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Self-assessed health of young-to-middle-aged adults in an English-speaking Caribbean nation

Authors Bourne P, South-Bourne N

Published 28 September 2010 Volume 2010:1 Pages 127—140


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Paul A Bourne, Neva South-Bourne
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

Background: Gender differences in self-assessed health in young-to-middle-aged adults are understudied in the English-speaking Caribbean nations.
Aims: The aims of the current research are to (1) provide demographic characteristics of young adults, (2) examine the self-assessed health of young adults, (3) identify social determinants that explain good health status for young adults, (4) determine the magnitude of each social determinant, and (5) reveal gender differences in self-assessed health.
Materials and methods: This study extracted a subsample of 3,024 respondents from a larger nationally cross-sectional survey of 6,782 Jamaicans. Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS v 16.0. Descriptive statistics were used to provide demographic information on the sample. Chi-square was used to examine the association between nonmetric variables, and an independent sample t-test was used to test the relationships between metric and dichotomous categorical variables. Logistic regression examined the relationship between the dependent variable and some predisposed independent variables.
Results: One percent of the sample claimed injury and 8% illness. Self-reported diagnosed illnesses were influenza (12.7%), diarrhea (2.9%), respiratory disease (14.1%), diabetes mellitus (7.8%), hypertension (7.8%), arthritis (2.9%), and unspecified conditions (41.2%). The mean length of illness was 26 days (SD = 98.9). Nine social determinants and biological conditions explained 19.2% of the variability of self-assessed health. Biological conditions accounted for 78.1% of the explanatory model.
Conclusion: Injury accounts for a miniscule percentage of illness and so using it to formulate intervention policies would lack the necessary depth to effectively address the health of this cohort.

Keywords: health care-seeking, soft-assessed health, health status

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