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Article

“We Don’t Assume That Everyone Has the Same Idea About Health, Do We?” Explorative Study of Citizens’ Perceptions of Health and Participation to Improve Their Health in a Low Socioeconomic City District

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GGD IJsselland, Zeven Alleetjes 1, 8011 CV Zwolle, The Netherlands
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Health and Society, Social Sciences Group, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4958; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144958
Received: 17 May 2020 / Revised: 19 June 2020 / Accepted: 30 June 2020 / Published: 9 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community Participation in Health Promotion: Challenges and Successes)
In community health promotion programs that aim to reduce health inequities, citizen participation is recommended, as it strengthens citizens’ active involvement and has a positive impact on health. A prerequisite for citizen participation is recognizing and incorporating citizens’ perceptions of health. Therefore, this study aimed to explore these perceptions and actions needed to improve the health of citizens living in a low socioeconomic city district. Concept mapping was used to actively engage community members as part of the action research method. Eleven community groups (n = 89 citizens) together with community workers participated in the study. Participants in all groups agreed that health entails more than the absence of disease, and therefore it is a multidimensional concept. Social relations, physical activity, positive life attitude, healthy eating, and being in control were important perceptions about health. Although the participants were aware of the relation between lifestyle and health, actions to improve health included doing things together, collaboration, self-confidence, focusing on possibilities, and socially shared meanings. Creating a supportive environment to address health behavior appeared to be the most important action for citizens to facilitate behavior change. Concept mapping helped to involve citizens and provided community workers with valuable information to shape the program together with citizens. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen participation; health promotion; perceptions on health; concept mapping; health inequities citizen participation; health promotion; perceptions on health; concept mapping; health inequities
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Jong, M.A.J.G.; Wagemakers, A.; Koelen, M.A. “We Don’t Assume That Everyone Has the Same Idea About Health, Do We?” Explorative Study of Citizens’ Perceptions of Health and Participation to Improve Their Health in a Low Socioeconomic City District. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4958. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144958

AMA Style

de Jong MAJG, Wagemakers A, Koelen MA. “We Don’t Assume That Everyone Has the Same Idea About Health, Do We?” Explorative Study of Citizens’ Perceptions of Health and Participation to Improve Their Health in a Low Socioeconomic City District. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(14):4958. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144958

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Jong, Marja A.J.G., Annemarie Wagemakers, and Maria A. Koelen 2020. "“We Don’t Assume That Everyone Has the Same Idea About Health, Do We?” Explorative Study of Citizens’ Perceptions of Health and Participation to Improve Their Health in a Low Socioeconomic City District" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 14: 4958. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144958

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