Definition of Health Education

Definition of Health EducationHealth Education comprises consciously constructed opportunities for learning involving some form of communication designed to improve health literacy, including improving knowledge, and developing life skills which are conducive to individual and community health.

Health education is not only concerned with the communication of information, but also with fostering the motivation, skills and confidence (self-efficacy) necessary to take action to improve health.

Health education includes the communication of information concerning the underlying social, economic and environmental conditions impacting on health, as well as individual risk factors and risk behaviors, and use of the health care system. Thus, health education may involve the communication of information, and development of skills which demonstrates the political feasibility and organizational possibilities of various forms of action to address social, economic and environmental determinants of health.

In the past, health education was used as a term to encompass a wider range of actions including social mobilization and advocacy. These methods are now encompassed in the term health promotion, and a more narrow definition of health education is proposed here to emphasize the distinction.