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Quantitative health impact assessment: taking stock and moving forward
  1. Rainer Fehr1,
  2. Fintan Hurley2,
  3. Odile Cecile Mekel1,
  4. Johan P Mackenbach3
  1. 1NRW Institute of Health and Work, WHO Collaborating Center for Regional Health Policy and Public Health, Bielefeld, Germany
  2. 2Institute of Occupational Medicine, Research Avenue North, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Professor Dr Johan P Mackenbach, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 DA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; j.mackenbach{at}


Over the past years, application of health impact assessment has increased substantially, and there has been a strong growth of tools that allow quantification of health impacts for a range of health relevant policies. We review these developments, and conclude that further tool development is no longer a main priority, although several aspects need to be further developed, such as methods to assess impacts on health inequalities and to assess uncertainties. The main new challenges are, first, to conduct a comparative evaluation of different tools, and, second, to ensure the maintenance and continued availability of the toolkits including their data contents.

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  • Funding Johan Mackenbach's work on this paper was partly supported by a grant of the European Commission for the DYNAMO-HIA project (Public Health program grant nr. 20066116). HEIMTSA was supported by grant GOCE-CT-2006-036913-2 of the European Commission under the Global Change and Ecosystem sub-Programme of the EU's Research FP6; INTARESE was Project 018385 under the same sub-Programme of FP6.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Externally peer reviewed.