Academic journal article Journal of School Health

Report of the 1990 Joint Committee on Health Education Terminology

Academic journal article Journal of School Health

Report of the 1990 Joint Committee on Health Education Terminology

Article excerpt

One of the essential underpinnings of any profession is a body of well-defined terms used to enable members to communicate easily and with the clarity necessary for understanding among themselves and with others. The field of health education has changed dramatically in the past two decades. The definitions in this report provide a common interpretation of terms frequently used by health educators in a variety of settings. Therefore, the terms presented here are defined for use by the professional health educator as well as by other individuals and groups.

The Committee recognized that other health professionals (eg, physicians, nurses, etc.) are concerned with and involved in health education as a part of their professional role and that they may have a different orientation. Consequently, they may use different terminology from that contained in this report. It is hoped, however, that the terms defined will be of help to these groups to clarify terminology used by health education professionals.

Words referring to health service and related personnel (eg, patient educator, health counselor) or words which are in general use and understood by a variety of professionals (eg, mass communication, objectives, self-help, self-care, evaluation) are not included. The Committee chose to define community and school health education and associated terminology, because degrees are offered in these areas. Other areas (eg, patient and worksite health education) were omitted because they t nd to be areas of emphasis rather than degrees.

There may be other interpretations of the words defined; however, those presented in this report are as many health educators view them today. The terms included reflect trends, concepts, and practices. They help to explain what the profession is, who its practitioners are, and how they function. Additional uses might include the following:

* articulating the health education professional preparation program to other units on college and university campuses;

* assisting governmental agencies in planning effective health education policies and programs;

* assisting editorial boards in determining appropriate health education word usage;

* guiding accrediting and credentialing agencies.

* explaining the field of practice to other professionals; and

* establishing a basis for consistency of language usage in the professional literature and in research endeavors and grantsmanship.

Historically, the Public Health Education Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) developed a statement of terminology about 1927. [1] The first committee report on terminology was published by the American Physical Education Association in 1934. [2] The American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (AAHPER) presented a report on health and physical education terminology in 1950-51. [3] Another AAHPER joint committee was appointed in 1962 to foster and improve understanding on the part of school and public health educators. [4] After nine years, AAHPER again took the lead which resulted in a 1973 joint committee terminology report. [5] In 1990, the Association for the Advancement of Health Education (AAHE), an Association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, continued this leadership by convening a joint committee of delegates of the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO) and a representative from the American Academy of Pediatrics to update the earlier terms and to add relevant new definitions. The Coalition was established in 1973 to provide a vehicle for collaboration of all major national health education organizations. Its primary mission is to mobilize the resources of the Health Education profession in order to expand and improve health education, regardless of the setting. Each member organization appoints one delegate and one alternate. …

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