Special Features: Health Policy: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Among Nurses Working in Local Public Health Organizations in Montréal, Québec

Authors

  • Lucie Richard,

    1. Ph.D., is Full Professor, Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montreal, Montréal, Québec, Canada; Institut de recherche en santé publique, Université de Montreal, Montréal, Québec, Canada; Lea-Roback Research Centre on Social Inequalities of Health in Montreal, Montréal, Québec, Canada; and Research Centre, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
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  • Sylvie Gendron,

    1. R.N., Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montreal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Institut de recherche en santé publique, Université de Montreal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
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  • Nicole Beaudet,

    1. R.N., M.Sc., is Planning, Programming and Research officer, Montréal Health and Social Services Agency, Public Health Department, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montreal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Nancy Boisvert,

    1. R.N., M.Sc., is Planning, Programming and Research Officer, Montréal Health and Social Services Agency, Public Health Department, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Marie Soleil Sauvé,

    1. R.N., M.Sc., is Planning, Programming and Research Officer, Montréal Health and Social Services Agency, Public Health Department, Montréal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Marie-Hélène Garceau-Brodeur

    1. M.A., is Planning, Programming and Research Officer Montréal Health and Social Services Agency, Public Health Department, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
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Lucie Richard, Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montreal, P.O. Box 6128, Station Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada. E-mail: lucie.richard@umontreal.ca

Abstract

ABSTRACT Objective: This study investigates conceptualizations of disease prevention and health promotion (DPHP) among nurses from local public health organizations in Montréal, Québec.

Design and Sample: A collaborative qualitative study was conducted among a purposive sample of 41 nurses.

Measures: Semi-structured interviews investigated two themes: meanings attributed to DPHP as well as nurses' recent DPHP activities.

Results: Although the meaning attributed to prevention referred to standard definitions, health promotion was often defined as large-scale health education oriented toward the attainment of positive results, such as health and well-being. Almost completely absent from participants' discourse were central notions such as empowerment and health determinants, including socioenvironmental dimensions of health. With regard to activity descriptions, there was a very partial coverage of the full spectrum of DPHP. Participants rarely went beyond traditional health education activities aimed at an individual target. Finally, a sizeable number of participants appeared to be unable to provide a clear distinction between the terms “health promotion” and “prevention.”

Conclusions: The results are consistent with a conclusion frequently drawn by commentators and researchers alike that highlight a narrow range of DPHP nursing practices.

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