Article: Health promotion research has come of age!

Article: Health promotion research has come of age!

Structuring the field based on the practices of health promotion researchers

In the article “Health promotion research has come of age! Structuring the field based on the practices of health promotion researchers” which was recently published in Global Health Promotion, Louise Potvin and Didier Jourdan propose three dimensions to further structure health promotion research.

There is no well-defined knowledge base for health promotion and no widely agreed knowledge development methods. During the past decades, researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds have used their disciplinary-based research methods and theories to conduct studies about the various practices that are associated with health promotion. Although health promotion research has acquired many attributes of a distinct field, researching practices from various disciplinary perspectives is not sufficient to create a coherent knowledge base for health promotion.

Therefore the authors propose three dimensions to further structure health promotion research.

  • The first relates to the object for which knowledge is produced. For health promotion research this relates to health social practices.
  • The second dimension relates to the purpose and ethics of research. In the case of health promotion research it pursues the dual purpose of producing knowledge (epistemic aim) and contributing to social changes (transformative aim).
  • The third dimension concerns the knowledge produced and the conditions for valid knowledge. In the case of health promotion research, the condition of knowledge production should include a recognition of the complexity of social practice and the necessary dialogue between scientific.

The authors propose a bottom-up process for structuring the field through the creation of a ‘Global Handbook of Health Promotion Research’ that would draw on the research practices of those involved in health promotion research.

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