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Salutogenesis and the Promotion of Positive Mental Health in Older People

Billings, Jenny R., Hashem, Ferhana (2010) Salutogenesis and the Promotion of Positive Mental Health in Older People. European Commission, 16 pp. (KAR id:33215)


Creating positive health, or salutogenesis, and developing ways to use this concept in health care has grown

steadily over the past two decade, as can be seen from discussions about how health is maintained and how

health care is delivered. A salutogenic approach provides a particular perspective to the way health is viewed,

which is centred on the discovery and use of personal resources, either inside a person or in the environment,

that maintain a healthy status. This is opposed to the traditional view of health care, which focuses on the search

for the causes of disease. In particular, theories about salutogenesis aim to explain why some people fall ill under

stressful conditions and others do not.

The purpose of this briefing paper is to give an initial overview of the potential and usefulness of the salutogenic

approach in promoting mental health in older people. Following a brief synopsis of salutogenesis and its associated

concepts, the paper will provide a picture of how it has been used to improve our understanding of older people’s

health and welfare, and give an indication of how a salutogenic approach has been used in practice to promote

mental health. With a focus on professionals, a further section will describe how salutogenic frameworks have

been used to improve professional care.

This review is based on a literature search performed in March 2010. A search was made on PubMed and the

University of Kent Academic Search.Complete. The latter contains full text and abstracts for over 9,000 journals

from disciplines such as health, social sciences, psychology, humanities, general science, education and multiculture.

In addition, it cross references with ScienceDirect, Ingenta, Medline and Cinahl. Identified reports were

included in this review based on relevance for European mental health policy and scientific quality.

While there were many publications about the theory of salutogenesis and its concepts, there was very little

evidence of the use of salutogenic principles in practice, however some broad treatment principles are suggested.

The paper will conclude with some commentary and provide recommendations for practice and research, indicating

where further work is needed.

Item Type: Research report (external)
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental health
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC952 Geriatrics
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Jennifer Billings
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2013 16:55 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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