Understanding the Concept and Practice of Ecosystem Approaches to Health in the Context of Public Health
A scoping study of the published literature was used to describe the concept and practice of ecosystem approaches to health (ecohealth) in the context of public health. Analysis of commentaries identified 24 themes, expressed in a mind map showing interconnections between themes, with a table of explanations. Most (27 of 29) primary research articles did not explicitly explain how ecohealth was applied in their research, suggesting a need for some standardization in reporting ecohealth. Additionally, a case study approach was undertaken to identify enablers and impediments of ecohealth and how concepts were integrated into a research project of health and environmental sanitation in Vietnam. The project’s conceptual framework was aligned with ecohealth concepts, but in practice, a variety of challenges were identified. In future, ecohealth research teams should include a self-investigation of their ecohealth process to facilitate a comparison of theory-to-practice; this may serve as a best practice for ecohealth.