An Evaluation of Socioeconomic Factors and Health Status on Health-Related Quality Of Life (HRQoL) in Rural Texas

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2017-03-14

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Sanchez, Roberto
Urbanczyk, Rachel
Abraham, Stacy
Mamun, Md Abdullah
Gibson, John Dr.

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Purpose: HRQoL allows us to focus on how the individual perceives his or her own impairments of health. HRQoL in rural areas is rarely examined, yet its measurements can help identify significant health disparity issues and community burdens that will further highlight the needs in communities. We hypothesized that demographic factors and mental illness would have a significant impact on HRQoL in rural Texas communities. Methods: A cross-sectional survey in the form of a questionnaire was completed by 191 patients in 2 different rural Texas communities. Survey questions were taken from the CDC Health Related Quality of Life-14 “Healthy Days Measure” system and from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System questionnaire. Relationship of socioeconomic factors and health status with HRQoL were assessed using univariate and multiple variable analysis. Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to examine the mean number of unhealthy days in Texas versus the two rural communities in the study. Results: After adjusting for age and gender, we found that on average Hispanics reported a significantly less number of physical or mental unhealthy days in comparison to Whites (p-value = 0.0167). We also found that people with high income reported significantly less number of physical and mental unhealthy days on average (p-value for Conclusions: The results suggest that HRQoL can be influenced by many factors, including income level, race, and location. Our results identified that mental health factors are an important component affecting HRQoL and should be studied further in rural Texas communities. Focus on mental health programs and economic development could be beneficial for these communities.

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