In recent decades, reflexivity has received much attention in the professional education and training literature, especially in the public health and health promotion fields. Despite general agreement on the importance of reflexivity, there appears to be no consensus on how to assess reflexivity or to conceptualize the different forms developed among professionals and participants of training programs. This paper presents an analysis of the reflexivity outcomes of the Health Promotion Laboratory, an innovative professional development program aimed at supporting practice changes among health professionals by fostering competency development and reflexivity. More specifically, this paper explores the difference between two levels of reflexivity (formative and critical) and highlights some implications of each for practice. Data were collected through qualitative interviews with participants from two intervention sites. Results showed that involvement in the Health Promotion Laboratory prompted many participants to modify their vision of their practice and professional role, indicating an impact on reflexivity. In many cases, new understandings seem to have played a formative function in enabling participants to improve their practice and their role as health promoters. The reflective process also served a critical function culminating in a social and moral understanding of the impacts on society of the professionals' practices and roles. This type of outcome is greatly desired in health promotion, given the social justice and equity concerns of this field of practice. By redefining the theoretical concept of reflexivity on two levels and discussing their impacts on practice, this study supports the usefulness of both levels of reflexivity.
Keywords: continuing education; critical reflection; health promoters; reflexivity.
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