Norm-based comparison of SF -12 physical and mental health scale scores for a sample of employees of Broward County

Sandra Lynn Poirier, Florida International University

Abstract

In the new health paradigm, the connotation of health has extended beyond the measures of morbidity and mortality to include wellness and quality of life. Comprehensive assessments of health go beyond traditional biological indicators to include measures of physical and mental health status, social role-functioning, and general health perceptions. To meet these challenges, tools for assessment and outcome evaluation are being designed to collect information about functioning and well-being from the individual's point of view.^ The purpose of this study was to profile the physical and mental health status of a sample of county government employees against U.S. population norms. A second purpose of the study was to determine if significant relationships existed between respondent characteristics and personal health practices, lifestyle and other health how the tools and methods used in this investigation can be used to guide program development and facilitate monitoring of health promotion initiatives.^ The SF-12 Health Survey (Ware, Kosinski, & Keller, 1995), a validated measure of health status, was administered to a convenience sample of 450 employees attending one of nine health fairs at an urban worksite. The instrument has been utilized nationally which enabled a comparative analysis of findings of this study with national results.^ Results from this study demonstrated that several respondent characteristics and personal health practices were associated with a greater percentage of physical and/or mental scale scores that were significantly "worse" or significantly "better" than the general population. Respondent characteristics that were significantly related to the SF-12 physical and/or mental health scale scores were gender, age, education, ethnicity, and income status. Personal health practices that were significantly related to SF-12 physical and/or mental scale scores were frequency of vigorous exercise, presence of chronic illness, being at one's prescribed height and weight, eating breakfast, smoking and drinking status. This study provides an illustration of the methods used to analyze and interpret SF-12 Health Survey data, using norm-based interpretation guidelines which are useful for purposes of program development and collecting information on health at the community level. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Mental Health|Education, Adult and Continuing|Health Sciences, Public Health|Education, Health

Recommended Citation

Poirier, Sandra Lynn, "Norm-based comparison of SF -12 physical and mental health scale scores for a sample of employees of Broward County" (1998). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9903433.
https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9903433

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