Sense of coherence predicts change in life satisfaction among home-living residents in the community with mental health problems: a 1-year follow-up study

Qual Life Res. 2007 Aug;16(6):939-46. doi: 10.1007/s11136-007-9199-z. Epub 2007 Apr 3.


Objectives: There is a call for a further investigation of Sense of Coherence (SOC), the central concept in salutogenesis, and its relation to health and life satisfaction. No previous studies have investigated the utility of SOC versus mental symptoms for the prediction of life satisfaction among people with chronic mental health problems (MHP).

Methods: The present study has a prospective design including a baseline assessment and a 1-year follow up. We recruited 107 adults from the community health care system. SOC was measured by the Sense of Coherence questionnaire, mental symptoms by the Symptom Checklist-90 revised and life satisfaction by The Quality of Life Scale (all Norwegian versions).

Results: The results show that while SOC predicts change in life satisfaction (standardized beta coefficient for SOC was 0.39, P = 0.014), mental symptoms did not (standardized beta coefficient 0.00, P = 1.0).

Conclusions: These findings emphasize the importance of assessing factors that may explain differences in life satisfaction over and above mental symptoms among people with MHP. The results indicate that improving SOC among people with MHP might provide important opportunities for improving their life satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Prognosis
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sickness Impact Profile*
  • Urban Health