Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada ; Douglas Mental Health University Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada ; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada ; Montreal Diabetes Research Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Self-rated health (SRH) is a single-item measure that is one of the most widely used measures of general health in population health research. Relatively little is known about changes and the trajectories of SRH in people with chronic medical conditions. The aims of the present study were to identify and describe longitudinal trajectories of self-rated health (SRH) status in people with diabetes.
A prospective community study was carried out between 2008 and 2011. SRH was assessed at baseline and yearly at follow-ups (n=1288). Analysis was carried out through trajectory modeling. The trajectory groups were subsequently compared at 4 years follow-up with respect to functioning.
Four distinct trajectories of SRH were identified: 1) 72.2% of the participants were assigned to a persistently good SRH trajectory; 2) 10.1% were assigned to a persistently poor SRH trajectory; 3) mean SRH scores changed from good to poor for one group (7.3%); while 4) mean SRH scores changed from poor to medium/good for another group (10.4%). Those with a persistently poor perception of health status were at higher risk for poor functioning at 4 years follow-up than those whose SRH scores decreased from good to poor.
SRH is an important predictor for poor functioning in diabetes, but the trajectory of SRH seems to be even more important. Health professionals should pay attention to not only SRH per se, but also changes in SRH over time.
Cites: J Gen Intern Med. 2007 Nov;22(11):1596-60217874169