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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal


Volume 3: No. 4, October 2006

Health Promotion in Practice


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Cover: Health Promotion in Practice

Authors: Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD, Joan Arnold, PhD, RN
Publisher: Jossey-Bass, John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Publication Date: April 2006
624 pages
Price: $48.00
ISBN: 0-7879-7961-9

Suggested citation for this article: Joshi P. Health promotion in practice [book review]. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2006 Oct [date cited]. Available from:

The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases has increased the global need for skilled health promotion professionals, and many professionals working in the field of health promotion lack some of the tools they need to apply in their practice. Health Promotion in Practice by Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin and Joan Arnold provides insight into the principles of health promotion and enables the reader to translate those principles into practice.

Various books have been published during the last two decades that have addressed health promotion theories in addition to program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Health Promotion in Practice not only describes the traditional theories but demonstrates how clinicians can apply these theories in practice. The authors designed this book for practicing health care professionals and advanced students from diverse health-related fields, including public health, nursing, health management, medicine, and social work.

The book contains three parts. Part One, “Health, Health Promotion, and the Health Care Professional,” addresses concepts of public health, models and theories, contexts, and agents of health promotion. Chapter 2 incorporates several behavioral theories and models, as do most books on health promotion. The inclusion of Chapters 3 and 4 differentiates this book from others in the field because these chapters explain how principles of health promotion can be applied in many different types of settings.  In addition, Chapter 3 addresses the complex blend of political and economic factors that commonly affect public health practice. Since the book was written with a wide range of practitioners in mind, Chapter 4 gives valuable information on finding one’s role in the field of health promotion and emphasizes the importance of collaborating and developing partnerships.

Part Two, “Practice Frameworks for Health Promotion,” is the most substantial portion of the book and discusses the areas of practice — including nutrition, physical activity, sexual health, oral health, substance abuse, and injury and violence prevention — in which basic health promotion principles can be applied. Throughout this part of the book the authors have incorporated key points to be considered, and they maintain focus by addressing only topics pertinent to chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Part Three, “Economic Applications and Forecasting the Future of Health Promotion,” highlights the economic future of health promotion. For example, instruction on how to evaluate finances and stay within a budget while planning and implementing programs is invaluable to professionals.

As with any book, Health Promotion in Practice has certain limitations. Though the concepts of evaluation are mentioned briefly, more detail on practical applications, particularly regarding process evaluation, would have been helpful. The addition of appendices (e.g., sample curricula, questionnaires and instruments, examples of mini grants, budget sheets, case studies) would be beneficial because most readers will be looking for tools to apply in the field. 

Considering the intended audience and the need for a book that provides a comprehensive view of health promotion, Health Promotion in Practice is a great asset to the field of public health. With some additions to future editions, this book can serve as a practical and useful guide for health promotion professionals.

Praphul Joshi, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Health
Department of Kinesiology
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Lafayette, La

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The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.


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