*HEALTH PROMOTION Glossary Sources*

The two sources that were used to compile the Health Promotion glossary are: Health Promotion Glossary (1998), WHO/HPR/HEP/98.1 WHO Health Promotion Glossary: new terms. Smith BJ, Tang KC, Nutbeam D. Health Promot Int. 2006 Dec;21(4):340-5.


Advocacy for health: A combination of individual and social actions designed to gain political commitment, policy support, social acceptance and systems support for a particular health goal or programme. Reference: Report of the Inter-Agency Meeting on Advocacy Strategies for Health and Development: Development Communication in Action. WHO, Geneva, 1995 Such action may be taken by… Read More


Alliance: An alliance for health promotion is a partnership between two or more parties that pursue a set of agreed upon goals in health promotion. Reference: new definition Alliance building will often involve some form of mediation between the different partners in the definition of goals and ethical ground rules, joint action areas, and agreement on the form of… Read More

Burden of disease

Burden of disease: The burden of disease is a measurement of the gap between a population’s current health and the optimal state where all people attain full life expectancy without suffering major ill-health. Reference: Modified definition (WHO, 2000). Burden of disease analysis enables decision makers to identify the most serious health problems facing a population.… Read More

Capacity building

Capacity building: Capacity building is the development of knowledge, skills, commitment, structures, systems and leadership to enable effective health promotion. It involves actions to improve health at three levels: the advancement of knowledge and skills among practitioners; the expansion of support and infrastructure for health promotion in organizations, and; the development of cohesiveness and partnerships… Read More


Community: in the sense relevant here, a structure of human interaction in which people care about, and, where necessary and possible, care for, one another, and, too, care that they care about one another. Source: ‘What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume… Read More

Community action for health

Community action for health: Community action for health refers to collective efforts by communities which are directed towards increasing community control over the determinants of health, and thereby improving health. Reference: new definition The Ottawa Charter emphasises the importance of concrete and effective community action in setting priorities for health, making decisions, planning strategies and implementing them… Read More

Determinants of health

Determinants of health: The range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors which determine the health status of individuals or populations. Reference: new definition The factors which influence health are multiple and interactive. Health promotion is fundamentally concerned with action and advocacy to address the full range of potentially modifiable determinants of health – not only those which… Read More

Disease prevention

Disease prevention: Disease prevention covers measures not only to prevent the occurrence of disease, such as risk factor reduction, but also to arrest its progress and reduce its consequences once established. Reference: adapted from Glossary of Terms used in Health for All series. WHO, Geneva, 1984 Primary prevention is directed towards preventing the initial occurrence of… Read More


Empowerment for health: In health promotion, empowerment is a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health. Reference: new definition Empowerment may be a social, cultural, psychological or political process through which individuals and social groups are able to express their needs, present their concerns, devise strategies for involvement… Read More