The relation of reported symptoms to social, individual, and behavioral indicators of ill-health : is the number of reported symptoms a unique general dimension of ill-health ?
Counts of functional symptoms are an accepted measure of ill-health in general populations.
However, their relation to other indicators of ill-health are still poorly understood.
The aim of this study was to investigate such relations in order to reach a better understanding of the'meaning'of the number of symptoms.
The data analyzed was drawn from a telephone health survey conducted among a representative sample of 2111 Swiss adults as part of the Intercantonal Health Indicators Project in 1989.
In a logistic regression analysis the Number of symptoms (a summery score of eleven severe function symptoms) was found to be strongly associated with eight social, behavioral, and psychological indicators of ill-health ( « Unable to work », « Frequently consulting a physician », « Use of analgesics », « Use of sedatives », « Poor coping with ill-health », « Social impairment », « Poor health », and « Poor psychological well-being »). To control for effects due to individual symptoms, they were included in the models by stepwise procedure.
Although individual symptoms became predictive for all indicators (except for Poor coping with illness), the association between the Number of symptoms and the indicators (except for Social impairment) remained statistically significant.
Despite methodological provisos our results seem to support an interpretation of the Number of symptoms as a distinct and general dimension of ill-health.
Mots-clés Pascal : Nombre, Symptome négatif, Indicateur, Santé, Enquête, Méthodologie, Homme, Validité, Suisse, Epidémiologie, Europe
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Number, Negative symptom, Indicator, Health, Inquiry, Methodology, Human, Validity, Switzerland, Epidemiology, Europe
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0382976
Code Inist : 002B30A01A1. Création : 01/03/1996.