Sense of coherence among cognitively intact nursing home residents - a five-year longitudinal study

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Aim and objectives: To examine how stable the sense of coherence (SOC) is over a five-year period among residents of nursing homes (NH) who are not cognitively impaired and whether components of social support influence SOC. Background: Many studies have investigated the stability of SOC, and the findings have been inconsistent. Social support is a crucial resource in developing SOC. Few researchers have studied the stability of SOC and how various social support dimensions influence changes in SOC among older NH residents who are cognitively intact. Design: The study was prospective and included baseline assessment and five-year follow-up. Methods: The sample comprised 52 cognitively intact NH residents (Clinical Dementia Rating score <= 0.5). We obtained data through direct interviews using the Social Provisions Scale and Sense of Coherence Scale. Results: SOC increased statistically significantly from baseline to follow-up. The social support subdimension reassurance of worth predicted change in SOC after adjustment for sociodemographic factors. When controlled for baseline SOC, attachment was associated with change in SOC, but reassurance of worth was not. Conclusions: The study indicates that the change in SOC over time during the 5 years of follow-up and the social support dimension attachment appear to be important components of change in SOC. Nursing personnel should be aware of the residents' individual needs for attachment and the importance of emotional support for personal strength and ability to cope.


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TidskriftAging & Mental Health
StatusPublished - 2014
Peer review utfördJa