Exploring perceived enablers and barriers to social marketing use in public health nursing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Public health managers' perceptions of enablers and barriers to social marketing use among public health nurses were examined. Employing qualitative, action research methods, this study incorporated focus groups using nominal group process and group discussion. Eleven public health managers from large urban, small urban, and rural Canadian public health departments participated. Content analysis was conducted on the focus group transcripts, and trustworthiness was strengthened through independent review by participants and subject experts. Several enablers to social marketing use were identified in the areas of educational preparation of nurses and the nature of public health nursing practice. The majority of barriers to social marketing use related to human and financial resources at the system level. In addition, we identified as imperative that managers at those levels responsible for budgetary planning understand the principles of social marketing more fully if they are to be expected to support its use. Social marketing has the potential to positively influence the health behavior of populations. However, if public health nurses and other health-promotion professions are to incorporate this health-promotion strategy more effectively into their practice, issues related to its use must be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-112
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Marketing Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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