Sense of Coherence and Childbearing: A Scoping Review of the Literature

Sally FERGUSON, Deborah DAVIS, Jenny BROWNE, Janice Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To undertake a scoping review of the literature to understand how a woman's sense of coherence (SOC) score affects her childbearing. Method: Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases were searched to identify articles published in English from 2000 to 2014 using combinations of specified search terms. Included articles were assessed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. Findings: This scoping review identified 15 studies focusing on SOC scores and childbearing. Childbearing women with strong SOC were less likely to smoke and more likely to seek out useful support compared to women with low SOC. Women with strong SOC demonstrated increased emotional health, experiencing less depression, anxiety, stress, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Women with strong SOC were more likely to experience uncomplicated birth and birth at home, identify normal birth as their preferred birth option in pregnancy and identify a desire to avoid epidural anesthesia in labor compared to women with low SOC. Conclusion: This scoping review of the literature identified significant associations between strong SOC and positive childbearing, including increased emotional health, improved health behaviors, and increased normal birth choices and outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-150
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Childbirth
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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