The Application of Salutogenesis in Hospitals

In: The Handbook of Salutogenesis [Internet]. Cham (CH): Springer; 2017. Chapter 27.


We relate Antonovsky’s concepts of salutogenesis (Antonovsky, 1979; 1993) to the hospital setting. We argue that salutogenesis is particularly challenging to this setting—and vice versa. However, we also demonstrate that salutogenesis, if understood as one dimension of hospital quality, could considerably contribute to the health gains of both patients and staff (and to a certain degree also to the health gains of people in a hospital’s neighborhood and catchment area). Drawing on a comprehensive literature search, we contrast our theoretical considerations with available research to assess which aspects of salutogenesis in relation to hospitals the scientific literature already covers. We also consider the application of salutogenesis in Health-Promoting Hospitals, one of the WHO-initiated setting-oriented health promotion networks. We conclude by outlining needs for further research.

Publication types

  • Review