Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 59–72 | Cite as

Structural Interventions: Concepts, Challenges and Opportunities for Research

  • K. M. BlankenshipEmail author
  • S. R. Friedman
  • S. Dworkin
  • J. E. Mantell
HIV Perspectives After 25 Years


Structural interventions refer to public health interventions that promote health by altering the structural context within which health is produced and reproduced. They draw on concepts from multiple disciplines, including public health, psychiatry, and psychology, in which attention to interventions is common, and sociology and political economy, where structure is a familiar, if contested, concept. This has meant that even as discussions of structural interventions bring together researchers from various fields, they can get stalled in debates over definitions. In this paper, we seek to move these discussions forward by highlighting a number of critical issues raised by structural interventions, and the subsequent implications of these for research.


HIV prevention Structural interventions 



Blankenship’s work on this paper was supported by Yale University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA), through a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, (P30 MH 62294, to Michael Merson, MD). Friedman’s work was supported by P30 DA11041(Center for Drug Use and HIV Research), R01 DA13336 (Community Vulnerability and Response to IDU-Related HIV), R01 DA13128 (Networks, Norms and HIV Risk among Youth), and R01 MH62280 (Local Context, Social-control Action, and HIV Risk). Dworkin’s work was supported by a center grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at NY State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University (P30-MH43520; Principal Investigator: Anke A. Ehrhardt, PhD), and a training grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (T32 MH19139 Behavioral Sciences Research in HIV Infection; Principal Investigator, Anke A. Ehrhardt, PhD). Mantell’s work was supported by a center grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the NY State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University (P30-MH43520; Principal Investigator: Anke A. Ehrhardt, PhD).


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Blankenship
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. R. Friedman
  • S. Dworkin
  • J. E. Mantell
  1. 1.Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDSYale University USA

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