Head, hands and heart: asset-based approaches in health care: a review of the conceptual evidence and case studies of asset-based approaches in health, care and wellbeing

Document type
Literature review
Hopkins, Trevor; Rippon, Simon
Health Foundation
Date of publication
1 April 2015
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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Asset-based practitioners have a different perspective to most other health and care professionals. Fundamentally, they ask the question ‘what makes us healthy?’ rather than ‘what makes us ill?’ The aim of asset-based practice is to promote and strengthen the factors that support good health and wellbeing, protect against poor health and foster communities and networks that sustain health. Practitioners’ vision is to improve people’s life chances by focusing on what improves their health and wellbeing and reduces preventable health inequities.

This report summarises the theory and evidence behind asset-based approaches in health care and wellbeing and gives details of six case studies, describing these approaches in action. The report sets out some of the opportunities and challenges in adopting asset-based approaches for improving health and wellbeing. It explores some of the key principles for developing health assets and the evidence and mechanisms of impact on health outcomes of asset-based projects in the UK. The report also identifies areas for further investigation