The Nordic Health Promotion Research Network (NHPRN)


Since the first Conference on Health Promotion in Ottawa, 1986, the Nordic countries have been at the forefront in developing health promotion (HP) in theory, research, policy and practice. During the years  1996-2006 an informal network of Nordic researchers organized five Nordic HP research conferences.

In 2007 the current Nordic Health Promotion Research Network (NHPRN) was established at the Nordic School of Public Health (NHV). It was then decided that NHPRN would take over the responsibility for the forthcoming conferences. When NHV closed in 2014 the network was supported with facilities at the WHO regional office in Copenhagen. The responsibility for running the network and the conferences is shared between the Nordic countries. For the moment Denmark has the main responsibility for the meetings, 2021-2022, and Sweden for the conference 2022.


The aims of the NHPRN are to develop: the theoretical understanding of HP; Nordic research cooperation; and to organize the Nordic Health Promotion Research Conferences.


The network members constitute a balanced representation of the Nordic countries and is interdisciplinary with junior and senior researchers. It organizes biannual meetings at WHO’s premises in Copenhagen. The network is organized in working groups engaged in topics central for HP research and practice. Current working groups are conferences, empowerment, equity in health, health literacy, healthy ageing, PhD review of Nordic theses, theories in health promotion, website and workplace health promotion, . Working groups are not static and may change depending on the interests of the network members.

Mode of working

In the biannual meetings, lectures on state-of-the art issues are given by leading researchers and policy makers. Participants engage in theoretical discussions in plenum and working groups. The working groups perform research. Collaboration finds place at the meetings and through e-mail correspondence and web meetings. The working groups take part in the planning of conferences and organize workshops in line with their research interests.


The network has published the book “Health literacy: teori och praktik i hälsofrämjande arbete” (Ringsberg KC Olander E, Tillgren P. 2020). Three supplements have been published from three conferences in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health (2010, 2014 and 2018), a fourth in Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift (2020) and in addition a number of articles in scientific journals. The network has so far organized  nine scientific conferences: The 10th is planned to be implemented in Sweden, 2022.


The network is open for HP researchers and PhD students in the Nordic countries. The NHPRN is a working network and it is therefore desireable that all participants commit themselves to the work of the network and participate in its meetings. Researchers interested in participating in the network can obtain further information by contacting the network chairman currently: Leena Eklund (leklund@health.sdu.dk).

Articles providing more information about the network

Further readings: Ringsberg KC., The Nordic Health Promotion Research Network, Scand J Publ Health 2015;43(Suppl 16):51-56 or Haglund BJA & Tillgren P. Milestones in Nordic Health Promotion research Scand J Public Health, 2018; 46(Suppl 20): 7–19.

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