A reflection on Hodges' Health Career Model for integration of health innovation

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


a. Background
Professional healthcare intends to achieve High Quality. In practice this can mean fewer negative outcomes, less complaints, fewer errors, less critical incidents. A more complete approach is needed including positive aspects.
b. Aim and objective/s
We aim to address the lack of a workable generic conceptual framework to enable quality in all settings by different professionals. This is traced to a theory-practice gap: between the theory of quality and the practice of good universal care. Hodges’ Health Career Model provides a way to reflect upon the situation in a way that addresses this gap.
c. Description of innovation
The model is comprised of a window created by two axes on a plane that represent the whole of healthcare, so it is a holistic model with four quadrants, like a Johari window. It presents four major underpinning components: (1) scientific care, (2) interpersonal care, (3) social care and (4) political care. As a theoretical innovation, ethical approval was not sought.
d. Implementation of innovation
We crossed the theory-practice gap by using Hodges’ Health Career Model to scope out a situation fully and evaluate the positive aspects of care; thus, it is used to follow a knowledge development pathway and provide a map to navigate the complexity of healthcare. Starting with any question of health, the model helps to develop ideas for innovation: to identify the strengths and ensure the care is complete and comprehensive. The health career travels across the lifespan and is influenced by many personal factors of the patient, their family, their community. These are driven by aspects that are physical, psychological, social or cultural, and aspects that are dependent on organisational or government policy.
e. Conclusion and impact
These four essential forces help us to achieve quality healthcare. The model can inform curriculum development, ensure holistic care, provide a convenient way to reflect on innovation in practice and close the theory-practice gap.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Mar 2023
EventTrinity Health and Education International Research Conference 2023: Back to normal or forward to better? New horizons in healthcare - TCD The University of Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 7 Mar 20239 Mar 2023


ConferenceTrinity Health and Education International Research Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleTHEconf2023
Internet address

Bibliographical note

George Kernohan is a Professor of Health Research at Ulster University. He leads research projects to make things better for people in need of support across the life course: from safe birth, through health promotion and health technology to help people with long-term conditions. He has developed a new model for knowledge transfer: a critical step in getting research into practice. He is currently working with global partners to understand how birth can be made safer in vulnerable settings, through education and sharing coping strategies.


  • Theory of health


Dive into the research topics of 'A reflection on Hodges' Health Career Model for integration of health innovation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this