Voices of Health

Voices of HealthBackground
The word "health" is broad and its meaning varies across different cultures and communities. Master of Public Health (MPH) students and the Penn Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI) sought to capture what “health” means to members of the larger Penn Community.

Purpose
To explore and document the meaning of health among students, staff/faculty, and people who live around Penn’s campus.

Approach
During the fall 2014 semester, CPHI conducted modified freelisting interviews with over 300 members of the Penn Community at 15 different locations. Freelisting is a qualitative methodology in which individuals list terms that come to mind to describe a topic or issue. The frequency and order of these terms is used to calculate the saliency of the term (Borgatti, 1998). Conceptually, freelisting is based on the idea that those with shared experiences (e.g., being a student at Penn) or shared cultural values will have a common understanding of a particular domain (e.g., health). We asked 163 Penn students, 70 members of Penn’s staff and faculty, and 75 community residents one question What comes to mind when you think about “health”? Then we used a software program called Anthropac 4.98 to analyze their responses and identify common and uniquely salient terms.

Here is what we learned.

What comes to mind when you think about "health"?

Voices of Heath venn diagram

For more information, please contact Sara Solomon