What is it about?

The objective of this study was to identify the current position of health promotion in nursing as it relates to its practice, theory and policy and, where possible as a secondary aim, compare and contrast this against the health promotion position of other health professional groups.

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Why is it important?

This work is unique in the fact that it is the first nursing work to use Derrida's framework to 'deconstruct' nursing's contribution to its own and the wider health promotion community. Strong themes to emerge were that nursing has yet to clearly contextualize and differentiate health promotion and health education and the specific role and function of nursing. Also evident was the view that nursing-related clinical practice is yet to universally reflect the theory and language of ‘general’ health promotion.


Nursing has not yet demonstrated a clear and notable wider health policy/political role in formulating and implementing health promotion agendas. Although this state of affairs has existed for some time now, there is evidence that nursing knowledge and practice is changing—even if this is not a universal phenomenon. Studies, like this one, are part of the step towards a more widespread reform for health promotion in nursing.

Dr Dean Whitehead
Flinders University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Health promotion in nursing: a Derridean discourse analysis, Health Promotion International, December 2010, Oxford University Press (OUP), DOI: 10.1093/heapro/daq073.
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