Ontario Public Health Standards

Live Literature Searches

Introduction

Each literature search provided in this section of the OPHS website corresponds to a requirement set out in the Ontario Public Health Standards. These searches are designed to support practitioners in planning, delivering, managing and evaluating public health programs by providing current scientific evidence to inform their policy decisions.

The literature searches provided here are "live". This means that the search strategy is updated every time a user clicks on the search link. Typically, when one receives a literature search from a library, the librarian has weeded the irrelevant articles before delivering the results to the user. In the case of these "live" searches, this weeding is not possible and a small number of irrelevant records may appear. Please read the instructional guide (How to Use Literature Search Statements [PDF]) to the literature searches prior to accessing them, to learn how to use the searches efficiently, modify them according to your needs, and retrieve full text documents.

The search strategies were developed by experienced public health librarians who have expertise in retrieving systematic reviews and other evidence-based literature. Since they provide information services to practitioners at the board of health level, they are also familiar with local public health practice in Ontario.

The PubMed Database

The searches were created using PubMed, which is a freely available search interface for the US National Library of Medicine's bibliographic research database called Medline. Medline is one of the largest and most well-regarded biomedical databases available, indexing thousands of high-impact journals. Medline's content is primarily biomedical, but the database also incorporates allied health and nursing literature. Its diverse subject coverage can adequately address the multidisciplinary nature of public health.

The decision to use PubMed was primarily based on the fact that this search interface is available to anyone with internet access completely free of charge--no subscription is required. Access to Medline is also offered by commercial vendors such as Ovid Technologies and EBSCO Publishing, to name a few. These vendors dedicate a great deal of time and money to the development of customized search interfaces and algorithms which make searching quicker and easier for end users; thus, they charge a fee for access even though the content of Medline is freely available on the internet via PubMed.

Because these literature searches have been developed and tested by public health librarians, they provide the best of both worlds-easy and efficient searching with no associated cost.

Using Research Evidence

The literature searches on the OPHS website are not designed to support comprehensive literature reviews or systematic reviews. These types of review necessitate a thorough, multi-database search to ensure the retrieval of every piece of literature that has been written on a topic. Medline is only one of over 150 bibliographic databases of relevance to public health.

Rather than aiming to be comprehensive, the searches on the OPHS website provide literature reviews and a selection of current evidence to support the implementation of the requirements in the OPHS. They are suitable for keeping users up-to-date with the latest scientific developments and recently published literature, including systematic reviews when available. Focusing on retrieval of systematic reviews only would result in no yield for certain topics, as some public health matters do not always lend themselves to rigorous systematic reviews.

Users may supplement these literature searches by conducting searches on the World Wide Web via Google Scholar or Scirus. It is important to remember that these search engines (they are Not bibliographic databases), while sophisticated, are subject to serious limitations and retrieved results are in no way comprehensive. Results are based on a basic keyword search - What You Type is What You Get - and limited based on the capabilities of the search engine (number of pages searched, quality of relevance ranking, etc). Seeking "evidence" solely on the World Wide Web is not a sound research practice and the resulting output is in no way evidence-based.

  1. Foundational Standard
  2. Chronic Disease Prevention
  3. Prevention of Injury and Substance Misuse
  4. Reproductive Health
  5. Child Health
  6. Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control
  7. Rabies Prevention and Control
  8. Tuberculosis Prevention and Control
  9. Sexual Health, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Blood-borne Infections (including HIV)
  10. Vaccine Preventable Diseases
  11. Food Safety
  12. Safe Water
  13. Health Hazard Prevention and Management
  14. Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Foundational Standard

Building partnerships to promote collaborative research (Requirement 9)

Evidence based public health (Requirement 10)

Public health knowledge exchange (Requirement 8)

Public health program evaluation (Requirement 12)

Surveillance and assessment of health status, health needs, inequities, and health care utilization in local populations (Requirement 1)

Surveillance of emerging public health issues (Requirement 6)

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Chronic Disease Prevention

General

Building chronic disease capacity among community partners (Requirement 7)

Chronic disease screening (Requirement 10)

Increase public awareness of health inequities that contribute to chronic disease (Requirement 11)

Increase public awareness of the benefits of chronic disease screening (Requirement 11)

Inform policy makers, community partners, and the public about resources and services related to chronic disease risk factors (Requirements 3 and 4)

Public health interventions to prevent chronic disease (Requirement 2)

Workplace interventions to promote stress reduction (Requirement 4)

Alcohol Use

Built environment interventions to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse (Requirement 6)

Increase public awareness of safe alcohol use (Requirement 11)

School- and curriculum-based interventions to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse (Requirement 3)

Surveillance of alcohol use (Requirement 1)

Workplace interventions to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse (Requirement 4)

Healthy Weights, Healthy Eating, & Physical Activity

Built environment interventions to promote healthy weights, healthy eating, and physical activity (Requirement 6)

Increase public awareness of healthy eating, healthy weights, and physical activity (Requirement 11)

Recreational interventions to promote healthy weights, healthy eating, and physical activity (Requirement 6)

School- and curriculum-based interventions to promote healthy weights, healthy eating, and physical activity (Requirement 3)

Surveillance of healthy weights, healthy eating, and physical activity (Requirement 1)

Workplace interventions to promote healthy weights, healthy eating, and physical activity (Requirement 4)

Sun Exposure

Built environment interventions to prevent and reduce radiation (sun) exposure (Requirement 6)

Increase public awareness of radiation (sun) exposure (Requirement 11)

Interventions to prevent and reduce radiation (sun) exposure in recreational settings (Requirement 6)

School- and curriculum-based interventions to prevent and reduce radiation (sun) exposure (Requirement 3)

Surveillance of radiation (sun) exposure (Requirement 1)

Workplace interventions to prevent and reduce radiation (sun) exposure (Requirement 4)

Tobacco Control and Smoking Prevention

Built environment interventions to reduce tobacco smoking (Requirement 6)

Implement and enforce compliance with tobacco legislation (Requirement 13)

Increase public awareness of tobacco control (Requirement 11)

School- and curriculum-based interventions to reduce tobacco smoking (Requirement 3)

Surveillance of tobacco smoking in local populations (Requirement 1)

Workplace interventions to prevent reduce tobacco smoking (Requirement 4)

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Prevention of Injury and Substance Misuse

General

Engaging community partners to prevent injury and substance misuse in local populations (Requirement 2)

Increase the capacity of priority populations to prevent injury and substance misuse (Requirement 3)

Prevent injury and substance misuse by promoting compliance with current legislation (Requirement 5)

Prevent injury and substance misuse by promoting public awareness (Requirement 4)

Injury Prevention

Surveillance of fall-related injuries in order to tailor programs for falls across the lifespan (Requirement 1)

Surveillance of injury in local population in order to develop general public health injury prevention programs (Requirement 1)

Surveillance of vehicle-related injuries in order to tailor programs for road and off-road safety (Requirement 1)

Substance Misuse

Surveillance of emerging trends and priority populations for substance misuse (Requirement 1)

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Reproductive Health

General

Increase public awareness of preconception health, healthy pregnancy, and parenthood preparation (Requirement 3)

Collaborate with community partners to provide programs, services, and referrals for reproductive health (Requirement 4)

Healthy Pregnancies

Develop and implement healthy policies and programs related to healthy pregnancies (Requirement 2)

Surveillance of emerging trends in healthy pregnancy (Requirement 1)

Preconception Health

Develop and implement healthy policies and programs related to preconception health (Requirement 2)

Surveillance of emerging trends in preconception health (Requirement 1)

Preparation for Parenthood

Surveillance of emerging trends in parenting preparation (Requirement 1)

Reproductive Outcomes

Surveillance of emerging trends in reproductive outcomes (Requirement 1)

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Child Health

Breastfeeding

Collaborate with community partners to develop healthy programs and influence policy development related to breastfeeding (Requirement 5)

Increase public awareness of breastfeeding (Requirement 5)

Surveillance of emerging trends in breastfeeding (Requirement 1)

Family Dynamics

Collaborate with community partners to develop healthy programs and influence policy development related to healthy family dynamics (Requirement 5)

Increase public awareness of healthy family dynamics (Requirement 5)

Surveillance of emerging trends in healthy family dynamics (Requirement 1)

Growth and Development

Collaborate with community partners to develop healthy programs and influence policy development related to healthy child growth and development (Requirement 5)

Increase public awareness of healthy child development (Requirement 5)

Surveillance of emerging trends in child growth and development (Requirement 1)

Healthy Weights, Healthy Eating, and Physical Activity in Children

Collaborate with community partners to develop healthy programs and influence policy development related to healthy eating, healthy weights, and physical activity (Requirement 5)

Increase public awareness of healthy eating, healthy weights, and physical activity (Requirement 5)

Surveillance of emerging trends in healthy eating, healthy weights, and physical activity (Requirement 1)

Oral Health in Children

Collaborate with community partners to develop healthy programs and influence policy development related to child oral health (Requirement 5)

Effectiveness/safety of fluoridation of drinking water (Requirement 14)

Increase public awareness of child oral health (Requirement 5)

School-based oral health surveillance (Requirement 2)

Positive Parenting

Collaborate with community partners to develop healthy programs and influence policy development related to positive parenting (Requirement 5)

Increase public awareness of positive parenting (Requirement 5)

Surveillance of emerging trends in positive parenting (Requirement 1)

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Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control

General

Increase public knowledge and awareness of new interventions/diseases (Requirement 4)

Infection Prevention and Control

Increase public awareness of hand hygiene (Requirement 4)

Increase public awareness of infection prevention and control core competencies (Requirement 4)

Increase public awareness of infectious diseases, including prevention & control practices (Requirement 4)

Increase public awareness of respiratory etiquette (Requirement 4)

Increase public knowledge and awareness of vaccination (Requirement 4)

Provide guidance/consultation to IPAC advisory bodies on IPAC policies and procedures (Requirement 5)

Outbreak Detection and Response

Develop infectious disease risk communication strategy to appropriate stakeholders (Requirement 12)

Provide guidance/consultation to IPAC advisory bodies on infectious disease surveillance systems (Requirement 5)

Provide guidance/consultation to IPAC advisory bodies on response plans to cases/outbreaks of infectious diseases (Requirement 5)

Surveillance of risks and emerging trends in infectious diseases (Requirements 2 and 3)

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Rabies Prevention and Control

Conduct systematic surveillance of rabies to identify emerging trends (Requirement 3)

Work with community partners to increase public knowledge of rabies and its prevention (Requirement 5)

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Tuberculosis Prevention and Control

Develop policy and health promotion strategies/activities for TB with community partners, policy makers, and health care providers that have clients in priority populations (Requirement 4)

Develop public awareness/education campaigns on TB exposure and prevention (Requirement 3)

Monitor tuberculosis risk factors (Requirement 3)

Surveillance of tuberculosis in local populations to develop programs which prevent or reduce the burden of TB in the community (Requirement 2)

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Sexual Health, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and
Blood-borne Infections (including HIV)

General

Surveillance of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (Requirement 2)

Harm Reduction

Engage community partners & priority populations in the planning of harm reduction programs related to STIs and BBIs (Requirements 11 and 12)

Surveillance of harm reduction materials and equipment distribution (Requirement 2)

Risk Behaviours

Increase public awareness of risk behaviours, risk factors, and risk reduction strategies for STIs and BBIs (Requirement 4)

Surveillance of risk behaviours (Requirement 2)

Sexual Health

Collaboration with community partners to promote healthy sexuality and access to sexual health services (Requirement 6)

Increase community capacity to promote healthy sexuality & prevent adolescent pregnancy, STIs and BBIs (Requirement 5)

Increase public awareness of risk behaviours, risk factors, and risk reduction strategies for healthy sexuality (Requirement 4)

Surveillance of emerging trends in healthy sexuality (Requirement 3)

Surveillance of reproductive outcomes (Requirement 2)

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Vaccine Preventable Diseases

General

Increase public awareness of vaccine preventable diseases (Requirement 3)

Immunization

Consultation with community partners to develop immunization policies (Requirement 6)

Increase public awareness of legislation related to immunization (Requirement 3)

Increase public awareness of recommended immunization schedules (Requirement 3)

Increase public awareness of the importance of immunization (Requirement 3)

Increase public awareness of the importance of reporting immunization information to the board of health (Requirement 3)

Increase public awareness of vaccine safety (Requirement 3)

Promotion and provision of immunization programs in community settings (Requirement 7)

Surveillance of priority populations facing barriers to immunization (Requirement 2)

Outbreak Detection and Management

Develop contingency plans for VPD community outbreak management and control (Requirement 8)

Surveillance of VPD (Requirement 2)

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Food Safety

Increase public awareness of safe food storage and handling practices, food safety issues, risk factors and food-borne illness (Requirement 5)

Surveillance and management of food-borne illness outbreaks (Requirement 1)

Surveillance of suspected and confirmed food-borne illnesses, their associated risk factors, food handling practices, and emerging trends in food safety (Requirement 6)

Training and education for food handlers on food safety, incl. safe food handling practices (Requirement 4)

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Safe Water

Increase public awareness of water-borne illnesses and safe drinking water (Requirement 8)

Surveillance of water-borne contaminants & illnesses and emerging trends in safe drinking water (Requirement 2)

Survey and assess water-borne contaminants & illnesses and emerging trends in recreational water safety (Requirements 3 and 5)

Water system safety education for citizens who operate personal wells, cisterns, or rain/lake water systems (Requirements 6 and 7)

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Health Hazard Prevention and Management

General

Increase awareness of health hazards among community partners and the public (Requirement 3)

Surveillance of the environmental health status of the community in order to identify emerging issues (Requirement 1)

Air Quality

Develop and implement healthy policies for indoor air quality (Requirement 4)

Develop and implement healthy policies for outdoor air quality (Requirement 4)

Increase public awareness of health risk factors associated with indoor air quality (Requirement 3)

Increase public awareness of health risk factors associated with outdoor air quality (Requirement 3)

Built Environment

Develop and implement healthy policies for the built environment (Requirement 4)

Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Develop and implement healthy policies for extreme weather (Requirement 4)

Develop and implement healthy policies related to climate change (Requirement 4)

Increase public awareness of health risk factors associated with extreme weather (Requirement 3)

Increase public awareness of health risk factors associated with climate change (Requirement 3)

Radiation

Increase public awareness of health risk factors associated with exposure to radiation (Requirement 3)

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Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Continuity of operations plan for health services during disruption (Requirement 2)

Detection and assessment of health hazards and risks to public health (Requirement 1)

Develop an emergency preparedness plan in consultation with community networks (Requirement 3)

Emergency preparedness communication and awareness (Requirement 5)

Emergency preparedness training (Requirement 7)

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