29.4. Searching for health: Possibilities of salutogenesis in metabolic syndrome

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of medicine

Doctoral candidate: Lic Med, GP Juhani Miettola

Time and venue: 29.04.2011 at 12 noon, Mediteknia Auditorium (MET), Kuopio Campus

This mixed methods study examined the applicability of a salutogenic approach to the prevention of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) at the community level. All 760 Lapinlahti citizens of eight birth cohorts between the ages of 30 and 65 were invited to the study. Of them, 480 participated in a health survey which produced information about the prevalence of MetS and its association with lifestyles, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), mood, and health views. Consequently, 43 health survey participants were interviewed using Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence (SOC) concept as a theoretical framework. Finally, all the findings were combined to assess the need, possibilities, and strategies of welfare intervention.

According to the most recent criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III, nearly 40 % of all the health survey participants had MetS. A stronger association was found among women than among men between MetS, lifestyles, and some socioeconomic variables. MetS awareness was better among women than among men, whereas the presence of MetS did not influence awareness. MetS was associated with impaired HRQoL, irritability, work inhibition, fatigability, loss of libido, social alienation, and blame shifting.

Three potential welfare intervention strategies were identified for the prevention of MetS, of which the first is reinforcement of health understanding and valuation. The second strategy is strengthening of deficient external resistance resources, and the third one is strengthening of deficient internal resistance resources.

As devastating MetS is closely linked to lifestyle, health care providers should recognize lay health views that are based on cultural models. The salutogenic approach is a promising approach to preventing MetS through the whole life cycle. Professional or nonprofessional support can strengthen health potential, which is an inborn feature of all human beings. The support should be based on the verified need and potential of lifestyle change. Timely action by health care providers also helps mobilize the salutogenic resources of individuals and the community at large.

The doctoral dissertation of Licenciate of Medicine, General Practitioner Juhani Miettola, entitled Searching for Health: Possibilities of Salutogenesis in Metabolic Syndrome will be examined at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Bengt Lindström of Folkhälsan Research Center and the custos will be Professor Esko Kumpusalo of the University of Eastern Finland.

Photo available for download at http://www.uef.fi/vaitoskuvat  

Contact: Juhani Miettola, GSM 040-5359450, juhani.miettola@uef.fi

Publishing year: 2011

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