Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Urban Vitality

Professional competence in a health promotion program in the Netherlands


Health promotion for senior citizens ('seniors') is an increasingly important factor in health and welfare policy, having important implications for occupational therapy. The health promotion program 'Healthy and Active Aging' originated in the US, has been modified and adapted to the Dutch context and has been implemented in community contexts. This study aimed to generate an in-depth understanding of the Healthy and Active Aging program and to use this knowledge to inform professional practice. A naturalistic case study methodology was followed, using document analysis, observations, interviews and a group interview as data gathering methods. Data were analyzed and interpreted using narrative analyses. In this specific case, a small group of women joined the program. During 10 sessions, the participants explored the meaning of everyday activities for their self-perceived health and well-being. The key experience reported by the participants and professionals related to the positive ambience within the group, the emotional recognition among the participants and the responsive guidance of the professionals. This case showed how the framework of the program can be modified and tailored to the wishes and needs of the participating seniors. The group facilitators chose a subtle, responsive manner to support and motivate the participants.

Reference Rijkers-de Boer, C. J. M., Heijsman, A., van Nes, F., & Abma, T. A. (2017). Professional competence in a health promotion program in the Netherlands. Health Promotion International. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dax033
Published by  Kenniscentrum Gezondheid 1 July 2017

Publication date

Jul 2017


Anke Heijsman
Fenna van Nes
Tineke A. Abma

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