SUBSTANCE ABUSE FACILITY DESIGN AND SENSE OF COHERENCE
The Salutogenesis theory, which focuses on the generation and maintenance of
health, was developed in the late 1970s by the medical sociologist, Aaron
Antonovsky, supported by a model of positive coping based on comprehensibility,
manageability, and meaningfulness, conceptualized as “sense of coherence” (SoC) . SoC is considered to be an emotional and cognitive tool that helps individuals bring order into their lives by increasing their capacity to believe in their competence to accomplish goals set for their future, to structure their lives, and to face any challenges regardless of how difficult they seem (Bothmer & Fridlund, 2003).
Researches based on Antonovsky’s salutogenic theory have shown that substance abusers usually have a low sense of coherence (SoC), which can be influenced by generalised resistance resources (GRR). These resistant resources can be internal (e.g.: genetic strength, immunologic features) or external features (material or nonmaterial in nature - e.g.: living conditions, education, wealth, social life and support)(Antonovsky, 1987).
This project primarily focuses on the impact of the physical environment of substance abuse facilities on patients’ comprehensibility, the way in which the person sees the world (e.g.: spatial and perceptual cognition, nonstigmatising environment, ambiguity ); manageability, the resources available to cope with both internal and external demands (e.g.: overcrowding, private bedroom, noise reduction, provisions for basic tasks, wayfinding); and meaningfulness which is the way in which the person is motivated to think and act in challenging circumstances (e.g.: foster access to social support, access to nature, environmental richness).
The purpose of this project is to explore design factors of substance abuse facilities as resistance resources which may affect patients’ comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness, therefore increasing their sense of coherence and positive treatment outcomes.