Adopting a proactive approach to good health: A way forward for rural Australians

Mary Joy Cayetano-Penman, Bronwyn Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Minimising discrepancies between Australia's rural and the more favourable urban health status relates to more than workforce recruitment, retention and access to health services: A proactive strategy, using resources at hand, can empower people to improve their health. Academics from a nurse education unit have, therefore, regularly engaged with local communities in various activities to promote and maintain health. Participants range from children to older adults. The impact of these programs is examined is examined in this paper, reviewing the benefits to participants, contribution to students' learning, and development of university-community relationships. Participants' perceptions of the educational sessions and health-promoting activities were gathered using surveys and anecdotal accounts. Using Mezirow's reflective framework and Prochaska et al. stages of change, the authors critically reflected on the learning involved, and on the real and potential health outcomes of the activities. Participants' feedback on a range of such activities revealed consistently high satisfaction over the past decade. These health initiatives have challenged some of the existing health habits of participants' culture. Continuing these endeavours in close collaboration with communities contributes to developing participants' self-efficacy and building community capacity through increased knowledge of health management and links to health resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalRural Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Community engagement
  • Content
  • Empowerment
  • Health promotion
  • Proactive health approaches
  • Process and premise reflection
  • Self-efficacy

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