Previous and Future Health Promotion Research conferences

In 1995 the planning of the Nordic Health Promotion Research Conference series started out on the initiative of two Nordic WHO Collaborative Centres, one being the Research Centre for Health Promotion at the University of Bergen in Norway, and the other being the WHO Collaborating Center on Supportive Environments for Health at the Department of Public Health Sciences , Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. A more extensive review of the conferences is published in

Haglund BJA, Tillgren P. Milestones in Nordic health promotion research.Scand J of Public Health 2018; 46(Suppl 20): 7-19. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1403494817744930 and in

Haglund, BJA, Fosse, E. Nordiska konferenser i hälsofrämjande forskning. Rapport från den 7th Nordic Health Promotion Conference (NHPRC), Vestfold University College 17-19 June, 2013. Smt Socialmedicinsk tidskrift 2013; 90: 630-5.

From the outset the aim for the conferences was to provide an opportunity to summarize and review health promotion research throughout the Nordic region within the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter: build healthy public policy; create supportive environments; strengthen community action; develop personal skills; and to reorient health services. The Nordic Health Promotion Research Conference series has served, and will continue to serve, several purposes. It is an important Nordic meeting place stimulating health promotion research, yet also explicitly related to ongoing concerns in the international health promotion community. It has been highly responsive to whatever challenges are particularly relevant at different points in time, yet also contributing to developing health promotion as a discipline as every conference has built on the previous ones.

The 10th conference is currently planned to be i Luleå, Sweden in June 2022.

Earlier Conferences

Here Scientific programs, Keynote speakers and Abstracts are collected from the nine conferences 1996 – 2019.

The 9th conference took Place in Roskilde, Denmark 12-14 of June, 2019 . The theme for this confrence was: “Health: Societal responsibility or individual obligation? Addressing sustainable health promotion in theory and practice”. The conference highlighted the latest empirical and theoretical research dealing with important dilemmas of developments, primarily in the Nordic welfare states, but also in countries with different welfare structures. A selection of the papers presented are included in a special issue of Smt Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift 2020;97(3):364-372. Background material 9th conference.

The 8th conference was implemented in Jyväskylä,  Finland 20-22 of June, 2016 . The theme for this conference  was: “20 Years of Health Promotion Research in the Nordic Countries: health, wellbeing and physical activity”.  One of the major issues during the conference was the implementation of the social determinant s of health in the local communities. The Marmot commission work was highlighted in the conference. Two workshops during the conference were on Health Literacy and on How to Create Supportive Environments for Health. A selection of the papers presented were included in a special issue of Scand J Public Health 2018;46(Suppl 20):3-122. Background  material 8th conference .

Promoting Health in Everyday Settings: Opportunities and Challenges was the theme for the  7th Nordic Health Promotion Research Conference. While this conference will highlight everyday settings, health promotion is first and foremost a vibrant meeting place between disciplines, practices and people interested in the myriad of ways health can be promoted.  The goal was to make this conference a constructive meeting place for everyone doing or otherwise interested in all walks of health promotion research. The conference took place June 17th-19th 2013, at Vestfold University College (VUC) in Norway. Background material from 7th conference .

The sixth conference, in Gothenburg, Sweden, 2009, highlighted The Role of Health Promotion in the Transition of the Nordic Welfare States. The conference had its point of departure in the fact that the world is in constant processes of ideological and political change affecting people’s health, mediated for instance through how the Nordic welfare states are challenged by globalisation and economic downturn. The conference highlighted the role of health promotion in what appears to be a major transition, e.g. privatisation of services, changes in panoramas of health and disease, and changes in practices at local and national levels. In the aftermath of the conference several of the papers presented were included in a special issue of Scandinavian journal of Public Health  (2011;39 (suppl 6)) . Background material from the 6th conference.

The fifth conference, in Esbjerg, Denmark, 2006 had as its key theme Health and Institutional Change. This conference highlighted how institutional change is necessary to further health promotion, building among other things on perspectives developed by key contributors to the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE)  which was a co-organiser of the conference. The conference also documented a steady increase in the number of Nordic contributions to the whole spectrum of health promotion research. Material from the 5th conference 2006 .

The fourth conference, in Västerås, Sweden, 2003, had Paradigm shift in health promotion research as its key theme, i.e. implications of a paradigm shift leading to less frequent use of biomedical approaches. The conference highlighted health promotion research strategies targeting different levels in society, including for instance politics and policy-making, managerial strategies and local development processes. In collaboration with University of Montréal, Canada, the conference also included the PhD-course “Reflexive Program Evaluation – the New Paradigm of Health Promotion Evaluation Research”. Material from the 4th conference 2003

The third conference, in Tampere, Finland, 2000, highlighted Outcomes In Health Promotion. This conference built on the theme from the previous conference, broadening understanding and knowledge of the different ontologies, epistemologies and methods used within health promotion, and the implications of these differences for the critically important issue of what can be determined as health promotion outcomes. This issue was very much at the forefront in health promotion worldwide at the time, and continuous to be of pivotal interest. Material from the conference can be found here: 3rd conference 2000

The second conference, in Stockholm, Sweden, 1998, followed up on this theme by highlighting Health Promotion Research Agenda for the 21st Century. In terms of research traditions two distinct community-oriented health promotion practices were identified and discussed; one predominantly biomedical and disease prevention oriented, and one predominantly critically oriented towards social and environmental conditions. Contrasting perspectives on theory, practice and research in health promotion were reflected in the themes and streams of the conference. Material from the conference can be found here: 2nd conference 1998

The key theme of the first conference in Bergen, Norway, in 1996 was Status of Nordic Health Promotion Research. In addition to establish status at the time, the conference broadened relationships between scientists from various disciplines, acknowledging health promotion as a combination of educational, organisational, economic and political actions developed in collaboration with citizens. A recurring theme was that health promotion research involves different stakeholders with more or less conflicting interests. Background material from the conference Nhprc1996 can be seen here..


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