Elements of a Causal Theory The model of the health problem brings together, in a visual display, the key factors that were iden- tified from the community health assessment as being important to the health problem. The combination of these factors ought to explain or hypothesize about what causes the health problem. For this reason, it is called a causal theory. For some health problems, an existing causal theory may be applicable to the current circumstances. If it is not, a new causal theory will need to be created. The decision of what to include in the causal theory and what to exclude intentionally from the model has ramifications through the program planning and evaluation cycle: It guides the intervention choice, establishes the parameters for the evaluation of the program effect, and influences the statistical analyses of the evaluation data.
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