Evidence-based health promotion:
The use of information derived from formal research and systematic investigation to identify causes and contributing factors to health needs and the most effective health promotion actions to address these in given contexts and populations.
Reference: New definition
As a field which recognizes that health needs can be addressed by action at the individual, interpersonal, community, environmental and political levels, health promotion is informed by many types of evidence derived from a range of disciplines (Tang et al., 2003). These include epidemiological studies about health determinants, health promotion program evaluations, ethnographic studies about social and cultural influences upon health needs, sociological research about the patterns and causes of inequalities, political science and historical studies about the public policy making process and economic research about the cost-effectiveness of interventions. Among the applications of evidence to health promotion planning is the identification of health promotion outcomes and intermediate impacts that should be addressed in order to achieve the goals of health promotion actions (Nutbeam, 1998). It is important to note that formal evidence alone is not a sufficient basis for effective health promotion. External information can inform, but not replace the expertise of individual practitioners which guides the selection and application of evidence (Sackett et al., 1996; Tang et al., 2003).