Sense of coherence and physical health. A review of previous findings

ScientificWorldJournal. 2005 Aug 25;5:665-73. doi: 10.1100/tsw.2005.85.


The aim of this paper is to systematically review the available scientific publications published concerning the association between the sense of coherence (SOC) designed by Aaron Antonovsky (1923-1994), measured with the scales SOC-29 or SOC-13, and different aspects of health. The study is descriptive and integrates more than 50 scientific publications. The results are divided into the categories: Physical health; biological measures; psychological measures; health measures incorporating psychological aspects; stress; and behavioural aspects. The conclusion from this review is that SOC is highly associated with psychological aspects, including stress and behavioural aspects when SOC is operationalized with the prevailing scales. However we were unable to show a strong association between SOC and physical health that Antonovsky had predicted. Therefore we conclude that the SOC scale can only serve as a predictor for health that is measured by incorporating psychological aspects, while it is not capable of explaining physical health that is measured only by means of physical terms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Prognosis
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Concept*
  • Stress, Psychological*