Sense of Coherence in Persons with Dementia and Their Next of Kin—A Mixed-Method Study


Indications of dementia disease include deterioration of memory, thinking, behaviour, and the ability to perform everyday activities. Any of these symptoms can lead to stress and difficulties organizing everyday life. As a way to view factors that support human health and well-being despite stressful situations, Antonovsky introduced a salutogenic model. This model proposes that sense of coherence primarily determines physical and mental health i.e. psychological well-being. Having a sense of coherence in everyday life can reduce the impact of stress on the individual in everyday life. The study’s aim of this study was to explore how participants in existing support groups scored on the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC), and what they perceived as contributory factors to a meaningful, manageable, and comprehensible everyday life in the presence of dementia using a mixed method. Persons with dementia had the highest scores on the SOC scale and their partners the lowest. Persons with dementia expressed that being with others who understood them made their everyday life comprehensible and manageable. Their partners expressed that learning about dementia was helpful in managing and comprehending everyday situations. The adult children expressed that it was meaningful to care for their parents and they scored slightly higher than the partners on the SOC scale. Long-term ongoing support supplemented with information and social support can contribute to the sense of coherence in persons with dementia and their next of kin.

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Kjallman Alm, A. , Hagglund, P. , Karl-Gustaf, N. and Ove, H. (2015) Sense of Coherence in Persons with Dementia and Their Next of Kin—A Mixed-Method Study. Open Journal of Nursing, 5, 490-499. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2015.55052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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