Mapping Collaborative Relations among Canada's Chronic Disease Prevention Organizations.
In the field of chronic disease prevention (CDP), collaborations between organizations provide a vital framework for intersectoral engagement and exchanges of knowledge, expertise and resources. However, little is known about how the structures of preventive health systems actually articulate with CDP capacity and outcomes. Drawing upon data from the Public Health Organizational Capacity Study - a repeat census of all public health organizations in Canada - we used social network analysis to map and examine interorganizational collaborative relationships in the Canadian preventive health system. The network of relationships obtained through our study shows that provincial boundaries remain a major factor influencing collaborative patterns. Not only are collaborations scarce on the interprovincial level but they are also mostly limited to links with federal and multi-provincial organizations. Given this finding, federal or multi-provincial organizations that occupy central bridging positions in the Canadian CDP collaborative structure should serve as key players for shaping CDP practices in the country.