The Foundation of Health Promotion
Health promotion is a relatively new field and works in conjunction with the fields of health education and public health to improve the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and society. Collectively, professionals in these fields take a leadership role in collaborating with public health departments, communities, work sites, health care organizations, schools, and other entities to deliver programs and create healthful environments that lead to an improved health status of individuals. The chapters in this part provide an overview of the changes in our environment that have prompted more attention to the prevention of disease and the promotion of health. To accomplish this, key terminology and, most important, select theories and models used to promote behavior change and how to design, implement, and evaluate programs are discussed. In many academic programs, you may have additional course work to study behavior change theories and models as well as a program planning class.
is a broad overview of select environmental changes occurring after World War II that significantly changed the way people lived, moved, worked, and obtained food. These changes in our society were aligned with shifts in the causes of death and disability in the United States. As medical treatment for infectious diseases were being discovered, personal health choices emerged as an important part to support healthful living. You will find an introduction to many key terms and concepts that are part of the language of health promotion and other related fields. The chapter ends with how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is galvanizing the field of health promotion because the act prioritizes prevention of disease and promotion of healthful lifestyles.
introduces health behavior change theories and models that offer constructs on how individuals approach personal behavior change, that is, the essence of health promotion—engaging individuals to actively promote their own health through daily actions such as being physically active or selecting healthy foods to eat. These models and theories will assist you in understanding the motivation that drives individuals to engage in
behavior change. Tapping into key behavior change theories enables you to deliver theory-based programs to a target audience that will result in people successfully making the changes they set out to make.
introduces you to program planning models, which incorporate behavior change theories within the intervention. Again, as a health promotion professional, the use of program planning models will set you apart from other practitioners. These models are essential tools to successfully reaching large groups of people through social marketing campaigns to creating effective interventions to enacting policies to create environments where people can practice healthy behaviors.
Collectively, these three chapters introduce you to the foundation of the field of health promotion, and you will study and use this information many times both in your academic work and in your professional life.
An Emerging Field
The field of health promotion has a relatively short history compared to public health or medicine. However, it is clear that promoting health is an important component of public health and the medical field. Over the past century, US society has changed dramatically in the ways we work, live, and study. In recent decades, these societal changes have affected individual health choices and disease patterns, and as a result the field of health promotion has emerged as a distinct discipline to work in synergy with the fields of public health and health education. The purpose of this textbook is to familiarize students with the history of health patterns, with an emphasis on personal health behaviors, and to identify the social and environmental forces that can create a culture of health to promote a citizenry with longer, healthier lives that are free of disability and disease.
Brief Overview of Health in the Twentieth Century
A critical examination of the history of health issues related to death and disability in the United States provides us with an appreciation of how social and environmental factors influence disease patterns (see US Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, 2010). This section briefly examines US health in the first half of the twentieth century and provides a more in-depth investigation of US health in the second half of the twentieth century.
During the first half of the twentieth century (1900–1950s), the topic of health in the nation focused on developing the medical profession and establishing hospitals to treat patients. Public health departments focused on sanitation, disease control, and health education. During this time, public health functions included child immunization programs, community health services, substance...