Health education is one strategy for implementing health promotion and disease prevention programs. Health
education provides learning experiences on health topics. Health education strategies are
tailored for their target population. Health education presents information to target populations on particular
health topics, including the health
benefits/threats they face, and provides tools to build capacity and support behavior change in an appropriate
Examples of health education activities include:
Characteristics of health education strategies include:
Participation of the target population.
Completion of a community needs assessment
to identify community capacity, resources, priorities, and needs.
Planned learning activities that increase participants' knowledge and skills.
Implementation of programs with integrated, well-planned curricula and materials that take
place in a setting convenient for participants.
Presentation of information with audiovisual and computer based supports such as slides and projectors,
videos, books, CDs, posters, pictures, websites, or software programs.
Ensuring proficiency of program staff, through training, to maintain fidelity to the program model.
Examples of Health Education Interventions
The Oral Health Outreach Program, implemented by the Eastern Shore Area
Health Education Center (AHEC), provides dental education and outreach to children.
SLV N.E.E.D. (Naloxone Education Empowerment Distribution Program),
implemented by the San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center (SLVAHEC) provided educational sessions to
providers and community stakeholders on addressing opioid abuse.
Community health workers (CHWs) may deliver health education to the target population. Examples of how CHWs
support health education interventions are available in the Community Health Workers Toolkit.
Health education is also used in care coordination to address barriers to care. A health educator is one
type of care coordinator who deliver education to individuals, families, and communities. Additional
information is available in the Rural Care Coordination
Considerations for Implementation
Health education activities should enhance the overall goal of the health promotion and disease prevention
program. Materials developed for health education programs must be culturally appropriate and tailored to the
target populations to ensure cultural competence. In rural communities, this means addressing cultural and
linguistic differences, and addressing potential barriers to
health promotion and disease prevention in rural areas.
Resources to Learn More
Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health
Presents a framework for helping health professionals to understand and address the social determinants of
Organization(s): National Academy of Sciences
Characteristics of an Effective Health
Discusses issue-specific strategies and includes curriculum and models that address various types of health
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Nutrition-Related Policy and Environmental Strategies
to Prevent Obesity in Rural Communities: A Systematic Review of the Literature, 2002-2013
A literature review was conducted to offer guidance on policy and environmental strategies for preventing
obesity in rural settings.
Author(s): Calancie, L., Leeman, J., Jilcott Pitts, S., Khan, L.K., Fleischhacker, S., Evenson, K.R., et al.
Citation: Preventing Chronic Disease, 12
The Practical Guide: Identification,
Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults
Provides an evidence-based methodology and key recommendations for educating, assessing, and treating
overweight and obese patients.
Organization(s): National Institutes of Health
Works for Health: Education Strategies
Discusses scientifically supported and evidence-based health education strategies aimed at improving health
behavior for increased health outcomes.
Organization(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation