Measuring Sense of Coherence with only three items: A useful tool for population surveys

Anja Schumann*, Ulfert Hapke, Christian Meyer, Hans Jürgen Rumpf, Ulrich John

*Corresponding author for this work
41 Citations (Scopus)


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 out-performed 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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)409-421
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 11.2003

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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