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Salutogenic Architecture in Healthcare Settings.


The Handbook of Salutogenesis [Internet]. Cham (CH): Springer; 2017. Chapter 26.
2016 Sep 03.

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Department of Health Promotion and Development, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Martin Springer Center for Conflict Studies and Department of Education, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel
Department of Health Sciences, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden
Division of Public and Organizational Health, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
WHO-CC Health Promotion in Hospitals and Health Care, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Health Promotion Research, Vienna, Austria
NTNU Center for Health Promotion and Resources, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
NTNU Center for Health Promotion Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Psychological Design, 1 Glenview St, Sydney, NSW, 2021, Australia


The term ‘salutogenic’ is widely used in healthcare architecture, even though very few healthcare architects have much of a handle on what the term means. Here, we clarify the key concepts of salutogenesis, demonstrate how they work and show how they have been designed into healthcare facilities to yield exemplary results. The central idea is that there are three resources that combine to provide a Sense of Coherence—a forward thrust that resists the entropic forces of illness and infirmity. The sense of coherence is made up of resources that improve manageability—the capacity to maintain homeostasis and physical function; resources that improve comprehensibility—an ability to negotiate circumstances in order to maximise their benefit; and resources that enrich a sense of meaningfulness—the desires, causes and concerns that give us the need to resist illness in the first place.

Copyright 2017, The Author(s).

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