Chapter 1 – Introduction to Health Assessment

Behavioural Health Promotion

A behavioural health promotion approach focuses on lifestyle and behaviours at the individual level. For example, behavioural health promotion strategies could include healthy eating, smoking cessation, reducing alcohol consumption, or exercise programs.

This approach to health promotion is based on the – the assumption or belief that people choose their health behaviours. Therefore, healthcare providers work collaboratively with clients to help them build life skills that address unhealthy behaviours, for example by providing information and/or education. It is important to note that this health promotion approach, although common, has been critiqued for reinforcing , an approach that is devoid of contextual understanding and instead emphasizes agency. It has also been critiqued for neglecting the social context in which people live, including the social determinants of health.


An RN working in a diabetic clinic offers educational sessions to clients with Type II Diabetes on healthy eating to promote balanced blood sugar levels. This is considered a behavioural approach because it focuses on the behaviour of the individual with no consideration of context. For example, this approach does not consider contextual factors such as whether the client has access to healthy food.

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