Good Health and Well-Being

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Tony Wall, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökcin Özuyar

Health Education for Awareness and Behavioral Change and Influence

  • Rita CamposEmail author
  • Lúcia Fernandes
Living reference work entry



Health education comprises all experiences that can inspire changes in behavior leading to improved health and well-being and also improves health literacy, ultimately leading to a more conscious, empowered, and mobilized society (adapted from Nutbeam 2000). Health, as recognized by the World Health Organization, is “…a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” and well-being is a state of dynamic equilibrium between the physical, mental, and social challenges faced by people and their capacity to cope with it (adapted from Dodge et al. 2012).

Health Education, Health Literacy, and Empowerment

Health promotion and disease prevention have been common goals in health education programs. After almost six decades, health campaigns have moved the focus from the transmission of information based on...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.



RC and LF are supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal): grants SFRH/BPD/110348/2015 and SFRH/BPD/79933/2011 (POCH funds from ESF and MCTES), respectively, and Contrato-Programa to RC (NT of the DL 57/2016 altered by Law 57/2017). The Biodiversity Workshops were developed within the framework of the program “CES vai à Escola” (“CES goes to School”;, funded by CES-UC via FCT (UID/SOC/50012/2013).


  1. Adlong W, Dietsch E (2015) Environmental education and the health professions: framing climate change as a health issue. Environ Educ Res 21(5):687–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allchin D (2009) The poisoning of Minamata. Minnesota: Universidade de Minnesota. [Online] Available at: Accessed 12 June 2018
  3. Balvanera P, Siddique I, Dee L et al (2014) Linking biodiversity and ecosystem services: current uncertainties and the necessary next steps. Bioscience 64(1):49–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barbosa TMA (2010) A resposta a acidentes tecnológicos: o caso do acidente radioativo de Goiânia. Dissertação de Mestrado em Sociologia, Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de CoimbraGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernstein AS (2014) Biological diversity and human health. Annu Rev Public Health 35:153–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell-Lendrum D, Manga L, Bagayoko M et al (2015) Climate change and vector-borne diseases: what are the implications for public health research and policy? Philos Trans R Soc B 370:20130552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Campos R, Araújo M (2017) Traditional artistic expressions in science communication in a globalized world: contributions from an exploratory project developed in Northeast Brazil. Sci Commun 39(6):798–809CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campos R, Montenegro LA, Petrovich ACI et al. (In press) Práticas sustentáveis no cotidiano: divulgação do uso alternativo de materiais de limpeza. Anais do 8° Congresso Brasileiro de Extensão Universitária, Natal, 28–30 June. [Sustainable practices in daily life: divulgating alternative use of cleaning materials. Annals of the 8th Brazilian Congress of University Extension]Google Scholar
  9. Campos R, Montenegro LA, Petrovich ACI et al. (submitted). Abordando a sustentabilidade, a economia doméstica e os problemas da água com produtos de limpeza. Actas do XIV Congresso da Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências da Educação, Coimbra, Outubro 11–13. [Addressing sustainability, home economics and water problems with cleaning materials. Proceedings of the XIV Congress of the Portuguese Society of Educational Sciences]Google Scholar
  10. Cardoso CW, Paploski IAD, Kikuti M et al (2015) Outbreak of exanthematous illness associated with zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses, Salvador, Brazil. Emerg Infect Dis 21(12):2274–2276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Centemeri L (2008) Rispondere al disastro tecnologico. La lezione di Seveso. [Response to the technological disaster. Seveso's lesson.] Quaderno del Programma Emergenze di Massa, 8(1). Istituto di Sociologia Internazionale di Gorizia-ISIG, GoriziaGoogle Scholar
  12. Chinn D (2011) Critical health literacy: a review and critical analysis. Soc Sci Med 73(1):60–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 5–14 June. [Online]. Available at: Accessed 12 June 2018
  14. David B, Wolfender J-L, Dias DA (2015) The pharmaceutical industry and natural products: historical status and new trends. Phytochem Rev 14:299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Davis JM, Cooke SM (2007) Educating for a healthy, sustainable world: an argument for integrating health promoting schools and sustainable schools. Health Promot Int 22:346–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dodge R, Daly A, Huyton J, Sanders L (2012) The challenge of defining wellbeing. Int J Wellbeing 2:222–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Edwards PJ, Abivardi C (1998) The value of biodiversity: where ecology and economy blend. Biol Conserv 83(3):239–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Estacio EV (2013) Health literacy and community empowerment: it is more than just reading, writing and counting. J Health Psychol 18:1056–1068CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. European Social Survey (2015) Measuring and reporting on European’s wellbeing: findings from the European social survey. ESS ERIC, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Ewing DA, Cobbold CA, Purse BV et al (2016) Modelling the effect of temperature on the seasonal population dynamics of temperate mosquitoes. J Theor Biol 400:65–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fernandes LO, Nunes JA, Porto MF (2016) Contaminação química: as respostas das instituições responsáveis e ações das populações atingidas no Brasil e em Portugal. [chemical contamination: the responses of the responsible institutions and actions of the affected populations in Brazil and Portugal.]. Saúde e Sociedade 25(1):218–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Finn S, O’Fallon L (2017) The emergence of environmental health literacy – from its roots to its future potential. Environ Health Perspect 125:495–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Forget G, Lebel J (2001) An ecosystem approach to human health. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 7(2):S3–S38Google Scholar
  24. Fortun K (2001) Advocacy after Bhopal environmentalism, disaster, new global order. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Freitas CM, Porto MFS, de Freitas NBB et al (2001) Chemical safety and governance in Brazil. J Hazard Mater 86:135–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gardner LM, Bóta A, Gangavarapu K et al (2018) Inferring the risk factors behind the geographical spread and transmission of Zika in the Americas. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 12(1):e0006194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gonçalves ME (2007) Os portugueses e os novos riscos. [The Portuguese and the new risks.] Estudo e investigações, 45. Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, LisboaGoogle Scholar
  28. Gray KM (2018) From content knowledge to community change: a review of representations of environmental health literacy. Int J Environ Res Public Health 15(3):E466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hancke D, Suárez OV (2014) Environmental health education in schools as strategy for rodent control: an experience in a shantytown of Buenos Aires, Argentina. EcoHealth 11:133–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Harremoes P, Gee D, MacGarvin M et al. (2001) Late lessons from early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896–2000. Environmental report, European Environment Agency. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  31. Howard J (2006) Cover essay: children and EcoHealth. EcoHealth 3:215–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jennings V, Floyd MF, Shanahan D et al (2017) Emerging issues in urban ecology: implications for research, social justice, human health, and well-being. Popul Environ 39(1):69–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Keniger LE, Gaston KJ, Irvine KN et al (2013) What are the benefits of interacting with nature? Int J Environ Res Public Health 10(3):913–935CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Keune H, Kretsch C, De Blust G et al (2013) Science-policy challenges for biodiversity, public health and urbanization: examples from Belgium. Environ Res Lett 8(2):025015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kim KH, Kabir E, Ara Jahan S (2014) A review of the consequences of global climate change on human health. J Environ Sci Health 32:299–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McCallum ML (2015) Vertebrate biodiversity losses point to a sixth mass extinction. Biodivers Conserv 24(10):2497–2519CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Island Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  38. Morrison AC, Zielinski-Gutierrez E, Scott TW et al (2008) Defining challenges and proposing solutions for control of the virus vector Aedes aegypti. PLoS Med 5(3):e68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. National Research Council (2011) Climate stabilization targets: emissions, concentrations, and impacts over decades to millennia. The National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  40. Nunes JA, Matias M (2006) Rumo a uma saúde sustentável: saúde, ambiente e política. Saúde e Direitos Humanos 3:7–15Google Scholar
  41. Nutbeam D (2000) Health literacy as a public health goal: a challenge for contemporary health education and communication strategies into the 21st century. Health Promot Int 15(3):259–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Petryna A (2002) Life exposed: biological citizens after Chernobyl. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  43. Pimm SL, Jenkins CN, Abell R et al (2014) The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction and protection. Science 344:987–997CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pradhan P, Costa L, Rybski D, Lucht W, Kropp JP (2017) A systematic study of sustainable development goal (SDG) interactions. Earth’s Future 5:1169–1179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Romanelli C, Corvalan C, Cooper HD, Manga L, Maiero M, Campbell-Lendrum D (2014) From Manaus to Maputo: toward a public health and biodiversity framework. EcoHealth 11(3):292–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sala OE, Meyerson LA, Parmesan C (2012) Biodiversity change and human health: from ecosystem services to spread of disease. Island Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  47. Sørensen K, Van den Broucke S, Fullam J et al (2012) Health literacy and public health: a systematic review and integration of definitions and models. BMC Public Health 12:80Google Scholar
  48. Stone-Jovicich S, Goldstein BE, Brown K et al (2018) Expanding the contribution of the social sciences to social-ecological resilience research. Ecol Soc 23(1):41–48Google Scholar
  49. ten Brink P, Mutafoglu K, Schweitzer J-P et al (2016) The health and social benefits of nature and biodiversity protection. Background report for a workshop by the European Commission (ENV.B.3/ETU/2014/0039). Institute for European Environmental Policy, London/BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  50. Wallerstein N, Bernstein E (1988) Empowerment education: Freire’s ideas adapted to health education. Health Educ Q 15:379–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. WHO – World Health Organization (2016) WHO situation report: Zika Virus, microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome. WHO, World Health Organization [Online] Available at: Accessed 02 July 2018
  52. WHO – World Health Organization (2017) Media Center: Vector-borne diseases. [Online] Available at: Accessed 12 June 2018
  53. WHO – World Health Organization, UN Environment Programme, Convention on Biological Diversity (2015) Connecting global priorities: biodiversity and human health: a state of knowledge review. [Online] Available at: Accessed 12 June 2018
  54. Wilcox B, Kueffer C (2008) Transdisciplinarity in ecoHealth: status and future prospects. EcoHealth 5(1):1–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zanluca C, Melo VCA, Mosimann ALP et al (2015) First report of autochthonous transmission of Zika virus in Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 110(4):569–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CES-UC – Centre for Social StudiesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mohamed Walid

There are no affiliations available