Study designs of evaluations included in the review
All forms of study design were eligible for inclusion. Annual reports and routine audits were excluded unless they presented an evaluation of the programme's achievements.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies that evaluated any of the nine UK national programmes of urban regeneration since 1980 (also known as area-based initiatives, ABIs) were eligible for inclusion. These were defined as large-scale investment programmes tackling urban deprivation and the socioeconomic determinants of health. The individual programmes included initiatives based on economic, environmental, employment, social training, education, crime, poverty prevention and housing-led regeneration projects (details of the regeneration programmes were provided in supplementary web-based tables, accessed 12/03/2007. See Web Address at end of abstract).
Participants included in the review
Inclusion criteria for the participants were not specified.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that evaluated population health (using direct or intermediate measures), or socioeconomic determinants of health and health inequalities (housing, education, training, income and employment using direct or indirect measures), were eligible for inclusion. The studies had to evaluate at least two target areas; studies that evaluated single target areas or projects within programme areas were excluded, as were studies reporting only business and enterprise outcomes. The included evaluations reported on self-reported health, mortality, employment levels, educational attainment, household income and housing quality. Most of the data were routinely collected statistics from the UK government, or stakeholders or evaluators' perceptions of the impact.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
One reviewer first screened titles to exclude obviously irrelevant or duplicate documents, then two independent reviewers screened the remaining titles and abstracts. In the case of disagreements or uncertainty, two independent reviewers screened the full articles.