ABSTRACT: Antonovsky's concept of ''sense of coherence'' (SOC) has been shown to be related to health. The aim of this study was to describe the distribution of SOC scores and their components in an adult Swedish population aged 20-80 years.
A random sample of 910 individuals from Jönköping, Sweden, aged 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 years, of which 589 agreed to participate in an oral health examination. The participants answered Antonovsky's 13-item version of ''the life orientation questionnaire scale''. The response to the items and the distribution of the three components of comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness were analyzed for different age groups and genders using mean values and standard deviations, Student's t-test and ANOVA.
A total of 526 individuals, 263 men and 263 women, answered all 13 questions and constituted the final material for the study (response rate 89%). The individual SOC score increased with age. The 20 year olds had a statistically significantly lower SOC score compared with the other age groups and 55% of them had a low SOC (< or = 66 points) compared with 17% of the 80 year olds. Men in the 60 and 70 year age groups had a statistically significantly higher SOC score compared with women of the same age.
The individual distribution of SOC varied with age and gender. Twenty year olds had a significantly lower SOC score compared with elderly age groups. Elderly men had a statistically significantly higher SOC score compared with women of the same age.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 10/2009; 38(1):1-8. · 1.39 Impact Factor