What is it about?

Health education and health promotion activities are a fundamental requirement for all health professionals. These two paradigms are closely related but are not inter‐dependent. Despite this, it is known that many nurses confuse the terms and use them interchangeably. With this in mind, it is necessary to re‐conceptualize the terms in an attempt to bring them to a current form of ‘maturity’.

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Why is it important?

While the theoretical and conceptual literature surrounding health education has remained relatively constant and unchanged over the last decade or so, the same cannot be said for the health promotion literature. The aim of this paper then is to provide an up‐to‐date analysis of health promotion and health education that serves as a conceptual and operational foundation for clinicians and researchers.


The evolving dominance of socio‐political action in health promotion has overtaken individualistic and behaviourally‐related forms. While the recent nursing literature addresses and acknowledges the place of socio‐political activity as the mainstay of health promotion interventions, this is largely from a theoretical stance and is not applied in practice.

Dr Dean Whitehead
Flinders University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Health promotion and health education: advancing the concepts, Journal of Advanced Nursing, August 2004, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2004.03095.x.
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