Empowerment: the holy grail of health promotion?

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241 Citations (Scopus)


Potentially, empowerment has much to offer health promotion. However, some caution needs to be exercised before the notion is wholeheartedly embraced as the major goal of health promotion. The lack of a clear theoretical underpinning, distortion of the concept by different users, measurement ambiguities, and structural barriers make 'empowerment' difficult to attain. To further discussion, this paper proposes several assertions about the definition, components, process and outcome of 'empowerment', including the need for a distinction between psychological and community empowerment. These assertions and a model of community empowerment are offered in an attempt to clarify an important issue for health promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Community health
  • Community organization
  • Empowerment


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