Background Resilience is a dynamic process of coping, adaptation and growth in response to threats and can be an attribute of individuals, communities or systems. ‘Creating resilient communities’ is a Health 2020 priority, reflecting the importance of the social environment as a determinant of population health. This is an emergent field for research, with questions of how best to define and measure this complex concept at a community level. This presentation reports on a rapid review and synthesis of measurement strategies conducted for WHO Europe Health Evidence Network (HEN). The review question was: ‘What quantitative and qualitative methods can be used to measure health-related community resilience at a national level?’
Methods The rapid review used HEN Evidence Synthesis guidance. A systematic search of academic and grey literature databases and 73 websites combined key terms for community resilience and measurement. Included languages were English, French and German, and Russian (via an independent search). Study selection was in 2 phases, with an initial focus on Europe. Inclusion criteria were articles that reported outcomes involving measurement of health-related community resilience in all population groups, study designs and settings. Studies on individual/system resilience and those not specifying health and wellbeing measurement were excluded. Data extraction fields included theoretical framework, methods and indicators. Findings were summarised in tables and a narrative synthesis.
Results In total, 3,753 publications were identified and following screening, 33 studies were included; 27 from WHO European Region. The map of literature showed various measurement frameworks in use, however most related to community disaster resilience. We grouped measurement strategies into:
Frameworks providing population profiles of resilience factors, using quantitative data
Mixed method assessments incorporating stakeholder views, used mostly for local planning & evaluation
Qualitative and participatory approaches, which involved marginalised communities.
There was a dearth of validated measures and insufficient evidence on national-level indicators, but socioeconomic measurement domains were categorised. Key methodological challenges were highlighted, including definitional issues, data aggregation and lack of attention to equity. Notwithstanding these challenges, the review identified some common principles for measuring community resilience.
Conclusion This review contributes to new understandings of health-related community resilience and its measurement. Using rapid review methods limited the scope of the search, and the focus was mainly on European literature. While there is learning from community disaster resilience methods, transferability to population health needs to be tested.Based on review gaps, recommendations are made for future research topics.
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