Definition of Terms


“As identified by the WHO (1986), health is defined as ‘the extent to which an individual or group is able to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs and to change or cope with the environment.’ Lifestyle and environment are seen as key determinants of health. Inequities in background, living conditions and access to resources have a strong influence on the ability of individuals, families, groups, communities and societies to achieve health.” (Collaboration for Academic Education in Nursing, 2007).

Health Promotion

“Health promotion, when viewed though the lens of the WHO (1986) definition of health becomes ‘a process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health…a mediating strategy between people and their environment, synthesizing personal choice and social responsibility in health’ (WHO, 1984).

Health promotion is both a philosophy (a way of being) and a practice (a way of doing). Empowerment is central to health promotion. Empowerment is a term used to describe processes through which experiences of powerlessness are transformed and actions taken to change the physical and social conditions that create inequalities. Empowerment describes the intentional effort of creating more equitable relationships whereby there is greater equality in resources, status and authority (social justice).” (Collaboration for Academic Education in Nursing, 2007).

The concept of health promotion places emphasis on “the role of persons, groups, and organizations as active agents in shaping health practices and policies to optimize both individual wellness and collective well-being” (Stokols, 1996, p. 283).

Holistic Health

“…involves the total person: the whole of the person’s being and the overall quality of lifestyle” (Kozier, Erb, Berman, and Snyder, 2004, p. 225).

Interprofessional Education

An educational method of bringing together individuals and groups representing relevant disciplines for the purpose of developing collaborative, interdependent, equitable, and accountable practice.