Antonovsky`s SOC scale and the relation with health: A systematic review

Folkhälsan Research Centre, Health Promotion Programme, PO Box 63, FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland.
Journal of Epidemiology &amp Community Health (Impact Factor: 3.5). 06/2006; 60(5):376-81. DOI: 10.1136/jech.2005.041616
Source: PubMed


The aim of this paper is to synthesise empirical findings on the salutogenic concept sense of coherence (SOC) and examine its capacity to explain health and its dimensions.
The study is descriptive and analytical with a systematic integration of the contemporary knowledge base on the salutogenic research published 1992-2003. The review includes 458 scientific publications and 13 doctoral theses.
Worldwide, based on postgraduate scientific publications in eight authorised databases, doctoral theses, and available books.
SOC is strongly related to perceived health, especially mental health. The stronger the SOC the better the perceived health in general, at least for those with an initial high SOC. This relation is manifested in study populations regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, nationality, and study design. SOC seems to have a main, moderating or mediating role in the explanation of health. Furthermore, the SOC seems to be able to predict health. SOC is an important contributor for the development and maintenance of people's health but does not alone explain the overall health.
SOC seems to be a health promoting resource, which strengthens resilience and develops a positive subjective state of health. Salutogenesis is a valuable approach for health promotion and would be worth to implement in practice much more than to date.

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Available from: Bengt Lindström, Jul 16, 2014
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    • "As SoC refers to a global, enduring, and dynamic feeling of confidence in one's ability to manage, predict, and control their environment (Antonovsky, 1987), pregnancy might present as a potential disruption in one's overall sense and way of coping. In a systematic review on the relationship between SoC and health, which included over 450 studies worldwide, Eriksson and Lindström (2006) concluded that the stronger the SoC the better the perceived health of an individual across study populations, age, sex, ethnicity, etc., evidencing that SoC has a main, moderating or mediating role in the development and maintenance of physical health, particularly at stressful times. Additionally, a longitudinal study that explored the stability of SoC over a 5-year period in healthy individuals found that a loss of SoC over time was present when there was a change in perceived good health (Nilsson et al., 2003) suggesting that although SoC is a relatively stable personality construct, it is amenable to change only when a new pattern in one's life is initiated. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Maternal mental health during pregnancy has been identified as a key factor in the future physiological, emotional and social development of both the mother and her baby. Yet little is known about the factors that contribute to increased levels of pregnancy-specific distress. The present study investigated the role of two psychosocial and personality-based constructs, namely women’s sense of coherence and their mothering orientations, on their pregnancy-specific distress. Design: During their second trimester of pregnancy, 293 Australian and New Zealand women participated in an online study. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to determine the unique contribution of women’s sense of coherence (Sense of Coherence Scale, SoC 13) and their antenatal mothering orientation (Antenatal Mothering Orientation Measure-Revised, AMOM-R) to pregnancy-specific distress (Revised Prenatal Distress Questionnaire, NuPDQ). Results: Low sense of coherence was the best determinant of women’s pregnancy-specific distress, accounting for over 45% of the variance (β = -.33, p<.001, 95% CI [-.43, -.23]). A Regulator mothering orientation was correlated with distress but did not have a unique contribution in the final model. Conclusions: This study further highlights the importance of better understanding women’s perceptions of emotional health and their mothering role while taking into consideration their wider social context.
    Journal of Mental Health 09/2015; in press. · 1.40 Impact Factor
    • "At the same time, identification of positive emotions associated with occasions such as receiving good news about treatment effectiveness could help reframe disease in a less negative light (Fava & Tomba, 2009). As for efforts targeting promotion of illness coherence, research suggests working not only on disease comprehensibility , but also on disease meaningfulness and manageability , as crucial resources in an incurable and unpredictable condition such as MS (Antonovsky, 1987; Eriksson & Lindström, 2006). Useful strategies comprise discussing the meaning of disease within a more general life perspective, understanding the gains it could bring, (e.g., in terms of tighter social relations, personal growth, or transcendental needs), and fostering beliefs in personal coping abilities. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study jointly examined illness beliefs held by persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and caregivers in relation to well-being. A group of 68 PwMS and their caregivers completed the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire, Psychological Well-being Scales, Satisfaction with Life Scale and Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule. Findings revealed that PwMS' well-being was primarily predicted by their own illness beliefs, and that also caregivers' well-being was primarily predicted by their own beliefs. Across the two groups, well-being was positively associated with their belief that they understood the disease, and inversely associated with their representations of negative emotions. In addition, among PwMS, well-being was inversely associated with the number of symptoms they specifically attributed to their illness, while among caregivers, well-being was positively associated with beliefs that treatment could control the disease. Based on the study findings, psychoeducational and cognitive-behavioral strategies are suggested to promote well-being among PwMS and caregivers.
    Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 07/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10880-015-9425-8 · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    • "It is well established in the literature that high SOC is associated with good health, particularly emotional health (Eriksson and Lindström, 2006), so it makes sense that this was also found for childbearing women. What is of particular interest is that women with high SOC are no more likely than women with low SOC to make health-promoting choices known to increase normal birth rates such as continuity of midwifery care, birth outside a tertiary setting and avoiding epidural in labour. "
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    ABSTRACT: as concern for increasing rates of caesarean section and interventions in childbirth in Western countries mounts, the utility of the risk approach (inherent in the biomedical model of maternity care) is called into question. The theory of salutogenesis offers an alternative as it focuses on the causes of health rather than the causes of illness. Sense of coherence (SOC), the cornerstone of salutogenic theory, is a predictive indicator of health. We hypothesised that there is a relationship between a woman׳s SOC and the childbirth choices she makes in pregnancy. the study aims to investigate the relationship between SOC and women׳s pregnancy and anticipated labour choices. A cross sectional survey was conducted where eligible women completed a questionnaire that provided information on SOC scores, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression (EPDS) scores, Support Behaviour Inventory (SBI) scores, pregnancy choices and demographics. 1074 pregnant women completed the study. Compared to women with low SOC, women with high SOC were older, were less likely to identify pregnancy conditions, had lower EPDS scores and higher SBI scores. SOC was not associated with women׳s pregnancy choices. this study relates SOC to physical and emotional health in pregnancy as women with high SOC were less likely to identify pregnancy conditions, had less depressive symptoms and perceived higher levels of support compared to women with low SOC. Interestingly, SOC was not associated with pregnancy choices known to increase normal birth rates. More research is required to explore the relationship between SOC and women׳s birthing outcomes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Midwifery 07/2015; 31(11). DOI:10.1016/j.midw.2015.07.012 · 1.57 Impact Factor
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