Self-Rated Health, Interviewer-Rated Health, and Their Predictive Powers on Mortality in Old Age

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Abstract

Objectives:

This study examines the potential use of interviewer-rated health (IRH) as a complementary measure of self-rated health (SRH) through a systematic comparison of their components and mortality-predictive powers in the Chinese elderly population.

Methods:

This study used a nationwide dataset with more than 12,000 adults aged 65 or older drawn from the 2005 and 2008 waves of the Chinese Longitudinal Health Longevity Survey (CLHLS).

Results:

Disability, cognitive function, chronic disease conditions, psychological well-being, and health behaviors influenced both the SRH and IRH of Chinese older adults; these factors, especially disabilities, explained a large portion of the association between SRH and mortality. However, the impact of these factors on the association between IRH and mortality was limited. Furthermore, when both SRH and IRH were included in the analytical models, the association between SRH and mortality disappeared, while the association between IRH and mortality still persisted.

Discussion:

Although there is some difference between IRH and SRH, IRH captures similar health information as SRH and is strongly predictive of mortality independent of SRH; thus, IRH could be a good supplementary measurement for well-adopted SRH.

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