1. Baker, Dot MS(N), RN, CS, EdD

Article Content

Health Promotion in Nursing Practice (5th ed) by Nola J. Pender, Carolyn L. Murdaugh, and Mary Ann Parsons. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc; 2006. 367 pages, paperback $41.95.


Internationally, nurses are key healthcare professionals who guide health decisions by individuals, families, communities, organizations, and global entities toward health promotion. They must know about related theories and models, possess skills to implement and appraise the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions, and critically determine future research. As a text for baccalaureate and graduate nursing students, the authors present vital strategies to foster healthy lifestyles and to create healthy home, work, school, and community environments for diverse populations.


The introduction, "Health promotion and disease prevention: Challenges of the 21st century," asserts that a gap between knowledge generation and practice application fuels challenges (eg, equitable access for all constituents, focused address of social problems, and innovative use of emerging technology modalities). The text defines the terms "health promotion" and "disease prevention" and discusses the "multidimensional nature of health promotion" at individual, family, community, environmental, and societal levels of wellness.


Part 1, "The Human Quest for Health," defines health and overviews individual and community models to promote health. Part 2, "Planning for Health Promotion and Prevention," presents strategies to assess health and health behaviors and guidance to develop a health promotion plan. Part 3, "Interventions for Health Promotion and Prevention," discusses physical activity, diet and nutrition, stress management, and social support. Part 4, "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Health Promotion," presents-133pt intervention evaluation strategies. Part 5, "Health Promotion in Diverse Populations," discusses life span and vulnerable population information. Part 6, "Approaches for Promoting a Healthier Society," examines community settings and partnerships and mechanisms to effect social and environmental change.


Methodically, each chapter first states objectives and a comprehensive content outline. Of note, each chapter includes directions for research and for practice. Then each chapter concludes with a summary, learning activities, selected Web site(s), and references. The extensive references include respected and relevant classic sources and are current to 2004. There is an extensive index.


A number of useful tables and figures illustrate chapter content and relevant models. For example, figures in Chapter 2, "Individual Models to Promote Health Behavior," include The Health Belief Model, Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior, A Cognitive Behavioral Model of the Relapse Process, and Health Promotion Model. Relevant tables present processes of change and potential cues to prompt health-promoting and prevention behaviors. An exemplary table presents selected findings from studies using the Health Promotion Model to examine health-specific outcome measures and behavior-specific outcome measures. The information includes the author(s), year, population, dependent variable, variables studied, and variance explained.


Similarly, Chapter 4, "Assessing Health and Health Behaviors," uses figures and tables to illustrate tools such as body mass index, healthy and unhealthy weight guidelines, stress warning signals, support system review, emotional support diagram, health-promoting lifestyle profile subscales and sample items, and questions for assessing stages of behavior change. In particular, the Components of Family Assessment (ie, nutrition, physical activity, stress control & management, health responsibility, family resilience & resources, and family support) and the Components of Community Assessment (ie, human biology, environment, community lifestyles, & health system) are of note.


In all, this text offers relevant information, classic and current tools, and extensive resources to enhance student learning and to guide application of health promotion strategies. The text addresses issues that globally confront 21st-century nurses. It focuses on diverse and vulnerable populations across the life span at individual to global levels. The text emphasizes evidence-based approaches and outcomes evaluation. In addition, there are key learning activities to stimulate connections among text, resources, and nursing actions.


Dot Baker, MS(N), RN, CS, EdD


Associate Professor, Nursing Wilmington College Georgetown, Delaware