Salutogenesis focuses on identifying the causes of health rather than the causes of illness, and in this way offers a health promotion framework for maternity services. The application of salutogenesis theory in empirical studies of healthy women in maternity care appears to be rare, and mostly incomplete. The objective of this study is to examine the psychometric properties of the Orientation to Life Questionnaire (OLQ) assessing sense of coherence (SOC) in a population of healthy Norwegian women during the postnatal period.
Self-reported cross-sectional data were collected from 183 women six weeks into the postnatal period. The data were analysed by descriptive statistics and confirmative factor analysis.
Discriminant validity was supported by significant negative correlations between SOC, meaningfulness, comprehensibility, manageability, anxiety and depression. Inter-item consistency with Cronbach's alpha (0.62-0.87) and composite reliability (0.60-0.92) revealed acceptable to good values approving the reliability. The original one-dimensional concept of sense of coherence was confirmed in this study. However, in accordance with previous research, some misspecifications in reference to correlated error variances between the items OLQ2 and OLQ3 were discovered.
This study lends support to the original one-dimensional construct of sense of coherence, and sheds more light upon the troublesome pair of items OLQ2-OLQ3. Further studies are required. However, based on our results, a rewording or deletion of one of these two items seems necessary in order to achieve a reliable and valid instrument measuring SOC among healthy postnatal women.