Practitioners' use of theory: examples from a workgroup.
There is a continuing discussion within the field of health education about the relationship between theory and practice. Much of this discussion, particularly that which appears in professional journals, has been developed by academicians and is prescriptive. That is, it identifies ways in which theory should be used by practitioners. The purpose of this article is to facilitate this ongoing discussion by providing descriptive information on how theory is used by a group of health educators who work for the same organization. This information is used as a springboard for discussion more generally about the nature of theory in health education. This article represents the thinking and experiences of a dozen health professionals, in reaction to the question. "How do you use theory in your practice?" The authors believe this information will be useful in helping theoreticians develop more useful theory and helping practitioners increase their understanding of the utility of good theory. The division between theory and practice in the field of health education represents a significant opportunity and challenge to the discipline if energy can be redirected from criticism of the other "camp" to effective collaboration and enhanced effectiveness of health education efforts.
Published In/Presented At
Burdine JN, McLeroy KR. Practitioners' use of theory: examples from a workgroup. Health Educ Q. 1992 Fall;19(3):331-40. doi: 10.1177/109019819201900305. PMID: 1517096.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine