Reflection a neglected art in health promotion

Health Educ Res. 2007 Oct;22(5):658-64. doi: 10.1093/her/cyl129. Epub 2006 Oct 27.


Evaluation and quality assurance have, over time, become the bedrock of health promotion practice in ensuring effectiveness and efficiency of programme planning and delivery. There has been less emphasis, however, on formal recognition of the contribution of the personal characteristics and perspectives of those who plan and deliver programmes and to the more subtle underlying effects of prevailing societal and professional norms. This paper seeks to highlight the neglect of formal reflection as a key professional skill in professional health promotion practice. It outlines key theories underpinning the development of the concepts of reflection and reflective practice. The role of reflection in critical health education as it contributes to critical consciousness raising is highlighted through its contribution to the empowerment of change agents in a societal change context. A conceptual typology of reflective practice is described which provides a flexible structure with which professionals can reflect on the role of self, the context and the process of health promotion programme planning. Its use is illustrated from the author's published work in health promotion which is related to prevention of workplace violence.

MeSH terms

  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Self-Assessment
  • Thinking*