Tannahill Model and Health Promotion – Essay Example

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The paper "Tannahill Model and Health Promotion" is an excellent example of an essay on medical science. Tannahill model is a Model of Health Promotion developed by Downie, Fife, and Tannahill with the intention of defining, planning, and implementing the promotion of health in order to demonstrate the connections between health education, health protection, and prevention (Tannahill 1985). It clearly outlines the components and the nature of health promotion and the distinctive interrelationships between and among health education, health protection, and prevention (Karch para1). Three overlapping circles graphically represent the model producing seven domains - four elements of prevention and three elements of promoting positive health, that classify a wide range of health promotion measures.

According to them, health promotion encompasses efforts to prevent ill health and enhance positive health through the overlapping spheres of health education, prevention, and health protection. Health education is a significant constituent of health promotion that involves communicating with individuals or groups with an aim of changing their beliefs, attitudes knowledge, and behavior in a way that is conducive to improving their health. A good example of health education is the education of schoolchildren concerning health outcomes of smoking.

Disease prevention entails specific interventions whose aim is to avoid contact with risk factors that produce disease or where this is not feasible, the treatment whose aim is to minimize the harmful consequences of the disease process. An example of disease prevention is seat belts legislation. Tannahill defines health protection as policies, legal or fiscal controls, or other regulations or voluntary codes of practice whose aim is the positive enhancement of well-being or the prevention of ill health.

It involves collective measures aimed at factors that are beyond an individual’ s control (Ganfyd Para3). Examples of such measures include infection control procedures, workplace no-smoking policies, food nutrition labeling, fluoridation of community water supplies, tobacco taxation, pollution control, and environmental health and occupational safety among others. Community pharmacists use all three spheres of the Tannahill model of health promotion. In terms of health education, they advise patients on the safe use and disposal of medicines. Misra also asserts that Health education has been applied in mass campaigns to promote breastfeeding with the aim of increasing awareness of its advantages In terms of health protection, they help smokers by dissuading them from smoking and by advising on the appropriate use of cessation products.

Health Protection has also been used on issues like breastfeeding policies in hospitals and in legislation, for example, ban on marketing formula. In terms of ill-health prevention, they advise mothers on the importance of immunization against diseases like tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough for their babies. Further, Prevention is used by health specialists in antenatal education classes and in breastfeeding training of midwives and mothers (Kevin Lucas, Barbara Lloyd pg 105).

One strength of this model is that it empowers individuals to get in control over the way in which the activities that promote health progress. Individuals can also adapt their activities to be more relevant to them. In addition, it prevents external forces that are outside individuals' influence from dictating how they relate to health promotion (Hardy et al para 5) However, the Tannahill model is deficient in that it only deals with education, physical and social strategies as necessary elements in achieving well-being and health.

It does not consider the environmental, spiritual, psychological, and mental aspects of health and well-being (Patron Para10). The Tannahill model is one of the most useful models as it defines the content of health promotion rather than the practice. It delineates the boundaries of health promotion and includes positive and negative aspects of health as well as taking on a political dimension.


Downie, R. S., Fyfe, C and Tannahill, A 1991, Health promotion : Models and Values, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Ganfyd ( 2006), Health promotion - Downie, Fyfe & Tannahill's model, Retrieved April 22, 2009, from http://www.ganfyd.org/index.php?title=Health_promotion_-_Downie%2C_Fyfe_%26_Tannahill%27s_model#Downie.2C_Fife_.26_Tannahill.27s_overlapping_spheres

Hardy, S, Thomas, B et al (1997), Stuart and Sundeen's mental health nursing: principles and practice, Retrieved April 22, 2009, from http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=7TFTELQR2roC&pg=PA175&lpg=PA175&dq=How+Tannahill+model+of+Health+Promotion+has+been+used&source=bl&ots=XdZ221gllH&sig=O9kce_17S5qImg1NFUiIDgwhvmw&hl=en&ei=9EXwSZjmEqHOMd2gnKkP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#PPA180,M1

Karch, B (2009), Modeling: The Look of Wellness, Retrieved April 22, 2009, from http://www.healthpromotionjournal.com/publications/global/2001-12/index1.htm

Lucas, K, Lloyd, B (2005), Health promotion, Retrieved April 22, 2009, from http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=5ivF8WBYylQC&pg=PA105&lpg=PA105&dq=How+Tannahill+model+of+Health+Promotion+has+been+used&source=bl&ots=vGpCefVCdb&sig=gBHtKbUDZm4T7FOOXEjm4bP63P8&hl=en&ei=9EXwSZjmEqHOMd2gnKkP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#PPA106,M1

Misra, T (2004), Health promotion, Retrieved April 22, 2009, from

Pattron, D. D (2009), Health Promotion Models: Benefits and Implications for Health and Wellness, Retrieved April 22, 2009, from http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=1125628

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