Sense of coherence as a predictor of subjective state of health: results of 4 years of follow-up of adults

J Psychosom Res. 2001 Feb;50(2):77-86. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3999(00)00216-6.


A number of cross-sectional population studies have shown that a strong sense of coherence (SOC) is associated with various aspects of good perceived health. The association does not seem to be entirely attributable to underlying associations of SOC with other variables, such as age or level of education.

Objective: The aim of the study reported here was to determine whether SOC predicted subjective state of health.

Methods: The study was carried out as a two-way panel mail survey of 1976 individuals with 4 years interval for two collections of data. The statistical method used was multivariate cumulative logistic modeling. Age, initial subjective state of health, initial occupational training level, and initial degree of social integration were included as potential explanatory variables.

Results: A strong SOC predicted good health in women and men.

Conclusions: SOC can be interpreted as an autonomous internal resource contributing to a favorable development of subjective state of health. SOC data should, however, be regarded as complementary to and not a substitute for information already known to be associated with increased risk of future ill health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires