Scandinavian Journal of Public Health (SCAND J PUBLIC HEALT)

Publisher: Scandinavian Association for Social Medicine, SAGE Publications

Journal description

Public Health as we enter the third millennium, is facing challenges of new and re-emerging diseases. This health transition includes both changes in demographic patterns and the responses of health services to changing patterns of disease. However, while the ongoing transition allows for the chronic diseases of "welfare" and ageing it certainly also results from the "export" of well-known risk factors. Prevention often lies in the hands of public health policy and evidence-based implementation rather than in the search for new risk factors. Equity in health is on the public health agenda of most countries and agencies today. Inequity means unfairness - but nothing is as unfair as poverty, nor any epidemiological risk factor as strong. In bringing the chronic and pandemic nature of poverty and health needs to the attention of the world's conscience, a public health journal may be one lever. We will not avoid disclosing these value premises. They create a future challenge for public health researchers. Our ambition is to make this journal a forum for local, national as well as global health issues and we would like to recognise the challenge in bringing theory and methods nearer to public health efforts. We will certainly try to reflect the healthy multidisciplinarity that has become characteristic of public health globally in recent years. Epidemiologists, health economists and sociologists may thus contribute to conceptual and methodological development of the changing public health in terms of its efficacy, cost-effectiveness and social and ethical implications. Since January 2000 SJPH is under a new editorial management. We welcome contributions from North to South, on Nordic as well as International Public Health Developments, desk or field based studies, quantitative as well as qualitative. Our ambition is unequivocal - to foster and disseminate valid results from public health endeavours and, to the best of our ability, influence the current health research disequilibrium - that too little research effort is addressed to the bulk of health problems.

Current impact factor: 1.83

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 1.832
2013 Impact Factor 3.125
2012 Impact Factor 1.966
2011 Impact Factor 1.388
2010 Impact Factor 1.487
2009 Impact Factor 1.435
2008 Impact Factor 1.537
2007 Impact Factor 1.222
2006 Impact Factor 1.021
2005 Impact Factor 0.727
2004 Impact Factor 0.881
2003 Impact Factor 1.018
2002 Impact Factor 0.769
2001 Impact Factor 0.728
2000 Impact Factor 0.34

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 3.20
Cited half-life 4.80
Immediacy index 0.21
Eigenfactor 0.01
Article influence 1.30
Website Scandinavian Journal of Public Health website
Other titles Scandinavian journal of social medicine (Online), Social medicine
ISSN 1651-1905
OCLC 39636482
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

SAGE Publications

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Authors retain copyright
    • Pre-print on any website
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website, departmental website, institutional website or institutional repository
    • On other repositories including PubMed Central after 12 months embargo
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Post-print version with changes from referees comments can be used
    • "as published" final version with layout and copy-editing changes cannot be archived but can be used on secure institutional intranet
    • Must link to publisher version with DOI
    • Publisher last reviewed on 29/07/2015
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: We examined the socio-demographic and behavioral determinants of perceived barriers to leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) in a population-based sample of working-aged adults. Methods: Data comprised the National FINRISK 2002 Study, a population-based health examination study. Analyses were restricted to those aged 25-64 years and who perceived that their amount of LTPA did not reach sufficient levels. They reported barriers to LTPA, defined as a lack of time, motivation and lack of companionship to be active with, as well as high expenses. Age, education, household income, employment status, family type, physical activity, smoking and body mass index (BMI) were included as explanatory variables. Results: Lack of time was the most frequent barrier. Each barrier was explained by a different set of factors that also varied between genders. The strongest and most systematic associations with the barriers were found for age, employment status and family type. Lack of time was less often reported as a barrier among the unemployed, singles without children and older people. Lacking motivation as a barrier was most common among singles without children. High expenses as a barrier was more often reported by the unemployed, and less often reported in the highest income group. Conclusions: When considering actions to promote LTPA, there is not one single solution, because the perceived barriers vary by population subgroups.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/1403494815604080
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Mental problems and their potential socio-demographic determinants were investigated in young schoolchildren in Sweden, a high-income country in the top of income- and gender-equality rankings. Methods: Cross-sectional study of 1465 schoolchildren in grades 3 and 6. Mental health was measured by the Child Behavior Checklist and the Youth Self Report (Total problems and 14 specific problem areas). Potential socio-demographic determinants were sex, parental education and occupation, family structure, and immigrant status. Results: Mental problems were present in 14% of the sixth graders and in 7% of the third graders. In grade 3, the mean total problem score was lower in girls than in boys, but the prevalence of problems at a subclinical/clinical level did not differ by sex. Furthermore, in nine to 13 of the 14 specific problem areas, problems were equally distributed by sex, parental education, parental occupation, immigrant status, and family structure. In grade 6, both the total mean score and the overall odds of subclinical/clinical problems were similar in girls and boys. Likewise, in all the specific problem areas, problems were evenly distributed by parental education and occupation, and only independently associated with immigrant status and family structure in one problem area. In five specific problem areas, boys had higher odds of problems than girls. Conclusions: This study shows that also in a relatively wealthy and equal country such as Sweden, mental problems are a significant child public health issue. The association between socio-demographic background and mental problems seems to be rather weak, but differ dependent on the type of mental problem in focus.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/1403494815603544
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Physical activity (PA) used as prevention and treatment of disease has created a need for effective tools for measuring patients' PA level. Our aim was therefore to assess the validity of two PA questions and their three associated answer modes. Methods: Data on PA according to the PA questions and Actigraph GT3X+ accelerometers, aerobic fitness (VO2max), cardiovascular biomarkers, and self-rated general health were collected in 365 Swedish adults (21-66 years). The PA questions ask about weekly PA via categories (Categorical), an open-ended answer (Open), or specified day by day (Table). Results: The Categorical mode, compared with the Open mode, correlated (Spearman's rho) significantly more strongly (p<0.05) with accelerometer PA (0.31 vs. 0.18) and VO2max (0.27 vs. 0.06), and the level of BMI (-0.20 vs. -0.02), waist circumference (-0.22 vs. -0.03), diastolic blood pressure (-0.16 vs. 0.08), glucose (-0.18 vs. 0.04), triglycerides (-0.31 vs. -0.07), and general health (0.35 vs. 0.19). The validity of the Categorical and Table modes were similar regarding VO2max and accelerometry, but the Categorical mode exhibited more significant and stronger correlations with cardiovascular biomarkers. The capacity of the PA questions to identify insufficiently physically active individuals ranged from 0.57 to 0.76 for sensitivity and from 0.47 to 0.79 for specificity. Conclusions: The Categorical mode exhibits the strongest validity and Open mode the weakest. The PA questions may be used on a population level, or as a tool for determining patents' appropriateness for treatment.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/1403494815602830
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: This study aimed to investigate municipal-level variations and individual- and municipal-level predictors of high levels of depressive symptoms among Norwegian adolescents. Methods: We used data from the Norwegian cross-national Ungdata study. We included 77,424 adolescents from 171 municipalities attending junior high school (Grades 8-10; age 13-16 years) from 2011 to 2013. Multilevel (two-level) logistic regression models were applied for the data analyses. Results: The study revealed that 11% of adolescents reported high levels of depressive symptoms. The median odds ratio without adjusting for any individual- or municipal-level predictors was 1.24, indicating a small between-municipalities variability for high levels of depressive symptoms. All individual-level factors, such as gender, school grade, family income, substance use behaviours, bullying and dissatisfaction with different aspects of life, were significantly associated with high levels of depressive symptoms (p < 0.05). As to municipal-level factors, a low annual budgets for municipal health services was the sole significant predictor of high levels of depressive symptoms between municipalities. Municipal-level factors and variables related to survey characteristics explained a moderate proportion of the variation in high levels of depressive symptoms between municipalities. Conclusions: The cluster heterogeneity in high levels of depressive symptoms was small between municipalities in Norway. Further research should examine the geographic clustering of mental health problems at the school and neighbourhood level.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/1403494815604764
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: Norway has experienced an unprecedented rapid and so far unexplained increase in colon cancer incidence. Norwegian rates passed Danish rates for men in 1985 and for women in 1990. This study aimed to unravel clues to the development in colon cancer incidence by investigating changes over time in incidence by socio-economic group. Methods: Persons participating in the 1970 censuses in Norway and Denmark were aged 55-75 years in 1971-1980 (called pre-crossing period) and in 1991-2000 (called post-crossing period), respectively. Country, sex, age and socio-economic group-specific colon cancer incidence rates. Percent change in the average rate from the pre- to the post-crossing period. Results: In the pre-crossing period, Norwegian male managers/administrators had the highest colon cancer incidence, but the largest increase in incidence from the pre-to the post-crossing period was seen for unskilled workers, skilled workers and farmers. The rate for unskilled workers almost doubled and in the post-crossing period this rate had bypassed that of managers/administrators. A similar development was seen for Norwegian women and was less dramatic in Denmark. Conclusions: The change in the risk of manual workers has been the driving force behind the dramatic increase in the Norwegian incidence of colon cancer. This development resulted in a reversal of the socio-economic gradient from the classic European pattern with the highest incidence in the upper socio-economic groups to an American pattern with the highest incidence in the lower socio-economic groups. This 'Americanization' of the disease pattern followed the rapid growth in the Norwegian gross domestic product.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/1403494815600015
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the impact of different behavioral factors of health on the variations in the levels and rate of increase in life expectancy in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries between 1985 and 2010. Using the World Health Organization's conceptual framework of socio-economic determinants of health, we incorporated Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank and United Nations data to estimate the impact of these variables on life expectancy for 30 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. We used a random effect model to control the fixed effect of year and each country. Results show that the level of health care spending is the most important factor predicting life expectancy. Other important factors are gross domestic product per capita, labor productivity, years of schooling and percentage of gross domestic product spending allocated for public services. Life expectancy was reduced by smoking and higher daily calorie consumption. Countries that were previously part of the Soviet Union had lower life expectancies. Political factors had only a minor impact on life expectancy. Life expectancy increased an average of 5.1 years in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries between 1985 and 2010, but there was wide variation. Health spending per capita, economic factors and two behavioral factors - smoking and caloric intake - explained most of the variation and suggest where increased policy attention could have the greatest impact on life expectancy. Policymakers who consider our estimates recognize that they may see greater or less impact depending on the characteristics of their nation. © 2015 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; DOI:10.1177/1403494815597357
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    ABSTRACT: To estimate trends in anthropometric indexes from 1992 to 2008 and to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular disease mortality in relation to anthropometric indexes (body mass index, waist circumference, waist:hip ratio, waist:height ratio). Data from the three surveys (1992-2008) are presented. A random sample of 5147 subjects aged 45-64 years was selected for statistical analysis. During follow-up there were 141 deaths from cardiovascular disease (excluding those with cardiovascular disease at entry). Cox's regression was used to estimate the associations between anthropometric indexes and cardiovascular disease mortality. During a 17-year period among men, the prevalence of obesity (body mass index ⩾30 kg/m(2)) increased from 18.4% to 32.1% (p<0.001) and a high level of waist:hip ratio (>0.9) from 59.3% to 72.9% (p<0.001). The risk profile of obesity did not change in women, but prevalence of a high level of waist:hip ratio (>0.85) increased from 25.9% to 41.5% (p<0.001). Multivariable-adjusted Cox's regression models showed that body mass index, waist circumference, waist:hip ratio, waist:height ratio were associated with cardiovascular disease mortality risk only in men (hazard ratios 1.40, 1.45, 1.49, 1.46 respectively (p<0.01)). Our data indicate that anthropometric measures such as body mass index, waist circumference, waist:hip ratio and waist:height ratio are good indicators of cardiovascular disease mortality risk only in men aged 45-64 years. © 2015 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; DOI:10.1177/1403494815597582
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    ABSTRACT: In 1953 when the Nordic School of Public Health was founded, the aim of public health programmes was disease prevention more than health promotion. This was not unusual, since at this time health usually was seen as the opposite of disease and illness. However, with the Ottawa Charter of 1986, the World Health Organization made a crucial change to view health not as a goal in itself but as the means to a full life. In this way, health promotion became a first priority and fundamental action for the modern society. This insight eventually reached NHV and in 2002 - 50 years after the foundation - an associate professorship was established with a focus on health promotion. Nevertheless, the concept of health promotion had been integrated with or mentioned in courses run prior to the new post. Subsequently, a wide spectrum of courses in health promotion was introduced, such as 'Empowerment for Child and Adolescent Health Promotion', 'Salutogenesis - from theory to practice' and 'Health, Stress and Coping'. More than half of all doctoral theses undertaken at NHV during these years had health promotion as their theme. As a derivative, the Nordic Health Promotion Research Network (NHPRN) was established in 2007 with bi-annual meetings at NHV. © 2015 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; 43(16 suppl):46-50. DOI:10.1177/1403494814568595
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    ABSTRACT: One of the main interests of the Nordic School of Public Health (NHV) in both education and research was child public health, i.e. an area based on the broad World Health Organisation (WHO) health ideology and on public health methods, while concentrating on the special needs and characteristics of children. The fields of study and action, training, research and service, had the ultimate task to consider the health of children in their full social, economic and political context. Regular courses on child public health were offered as part of the general program in Public Health from 1979 until the closing down of the school, named: Social Paediatrics; Child Health; Child Public Health; and finally, Measuring Children's Health - A Public Health Perspective. Numerous national, Nordic and international conferences were held, and several textbooks were written and edited. A major research project, NordChild, was initiated as a cross-sectional postal study of a random sample of children aged 2-17 years from the five Nordic countries, performed in 1984, 1996 and 2011. So far, 10 doctoral theses and more than 130 other publications from the studies have been produced. Furthermore, the Nordic Network on Research of Refugee Children was created, and a special interest has been devoted to indicators for children's health, both internationally, nationally and locally, which has been demonstrated in major EU projects as well as locally in Sweden and Greenland. © 2015 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; 43(16 Suppl):29-32. DOI:10.1177/1403494814568592
  • Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; 43(16 suppl):91-92. DOI:10.1177/1403494814568604
  • Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; 43(16 suppl):5. DOI:10.1177/1403494814568586
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    ABSTRACT: The Nordic Health Promotion Research Network (NHPRN) was established in 2007 at the Nordic School of Public Health (NHV). This article aims to describe the foundation of the NHPRN, the development and the present status of the work of NHPRN. The NHPRN consists of about 50 senior and junior researchers from all Nordic countries. It is a working network that aims to develop the theoretical understanding of health promotion, to create research cooperation in health promotion from a Nordic perspective and to extend the scope of health promotion through education. Network members meet biannually to discuss and further develop research within the field and are also responsible for the Nordic conference on Health Promotion, organized every 3 years. The NHV hosted the network between 2007 and 2014; and the World Health Organisation (WHO) will assume this role in 2015. © 2015 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; 43(16 suppl):51-56. DOI:10.1177/1403494814568596
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    ABSTRACT: The Nordic School of Public Health (NHV) was jointly founded in 1953 by the Nordic countries. Until 1979, the school provided ad hoc courses on public health topics, using external teachers drawn mainly from the Nordic countries. At the time, the permanent staff of the school was small. In 1979, it began a Master's degree programme and a few academic positions were established and filled, to support these courses. The programme included four main areas: Epidemiology, Social Medicine, Environmental Health and Health Services Administration. Epidemiology was compulsory in all Master of Public Health (MPH) exams, but there were a handful of optional courses that could be substituted for the other subjects.This paper tells the story of Epidemiology at NHV from about 1980, up until closure of the school in 2014. The original MPH model ran until 1995. Nursing Science entered NHV from about 1985 and worked mainly with qualitative research that often focused on individual patients. The new methods attracted nurses, midwives, psychologists and other groups that previously had been less represented in NHV. Being quantitative and population oriented, Epidemiology lost its unique position as a mandatory subject for the MPH examination. In addition the 'New Public Health' proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that advocated health promotion and the philosophy of salutogenesis became a challenge for the programme in epidemiology: pathogenesis no longer was of primary interest. From 1995, the MPH format changed repeatedly and a DrPH programme was begun. For the last 8 years of its existence, NHV offered a reasonably comprehensive, basic course in Epidemiology.Throughout the years, epidemiology training and research at NHV were very traditional. In being a relatively free institution in terms of academic choices, NHV should have contributed to the development and innovation of epidemiology in public health. For several reasons, this did not happen.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; 43(16 suppl):21-28. DOI:10.1177/1403494814568591
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    ABSTRACT: The famous preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1948, stating that health is not only the absence of disease, has been one of the most influential political statements of our time. The follow-up, reaching a position where health is viewed as instrumental to a good life and not as a goal in itself, as set out in the Ottawa Charter of 1986, has likewise been of the utmost importance for the global development of public health, as well as developing the concept of health promotion. The focus on public health sparked by the WHO was paralleled by expansion of the academic interest in the topic, beginning in the USA and successively adopted around the world. In the Nordic countries the pioneering of an academic platform for public health studies and research began in 1953. This was later followed by a stepwise expansion to a full academic institution with postgraduate studies, work-related training, research and development. From the start, the resultant institution called the Nordic School of Public Health (NHV) was a joint Nordic project financed by the Nordic governments. The NHV became a leader in public health studies in Nordic countries and also a role model for the development of an academic community. A large campus and a select and erudite staff, together with thousands of students, paved the way for the NHV having a major impact on public health policy in Nordic countries. One effect of this was increasing awareness of the need for systematic policy supporting public health research and, with this, the founding of institutions of public health in all of the separate Nordic countries. Ironically, the impact made by the NHV in spreading the idea of public health as an important part of academic study has made the NHV superfluous. It is true that courses and programmes in public health are now available at most universities in the five Nordic countries, but they are directed at young students fresh from high school. There is no institution that offers a broad and high-quality postgraduate education and training in public health, adapted to the special needs of mid-career professionals in a multi-professional and internordic setting. With the NHV closing, a research institute focusing public health in a Nordic context will disappear, as will an internationally leading School of Public Health, a centre of excellence and relevance in public health, which has evaluated, assessed and promoted the goals and evaluated the success of the Nordic welfare societies. © 2015 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.
    Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; 43(16 Suppl):12-7. DOI:10.1177/1403494814568589
  • Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 08/2015; 43(16 suppl):9-11. DOI:10.1177/1403494814568588