Table 4

Defining global health with grounded theory analysis—table of themes, code categories and quotes from text

Key emergent
Quotes from literature
Global health is a multiplex approach to worldwide health improvement and a form of expertise taught and pursued through research institutionsResearch, healthcare, education multi-
(disciplinary, cultural, sectoral, national)
‘Global health remains a diffuse and highly diverse arena of scholarship and practice’56
‘Because global health is composed of, and relies on, multiple disciplines and sectors of society—which work from different languages, values, motivations and perspectives—it is important that at the very least there be a clear communication of what each actor is referring to when they use the term global health’23
‘The term Global Health has become increasingly used over the last decade; while some debate remains about its meaning and how it has emerged, there is a growing consensus that it applies to the health needs of all the people on the planet and the socioeconomic frameworks that influence these’37
Global health is an ethical initiative that is guided by justice principlesValues of equity and social justice‘The goal of global health is to improve health and achieve equity in health for all people worldwide’77
‘These (global health principles) can be summarized as health for all people, through health by all actors, and health in all policies’86
‘More today than ever, global health is in need of a renewed ethic, the ethic of universal rights, so that every human being may have an opportunity to achieve his or her full potential’66
Global health is a mode of governance that yields influence through political decision-making, problem identification, the allocation and exchange of resources across bordersPower and politics, identifying problem and solutions, transcends national borders, globalisation, and international interdependence‘At the bottom line: “global health”, research, education and practice are nested in a highly “politicised” environment, locally as well as supraterritorially. All areas accommodate their own, but interdependent political economy’22
‘A strong internal frame unifies the policy community through an agreed-upon definition and cause of the problem as well consensus on the preferred solutions’29
‘Unprecedented growth in international travel, global trade and investment and an increased flow of information and technology are having a pervasive impact on the determinants of health, the spread of disease and the functioning of health systems. As a consequence, it is increasingly recognised that many determinants of health transcend national boundaries and the term “global health” is increasingly used to describe this phenomenon’95
Global health is a vague yet versatile concept with historical antecedents and an emergent futureDis/similar to PH, IH and TM; literally defined as ‘vague’ and/or in need of further definition‘The term global health is relatively new and overlaps with the preexisting fields of international health, public health, and tropical medicine’57
‘There are multiple expressions of global health in the international literature, and it is useful to review selected examples, because they call attention to diverse dimensions of global health.’64
‘There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about global health without rooting the term itself to a common definition. Countless books and journal articles have been written and university programs have been designed around global health without a definition of the term. There are numerous examples of work being done in this field without a clear definition in place. Indeed, it is often not clear how people and organizations engaged in global health are using the term’23
  • IH, international health; PH, public health; TM, tropical medicine.