Conceptualizing health promotion in relation to outpatient healthcare building design: a Scoping review
Review article, 2019

Objective: This review explored different conceptualizations of health promotion in the context of, and in relation to, outpatient building design.

Background: Today’s healthcare organizations are implementing holistic healthcare approaches such as health promotion, while simultaneously increasing their outpatient services. These health promotion approaches, focused on empowering people to take control of their health, are expected to have implications for the outpatient healthcare building design. Yet, there is limited knowledge on what these may be. A review of the literature on the current state of the art is thus needed to enable and support dialog on future healthcare building design.

Method: A scoping review of 4506 papers, collected from 4 databases and 3 scientific journals in 2015, resulted in 15 papers relating health promotion to building design and outpatient healthcare. From the subsequent content analysis multiple common themes and subthemes emerged.

Results: The review reveals diverse range of health promotion interpretations, three health promotion perspectives (health behavior, health equity and sense of coherence), associated design approaches, design objectives, health-related outcomes, building features and solutions.

Conclusions: While diverse health promotion perspectives might merely represent variations in focus, these differences become problematic when relating to building design. To support further dialogs on development of health promotion in, and in relation to, the built environment, there is a need to strengthen the health promotion vocabulary. Further research is needed to compare different design approaches, and how these can be combined to minimize contradicting implications for building design.

health promotion


building design

design approaches

health equity

health behaviour

outpatient centers

healthcare facilities


Elke Miedema

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

Göran Lindahl

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Construction Management

Marie Elf

Dalarna university

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design


1937-5867 (ISSN) 21675112 (eISSN)

Vol. 12 1 69-86

Integrative Ways of Residing: Health and Quality of Residence Architectural Inventions for Dwelling, Ageing and Healthcaring AIDAH

Formas (244-2013-1835), 2013-11-12 -- 2019-12-31.

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories


Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology



More information

Latest update

1/7/2020 2