Dimensions of community assets for health. A systematised review and meta-synthesis

Pablo Alberto Sáinz-Ruiz, Javier Sanz-Valero*, Vicente Gea-Caballero, Pedro Melo, Tam H. Nguyen, Juan Daniel Suárez-Máximo, José Ramón Martínez-Riera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Since Aaron Antonovsky’s salutogenesis theory and Morgan and Ziglio’s health assets model were first proposed, there has been a growing concern to define the resources available to the individual and the community to maintain or improve health and well-being. The aim of the present study was to identify the dimensions that characterise community assets for health. To this end, we conducted a systematised review with a meta-synthesis and content analysis of research or projects involving asset mapping in the community. Articles that met our eligibility criteria were: (1) based on the salutogenic approach and (2) described an assets mapping process and among their results, explained what, how and why particular community assets for health had been selected. The search included primary studies in the published and grey literature which were selected from websites and electronic databases (Web of Science, MEDLINE, Scopus, EBSCOhost, Dialnet, SciELO). Of the 607 records examined by a single reviewer, 34 were included in the content analysis and 14 in the qualitative synthesis. Using an inductive process, we identified 14 dimensions with 24 categories, for which in-depth literature reviews were then carried out to define specific indicators and items. These dimensions were: utility, intention, previous use, accessibility (“circumstances– opportunity–affordability”), proximity-walkability, connectivity, intelligibility (visibility, transparency), identity (uniqueness, appropriability, attachment), design (configuration, functionality, comfort), safety (objective/subjective), diversity, the dimension of public and private, and sustainability (which includes maintenance, profitability or economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, centrality-participation and equity-inclusiveness).
Original languageEnglish
Article number5758
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Categorical analysis
  • Dimensions
  • Health assets
  • Salutogenesis


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