Using Hodges’ Health Career Model as a Framework for Quality Across the Life Cycle

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Across all the settings and disciplines of Nursing and Midwifery, professional care intends to achieve High Quality. In practice this can mean fewer negative outcomes, less complaints, fewer errors, less critical incidents. But health care is a positive endeavour and positive aspects are needed. The problem to be addressed is a lack of a workable generic conceptual framework to enable care work in different settings by different professionals to be explored and enhanced. This can be traced back to a theory-practice gap: there is a gap between the theory of quality and the practice of good universal care. Hodges’ Health Career Model (Doyle & Jones, 2013) provides a way to reflect upon the situation in a way that addresses the theory-practice gap. The model was created and developed in the North West of England 40 years ago by Brian E. Hodges. It is still relevant today. 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 that present the major underpinning components: (1) scientific care, (2) interpersonal care, (3) social care and (4) political care. It is possible to cross the theory-practice gap by using Hodges’ Health Career Model to scope out a situation fully and evaluate the positive aspects of care; as a researcher it is used to follow a knowledge development pathway and make a map to help visualise what is otherwise a very complex world. Starting with a complex question of health, the model helps to develop ideas for quality improvement: 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. 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 practice and it closes up the theory-practice gap.
Doyle, M., & Jones, P. (2013). Hodges' health career model and its role and potential application in forensic mental health nursing. Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing, 20(7), 631-640.
doi: 10.111/j.1365-2850.2012.01961.x.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 25 Nov 2022
Event2022 International Healthcare Conference: Quality in Health Care Across the lifespan - Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China
Duration: 25 Nov 202225 Nov 2022


Conference2022 International Healthcare Conference
Country/TerritoryTaiwan, Republic of China

Bibliographical note

Keynote 4 plenary


  • Health
  • Theory of health


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