Theories of Health Promotion

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Theories of Health Promotion

The following essay is a comparative analysis of two theories of health promotion, one which is a theory of and the other a theory for health promotion. Beattie’s model will be used as theory of and transtheoritical stages of change model as a theory for health promotion. An example from area of work practice will be used to demonstrate the differing aspects emphasised by each Theory. Furthermore the essay will seek to suggest an explanation of current health promotion. This assignment will therefore aim to achieve a greater comprehension of what health promotion actually is and to understand what is meant by ‘Theories of and for…’.Difference of theories and models will also be given. Being able to state what health promotion actually is will be the first priority and by looking at its origins and influences will aid this task.

An exploration of health promotion is envisaged on understanding of health. Like health promotion health is difficult to define as it means different things to different people. Health has two common meanings in day to day use, one negative and one positive. The most commonly quoted definition of health is that formalized by Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. WHO, (1986) “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirm. In keeping with the concept of health as a fundamental human right, the Ottawa Charter emphasises certain pre-requisites for health which include peace, adequate economic resources, food and shelter, and a stable eco-system and sustainable resource use. Recognition of these pre-requisites highlights the inextricable links between social and economic conditions, the physical environment, individual lifestyles and health. These links provide the key to a holistic understanding of health which is central to the definition of health promotion

Trying to define Health promotion is not an easy task. The term health promotion is quite recent first used in the mid 1970s (Lalonde 1974) It has been presented in different guises since the 19th century where it was initially created to improve sanitation in industrial towns when it was known as the ‘Public Health Movement’. It then targeted different diseases until 1927 when the concept of ‘Health Education’ was thought to be more beneficial, by providing education and information to improve the health behaviours resulting in disease. Education has a vital role in the empowerment process and it thus central to health promotion Whitehead and Irvine (2005.) Some writers criticized health education for being a series of individualised focused campaigns designed to change lifestyles, and which therefore disempowered people by ‘blaming the victim’. Where confusing descriptions of health education and health promotion existed Oakley (2001),’stated this is not merely a matter of semantic difference: what is at stake is the very practice of health education/promotion and the positions it adopts based on a particular view of the world. A change of terms is far more than a semantic shi

ft. It is an imposition of one position over the other’. Bunton and McDonald (2000) adds on to say ‘health education and health promotion tend now to be seen as overlapping spheres’

Health promotion advanced this idea to allow health practitioners to work with communities to target specific health needs within certain populations Naidoo and Wills, (2000) increasing the concept to include access, class, gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality and disability as important sociological influences upon health, healthcare and health behaviours (Bunton and MacDonald, 2002).

As health promotion now appears to target populations rather than individuals there is a greater push towards a New Public Health focus Naidoo and Wills, (2000). There is no singularly accepted definition of health promotion. Health promotion draws from many different disciplines sociology,...
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