Theory at a Glance: A Guide for Health Promotion Practice

This guide is written primarily for public health workers in state and local health agencies; it is also valuable for health promotion practitioners and volunteers who work in voluntary health agencies, community organizations, health care settings, schools, and the private sector. Interventions based on health behavior theory are not guaranteed to succeed, but they are much more likely to produce desired outcomes. It is designed to help users understand how individuals, groups, and organizations behave and change—knowledge they can use to design effective programs. For information about specific, evidence-based interventions to promote health and prevent disease, readers may also wish to consult the Guide to Community Preventive Services, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at The guide has three parts: Part 1. Foundations of Theory in Health Promotion and Health Behavior describes ways that theories and models can be useful in health behavior/health promotion practice and provides basic definitions; Part 2. Theories and Applications presents an ecological perspective on health behavior/health promotion programs. It describes eight theories and models that explain individual, interpersonal, and community behavior and offers approaches to solving problems. A brief description of each theory is followed by definitions of key concepts and examples or case studies. The section also explores the use of new communication technologies; Part 3. Putting Theory and Practice Together explains how theory can be used in health behavior/health promotion program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Last modified: July 23, 2021

Language: English