Skip to main content

Understanding health education, health promotion and public health.

van Teijlingen, K., Devkota, B., Douglas, F., Simkhada, P. and van Teijlingen, E., 2021. Understanding health education, health promotion and public health. Journal of Health Promotion, 9 (1), 1 - 7.

Full text available as:

PDF (With permission of the publisher Health Education Association of Nepal (HEAN))
Kitty van Teijlingen health promotion 2021.pdf - Published Version


Official URL:

DOI: 10.3126/jhp.v9i01.40957


Across the globe, there can be confusion about the difference between the concepts of health education, health promotion and, often also, public health. This confusion does not limit itself to the individual terms but also to how these terms relate to each other. Some use terms such as health education and health promotion interchangeably; others see them clearly as different concepts. In this theoretical overview paper, we have first of all outlined our understanding of these individual terms. We suggest how the five principles of health promotion as outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1984) fit into Tannahill’s (2009) model of three overlapping areas: (a) health education; (b) prevention of ill health; and (c) health protection. Our schematic overview places health education within health promotion and health promotion itself in the center of the overarching disciplines of education and public health. We hope our representation helps reduce confusion among all those interested in our discipline, including students, educators, journalists, practitioners, policymakers, politicians, and researchers.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The ideas and opinions expressed by the authors of this publication are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the HEAN. The materials of this publication may by reproduced, reviewed and translated in acknowledging the source "Journal of Health Promotion.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Health promotion ; Health education ; Public health ; theory ; interdisciplinary
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:36318
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:01 Dec 2021 15:53
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:30


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -