Objectives: Health promotion is on the global agenda. The risks targeted include smoking, hazardous alcohol consumption, nutrition and insufficient physical activity. Implementation of clinical health promotion, however, remains a major challenge. While several processes, models and frameworks for strategic implementation exist, very few have been tested in randomized designs. Testing a strategic implementation process for clinical health promotion was only recently attempted via a randomized clinical trial on the World Health Organization Health Promotion Hospitals Recognition Process. The randomized clinical trial showed that the process improved central parts of implementation. To complement these findings, this nested qualitative study aimed to explore experiences and perceptions of staff and managers, who had completed the process, and generate hypotheses for improvements.
Methods: We interviewed a purposeful sample of 45 key informants from four countries, who worked at clinical departments and had undertaken the World Health Organization Health Promotion Hospitals implementation process. The informants included 14 managers, 14 medical doctors, 13 nurses and 4 other clinical staff. Interview transcripts were analyzed using qualitative content analysis and an inductive approach to coding and categorization supported by QSR NVivo.
Results: The informants' experiences and perceptions centered around four global themes concerning (1) awareness, cultural re-orientation and integration; (2) learnings; (3) normalization and legitimacy and (4) a more evidence-based, structured and systematic approach to clinical health promotion. Informants were positive toward the implementation process, although it was sometimes challenging. The suggested improvements to increase acceptability related to the patient survey, time consumption, translation, tailoring to local circumstances and in-advance training.
Conclusions: Managers and staff were positive toward the World Health Organization Health Promotion Hospitals process, which was perceived to bring about positive changes and learnings. The findings also suggest that the implementation process may be improved by minor adjustments to process elements and design. It is our recommendation to use the process in clinical departments to further implementation of clinical health promotion.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy