Health promotion in specialist and community care: how a broadly applicable health promotion intervention influences patient's sense of coherence

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Chronic illness health interventions aim to strengthen individuals' wellness resources, in addition to their ability to handle their condition. This presupposes a partnership between patients and professionals and flexibility in care organization.


This study aims to investigate possible changes in individuals' sense of coherence while living with long-term illness as they engage in a broadly applicable health promotion intervention developed in specialist care settings that was later implemented in the community care context.


This study had a pre–postdesign. Sense of coherence was measured using the SOC-29 questionnaire at baseline and within 14 days of programme completion. The total baseline sample included 108 Norwegian adults (aged 21–89) with chronic illness. Data were analysed using paired samples t-tests.


In both clinical sites, the total sample's mean SOC score changed positively from the baseline to the follow-up 4 months later. This change was larger for the participants in the community care context. Manageability increased significantly for women. Significant positive changes in SOC score and the manageability dimension were also identified among participants who had children. Similar findings were found for those who were living with a partner, as well as for public transfer payment recipients.


The intervention contributed to a positive change in participants' SOC while living with illness. The findings revealed that the intervention is a flexible health promotion tool across age, diagnostic categories and clinical sites. The community participants' SOC changed the most, which indicates that the intervention is especially relevant in the follow-up of persons living with long-term illness within the community. The intervention contributes to a shift of perspectives in health care towards strenght-based care and health within illness.

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