- Why play an active role? A qualitative examination of lay citizens’ main motives for participation in health promotion
- Health Promotion International
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
While active participation is regarded essential in health promotion worldwide, its application proves to be challenging. Notably, participants' experiences are infrequently studied, and it is largely unknown why lay citizens would want to play an active role in promoting the health of the community they belong to. Aiming to produce practical insights to further the application of the participation principle, this qualitative study examined participants' driving motives in a diverse array of health promotion undertakings. Six projects in The Netherlands were used as case studies, including a community-project promoting mental health, peer education against harmful substance use, a health support group, health policy development, physical activity and healthy life style courses. The study involved 24 participants, who played a variety of active roles. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed verbatim and subjected to content analysis. We found four main motives driving lay citizens in their active participation in health promotion projects: ‘purposeful action’, ‘personal development’, ‘exemplary status’ and ‘service and reciprocity’. The motives reflected crucially distinct personal desires in the participation process, namely to produce tangible results, to experience advancements for oneself, to gain personal recognition as a role model and to have or maintain valued relationships. The implications of the findings are discussed for researchers and professionals in health promotion.
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