Article: article from journal or magazin.
Social inequalities of functioning and perceived health in Switzerland: a representative cross-sectional analysis.
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
Many people worldwide live with a disability, i.e. limitations in functioning. The prevalence is expected to increase due to demographic change and the growing importance of non-communicable disease and injury. To date, many epidemiological studies have used simple dichotomous measures of disability, even though the WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) provides a multi-dimensional framework of functioning. We aimed to examine associations of socio-economic status (SES) and social integration in 3 core domains of functioning (impairment, pain, limitations in activity and participation) and perceived health. We conducted a secondary analysis of representative cross-sectional data of the Swiss Health Survey 2007 including 10,336 female and 8,424 male Swiss residents aged 15 or more. Guided by a theoretical ICF-based model, 4 mixed effects Poisson regressions were fitted in order to explain functioning and perceived health by indicators of SES and social integration. Analyses were stratified by age groups (15-30, 31-54, ≥55 years). In all age groups, SES and social integration were significantly associated with functional and perceived health. Among the functional domains, impairment and pain were closely related, and both were associated with limitations in activity and participation. SES, social integration and functioning were related to perceived health. We found pronounced social inequalities in functioning and perceived health, supporting our theoretical model. Social factors play a significant role in the experience of health, even in a wealthy country such as Switzerland. These findings await confirmation in other, particularly lower resourced settings.
Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Attitude to Health, Cross-Sectional Studies, Disabled Persons/psychology, Disabled Persons/statistics & numerical data, Female, Health Status, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Theoretical, Poisson Distribution, Regression Analysis, Sex Factors, Socioeconomic Factors, Switzerland/epidemiology
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