Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
GIL NEBOT, Mª Ángeles; ESTRADA BALLESTEROS, Carmen; PIRES ALCALDE, Mª Luisa and AGUIRRE MARTIN-GIL, Ramón. Qualitative research and health promotion in the community of Madrid, Spain . Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2002, vol.76, n.5, pp.451-459. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272002000500007.
This article provides an account of the qualitative research experiment conducted by the Public Health Administration of the Autonomous Community of Madrid from 1991 to date. This research was divided into two working areas, that is, the "Sociocultural Health Information System" and the "Research Program". The former analyses what health means for the inhabitants of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, the factors involved therein, the value they place thereon and its relative importance among all of their interests as a whole. The latter researches specific aspects of the health/illness processes identified by the experts in the development of Public Health programs. People envisage health in their own way and have their own health-related cultural models, not always the same as those put forward by the health care system, which have a determining bearing on their actions. The mere verification of social facts has revealed itself to be insufficient as regards understanding and helping to transform human behavior, questions of ideology and emotion take on major importance in this regard. Structural research, through the use of qualitative methods, affords us the possibility of gaining knowledge of these matters, setting the course of Health Education and Health Promotion measures. The aim is to feed back the information generated to the different sectors of the population involved, to institutions and professionals in the health care, social and educational fields, as well as to organizations related to Health Promotion, with the aim of generating changes in the institutions and developments in thinking of society at large.
Keywords : Health education; Health promotion; Qualitative research; Public Health.