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Analysis of Health Promotion Theories

A model of health promotion is a framework that helps healthcare practitioners to explain, plan and evaluate health enhancing activities (Kozier, 2004). The main goal of health promotion models is to empower individuals and communities to have a better state of health and wellness mainly through prevention rather than cure of illnesses and diseases. There are many models of health promotion. However, this paper looks at the Tannahill’s model of health promotion and the Prochaska and DiClemente’s model of health promotion.

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The Tannahill’s model of health promotion

This model of health promotion gives three major interrelated activities concerned with health promotion. The first component is disease prevention. Disease prevention can be done in three ways: primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention. The main goal of primary prevention is to prevent the onset of illnesses so that they do not occur. This can be done through vaccination or changes in the lifestyles of individuals and communities.

Secondary prevention entails the early diagnosis of illnesses, for instance, early detection of breast cancer through early screening so as to prevent the disease from progressing. Tertiary prevention entails preventing the recurrence of diseases or minimizing the complications of diseases (McGee & Castledine, 2003), for instance, following a repositioning regime of bed-ridden intensive care units patients to prevent pressure ulcers.

The second component of Tannahill’s model of health promotion is education which helps in the prevention of illnesses. For instance, mothers can be educated on dietary needs of children so as to prevent the onset of childhood illnesses such as malnutrition and kwashiorkor. The third component of Tannahill’s model is health protection. This entails undertaking protective measures against disease-causing organisms (Ewles & Simnett, 2003). For instance, fluoridation of water can be done to protect individuals and communities against water-borne diseases.

Prochaska and Diclemente’s model

Prochaska and Diclemente came up with the trans-theoretical model of health which “provides an integrative framework for understanding and intervening with human intentional behaviour change,” (Miller & Heather, 1998, p. 3). There are three components of this model: stages of change, processes of change, and levels of change. In the stages of change, the change process is divided into different steps that consist of precise tasks that should be undertaken to attain successful, consistent behavioural change. Once the individual follows the steps of change identified, his lifestyle incorporates the change and therefore the individual can halt the change process.

The second component is the processes of change, which are the drivers of change that aid the movement through the various stages of change. The processes of change used at specific stages of change are responsible for moving the individual through the stages of change. The third component is the level of change. Besides the stages and processes of change, the level of change of an individual determines his ability to change his behaviour. The model acknowledges that different individuals are in different stages of change and therefore customized strategies should be used for each individual (Contento, 2010).

Differences between Tannahill’s and Prochaska and Diclemente’s model of health

The Tannahill’s model puts emphasis on the prevention of illnesses before they occur. This is achieved through primary prevention, education and protective strategies of health. On the other hand, the Prochaska and Diclemente’s model of health seems to address the measures that can be taken to eliminate individuals’ addictive destructive behaviour such as smoking. Secondly, Prochaska and Diclemente’s model of health is only focused on the change of individuals’ behaviour whereas the Tannahill’s model incorporates change of behaviour with other health-promotion strategies such as early diagnosis, education, and protective measures.

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Contento, I., 2010. Nutrition education: linking research, theory, and practice. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Ewles, I. & Simnett, L., 2003. Promoting health: a practical guide. London: Elsevier.

Kozier, B., 2004. Fundamentals of nursing: concepts, process, and practice: volume 1. New York: Prentice Hall Health.

McGee, P. & Castledine, G., 2003. Advanced Nursing Practice. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Miller, W. & Heather, M., 1998. Treating addictive behaviours. London: Springer.

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