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Reading: Positive Health in the Northern Maas Valley


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Positive Health in the Northern Maas Valley


Hans Peter Jung ,

Syntein, NL
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Sil Liebrand,

Syntein, NL
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Lee Ann Weeks

Syntein, NL
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Background: The Network for Positive Health Northern Maas Valley was initiated in 2013 by the integrated care group Syntein in collaboration with Machteld Huber. The Network strives to improve and maintain the health of individuals in the region. This has been done with the development and implementation of innovative support tools and care initiatives based upon the concept of “positive health.”  This new conceptualization of health was introduced by Machteld Huber in the British Medical Journal in 2011; entails taking a broad view on health; and no longer considers health a static condition but, rather, the dynamic ability to adapt and manage one's own well-being.

Over the past 5 years, the Network Positive Health has expanded greatly. Over 30 organizations are now involved. These include various social welfare organizations, tertiary care organizations, general practinioners, hospitals, institutes for mental health, communities, patients and health insurance organizations. The Network aims to establish a region in which all citizens, professionals and organizations live, think and work according to the concept of positive health and it hopes to achieve this aim by 2020.

Several tools and techniques to promote positive health have been developed since 2013. For example, a  GP in Afferden uses the concept of positive health and attention to the patient’s ability to cope, adapt and self-manage during his consultations with patients. Positive health currently provides the foundation for the health policies of several health and welfare organizations. And positive health provides an important basis for healthy aging initiatives. Finding partners, connecting with these partners, experimenting with initiatives and learning from experiences are key words for all those participating in the Network. 

Workshop aims and objectives: The aim of the workshop is to introduce the concept of positive health and illustrate a number of the relevant methods and tools that we have developed. Three examples from the work of the GP Hans Peter Jung, who recently won the 2017 Dutch Compassion Award, will be presented in detail. Participants will be given concrete experience with the Positive Health Conversation tool, for example, which has helped reduce hospital referrals by 25% and lab tests by 25%.

Workshop format: After the introduction of the presenters and participants, a brief overview of the defintion of positive health, the background to this defintion and just what positive health intiatives require will be given. A number of positive health intiatives and results from the GP practice will be reveiwed. Thereafter, participants will complete the conversation tool developed in this general practice to experience a positive health initiative first hand. To close, participants will be invited to reflect on what they have learned and raise any questions that they may have.

Target audience: Health care professionals, researchers, clients and policy makers.

Learnings/take away: Participants will be inspired by exposure to practical examples of positive health approaches and methods. They will be equipped with a number of tools, techniques and tips to later take a first step towards the operationalization of positive health initiatives in their own lives and work. 

Keywords: positive health
How to Cite: Jung HP, Liebrand S, Weeks LA. Positive Health in the Northern Maas Valley. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2018;18(s2):181. DOI:
Published on 23 Oct 2018.


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