Less health finance and the competitive contract culture are leading many health services to adopt quality methods to prove and improve their quality. Health promotion programmes face similar changes, but have not made great use of modern quality management methods. In part this has been because the definitions and approaches to quality have not appeared to be relevant to health promotion. Practitioners need to consider which methods and approaches are most suited to their programmes. This paper shows that many quality ideas and methods are congruent with good practice in health promotion, and may help to implement such practices more widely as well as to develop theory and practice. There is a danger that inappropriate ways of defining, specifying and assuring quality will be imposed on programmes. Practitioners need to consider which methods and approaches are most suited to their programmes. This paper seek to stimulate debate about the need to prove and improve quality in health promotion, and about how best to do so. It considers definitions of quality, measurement, competing quality paradigms quality in contracting and concepts of process and system in the context of health promotion programmes.
- Health promotion