Comprehensive approaches to school health promotion: how to achieve broader implementation?

Health Promot Int. 2003 Dec;18(4):387-96. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dag410.


The Health Promoting School (HPS) and Comprehensive School Health Program (CSHP) initiatives have been proposed as a means of going beyond some of the limitations associated with health promotion initiatives aimed at school-aged children. This involves moving beyond practices that rely mainly on classroom-based health education models, to a more comprehensive, integrated approach of health promotion that focuses both on child-youth attitudes and behaviors, and their environment. Despite the tremendous potential of these initiatives in terms of health and educational gains, only rarely are they actually put into practice. This article briefly reviews the features of these initiatives, as well as the extent of their implementation and current benefits. Against that backdrop, the authors identify some issues to consider and propose four conditions with a view to achieving broader practical application of these approaches. These issues, which are discussed from the standpoint of potential avenues of further study and courses of action, relate to the comprehensive, integrated nature of the intervention, the school/family/community partnership, political and financial support from policy makers, and, finally, evaluative research as a support to implementation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*