Sense of coherence in people with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus: an observational study from Greece

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Abstract:

Background: Antonovsky's concept of sense of coherence (SOC) has been suggested to relate to health, especially mental health and preventive health behaviours. Psychological distress has been identified as a risk factor for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study of SOC and diabetes has not received much attention in Greece. This study aims to explore the extent to which type 2 diabetes mellitus can affect the SOC score.

Methods: An observational design was used to test the study hypothesis that individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus would have a lower SOC than those without diabetes mellitus. A total of 202 individuals were studied, consisting of 100 people with diabetes mellitus (the study group) and 102 people with non-chronic orthopaedic conditions (the control group). All of the participants were patients of the Diabetic Clinic or the Orthopaedic Clinic of Livadia Hospital in Central Greece. SOC was assessed using a 29-item SOC questionnaire that had been translated into Greek and validated.

Results: Patients without type 2 diabetes mellitus had 2.4 times higher odds of having a high SOC score than patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (P = 0.036; odds ratio [OR] = 2.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06–5.23). Male patients had 3.9 times higher odds of having a high SOC score (P < 0.001; OR = 3.85, 95% CI = 1.71–8.67) than female patients. With regard to education, patients with a lower level of education had almost three times higher odds of having a high SOC score than patients with a higher level of education (P = 0.024; OR = 2.97, 95% CI = 1.15–7.67).

Conclusions: This study adds to the existing literature and indicates that SOC is a health asset. A study with an experimental design would clarify the interesting hypothesis of this study.

Keywords: DIABETES; SENSE OF COHERENCE; SURVEY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Public and Administrative Health, National School of Public Health, 196, Alexandras Ave, 11521, Athens, Greece;, Email: kmerakou@esdy.edu.gr 2: General Hospital of Livadia, Terma Agiou Vlasiou, Livadia, Viotia, Greece 3: Department of Public and Administrative Health, National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece 4: Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete, Greece 5: General Hospital of New Ionia 'Agia Olga', Athens, Greece

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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