International Journal Of Occupational Health and Public Health Nursing

Managing Health Promotion and Prevention Activities in the Workplace: Exploring Occupational Health Nursesí Experiences

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  • Abstract

    The study aimed at exploring Occupational health nursesí (OHN) experiences in managing health promotion activities in the workplace to identify enablers and barriers to health promotion. A qualitative interpretivist-constructivist approach was employed to explore OHNsí health promotion activities in their specific work context. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 OHNs. The study used thematic analysis and an inductive approach to data analysis. The results show that OHNs use different strategies to promote health in the workplace. These strategies depend on the company context as well as the OHNsí characteristics. Multiple factors influence the role of OHNs in health promotion. In line with companiesí preferences and common nursing practice OHNs use mostly behaviour change and educational approaches. Strategies, role, and health promotion approaches shape each other without, however, being systematically analysed. OHNs with broader knowledge of business and safety related subjects fare better in managing health promotion activities. Professional training in business organisation, occupational safety, and broader health promotion approaches could empower OHNs in their interactions within the companies and allow them to strategically choose their strategies in health promotion. OHNsí scope of practice across companies and within the wider professional and political network needs to be actively marketed. 

    Keywords: Occupational health nursing, prevention, health promotion.