Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Sociology, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), Madrid, Spain. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Socioeconomic status, as measured by education, occupation or income, is associated with depression. However, data are lacking on the psychosocial, material and behavioral mediators of these associations. We have examined the association of education, occupation and income with depression and the potential mediations using community-based data.
A total of 7,966 older adults were interviewed in Finland, Poland and Spain. The differential associations between depression and SES, mediator variables, country of residence and cofounder variables, such as chronic physical conditions, were assessed through logistic regression models. Meditation analyses were carried out using khb method for Stata 13.1.
Education, followed by household income, were the SES indicators most frequently significantly associated with depression. These SES markers, but not occupation, showed an independent effect in this association. Psychosocial factors and loneliness in particular showed the strongest associations with depression among mediator variables. However, material factors and, especially, financial strain had a higher mediating function in the association between SES and depression. Overall, SES markers, chronic conditions and mediation factors were more positive in Finland than in Poland and Spain.
Improving psychosocial and material dimensions as well as access to the educational system for older adults might result in a reduction in the prevalence of depression in the general population and particularly among individuals with low SES.
OBJECTIVES: Patient-based health status measures have an important role to play in the assessment of health care outcomes. Among these measures, global assessments increasingly have been used, although the understanding of the performance of these indicators and the determinants of patients responses is underdeveloped. In this study, the performance of a single-item global indicator of visual function in cataract patients of four international settings was compared. METHODS: Visual acuity and ocular comorbidity was assessed by patients' ophthalmologist using Snellen-type charts in patients referred for a first cataract surgery in the United States, Manitoba (Canada), Denmark, and Barcelona (Spain). Patients also were interviewed by telephone and asked to report overall trouble with vision on a single-item indicator ("great deal," "moderate," "a little," "none") and to complete the Visual Functioning Index (VF-14), a scale of visual function ranging from 0 (worst function) to 100 (best level of function), along with other questions including the degree the patient was bothered by symptoms as measured by the Cataract Symptom Score (CSS). A total of 1,407 patients completed the clinical examination and the preoperative interview. RESULTS: Distribution of overall trouble with vision varied across the sites, with the proportion of patients reporting a great deal of trouble ranging from 21.7% to 37.9%. In all sites, patients reporting more trouble with vision tended to show a poorer age-adjusted and sex-adjusted visual acuity. The proportion of patients reporting great deal of trouble with vision was higher in the groups with worse visual acuity (P
COURAGE in Europe was a 3-year project involving 12 partners from four European countries and the World Health Organization. It was inspired by the pressing need to integrate international studies on disability and ageing in light of an innovative perspective based on a validated data-collection protocol. COURAGE in Europe Project collected data on the determinants of health and disability in an ageing population, with specific tools for the evaluation of the role of the built environment and social networks on health, disability, quality of life and well-being. The main survey was conducted by partners in Finland, Poland and Spain where the survey has been administered to a sample of 10,800 persons, which was completed in March 2012. The newly developed and validated COURAGE Protocol for Ageing Studies has proven to be a valid tool for collecting comparable data in ageing population, and the COURAGE in Europe Project has created valid and reliable scientific evidence, demonstrating cross-country comparability, for disability and ageing research and policy development. It is therefore recommended that future studies exploring determinants of health and disability in ageing use the COURAGE-derived methodology.
COURAGE in Europe Project collected data on the determinants of health and disability in an ageing population, with specific tools for the evaluation of the role of built environment and social networks on health, disability quality of life and well-being. The COURAGE Protocol for Ageing Studies has proven to be a valid tool for collecting comparable data in the ageing population. The COURAGE in Europe Consortium recommends that future studies exploring determinants of health and disability in ageing use COURAGE-derived methodology.
To identify the determinants of mobility among people aged 50+ from Finland, Spain and Poland.
Observational cross-sectional population study.
A mobility score was based on responses to items referring to body movements, walking, moving around and using transportation. Determinants of mobility were entered in hierarchical regression models in the following order: sociodemographic characteristics, health habits, chronic conditions, description of general state of health, vision and hearing, social networks, built environment.
Complete data were available for 3902 participants (mean age 65.1, SD 9.8). The final model explained 64.7% of the variation in mobility. The most relevant predictors were: pain, age and living in Finland, presence of arthritis, stroke and diabetes, high-risk waist circumference, physical inactivity, and perceiving the neighborhood environment as more exploitable.
Our results provide public health indications that could support concrete actions to address the modifiable determinants of mobility. These include the identification and treatment of pain-related problems, increasing the level of physical activity and the improvement of neighborhood features in terms of presence of general utility places or means of transportation. These factors can be modified with short- to medium-term interventions and such a change could improve the mobility of ageing population, with evident benefits for health.
To comprehensively identify the determinants of quality of life (QoL) in a population study sample of persons aged 18-50 and 50+.
In this observational, cross-sectional study, QoL was measured with the WHOQOL-AGE, a brief instrument designed to measure QoL in older adults. Eight hierarchical regression models were performed to identify determinants of QoL. Variables were entered in the following order: Sociodemographic; Health Habits; Chronic Conditions; Health State description; Vision and Hearing; Social Networks; Built Environment. In the final model, significant variables were retained. The final model was re-run using data from the three countries separately.
Complete data were available for 5639 participants, mean age 46.3 (SD 18.4). The final model accounted for 45% of QoL variation and the most relevant contribution was given by sociodemographic data (particularly age, education level and living in Finland: 17.9% explained QoL variation), chronic conditions (particularly depression: 4.6%) and a wide and rich social network (4.6%). Other determinants were presence of disabling pain, learning difficulties and visual problems, and living in usable house that is perceived as non-risky. Some variables were specifically associated to QoL in single countries: age in Poland, alcohol consumption in Spain, angina in Finland, depression in Spain, and self-reported sadness both in Finland and Poland, but not in Spain. Other were commonly associated to QoL: smoking status, bodily aches, being emotionally affected by health problems, good social network and home characteristics.
Our results highlight the importance of modifiable determinants of QoL, and provide public health indications that could support concrete actions at country level. In particular, smoking cessation, increasing the level of physical activity, improving social network ties and applying universal design approach to houses and environmental infrastructures could potentially increase QoL of ageing population.
Background: Research addressing the impact of a large number of factors on unemployment is scarce. We aimed to comprehensively identify factors related to unemployment in a sample of persons aged 18-64 from Finland, Poland and Spain. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, factors from different areas were considered: socio-demographic indicators, health habits, chronic conditions, health state markers, vision and hearing indicators, and social networks and built environment scores. Results: Complete data were available for 5003 participants, mean age 48.1 (SD 11.5), 45.4% males. The most important factors connected to unemployment were health status indicators such as physical disability (OR = 2.944), self-rated health (OR = 2.629), inpatient care (OR = 1.980), and difficulties with getting to the toilet (OR = 2.040), while the most relevant factor related to employment were moderate alcohol consumption (OR = 0.732 for non-heavy drinkers; OR = 0.573 for infrequent heavy drinkers), and being married (OR = 0.734), or having been married (OR = 0.584). Other factors that played a significant role included presence of depression (OR = 1.384) and difficulties with near vision (OR = 1.584) and conversation hearing (OR = 1.597). Conclusions: Our results highlight the importance of selected factors related to unemployment, and suggest public health indications that could support concrete actions on modifiable factors, such as those aimed to promote physical activity and healthy behaviors, tackling depression or promoting education, in particular for the younger.
To explore the associations between health and how people evaluate and experience their lives.
We analysed data from nationally-representative household surveys originally conducted in 2011-2012 in Finland, Poland and Spain. These surveys provided information on 10?800 adults, for whom experienced well-being was measured using the Day Reconstruction Method and evaluative well-being was measured with the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. Health status was assessed by questions in eight domains including mobility and self-care. We used multiple linear regression, structural equation models and multiple indicators/multiple causes models to explore factors associated with experienced and evaluative well-being.
The multiple indicator/multiple causes model conducted over the pooled sample showed that respondents with younger age (effect size, ß?=?0.19), with higher levels of education (ß?=?-0.12), a history of depression (ß?=?-0.17), poor health status (ß?=?0.29) or poor cognitive functioning (ß?=?0.09) reported worse experienced well-being. Additional factors associated with worse evaluative well-being were male sex (ß?=?-0.03), not living with a partner (ß?=?0.07), and lower occupational (ß?=?-0.07) or income levels (ß?=?0.08). Health status was the factor most strongly correlated with both experienced and evaluative well-being, even after controlling for a history of depression, age, income and other sociodemographic variables.
Health status is an important correlate of well-being. Therefore, strategies to improve population health would also improve people's well-being.
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To describe international variation in anesthesia care and monitoring during cataract surgery and to discuss its implications for cost and safety.
A standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States, Canada, and Barcelona, Spain, and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark. The survey was conducted in 1993 and 1994. Certified ophthalmologists who had performed 1 or more cataract extractions in the previous year were eligible for enrollment.
The response rates were 62% in the United States (n=148), 67% in Canada (n=276), 70% in Barcelona (n=89), and 80% in Denmark (n=82). The anesthetic technique for cataract surgery varied significantly between sites (P
OBJECTIVES: To describe international variation in the management of patients with cataacts in 4 health care systems and to discuss the potential implications for cost and utilization of services. DESIGN: To characterize current clinical practice on patients with no coexisting medical or ocular conditions, a standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States (response rate, 82.5%), Canada (66.9%), and Barcelona, Spain (70.4%), and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark (80.1%). From the United States, 526 ophthalmologists who performed cataract surgery participated in the study; there were 276 from Canada, 89 from Barcelona, and 82 from Denmark. RESULTS: Although in all 4 sites most surgeons reported that they performed A-scanning, fundus examination, and refraction routinely before surgery, significant crossnational variation was observed in preoperative ophthalmic and medical testing. While preoperative medical tests were virtually unused in Denmark, they were widely used in the other sites. A significantly higher proportion of the surgeons in the United States and Barcelona reported that they performed less than 100 extractions per year compared with surgeons in Canada and Denmark (P
It is widely recognized that social networks and loneliness have effects on health. The present study assesses the differential association that the components of the social network and the subjective perception of loneliness have with health, and analyzes whether this association is different across different countries.
A total of 10 800 adults were interviewed in Finland, Poland and Spain. Loneliness was assessed by means of the 3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale. Individuals' social networks were measured by asking about the number of members in the network, how often they had contacts with these members, and whether they had a close relationship. The differential association of loneliness and the components of the social network with health was assessed by means of hierarchical linear regression models, controlling for relevant covariates.
In all three countries, loneliness was the variable most strongly correlated with health after controlling for depression, age, and other covariates. Loneliness contributed more strongly to health than any component of the social network. The relationship between loneliness and health was stronger in Finland (
= 0.25) than in Poland (
= 0.16) and Spain (
= 0.18). Frequency of contact was the only component of the social network that was moderately correlated with health.
Loneliness has a stronger association with health than the components of the social network. This association is similar in three different European countries with different socio-economic and health characteristics and welfare systems. The importance of evaluating and screening feelings of loneliness in individuals with health problems should be taken into account. Further studies are needed in order to be able to confirm the associations found in the present study and infer causality.