Empowerment: A Goal or a Means for Health Promotion?

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Empowerment: A Goal or a Means for Health Promotion?

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Empowerment: A Goal or a Means for Health Promotion?
Author(s) Tengland, Per-Anders
Date 2007
English abstract
Empowerment is a concept that has been much used and discussed for a number of years. However, it is not always explicitly clarified what its central meaning is. The present paper intends to clarify what empowerment means, and relate it to the goals of health promotion. The paper starts with the claim that health-related quality of life is the ultimate general goal for health promotion, and continues by briefly presenting definitions of some central concepts: “welfare”, “health” and “quality of life”. Several suggestions as to what empowerment is are then discussed: autonomy, freedom, knowledge, self-esteem, self-confidence, and control over health or life. One conclusion of this discussion is that empowerment can be seen as a complex goal which includes aspects of the three central concepts welfare, health and quality of life. To the extent that the empowerment goals aimed at are health-related, it is concluded that empowerment is a legitimate goal for health promotion. But empowerment is not only a goal, it can also be described as a process or as an approach. This process, or approach, in a fundamental way involves the participants in problem formulation, decision making and action, which means that the experts have to relinquish some of their control and power.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11019-006-9027-1 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Publisher Springer
Host/Issue Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy;2
Volume 10
ISSN 1386-7423
Pages 197-207
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) empowerment
health promotion
quality of life
Public health science
Humanities/Social Sciences
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/6426 (link to this page)

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