Salutogenesis emerged as a term and a topic in the Norwegian language literature in the late 1990s. One of the first mentions of salutogenesis was, maybe surprisingly, within the field of medicine. Malterud and Hollnagel (1997) took up the concept in a paper advocating a reorientation from risk to resources for general practitioners. Soon after, Grøholt, Sommerschild, and Gjærum (1998) introduced salutogenesis in a book on coping with a focus on professionals’ meetings with children, youth, and parents. Over the years that have followed, salutogenesis has been addressed to an increasing degree, suggesting that the perspective is gaining ground in Norwegian research. The number of publications identified from 2011 to 2012 alone is higher than the entire production between 1997 and 2010.

The literature can be sorted according to at least two criteria, the first being publication format and the second being the centrality of salutogenesis in the publication. The reference list at the end of this chapter includes publications of all types, regardless of how they would be classified according these two criteria. However, for inclusion in the text part of this chapter, we restrict the focus to publications that mention the word salutogenesis more than merely in the passing, in various ways dedicating more room to salutogenic thinking. These publications mention important concepts from the salutogenic model of health, such as generalized resistance resources and the sense of coherence . Still, the centrality of salutogenesis in these publications varies. When it comes to format, research articles, books, and book chapters are of clear interest, but quality publications of other formats (reports and similar) are also included to provide the reader with a good overview. Master’s theses are not included.

The literature search was conducted using the Norwegian search engine Oria for publications in Norwegian academic libraries, CRISTIN (Current Research Information System in Norway), and NORA (Norwegian Open Research Archives) . The Nordic databases Norart, Idunn, and SveMed+, and the international databases PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science, were searched. In all these resources, the truncated term salutogen* was used, with Norwegian language as the only limitation. In the following, we give a very brief overview of the Norwegian language literature that takes a salutogenic perspective. The space limitations of this chapter makes it impossible to do justice to the material in the publications; however, our aim is to give the reader a chance to identify publications of interest that can be accessed for more thorough study.

Health Professions

A series of publications have argued for the salutogenic perspective within various health-related professions . Within the medical profession, Malterud has been a leading figure in advocating for the perspective in general practice (Malterud, 2001; Malterud & Hollnagel, 1997; Walseth & Malterud, 2004), whereas Tellnes (2007, 2008) discusses the salutogenic perspective in relation to social medicine and public healt h.

Within the nursing profession, an edited book from 2012 includes two chapters which are relevant in this context. Gammersvik (2012) includes the perspective in a chapter on health promotion in nursing, whereas Larsen (2012) takes a salutogenic perspective in a chapter on the health concept in health promotion. In journal articles, Langeland (2012a) explores the role of salutogenesis in nursing, and Haddeland and Söderhamn (2013) focus on the experiences of nursing students. In 2014, a new book on health promotion in municipality health services was launched (Haugan & Rannestad, 2014) with a number of chapters where salutogenesis is the main theoretical departure point.

Other professional perspectives within the health-related fields are presented in Simensen (2013) writing about environmental therapy , whereas Johannesen and colleagues focus on advisory work mostly related to children and adolescents (Johannessen, Kokkersvold, & Vedeler, 2010).

Patient Groups

Salutogenic literature related to particular patient groups has mostly been focused around mental health, much through the work of Langeland (2000) and Langeland & Vårdal (2014). Gonzalez (2013) writes about the use of gardening for individuals with clinical depression, whereas Varre, Slettebö, and Ruland (2011) describe coping as experienced by cancer patients. Heggdal (2008) focuses on patients, generally, seeing the patient as the expert of own health-promoting processes through ‘the creation of body knowledge’ (kroppskunnskaping).

Occupational Healt h

One part of the Norwegian language literature focus on salutogenic work life, with a particular focus on job presence as opposed to job absenteeism. With an empirical approach using qualitative methods, one paper explores the role of sense of coherence in relation to job presence for employees with musculoskeletal health complaints (Geving, Torp, Hagen, & Vinje, 2011), whereas Vinje and Ausland (2013) focus on the health-promoting effects of salutogenic presence at work. Vinje and Ausland also present this topic in four web-based publications focusing on seniors in work life (Ausland & Vinje, 2012a, 2012b; Vinje & Ausland, 2012a, 2012b).

Population Groups

A few population groups have received particular attention. Flatval and Malterud (2009) and Bjørkman (2012) write about health-promoting experiences and coping strategies of lesbians. Øien et al. (2009) write about coping and health-related quality of life among adolescents in senior high school. Also, the elderly receive some focus: Narum and Bergland (2009) write about quality of life and experiences of flow as described by elderly ladies, whereas Jaastad (2011) writes about the salutogenic impact of culture for the elderly. Højdahl (2013) focuses on criminal ward, describing a therapeutic conversation approach to coping and behavior change.

Other Topic Areas

Self-help and self-help groups are the focus in Hedlund and Landstad (2011), relating the topic to health policies, empowerment, and positive health. As previously mentioned, Langeland (2000, 2011) includes a focus on salutogenic groups in mental health care. Moving from disempowerment to empowerment related to reporting of sexual abuse is the focus of a doctoral dissertation (Vea, 2012), whereas project organization related to children is the focus of Midkiff (2012). Reports from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology promote best practice in public health in municipalities in Trøndelag county with foci on alcohol abuse (Lillefjell, Oldervoll, Jakobsen, Thoen, & Krokstad, 2011) and health and quality of life (Lillefjell, Maass, & Espnes, 2013). Sletteland and Donovan (2012) focus on salutogenesis in relation to health-promoting local communities. Just before the end of the editing of this book, a Norwegian version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to Salutogenesis was published (Erikssson & Lindström, 2015).

Final Comments

Which approach does the literature mainly take? Only a limited number of papers take an empirical quantitative approach measuring the sense of coherence (e.g., Gonzalez, 2013; Langeland, 2009; Lillefjell et al., 2013; Øien et al., 2009). More publications take a qualitative empirical approach (e.g., Flatval & Malterud, 2009; Geving et al., 2011; Hedlund & Landstad, 2011; Højdahl, 2013; Narum & Bergland, 2009; Varre et al., 2011; Vinje & Ausland, 2013). However, the overwhelming majority of the papers seem to apply salutogenesis in a conceptual way, laying out the salutogenic model and relating it to various professions and activities as a theoretical perspective.