Journal of Community Health

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 165–179 | Cite as

The conceptualization of health among residents of Saskatoon

  • Ahlam Abdel-Hamid Mansour
Articles

Abstract

Health for all by the year 2000 is a goal for many professionals. Health promotion is a key strategy for attaining that goal. An essential step in the process is defining the term health. A review of literature reveals that the public was not consulted regarding their definition of the term, although it is their health that everyone is trying to promote.

The aim of this study was to find out how lay people in Saskatoon define health, and investigate the effects of several independent variables on their conceptualizations. One hundred residents participated in the study. The mail and telephone survey method was used to collect the data. Chi-square tests, Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis were used to analyze the data.

The results of the study show that the respondents preferred functional and wellness definitions of health. They disagreed though that health is wellness despite the presence of disease, which is contrary to the expectations of many health professionals. They, moreover, disagreed with economical and religious definitions of health. Several independent variables were tested for their influence on the respondents' conceptualization. Sex seems to have a major impact on one's definition of health, and the value one places on the different aspects of life determines how one defines health. It is recommended that health professionals always assess their clients' definition of health prior to prescribing interventions. Health is not a commodity, but a basic right of human beings; and if community involvement is to become a reality, it should start with a public definition of the term “Health”.

Keywords

Public Health Health Professional Health Promotion Disease Prevention Essential Step 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahlam Abdel-Hamid Mansour
    • 1
  1. 1.College of NursingUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoon

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