Drop-in centres: findings from a case study evaluation of the Healthy Living Centre programme in Scotland

truman j, David Rankin, Stephen Platt, Kathryn Backett-Milburn, M. Petticrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To explore the diverse roles of drop-in services in the HLC sector; to develop further the classification of drop-in services offered by earlier studies; and to provide an example of some the challenges faced by HLCs in their attempts to tackle poor health using area-based methods with vulnerable, hard-to-reach users.

Setting Scottish Healthy Living Centres.

Methods Six Healthy Living Centres were purposively selected to reflect some of the diversity within the Healthy Living Centre programme in Scotland. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 10–15 respondents in each of the case studies.

Results The term ‘drop-in’ was used to describe services which varied in respect of activities, aims, management and resources. This variation reflected the specific context and understanding of health in individual HLCs. Some addressed health lifestyles, reflecting an individualistic model of health based on risk factor assessment; others focused more broadly on the fundamental determinants of ill health, such as employment, education, poverty and social well being,reflecting a social model of health.

Conclusions Our findings support and expand earlier work in the area.We have produced a revised typology of drop-in services, identifying ‘user-defined’ in addition to the previously developed categories of ‘consumer run’ and ‘consumer involved’ services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-31
JournalHealth Education Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007


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