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 & 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
    • "For adults, test-retest reliabilities of .78 over 1 year, .59–.67 over 5 years, and .54 over 10 years have been found (Eriksson & Lindström, 2005). Whereas internal consistency estimates have mostly been satisfying, findings for stability and transitional changes of SOC scale means have been mixed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sense of coherence (SOC) and General Self-efficacy (GSE) are trait-like self-regulatory attributes, supposedly benefitting health. Previous data on their factorial validity and longitudinal stability in adolescent samples have been inconclusive. The present study examined the factor structure, measurement invariance (MI), and stability coefficients of SOC and GSE among German adolescents in a longitudinal design over the course of nine years from age 15 to age 24. Results supported the factorial validity of both scales. GSE parameters were invariant up to the level of strict invariance, whereas for SOC partial scalar and strict invariance were attainable after modifications. Here we document reliability, validity, and factor mean changes of the SOC and GSE scales from adolescence to young adulthood. Interindividual differences in SOC were moderately stable. Though this implies limited sensitivity to intraindividual developmental changes, it qualifies SOC for long-term predictions. GSE was conspicuously less stable, raising questions about its long-term criterion validity.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · European Journal of Psychological Assessment
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    • "Instead of focussing on reasons of diseases (Pathogenesis), the Salutogenic model focusses on cases of health, thus challenging the medicine-centric view to health care. Fundamentally, health according to the Salutogenic model is regarded as a continuum, or a scale, between absolute ends of perfect health or absolute illness instead of an exact position (Eriksson and Lindström, 2006, p. 376). In this scale, the associated activities (ideally) lead toward the perfect health of the scale, never reaching the absolute end. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – Service alignment between health service provider and patient is changing. Instead of placing responsibilities into the hands of a provider, new forms of co-operation are emerging in which patients are regarded as a resource and a partner. In order to see this vision come to life, mechanisms that: first, support patient’s health decision making; and second, integrate matters of health into a wider ensemble that is health space; the overarching state of health-related affairs, are needed. In the following, these kinds of mechanisms are investigated and their applicability is discussed in relation to a national project. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – The work is exploratory and conceptual, focussing more on people than on technology. In the work, findings related to a concept of a health navigator; an artefact of personal health decision support, are assembled into a framework that bases on key sociological theories. The empirical elements focus on observations made on applicability of the concept, and the underlying framework of citizen-centric electronic health services. Findings – The authors argue that the discussed concept, when applied to personal health decision making according to the underlying framework, has a potential to change health service provisioning. In addition to stimulating new kind of co-operation between the health service provider and the citizen, the concept gives form to, somewhat idealized, notions of patient choice and empowerment. Research limitations/implications – The work described here is exploratory and forward-looking. Even though the concept and the framework are tested to a degree in a national project, more practice-oriented work is needed in terms of real-world applicability. It follows from this that the work is a conceptual elaboration on the future of personal health decision making. Originality/value – The findings, including the discussed challenges and needs, stem from real-world observations; from the needs of citizens. As such, they indicate a direction into which the development of personal health records and health decision support aids should go.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Information Technology & People
    • "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.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Mental Health
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