Origins and Interpretations of First World Health Promotion
As described in Chapter 2, the reader will appreciate that health promotion, as we know and use the term, is very much ‘context sensitive’. This is not only because of its link with the psychology of individuals, but because it depends on a large number of social variables which themselves are not easily measured. This is one reason for the appeal of reductionist modelsthey create less ambiguity. Health promotion, being holistic rather than reductionist will be deeply influenced in the form it takes by the particular contextual factors prevailing in a given society. For instance, in Britain, there had been a long history of public health. Until recently, however, people had tended to believe that the steady and measurable improvement in British public health had been brought about almost exclusively by progress in scientific medicine. This is certainly a view that the ‘biomedical establishment’ believed and promoted and, of course, it reflected well on it.