Chapter 1 – Introduction to Health Assessment

Health Promotion

Health promotion is an integral element of health assessment and part of the nurse’s role. Public Health Ontario (2021) describes health promotion as a “process of implementing a range of social and environmental interventions that enable people and communities to increase control over and to improve their health.” An important part of this statement are the words “enable” and “control” because health promotion is focused on promoting the agency of the client. Health promotion is an important component of preventing disease.

Health is a resource for everyday living, meaning that health is needed for social, economic, and personal prosperity and growth (Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, 1986). As a nurse, you should create a space where individuals and communities feel empowered with the capacity to act on what is important to them to enhance their health.

As part of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, the Government of Canada (1986) specified that health promotion includes attention to the following elements:

  • Peace and stable ecosystem along with social justice and equity.
  • Education, food, income, and healthy living.
  • Sustainable resources.
  • Healthier choices and avoidance of harmful products.

The following sections describe the three broad approaches to health promotion:

  • Behavioural.
  • Relational.
  • Structural.


Government of Canada (1986). Ottawa charter for health promotion: An international conference on health promotion.

Public Health Ontario (2021). Health promotion.

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