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Arch Hellen Med, 21(2), March-April 2004, 195-203


The translation-validation of the sense of coherence scale
into Greek and its use in primary health care


1Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece
2Nursing School, University of Karolinska, Sweden
3Department of Medicine and Care, Section Primary Care and General Practice,
School of Health Sciences, University of Linköping, Sweden
4Department of Psychiatry, University of Lund, Sweden

OBJECTIVE Aaron Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence (SOC) theory tries to explain why some people manage stress and stay well while others break down. According to Antonovsky, a strong SOC helps a person see the world as consistent and predictable (comprehensible), problems as manageable and the challenges of life as worth making commitments for (meaningful). This article discusses the procedure of translation and cultural adaptation of the scale into the Greek language.

METHOD The SOC scale consists of 29 items; respondents are asked to select a response, on a seven-point semantic differential scale with two anchoring phrases. The higher the total score, the stronger SOC it represents for the respondent. The translation and adaptation of the scale for the Greek language was made according to the Minimal Translation Criteria approved by the board of Trust’s Scientific Advisory Committee. The bilingual translation (forward-backward) of the scale was followed by pilot testing in 6 volunteers. In its final form, the test-retest reliability (reproducibility) of the translated scale was tested in a group of 22 people (13 women, 9 men).

RESULTS The procedure of translation, validation and cultural adaptation of the questionnaire into the Greek language and the findings of the validation process of the Greek version are described. The final form of the questionnaire, as this resulted from the described process is presented. The Spearman correlation of the scores that 22 subjects provided when invited to complete the SOC twice with an interval of 6 weeks (test-retest reliability) was high (r=0.859).

CONCLUSIONS It is anticipated that the wider use of SOC might contribute to the further development of research in the field of primary care and public health.

Key words: Cross cultural adaptation and validation, Primary health care, Sense of coherence scale.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine