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Scand J Public Health. 2018 Feb;46(20_suppl):118-122. doi: 10.1177/1403494817744130.

What makes health promotion research distinct?

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Centre for Health Promotion Research, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK.


There have been concerns about the decline of health promotion as a practice and discipline and, alongside this, calls for a clearer articulation of health promotion research and what, if anything, makes it distinct. This discussion paper, based on a review of the literature, the authors' own experiences in the field, and a workshop delivered by two of the authors at the 8th Nordic Health Promotion Conference, seeks to state the reasons why health promotion research is distinctive. While by no means exhaustive, the paper suggests four distinctive features. The paper hopes to be a catalyst to enable health promotion researchers to be explicit in their practice and to begin the process of developing an agreed set of research principles.


Health promotion; health promotion research; participation; research; values

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