Objectives: Sense of Coherence is the core construct of Antonovsky's salutogenetic model. To measure Sense of Coherence, a 29-item-questionnaire (SOC-29), a shortened 13-item version, and a simplified measure of only three items (SOC-3) are available. In our study, the last was tested in terms of the psychometric properties and compared with an alternative short form derived from the SOC-29.
Methods: Data with respect to the original SOC-29-scale, the SOC-3, and additional other health measures were collected in a representative general population survey, the German study 'Transitions in Alcohol Consumption and Smoking' (TACOS). Analyses of the factor structures, reliability and validity correlations are reported.
Results: The reliability and validity results of the SOC-3 were not encouraging. Subsequent item analyses revealed that three items taken out of the SOC-29 outperformed the SOC-3 in measuring Sense of Coherence in a simplified way. This newly developed instrument is presented as the Brief Assessment of Sense of Coherence (BASOC).
Conclusion: The BASOC is a superior short form compared with the SOC-3 and is recommended for large surveys with limited space for questions.