What Is the Health Promotion Model? - Definition & Theory

What Is the Health Promotion Model? - Definition & Theory
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  • 0:00 Definition of Health Promotion
  • 1:40 Theory of Health Promotion
  • 4:50 Health Promotion Activities
  • 5:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Donna Ricketts

Donna Ricketts is a health educator with 15 years of professional experience designing health and wellness programs for adults and children.

In this lesson, you will learn about the health promotion model and its influences on health behaviors. You will also gain an understanding of the theory behind the health promotion model and how that theory affects health promotion outcomes.

Definition of Health Promotion

Have you ever seen posters in grocery stores or schools that advocate eating healthy or exercising for 30 minutes a day? Have you gone to your local hospital or pharmacy and seen announcements about screening programs for cholesterol, stress, or blood pressure? These are all examples of health promotion.

Health promotion can be defined as the process of empowering people to make healthy lifestyle choices and motivating them to become better self-managers. To accomplish this, health promotion strategies should focus on patient education, counseling, and support mechanisms. Examples of health promotion approaches include education and counseling programs that promote physical activity, improve nutrition, or reduce the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs.

Polio Vaccine Poster

Dr. Nola Pender developed the Health Promotion Model (HPM) that is used universally for research, education, and practice. The health promotion model focuses on helping people achieve higher levels of well-being. It encourages health professionals to provide positive resources to help patients achieve behavior specific changes. The goal of the HPM is not just about helping patients prevent illness through their behavior, but to look at ways in which a person can pursue better health or ideal health.

Health Promotion Model

According to Pender, the HPM makes four assumptions:

  • Individuals strive to control their own behavior.
  • Individuals work to improve themselves and their environment.
  • Health professionals, such as nurses and doctors, comprise the interpersonal environment, which influences individual behaviors.
  • Self-initiated change of individual and environmental characteristics is essential to changing behavior.

Theory of Health Promotion

A theory presents a systematic way of understanding events. It is a set of concepts, definitions, and propositions that explain such events by demonstrating the relationships between variables.

The theory behind the HPM is that you have personal experiences that affect your actions. There are three main focuses of the HPM: individual experiences, behavior-specific knowledge and affect, and behavioral outcomes. The factors that are associated with the HPM are mainly an individual's lifestyle, outlook, psychological health, social and cultural traits, as well as biological factors. Health-promoting behavior is the ideal behavioral outcome, making it the end point in the HPM.

The HPM is based on the following theoretical propositions:

Past Behaviors and Traditions

  • Past behavior, cultural traditions, and family traditions can impact a person's ability to engage in health-promoting behaviors. For example, not eating fresh fruits and vegetables because you grew up not eating fresh produce.
  • People will pledge to participate in behaviors that they believe will produce anticipated health outcomes.
  • Obvious and not-so-obvious barriers can hinder a person's promise to act on a specific behavior.

Confidence and Encouragement

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