A multi-disciplinary and knowledge exchange approach to health promotion at the DoRS Centre, Italy

By Elena Barbera.

Established in 1998 as an initiative of Piedmont Region Health Department and located in Grugliasco, near Turin, Italy, the DoRS Health Promotion Documentation Centre of Piedmont Region takes a wide ranging approach to health promotion and prevention.

DoRS core mission is to support health promotion and prevention policies at regional, national, and European level through a Knowledge Transfer and Exchange approach (KTE). It also reviews and disseminates evidence, policies and good practices whilst supporting the design, development and evaluation of programs, plans and policies in the field of health, wellbeing and equity.

The team is multi-disciplinary, composed of 27 professionals with different skills and professions including health promotion, psychology, education, social and policy sciences, documentation, communication, biology, and chemistry.

Communicating new evidence and initiatives

Photo by Falk Lademann CC 2.0
Photo by Falk Lademann CC 2.0

DoRS is helping to disseminate new information about health promotion and prevention to stakeholders across Italy and Europe.

It helps new audiences access information by translating scientific articles and documents on disease prevention, health promotion, health communication and social marketing into Italian.  In addition, it prepares summaries and updates on topics including mental health, healthy eating and physical activity, tobacco, road safety, occupational accidents, empowerment and participation, arts theatre and health, health literacy, media literacy, social marketing applied to public health, health communication strategies and tools, web 2.0, and social media in public health .

Strategic health planning and reviews

In collaboration with regional and national  authorities, particularly the Piedmont Region Health Department, DoRS is working on planning, coordinating, implementing, and evaluating the health plan. It also designs, implements and evaluates health promotion projects and actions.

Capacity building for professionals and policy-makers

Along with the Italian Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) DoRS created Pro.Sa, an open access web database to support the development of effective health promotion and prevention initiatives. Thanks to this database, a wide range of programmes have been collected and can be more effectively analysed and disseminated. The database has created a community within which cooperation can take place, and projects can be transferred to new contexts and settings. In addition, accredited methodological criteria (developed by a national committee of experts and decision makers and shared at European level through the work of the Joint Action Chrodis) can be applied in order to identify and share good practices.

Focusing on good practices and transferability


The DoRS focus on good practices aims to highlight the keys factors for the effectiveness of an intervention, to promote sustainability and transferability in other settings or contexts, and to build a professional network (community of practice) in the field of health promotion and prevention.

Through the procedure for good practice assessment DoRS helps and supports health professionals to reflect and to improve the quality of their projects and activities.

To help professionals to improve and write projects following good practice criteria, a planning guide has been created. The guide explains every single criterium, with definition, background, practical examples, according to the IUHPE  European accreditation  System Criteria

Joining EuroHealthNet

“We think that joining forces is a great opportunity to evolve.”

DoRS has decided to join the EuroHealthNet to be more present in European networks and develop collaborative relations with EU health professionals, to gain innovative expertise, and to contribute to the achievement of common goals such as tackling health inequalities and improve health for all.

About The Author

Elena Barbera

DoRS (Centro Regionale di Documentazione per la Promozione della Salute)
Gruppo Comunicazione
Via Sabaudia 164
Tel. 01140188506 Fax 01140188501

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