Background: Health promotion (HP) at the population level serves to improve health inequalities, enhance the quality of life, and ensures the provision of healthcare and related services. This has an impact on the increasing burden of preventable diseases that healthcare workers are daily faced with. Nurses at all levels are charged with the task of ensuring patients receive HP services. However, their competence in addressing the challenge of the rising level of preventable diseases and health inequality deserves further exploration. This study aimed to assess the influence of HP knowledge and perceptions in nurses in the practice of Health Promotion.
Methodology: The study was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire comprising of 22 structured questions. Respondents were randomly sampled from nurses in a tertiary hospital. Questions bordered on respondents’ demographics, knowledge, perception, and practice of HP. Responses were retrieved and analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 26.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp, 2019.
Results: A total of 184 nurses participated in the survey comprising 82.6% (n=152) females, 7.6% (n=14) males, and 9.8% (n=18) that chose not to disclose their gender. Bivariate analysis showed a statistically significant relationship between demographics and nurses possessing adequate knowledge to provide HP services. Statistically significant relationships were found amongst the following variables: ‘A holistic knowledge of disease pathology and processes are vital for effective care of patients’ and ‘education of patients on medication’ p=0.001, ‘awareness of importance of educating patients about their condition’and ‘patients encouraged to engage in healthy lifestyle’ p=<0.001, and ‘awareness of importance of educating patients about their condition and ‘health promotion is a waste of time’ p=<0.001.
Conclusion: Data showed that nurses’ knowledge regarding HP had a strong influence on their perception of HP. Their perception of HP in turn strongly influenced their practice of the same. Therefore, rigorous efforts must be made by governmental agencies, and organizations involved in healthcare worker training and nursing accreditation, to ensure the HP curriculum is well incorporated in nursing undergraduate training and sustained in service.