A Review of Faith-Based Holistic Health Models: Mapping Similarities and Differences

Keywords: faith-based, holistic health, models


This review identified and determined core aspects of holistic health models often used in faith-based global development to integrate the spiritual determinant of health into a multiple determinants framework. Understanding such models and their similarities and differences is essential when planning development opportunities. Seven holistic health models were identified for review. A similar feature among the models was the importance of understanding the impacts of a community’s worldview and beliefs on health to discussing the spiritual aspects of health and behavior change. Community engagement and cultivating relationships were two common themes motivating the models. A primary difference among the models was the direction of engagement. Some models intentionally focus on individual-level relationships and move toward larger community-level impact while others start at the community level and move toward individual-level engagement. Both approaches are helpful depending on the context, community readiness and available local leadership. Based on the review, two diagrams or maps were created to help organizations determine which models or parts of models may be applicable to their situation.

Author Biographies

Ruth Dykstra, Grand Canyon University


Jason Paltzer, Baylor University

PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Public Health


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How to Cite
Dykstra, R., & Paltzer, J. (2020). A Review of Faith-Based Holistic Health Models: Mapping Similarities and Differences. Christian Journal for Global Health, 7(2), 120-132. https://doi.org/10.15566/cjgh.v7i2.311