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Salutogenic nursing home care: Antonovsky's salutogenic health theory as a guide to wellbeing.

The nursing home (NH) population is characterized by a high symptom burden resulting from chronic illnesses and functional impairments that cannot be cured. Most long-term NH residents are in the last phase of life and in need of palliative care. Hence, health and wellbeing are important aims of salutogenic NH care, which includes more than the treatment of residents' diseases and symptoms. Research shows that cognitively intact long-term NH residents with a high score on sense of coherence (SOC) experience better wellbeing. Therefore, NH care should be developed in a salutogenic direction, promoting residents' health and wellbeing by identifying general and specific resistant resources and facilitating residents' perceived SOC. Based on Antonovsky's salutogenic health theory and focusing on SOC comprising comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness along with resistance resources, this article discusses how nurses can apply salutogenic knowledge as a guide to promote wellbeing among long-term NH residents.

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