A qualitative study of hospital patients' understanding of health promotion

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Aims and objectives

To examine hospital patients' understanding of health promotion in Jordan.


Increasingly, hospital nurses are urged to promote patients' health and meet their needs. Yet, internationally, little is known about how patients themselves understand health promotion, and no Jordanian study has been undertaken in this area.


A qualitative design was used.


Focus group discussions (n = 4) were undertaken with hospital patients. All discussions were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative thematic analysis.


Three images of health promotion emerged. These include health promotion as having adequate health knowledge, economic independency and good environment. It was also found that gender and spirituality affected patients' conceptualisations.


Hospital patients' understanding and expectations of health promotion are complex and go beyond the disease management approach. Therefore, if health promotion is to meet patients' needs and operate at empowerment and socio-economic levels, the images identified in this article should be considered. The study limitations and recommendations for practice and future research are also outlined.

Relevance to clinical practice

There is a need for a framework of health promotion that integrates patients' beliefs in general and particularly those related to religion and gender roles within the daily philosophy of care. Having achieved this, hospital nurses will be able to deliver culturally competent and wide-reaching health promotion.

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