Using the DPSEEA Framework to Identify the Driving Forces of Disease

There is a growing awareness of global forces that threaten human health via the water environment. A better understanding of the dynamic between human health and the water environment would enable prediction of the significant driving forces and effective strategies for coping with or preventing them. This report details the use of the Driving Force–Pressure–State–Exposure–Effect–Action (DPSEEA) framework to explore the linkage between water-related diseases and their significant driving forces. The DPSEEA frameworks indicate that a select group of driving forces, including population growth, agriculture, infrastructure (dams and irrigation), and climate change, is at the root cause of key global disease burdens. Construction of the DPSEEA frameworks also allows for the evaluation of public health interventions. Sanitation was found to be a widely applicable and effective intervention, targeting the driver/pressure linkage of most of the water-related diseases examined. Ultimately, the DPSEEA frameworks offer a platform for constituents in both the health and environmental fields to collaborate and commit to a common goal targeting the same driving forces.

Human Health and the Water Environment: Using the DPSEEA Framework to Identify the Driving Forces of Disease. J. Gentry-Shields, J. Bartram. 2014. Science of The Total Environment 468-469, pp. 306–314.