity of potential health impacts. Assessments fostered stakeholder engagement and provided health-promoting recommendations, some of which were subsequently incorporated into school policies. CONCLUSIONSHealth impact assessment is a promising tool that education, health, and other stakeholders can use to maximize the health and well-being of students, families, and communities.


Decision Making; Elementary Schools; High Schools; Medical Policy; Medline; Nutrition; Online Information Services; Research Funding; Student Health; Systematic Reviews (medical Research); Search Engines; Physical Activity; Health Impact Assessment; United States; Collaboration; Policy; Public Health; Academic-achievement; Programs