Authors: Maki Matsuo and Eiko Suzuki
The sense of coherence (SOC) concept, which represents the ability to overcome difficulties, influences factors predicting mental health and protection for effects of stress. This study aimed to identify factors related to SOC among nurses because it provides early indications of mental health disorders, preventing the onset of and promoting mental health. In June 2015, we conducted a self-administered questionnaire survey of 1895 nurses at four hospitals in the Kanto region, Japan. The questionnaire included a 13-item SOC scale, demographic, and environmental factor questions. With a multiple regression analysis, the variables with the highest standardized partial regression coefficients were used to divide respondents into two groups to compare specific features. We obtained 1114 (58.8%) valid responses. Factors related to the SOC score were feeling depressed, tendencies toward neurosis, overcoming past stressful events, self-esteem, someone outside the workplace who provide support, and a sense of fulfillment in the work performed. Some features of depression were 20s year group, eating alone, poor sleep, not having overcome past stressful events, and dissatisfaction with the assigned ward even when desiring to work in the present position. To prevent feelings of depression for nurses in the 20s year group, supervisors need to understand individual characteristics including sleeping conditions and daily life habits. Hospital administrators need to adjust conflicts between desired work assignments and satisfaction with the place of work. Knowing both the SOC level and the working environment may be used to prevent depressed feelings in nurses.
Keywords: sense of coherence; salutogenesis; nurse