Self-rated health (SRH) is a commonly used measure in surveys to assess general health status or health-related quality of life. Differences have been detected in how different ethnic groups and nationalities interpret the SRH measure and assess their health. This review summarizes the research conducted on SRH within and between ethnic groups, with a focus on indigenous groups.
Study design and methods
A search of published academic literature on SRH and ethnicity, including a comprehensive review of all relevant indigenous research, was conducted using PubMed and summarized.
A wide variety of research on SRH within ethnic groups has been undertaken. SRH typically serves as an outcome measure. Minority respondents generally rated their health worse than the dominant population. Numerous culturally-specific determinants of SRH have been identified. Cross-national and cross-ethnicity comparisons of the associations of SRH have been conducted to assess the validity of SRH. While SRH is a valid measure within a variety of ethnicities, differences in how SRH is assessed by ethnicities have been detected. Research in indigenous groups remains generally under-represented in the SRH literature.
These results suggest that different ethnic groups and nationalities vary in SRH evaluations, interpretation of the SRH measure, and referents employed in rating health. To effectively assess and redress health disparities and establish culturally-relevant and effective health interventions, a greater understanding of SRH is required, particularly among indigenous groups, in which little research has been conducted.
self-rated health (SRH); ethnicity; indigenous health; health measures; surveys
For this article, we evaluated whether measures of prior self-rated health (SRH) trajectories had associations with subsequent mortality that were independent of current SRH assessment and other covariates.
We used multivariable logistic regression that incorporated four waves of interview data (1993, 1995, 1998, and 2000) from the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old Survey in order to predict mortality during 2000–2002. We defined prior SRH trajectories for each individual based on the slope estimated from a simple linear regression of their own SRH between 1993 and 1998 and the variance around that slope. In addition to SRH reported in 2000, other covariates included in the mortality models reflected health status, health-related behaviors, and individual resources.
Among the 3,129 respondents in the analytic sample, SRH in 2000 was significantly (p < .0001) associated with mortality, but the measures of prior SRH trajectories were not. Prior SRH trajectory was, however, a significant determinant of current SRH. We observed significant independent associations with mortality for age, sex, education, lung disease, and having ever smoked.
Although measures of prior SRH trajectories did not have significant direct associations with mortality, they did have important indirect effects via their influence on current SRH.
Self-rated health (SRH) is a powerful concept that has greatly advanced our understanding of health and health outcomes. The SRH measure has become increasingly common in health research. Yet, puzzles remain about what shapes SRH ratings. The absence of knowledge is particularly acute in the context of disability. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between SRH and self-rated physical ability in a sample of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Data from 140 eligible participants drawn from a study of life in the community after SCI were analyzed. The study, cross-sectional in design, was conducted in a large urban city in the mid-western United States. Basic statistics such as ANOVA and chi-square tests were performed as appropriate, and a multiple linear regression analysis modeled the relationship between SRH and physical ability adjusting for potential confounding variables.
Self-rated physical ability was significantly associated with SRH after controlling for relevant covariates (P < 0.001). An analysis of the interaction between physical ability and level of injury revealed that the relationship was significant for persons with paraplegia but not for persons with tetraplegia.
This study provides evidence that self-rated physical ability is an important factor associated with SRH for persons with SCI, but that the strength of the relationship depends on level of injury (paraplegia vs. tetraplegia). The challenge for future research is to replicate the study using a more comprehensive measure of physical ability and to ask how beliefs in one's ability to do those activities that are most meaningful and desired shape SRH. Only in this way will our understanding of the physical ability–SRH relationship be clarified.
Self-rated health; Spinal cord injury; Physical ability; Disability; Tetraplegia; Paraplegia; Quality of life; Aging with disability
Global self-rated health (SRH) has become extensively used as an outcome measure in population health surveillance. The aim of this study was to analyse the effects of age and secular trend (year of investigation) on SRH.
Prospective cohort study, using population-based data from eight ongoing cohort studies, with sampling performed between 1973 and 2003.
11 880 women and men, aged 25–99 years, providing 14 470 observations.
Primary outcome measure
In multiple ordinal logistic regression analyses, adjusted for the effects of covariates, there were independent effects of age (p<0.0001) and of year of investigation (p<0.0001) on SRH. In women the association was linear, showing lower levels of SRH with increased age, and more recent year of investigation. In men the association was curvilinear, and thus more complex. The final model explained 76.2% of the SRH variance in women and 74.5% of the variance in men.
SRH was strongly and inversely associated with age in both sexes, after adjustment for other outcome-affecting variables. There was a strongly significant effect of year of investigation indicating a change in SRH, in women towards lower levels over calendar time, in men with fluctuations across time.
Public Health; Epidemiology; Statistics & Research Methods
The objective of this study was to determine whether perceived health status of Iraqi immigrants and refugees residing in the United States was related to pre-migration environmental stress, current unemployment, and if they had emigrated before or after the 1991 Gulf War. A random sample of Iraqis residing in Southeast Michigan, US, was interviewed using an Arab language structured survey. The main outcome measure was self-rated health (SRH). Major predictors included socioeconomics, employment status, pre-migration environmental stress, and health disorders. Path analysis was used to look: at mediating effects between predictors and SRH. We found that SRH was significantly worse among participants that had left Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War. Unemployment and environmental stress exposure were inversely related to SRH. There was a direct path between Gulf War exposure and poor health. In addition, there were indirect paths mediated through psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders to SRH. Another path went from Gulf War exposure, via environmen tal stress and somatic health to poor health. Unemployment had a direct path, as well as an indirect paths mediated through psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders, to poor self-rated health. In conclusion, these results suggest that pre- as well as post-migration factors, and period of migration, affect health.
environmental stress; health; displacement; war; Iraqi
Poor self-rated health (SRH) correlates strongly with mortality. In developed countries, women generally report worse SRH than males. Few studies have reported on SRH in developing countries. The authors report on SRH in Thailand, a middle-income developing country. The data were derived from a large nationwide cohort of 87 134 adult Open University students (54% female, median age 29 years). The authors included questions on socioeconomic and demographic factors that could influence SRH. The Thai cohort in this study mirrors patterns found in developed countries, with females reporting more frequent “poor” or “very poor” SRH (odds ratio = 1.35; 95% confidence interval = 1.26-1.44). Cohort males had better SRH than females, but levels were more sensitive to socioeconomic status. Income and education had little influence on SRH for females. Among educated Thai adults, females rate their health to be worse than males, and unlike males, this perception is relatively unaffected by socioeconomic status.
self-rated health; self-assessed health; gender; socioeconomic status; Thailand
Empirical studies on the association between self-rated health (SRH) and subsequent mortality are generally lacking in low- and middle-income countries. The evidence on whether socio-economic status and education modify this association is inconsistent. This study aims to fill these gaps using longitudinal data from a Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) site in Indonesia.
In 2010, we assessed the mortality status of 11,753 men and women aged 50+ who lived in Purworejo HDSS and participated in the INDEPTH WHO SAGE baseline in 2007. Information on self-rated health, socio-demographic indicators, disability and chronic disease were collected through face-to-face interview at baseline. We used Cox-proportional hazards regression for mortality and included all variables measured at baseline, including interaction terms between SRH and both education and socio-economic status (SES).
During an average of 36 months follow-up, 11% of men and 9.5% of women died, resulting in death rates of 3.1 and 2.6 per 1,000 person-months, respectively. The age-adjusted Hazard Ratio (HR) for mortality was 17% higher in men than women (HR = 1.17; 95% CI = 1.04–1.31). After adjustment for covariates, the hazard ratios for mortality in men and women reporting bad health were 3.0 (95% CI = 2.0–4.4) and 4.9 (95% CI = 3.2–7.4), respectively. Education and SES did not modify this association for either sex.
This study supports the predictive power of bad self-rated health for subsequent mortality in rural Indonesian men and women 50 years old and over. In these analyses, education and household socio-economic status do not modify the relationship between SRH and mortality. This means that older people who rate their own health poorly should be an important target group for health service interventions.
Self-rated health (SRH) is a health measure related to future health, mortality, healthcare services utilization and quality of life. Various sociodemographic, health and lifestyle determinants of SRH have been identified in different populations. The aim of this study is to extend SRH literature in the Greek population. This is a cross-sectional study conducted in rural communities between 2001 and 2003. Interviews eliciting basic demographic, health-related and lifestyle information (smoking, physical activity, diet, quality of sleep and religiosity) were conducted. The sample consisted of 1,519 participants, representative of the rural population of Tripoli. Multinomial regression analysis was conducted to identify putative SRH determinants. Among the 1,519 participants, 489 (32.2%), 790 (52%) and 237 (15.6%) rated their health as “very good”, “good” and “poor” respectively. Female gender, older age, lower level of education and impaired health were all associated with worse SRH, accounting for 16.6% of SRH variance. Regular exercise, healthier diet, better sleep quality and better adherence to religious habits were related with better health ratings, after adjusting for sociodemographic and health-related factors. BMI and smoking did not reach significance while exercise and physical activity exhibited significant correlations but not consistently across SRH categories. Our results support previous findings indicating that people following a more proactive lifestyle pattern tend to rate their health better. The role of stress-related neuroendocrinologic mechanisms on SRH and health in general is also discussed.
self-rated health; determinants; lifestyle; sleep; religiosity; cross-sectional
OBJECTIVE: To examine measures of need for health care and their relationship to utilization of health services in different racial and ethnic groups in California. DATA SOURCE: Telephone interviews obtained by random-digit dialing and conducted between April 1993 and July 1993 in California, with 7,264 adults (ages 18-64): 601 African Americans, 246 Asians, 917 Latinos interviewed in English; 1,045 Latinos interviewed in Spanish; and 4,437 non-Latino whites. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey was conducted from a stratified, probability telephone sample. DATA COLLECTION: Interviews collected self-reported indicators of need for health care: self-rated health, activity limitation, major chronic conditions, need for ongoing treatment, bed days, and prescription medication. The outcome was self-reported number of physician visits in the previous three months. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Compared to whites, one or more of the other ethnic groups varied significantly (p < .05) on each of the six need-for-care measures after adjustment for health insurance, age, sex, and income. Latinos interviewed in Spanish reported lower percentages and means on five of the need measures but the highest percentage with fair or poor health (32 percent versus 7 percent in whites). Models regressing each need measure on the number of outpatient visits found significant interactions of ethnic group with need compared to whites. After adjustment for insurance and demographics, the estimated mean number of visits in those with the indicator of need was consistently lower in Latinos interviewed in Spanish, but the differences among the other ethnic groups varied depending on the measure used. CONCLUSION: No single valid estimate of the relationship between need for health care and outpatient visits was found for any of the six indicators across ethnic groups. Applying need adjustment to the use of health care services without regard for ethnic variability may lead to biased conclusions about utilization.
Self-rated health (SRH) is a popular health measure determined by multiple factors. International literature is increasingly focusing on health-related behaviors such as smoking, dietary habits, physical activity, even religiosity. However, population-based studies taking into account multiple putative determinants of SRH in Greece are scarce. The aim of this study was to clarify possible determinants of SRH with an emphasis on the relationship between SRH and lifestyle variables in a large sample of urban citizens.
In this one-year cross-sectional study, a stratified random sample of 3,601 urban citizens was selected. Data were collected using an interview-based questionnaire about various demographic, socioeconomic, disease- and lifestyle related factors such as smoking, physical activity, dietary habits, sleep quality and religiosity. Multivariate logistic regression was used separately in three age groups [15-29 (N = 1,360), 30-49 (N = 1,122) and 50+ (N = 1,119) years old] in order to identify putative lifestyle and other determinants of SRH.
Reporting of good SRH decreased with age (97.1%, 91.4% and 74.8%, respectively). Overall, possible confounders of the lifestyle-SRH relationship among age groups were sex, education, hospitalization during the last year, daily physical symptoms and disease status. Poor SRH was associated with less physical activity in the 15-29 years old (OR 2.22, 95%CI 1.14-4.33), with past or heavy smoking, along with no sleep satisfaction in the 30-49 years old (OR 3.23, 95%CI 1.35-7.74, OR 2.56, 95%CI 1.29-5.05, OR 1.79, 95%CI 1.1-2.92, respectively) and with obesity and no sleep satisfaction in the 50+ years old individuals (OR 1.83, 95%CI 1.19-2.81, OR 2.54, 95%CI 1.83-3.54). Sleep dissatisfaction of the 50+ years old was the only variable associated with poor SRH at the 0.001 p level of significance (OR 2.45, 99%CI 1.59 to 3.76). Subgroup analyses of the 15-19 years old individuals also revealed sleep dissatisfaction as the only significant variable correlated with SRH.
Slight differences in lifestyle determinants of SRH were identified among age groups. Sleep quality emerged as an important determinant of SRH in the majority of participants.
self-rated health; health promotion; sleep; health inequalities; lifestyle; public health
Epithelial ovarian cancer survivors (EOCSs) frequently report multiple complaints after their treatment. The objective was to study somatic and mental morbidity in EOCSs associated with their Self- Rated Health (SRH) assessed by a single item.
Findings were compared to age-matched controls from the general population.
In a cross -sectional follow-up design 189/287 (66%) EOCSs treated at The Norwegian Radiumhospital 1979–2003 responded to a mailed questionnaire on demographic data, and somatic and mental morbidity. SRH last week was rated on item #29 of the European Organization and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire in 84/189 (97%) of responding EOCSs. For comparisons "good" and "poor" SRH groups were defined by the median score on the SRH item.
EOCSs with "poor SRH" had higher level of somatic symptoms, anxiety, depression and fatigue than those with "good SRH" (p < .001). In multivariate analyses somatic symptoms, age and fatigue, were significantly associated with the SRH score in EOCSs, but not the cancer-related variables (FIGO stage, recurrence in < 6 months or chemotherapy ever). The model explained 70% of the variance in SRH in linear and 77% in logistic regression analyses. The distribution of the SRH scores in EOCSs did not differ significantly from that of normative controls; however a higher proportion of controls recorded a high SRH score.
SRH is strongly related to common somatic complaints, impairment and fatigue but not to cancer-related variables. A single question concerning SRH last week might be a quick screening method for collecting important information on symptoms in EOCSs, in addition to cancer – related questions.
To examine the association between care experiences and parent ratings of care within racial/ethnic/language subgroups.
National Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Benchmarking Database 3.0 (2003–2006).
111,139 parents of minor Medicaid managed care enrollees.
Cross-sectional observational study predicting “poor” (0–5 on 0–10 scale) parent ratings of personal doctor, specialist, health care, and health plan from care experiences for different parent race/ethnicity/language subgroups (Latino/Spanish, Latino/English, white, and black).
Care experiences had similar associations with the probability of poor parent ratings of care across the four racial/ethnic/language subgroups (p>.20). A one standard deviation improvement in the doctor communication care experience was associated with about half the frequency of poor ratings of care for personal doctor and health care in all subgroups (p<.05). Sensitivity analysis of individual communication items found that failure to provide explanations to children predicted poor ratings of care only among whites, who also weighed the length of physician interaction more heavily than other subgroups.
Communication-based interventions may improve experiences and ratings of care for all subgroups, although implementation of these interventions may need to consider preferences associated with race, ethnicity, and language.
Pediatrics; patient assessment; satisfaction; racial; ethnic differences in health and health care
Because self-rated health (SRH) is strongly associated with health outcomes, it is important to identify factors that individuals take into account when they assess their health. We examined the role of valued life activities (VLAs), the wide range of activities deemed to be important to individuals, in SRH assessments.
Study Design and Setting
Data were from 3 cohort studies of individuals with different chronic conditions – rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Each cohort’s data were collected through structured telephone interviews. Logistic regression analyses identified factors associated with ratings of fair/poor SRH. All analyses included sociodemographic characteristics, general and disease-specific health-related factors, and general measures of physical functioning.
Substantial portions of each group rated their health as fair/poor (RA 37%, SLE 47%, COPD 40%). In each group, VLA disability was strongly associated with fair/poor health (RA: OR=4.44 [1.86,10.62]; SLE: OR=3.60 [2.10,6.16]; COPD: OR=2.76 [1.30,5.85], even after accounting for covariates.
VLA disability appears to play a substantial role in individual perceptions of health, over and above other measures of health status, disease symptoms, and general physical functioning.
self-rated health; disability; valued life activities; rheumatoid arthritis; systemic lupus erythematosus; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
To estimate the effect of hypothetical changes in modifiable predictors on the incidence of fair-poor self-rated health (SRH) in breast cancer survivors.
In 2007-2008, we interviewed 832 breast cancer survivors 1 year after diagnosis (baseline) and 1 year later. First, multivariable logistic regression models estimated the association between the predictors (sociodemographic factors, access to medical care, comorbid conditions, psychosocial factors, perceived neighborhood conditions, cancer-related behaviors, clinical factors) and SRH. Second, we estimated the probabilities of fair-poor SRH for values of the predictors for each breast cancer survivor. Third, we estimated the population-wide effect of potential changes in modifiable predictors on the incidence of fair-poor SRH.
7.6% of participants (92.4% white; mean age: 58.0 years) whose SRH was rated good-excellent at baseline reported fair-poor SRH one year later. The largest potential reduction in incidence of fair-poor SRH could be obtained by eliminating surgical side effects (27.8% reduction) and comorbidity (21.8% reduction) and by engaging in any physical activity (19.6% reduction).
A significant portion of the decline in SRH can be avoided by reducing surgical side effects, preventing comorbidity and improving physical activity using evidence-based strategies.
Breast Cancer; Intervention; Disability
Background: Self-rated health (SRH) is an important single-item variable used in many health surveys. It is a predictor for later mortality, morbidity and health service attendance. Therefore, it is important to study how SRH is influenced during adolescence. The present study examined the stability of SRH over a 4-year period in adolescence, and the factors predicting change in it.
Methods: Analyses were based on 4-year longitudinal data from the Young-HUNT studies in Norway among adolescents aged 13–19 years. A total of 2800 students (81%) participated in the follow-up study, and 2399 of these were eligible for data analysis. Cross-tables for SRH at the start of the study (between 1995 and 1997) and 4 years later were used to estimate the stability over the period. Proportional odds logistic regression analyses of SRH during 2000–01 were carried out, controlling for initial SRH, independent variables at the start of the study and changes in the same independent variables over 4 years as covariates.
Results: In 59% of the respondents, SRH remained unchanged through the 4-year observation period during adolescence. Fewer than 4% changed their ratings of SRH by two steps or more on a four-level scale. The self-assessed general well-being, health behaviour variables, being disabled in any way, and body dissatisfaction at the start of the study and the change of these predictors influenced SRH significantly during the 4-year observation. Being diagnosed with a medical condition, or specific mental or somatic health symptoms was of less importance for later SRH. Adolescents with more health service contacts at the start of the study, or who increase their attendance rate during the 4 years, report deterioration of SRH.
Conclusion: SRH is a relatively stable construct during adolescence, and deteriorates consistently with a lack of general well-being, disability, healthcare attendance and health-compromising behaviour.
adolescence; self-rated health; stability; Young-HUNT.
Self-rated health status (SRHS) is a reliable and valid measure for assessing the subjective and objective health of individuals. Previous studies have either focused predominantly on the elderly or investigated only a narrow range of factors potentially associated with SRHS. In examining student populations, these past studies were limited to single countries. The objectives of this study were to assess which candidate variables were independently associated with SRHS in university students, to compare these variables by country and by gender, and to investigate which of the variables was most important as a rating frame for SRHS.
The data is from the Cross-National Student Health Survey, conducted in 2005 in universities in Germany, Bulgaria, and Poland (n = 2103; mean age = 20.7 years). SRHS was assessed with a single question using a five-point scale ranging from "excellent" to "poor". The study also measured a wide range of variables including: physical and psychological health, studying, social contacts/social support, and socio-demographic status.
Psychosomatic complaints (considered an aspect of physical health and, adjusted for psychological health) were the most important indicators in forming a rating frame for students' SRHS. There were few differences in the effects of variables associated with SRHS by gender (well-being: a measure of psychological health) and the variables associated with SRHS by country (well-being and self-efficacy). The remaining variables showed homogenous effects for both genders and for all three countries.
The results suggest that SRHS can be reasonably used to compare students' health across countries. SRHS is affected by different physical, psychological and psychosomatic aspects of health; however, its strongest association is with psychosomatic complaints.
Although poorer self-rated health (SRH) is associated with increased mortality, less is known about its impact on functioning. This study evaluated whether poorer SRH was associated with decline in walking speed and whether caregiving, often considered an indicator of chronic stress, modified this relation. The sample included 891 older US women from the Caregiver-Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. SRH was assessed at the baseline Caregiver-Study of Osteoporotic Fractures interview, conducted in 1999–2001, and was categorized as fair/poor or excellent/good. Rapid walking speed over 2, 3, or 6 m was measured at baseline and 2 annual follow-up interviews. Respondents with fair/poor SRH walked significantly slower at baseline than those with excellent/good health (mean = 0.8 (standard deviation, 0.3) vs. 1.0 (standard deviation, 0.3) m/second, P < 0.001). In adjusted linear mixed models of percentage change in walking speed, respondents with fair/poor SRH experienced a greater decline in walking speed than those with excellent/good SRH (−5.66% vs. −0.60%, P = 0.01). Caregivers with fair/poor SRH declined more than noncaregivers (−9.26% vs. −4.09%). High-intensity caregivers had the largest decline (−12.88%), whereas low-intensity caregivers in excellent/good SRH had no decline (2.61%). In summary, poorer SRH was associated with decline in walking speed in older women, and the stress of caregiving may have exacerbated its impact.
aged; caregivers; gait; health; self report; walking
Although the relationship between self-rated health (SRH) and physical and mental health is well documented in developed countries, very few studies have analyzed this association in the developing world, particularly in Africa. In this study, we examine the associations of SRH with measures of physical and mental health (chronic diseases, functional limitations, and depression) among adults in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and how these associations vary by sex, age, and education level.
This study was based on 2195 individuals aged 15 years or older who participated in a cross-sectional interviewer-administered health survey conducted in 2010 in areas of the Ouagadougou Health and Demographic Surveillance System. Logistic regression models were used to analyze the associations of poor SRH with chronic diseases, functional limitations, and depression, first in the whole sample and then stratified by sex, age, and education level.
Poor SRH was strongly correlated with chronic diseases and functional limitations, but not with depression, suggesting that in this context, physical health probably makes up most of people’s perceptions of their health status. The effect of functional limitations on poor SRH increased with age, probably because the ability to circumvent or compensate for a disability diminishes with age. The effect of functional limitations was also stronger among the least educated, probably because physical integrity is more important for people who depend on it for their livelihood. In contrast, the effect of chronic diseases appeared to decrease with age. No variation by sex was observed in the associations of SRH with chronic diseases, functional limitations, or depression.
Our findings suggest that different subpopulations delineated by age and education level weight the components of health differently in their self-rated health in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In-depth studies are needed to understand why and how these groups do so.
Ouagadougou; Burkina Faso; Self-rated health; Chronic diseases; Functional limitations; Depression; Adults
Language barriers among some Latinos may contribute to the lower rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening between Latinos and non-Latino Whites. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between language and receipt of colorectal cancer screening tests among Latinos and non-Latinos using a geographically diverse, population-based sample of adults.
Cross-sectional analysis of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. Analysis included adults 50 years of age and older, who completed the 2006 BRFSS in a state that recorded data from English and Spanish-speaking participants.
The primary outcome measure was receipt of colorectal screening tests (fecal occult blood testing within prior 12 months and/or lower endoscopy within 10 years). Of the 99,895 respondents included in the study populations, 33% of Latinos responding-in-Spanish reported having had CRC testing, while 51% of Latinos responding-in-English and 62% of English-speaking non-Latinos reported test receipt. In multivariable analysis, compared to non-Latinos, Latinos responding-in-English were 16% less likely (OR,0.84, 95 % CI, 0.73-0.98), and Latinos responding-in-Spanish were 43% less likely to have received colorectal cancer testing (OR,0.57, 95% CI, 0.44-0.74). Additionally, compared to Latinos responding-in-English, Latinos responding-in-Spanish were 36% less likely to have received CRC testing (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.48-0.84)
Latinos responding to the 2006 BRFSS survey in Spanish had a significantly lower likelihood of receiving CRC screening tests compared to non-Latinos and to Latinos responding-in-English. Based on this analysis, Spanish language use is negatively associated with CRC screening and may contribute to disparities in CRC screening.
Colorectal cancer; Screening; Latino/Hispanic; Language; BRFSS
To analyze the relationship of legal status and employment conditions with health indicators in foreign-born and Spanish-born workers in Spain.
Cross-sectional study of 1,849 foreign-born and 509 Spanish-born workers (2008–2009, ITSAL Project). Considered employment conditions: permanent, temporary and no contract (foreign-born and Spanish-born); considered legal statuses: documented and undocumented (foreign-born). Joint relationships with self-rated health (SRH) and mental health (MH) were analyzed via logistical regression.
When compared with male permanently contracted Spanish-born workers, worse health is seen in undocumented foreign-born, time in Spain ≤3 years (SRH aOR 2.68, 95% CI 1.09–6.56; MH aOR 2.26, 95% CI 1.15–4.42); in Spanish-born, temporary contracts (SRH aOR 2.40, 95% CI 1.04–5.53); and in foreign-born, temporary contracts, time in Spain >3 years (MH: aOR 1.96, 95% CI 1.13–3.38). In females, highest self-rated health risks are in foreign-born, temporary contracts (aOR 2.36, 95% CI 1.13–4.91) and without contracts, time in Spain >3 years (aOR 4.63, 95% CI 1.95–10.97).
Contract type is a health determinant in both foreign-born and Spanish-born workers. This study offers an uncommon exploration of undocumented migration and raises methodological issues to consider in future research.
Emigration and immigration; Illegal migrants; Migrant workers; Employment; Contracts; Occupational health
Some evidence from high-income countries suggests that self-rated health (SRH) is not a consistent predictor of objective health across social groups, and that its use may lead to inaccurate estimates of the effects of inequities on health. Given increased interest in studying and monitoring social inequities in health worldwide, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the validity of SRH as a consistent measure of health across socioeconomic categories in six Arab countries.
We employed the PAPFAM population-based survey data on women from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the strength of the association between fair/poor SRH and objective health (reporting at least one chronic condition), adjusting for available socio-demographic and health-related variables. Analyses were then stratified by two socioeconomic indicators: education and household economic status.
The association between SRH and objective health is strong in Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, and OPT, but weak in Morocco. The strength of the association between reporting fair/poor health and objective health was not moderated by education or household economic status in any of the six countries.
As the SRH-objective health association does not vary across social categories, the use of the measure in social inequities in health research is justified. These results should not preclude the need to carry out other validation studies using longitudinal data on men and women, or the need to advocate for improving the quality of morbidity and mortality data in the Arab region.
Self-rated health, Social inequities in health; Arab region
To examine associations of patient ratings of communication by health care providers with patient language (English vs Spanish) and ethnicity (Latino vs white).
A random sample of patients receiving medical care from a physician group association concentrated on the West Coast was studied. A total of 7,093 English and Spanish language questionnaires were returned for an overall response rate of 59%. Five questions asking patients to rate communication by their health care providers were examined in this study. All five questions were administered with a 7-point response scale.
We estimated the associations of satisfaction ratings with language (English vs Spanish) and ethnicity (white vs Latino) using ordinal logistic models, controlling for age and gender. Latinos responding in Spanish (Latino/Spanish) were significantly more dissatisfied compared with Latinos responding in English (Latino/English) and non-Latino whites responding in English (white) when asked about: (1) the medical staff listened to what they say (29% vs 17% vs 13% rated this “very poor,”“poor,” or “fair”; p < .01); (2) answers to their questions (27% vs 16% vs 12%; p < .01); (3) explanations about prescribed medications (22% vs 19% vs 14%; p < .01); (4) explanations about medical procedures and test results (36% vs 21% vs 17%; p < .01); and (5) reassurance and support from their doctors and the office staff (37% vs 23% vs 18%; p < .01).
This study documents that Latino/Spanish respondents are significantly more dissatisfied with provider communication than Latino/English and white respondents. These results suggest Spanish-speaking Latinos may be at increased risk of lower quality of care and poor health outcomes. Efforts to improve the quality of communication with Spanish-speaking Latino patients in outpatient health care settings are needed.
Hispanic; Latino, satisfaction, communication; quality of care
Self-rated health (SRH) has been widely studied to assess health inequalities in both developed and developing countries. However, no studies have been performed in Central Asia. The aim of the study was to assess gender-, ethnic-, and social inequalities in SRH in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Altogether, 1500 randomly selected adults aged 45 years or older were invited to participate in a cross-sectional study and 1199 agreed (response rate 80%). SRH was classified as poor, satisfactory, good and excellent. Multinomial logistic regression was applied to study associations between SRH and socio-demographic characteristics. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) for poor vs. good and for satisfactory vs. good health were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Altogether, poor, satisfactory, good and excellent health was reported by 11.8%, 53.7%, 31.0% and 3.2% of the responders, respectively. Clear gradients in SRH were observed by age, education and self-reported material deprivation in both crude and adjusted analyses. Women were more likely to report poor (OR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.2-3.1) or satisfactory (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.2-2.1) than good health. Ethnic Russians and unmarried participants had greater odds for poor vs. good health (OR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.5-3.7 and OR = 4.0, 95% CI: 2.7-6.1, respectively) and for satisfactory vs. good health (OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.1-1.9 and OR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.4-2.5, respectively) in crude analysis, but the estimates were reduced to non-significant levels after adjustment. Unemployed and pensioners were less likely to report good health than white-collar workers while no difference in SRH was observed between white- and blue-collar workers.
Considerable levels of inequalities in SRH by age, gender, education and particularly self-reported material deprivation, but not by ethnicity or marital status were found in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Further research is warranted to identify the factors behind the observed associations in Kazakhstan.
Central Asia; Kazakhstan; Self-rated health; Determinants; Socio-demographic
As the Baby-Boom generation enters the ranks of the elderly adults over the next 4 decades, the United States will witness an unprecedented growth in racial/ethnic diversity among the older adult population. Hispanics will comprise 20% of the next generation of older adults, representing the largest minority population aged 65 years and older, with those of Mexican-origin comprising the majority of Hispanics. Little is known about the health status of this population.
Data are for Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 (ages 43–61) in the 2007 California Health Interview Survey. Logistic regression estimates the odds of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, fair/poor self-rated health (SRH), and functional difficulties among U.S.-born non-Hispanic Whites (NHW), U.S.-born Mexicans, naturalized Mexican immigrants, and noncitizen Mexican immigrants.
The Mexican-origin populations are disadvantaged relative to NHW for all socioeconomic status (SES) and several health outcomes. The Mexican origin disadvantage in health attenuates when controlling for SES and demographics, but the disadvantage remains for diabetes, obesity, and fair/poor SRH.
Baby Boomers of Mexican origin do not share the advantages of health, income, and educational attainment enjoyed by U.S.-born NHW. As this cohort moves into old age, the cumulative disadvantage of existing disparities are likely to result in continued or worse health disparities. Reductions in federal entitlement programs for the elderly adults that delay eligibility, scale back programs and services, or increase costs to consumers may exacerbate those inequities.
Baby Boomers; Diversity; Mexican origin populations; Health inequities
To create a patient-reported, multidimensional physician/patient interpersonal processes of care (IPC) instrument appropriate for patients from diverse racial/ethnic groups that allows reliable, valid, and unbiased comparisons across these groups.
Data Source/Data Collection
Data were collected by telephone interview. The survey was administered in English and Spanish to adult general medicine patients, stratified by race/ethnicity and language (African Americans, English-speaking Latinos, Spanish-speaking Latinos, non-Latino whites) (N = 1,664).
In this cross-sectional study, items were designed to be appropriate for diverse ethnic groups based on focus groups, our prior framework, literature, and cognitive interviews. Multitrait scaling and confirmatory factor analysis were used to examine measurement invariance; we identified scales that allowed meaningful quantitative comparisons across four race/ethnic/language groups.
The final instrument assesses several subdomains of communication, patient-centered decision making, and interpersonal style. It includes 29 items representing 12 first-order and seven second-order factors with equivalent meaning (metric invariance) across groups; 18 items (seven factors) allowed unbiased mean comparison across groups (scalar invariance). Final scales exhibited moderate to high reliability.
The IPC survey can be used to describe disparities in interpersonal care, predict patient outcomes, and examine outcomes of quality improvement efforts to reduce health care disparities.
Quality of care; race; ethnicity; measurement; measurement invariance; factorial invariance; physician-patient communication; physician-patient interaction