Issue addressed: Whole-of-setting initiatives have been recommended as an equitable approach to health promotion. However, there has been little analysis of differences in uptake of such approaches according to indicators of socioeconomic position. In Victoria, Australia, the Achievement Program is a state government health promotion initiative that uses a whole-of-setting approach in early childhood services, schools and workplaces. We conducted an exploratory comparison of uptake of and progression through the programme by schools and early childhood services in one local area, according to area-level socioeconomic position. Methods: Approximately 3 years after programme initiation, we linked data on the progress of 89 early childhood services and 67 primary schools to an area-level index of relative socioeconomic disadvantage. We compared uptake of and progression through the programme by setting (service or school) and quartiles of socioeconomic position. Results: About 89% of early childhood services and 70% of primary schools had registered for the programme, with 18% and 15%, respectively, attaining the goal of completing the final stage. A greater proportion of settings in areas in the most disadvantaged quartile had registered for the programme and completed the final stage of the programme, compared with settings in areas in the least disadvantaged quartile. However, variation by socioeconomic position was not linear across quartiles. Conclusion: The Achievement Program did not appear to be inequitable in its uptake. Research into uptake in other local areas and outcomes achieved would be beneficial. So what?: This demonstrates that whole-of-setting approaches can potentially be an equity-enhancing approach to health promotion.
- health equity
- health promoting schools