Sci 100 personal health assessment paper

Briefly summarizing, selfassessed health seems mainly to be associated with physical health problems, functional capacities, health behaviour, and psychological aspects. Only two of these qualitative studies attempted to include equal numbers of participants of different sociodemographic backgrounds. It would be relevant to know whether participants from different subgroups consider entirely different aspects when assessing their health, but with the exception of Krause and Jay's study, 5 qualitative studies on self-assessed health rarely examined subgroup differences.

We initiated a qualitative study on self-assessed health in a sample that has been stratified on background characteristics, health status, and health assessment. Is it very good, good, fair, sometimes good and sometimes poor, or poor? We believe that health assessments follow an individual process of ordering and weighing different health aspects. Therefore, we asked participants what went through their minds when answering the question on self-assessed health.

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The analysis was guided by the following research questions: Which aspects do participants consider when answering the question on self-assessed health? Do participants with different background characteristics age and gender , and participants with different health status with and without current chronic conditions consider the same or different aspects when assessing their health? Do participants with good and less-than-good self-assessed health consider the same or different aspects when assessing their health?

Our study population consists of participants of the GLOBE study, a longitudinal study designed to describe and explain sociodemographic inequalities in health in the Netherlands. In , a subgroup of respondents to the baseline interview were approached to participate in a follow-up study. For our qualitative study, we drew a stratified sample from the respondents to the follow-up. The interviews took place in The variables for stratification have been chosen because of their supposed relationship with self-assessed health: gender, age, socioeconomic status, and health status.

Furthermore, we stratified on the most recent available i. In each stratum, participants were randomly selected.

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It was, however, not possible to select participants in all strata, due to various reasons. First, some strata did not exist in the population from which we drew our study sample. Second, the number of possible participants that fitted a particular profile i. When these participants all refused to participate in our study, there were no other eligible participants we could approach. Third, some participants changed their health assessment during the semi-structured interview compared to the followup data on which we based our initial selection of respondents. From May till December , we approached 63 people by mail and telephone.

Fourteen persons were unwilling to participate in the study, we were unable to get into contact with six persons, and three persons were unavailable during the study period, although willing to participate. The distribution of the different stratification variables can be seen in table 1. All participants were interviewed in their homes by the principal investigator JS. We started with analysing the verbatim text of the interviews. In each interview, we condensed the answers given to the single-item measure on self-assessed health and the reasons for this health assessment.

Parts of the text representing the same theme were summarised with a single phrase, hereby paraphrasing the participant.

In this way, each interview could be condensed into personal themes. Next, we categorized the personal themes of all participants into a smaller number of recurrent themes, which we will refer to as health aspects. Finally, on categorization of these health aspects, five conceptually meaningful health dimensions emerged see Appendix 1 for a flow chart of the coding process. The results were compared and discussed to come to a reliable method for analysing the interviews.

Next, the principal investigator JS read and coded all interviews, and designed the final categorization scheme. Finally, one of the other researchers IJ independently applied the categorization scheme on the level of health dimensions to eight of the interviews. This paper presents the overall frequency distribution of the different dimensions and health aspects, as well as the distribution of health dimensions by gender, age, health status, and health assessment. Chi-square analyses are used to examine whether referring to a particular dimension varies significantly for different subgroups.

The final categorization scheme consists of 17 health aspects, categorized into five health dimensions. The frequencies with which the different health dimensions and health aspects were mentioned are shown in table 2. In Appendix 2 the description of the health dimensions and health aspects are given and illustrated with quotations. Also, references to the im balance between physical and mental health were included in the wellbeing dimension.

Within each of the overall health dimensions, we have tried to maintain the subtle nuances observed in the interviews by distinghuishing different health aspects. In cases where nuances were quite subtle i. However, in the subgroup analyses only the classification in health dimensions was used. The number of dimensions participants referred to ranged from one to three health dimensions. In total, 40 participants made 62 references to health dimension, thus on average participants mentioned 1. Some differences between participants with different background characteristics gender and age can be observed table 3.

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No gender differences can be observed in the frequency of physical aspects, aspects of wellbeing and aspects of coping. However, in our study group clear age differences can be observed. With respect to the coping dimension, the age difference is less marked and not statistically significant. Still, almost onethird of the older participants versus onefifth of the younger mentioned aspects of coping. Participants with and without a current illness differ notably on two dimensions. Although only the former mention functional aspects with a positive connotation: being able to do almost anything, whether or not in relation to a relatively high age.

Participants with and participants without a chronic illness refer to disability or impaired mobility due to a chronic illness or a history of disease. Nevertheless, for participants with and without a current illness self-assessed health is predominantly associated with the physical dimension. The final column in table 3 shows that men, elderly, and chronically ill participants refer to more health dimensions than women, younger participants, and those with no current illness.

The gradient from good to poor self-assessed health is very clear, although not statistically significant.

Structured Abstract

When functional aspects are mentioned by participants in good health, it is always with a positive undertone. In addition to positive functional aspects participants in less-than-good health refer to disability and impaired mobility due to disease or illness. Remarkably, only participants in less-than-good health compare their own health with that of other people who are worse off. Clearly, for good as well as for less-than-good self-assessed health the physical dimension is very important. Participants in good health mention the absence of physical problems, only experiencing minor illnesses or age-related symptoms, and a good prognosis.

SCI Week 1 Individual Assignment Personal Health Assessment Paper

Being in less-than-good health is also associated with the absence of physical problems or only experiencing age-related symptoms. However, participants in less-than-good health also refer to the presence of physical problems. Of those in less-than-good health, particularly participants in poor health mention the severity of their chronic illness and a poor prognosis: their illness has deteriorated.

The final column of table 3 shows that participants with a less favourable health assessment refer to more health dimensions than participants with the most favourable health assessment. A clear gradient can be observed, from an average of 1. The physical dimension of health has, traditionally, been viewed as being the core of self-assessed health, and in our study too this dimension proved to be a central factor in health self-assessments.

Besides physical aspects participants considered the extent to which they are able to perform functional dimension , the extent to which they adapted to, or their attitude towards an existing illness coping dimension , and simply the way they feel wellbeing dimension.

Health behaviours proved to be relatively unimportant in health self-assessments. All in all, we may well conclude that self-assessed health is not just a physical but a multidimensional concept. When interpreting the results of the present study, some methodological issues should be kept in mind. First, since most qualitative studies apply an inductive procedure to analyse the interviews, our study differs from the other studies on self-assessed health both with respect to the terminology used and the final categorization of these health aspects.

Different researchers thus apply a different terminology, but table 4 also shows that, in general, qualitative studies on self-assessed health are quite similar with respect to the health aspects that have been drawn from the interviews. Second, some studies only included those aspects in the analysis which participants mentioned first single-reference studies , other studies included all aspects which participants mentioned multiple-reference studies.

Third, even in our small-scale study we were able to identify some statistically significant subgroup differences. When these findings were to be repeated in a larger study population, these subgroup differences would be statistically significant. Therefore, we included these smaller and non-significant subgroup differences in our interpretation of the findings regarding subgroup differences.

As noted earlier the physical health dimension was very dominant. On the other hand, virtually no reference was made to mental health.