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Volume 6, Pages 2200-2211
Research Article

Sense of Coherence and Physical Health. A Cross-Sectional Study Using a New Scale (SOC II)

1Quality of Life Research Center, Teglgårdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2Research Clinic for Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Nordic School of Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sanvika, Norway
5Interuniversity College, Graz, Austria
6National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel
7Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel

Received 25 August 2005; Revised 30 May 2006; Accepted 30 May 2006

Academic Editor: Daniel T.L. Shek

Copyright © 2006 Trine Flensborg-Madsen et al.


In this study, we constructed a new sense of coherence scale (SOC II), where we eliminated the notion of predictability (that life is meant to be predictable), which was present in the original SOC scale developed by Aaron Antonovsky (1923–1994) (SOC-29 and SOC-13). Our hypothesis was that SOC II would show a higher degree of association with physical health than the original SOC scale. In order to test this idea, we used a cross-sectional study including 4,648 Danes and used the three different health measures: self-evaluated physical health, physical symptoms, and self-evaluated psychological health. We found that SOC II was positively associated with all three health measures with the correlation coefficients 0.338, 0.282, and 0.578, respectively. Furthermore, we found dose response tendencies for all three health measures across groups of SOC, since health improved with a higher SOC. By means of regression analysis, we found that SOC was significantly associated with all three health measures after stratifying for demographic variables, life style variables, life form variables, and attitude variables, respectively. We conclude from this study that the SOC II scale we developed seems better associated with physical health than found with the original SOC scale. We also postulate that the concept of predictability was irrelevant, or even disturbing, and should not be included in the SOC scale.