Definitions of health among healthcare providers

Nurs Sci Q. 2006 Jul;19(3):265-71. doi: 10.1177/0894318406289575.


Providers' definitions of health may affect the kind of care they provide. This study examined healthcare practitioners' definitions of health across practitioner types. Interviews with 73 healthcare practitioners were analyzed for themes. Most practitioners identified health as the interrelatedness of several factors. Physical, mental, and spiritual factors all played important roles. Mainstream and integrative practitioners emphasized health as good functioning, absence of disease, and chronic disease under control. Integrative and alternative practitioners emphasized health as balance and as the free flow of elements such as motion and energy. All types of practitioners freely combined elements from models of health described as separate in the literature. Understanding providers' definitions of health could enhance communication among them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Health Status
  • Health*
  • Holistic Health
  • Humans
  • Medicine
  • Models, Nursing
  • New York City
  • Nurses / psychology
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Philosophy, Medical
  • Philosophy, Nursing
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Professional Role
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Concept
  • Specialization
  • Specialties, Nursing
  • Surveys and Questionnaires