Sense of coherence and its associations with psychosocial health: results of survey of the unemployed in Kaunas

Medicina (Kaunas). 2009;45(10):807-13.
[Article in English, Lithuanian]


OBJECTIVE. To evaluate the associations between sense of coherence and psychosocial health among unemployed adult population. MATERIAL AND METHODS. The data were collected during a cross-sectional study in 2005. There were 429 filled-in questionnaires received (response rate, 53.6%) from unemployed persons registered at the Kaunas Labor Market Office (Lithuania). For the assessment of the sense of coherence, a short 13-item version of the Orientation to Life Questionnaire was used. Long-term unemployment was defined as lasting 12 months or longer. Logistic regression was used to estimate the risk factors having influence on sense of coherence. The risk was evaluated using odds ratio (OR). RESULTS. The mean score for sense of coherence was 56.6+/-11.2 (min, 13; max, 91). Significantly higher sense of coherence was found among the short-term unemployed as compare to the long-term ones. Analysis showed that sense of coherence was significantly higher in males, more educated and less materially deprived groups. The findings indicated that persons with depression, suicide intentions, more intensive alcohol consumption (after the job loss), poor self-reported health, feelings of loneliness and shame, and poor relations with family reported lower sense of coherence. The risk of low sense of coherence was significantly higher for females (OR=2.97) and the long-term unemployed (OR=1.81). Nevertheless, higher education (OR=0.73) and income (OR=0.83) were the factors that significantly improved sense of coherence. CONCLUSIONS. Sense of coherence was low among the unemployed in Kaunas. Sense of coherence was lower among the unemployed with negative psychosocial health characteristics in comparison to the unemployed with positive characteristics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Depression / etiology
  • Education
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Lithuania
  • Loneliness
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Shame
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Unemployment / psychology*