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Med Care. 2007 Jul;45(7):610-7.

Comparing three measures of health status (perceived health with Likert-type scale, EQ-5D, and number of chronic conditions) in Chinese and white Canadians.

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  • 1Department of Community Health Sciences, The Center for Health and Policy Studies, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



Measures of perceived health status may be vulnerable to ethnic and sociodemographic characteristics. The purpose of this study was to compare self-reported health status in Chinese and whites using 3 measures: physical and mental health status with the 5-point Likert-type scale, the EQ-5D together with a modified health index scale (0-100), and number of chronic conditions.


A cross-sectional telephone survey of Chinese and white Canadians was conducted in a large city in Alberta, Canada.


We analyzed 830 Chinese and 789 white respondents. Chinese, compared with whites, reported better health status using the EQ-5D health index (0.94 vs. 0.86) and had fewer chronic conditions surveyed (51.9% vs. 79.2% had one or more conditions). However, Chinese rated their health status fair or poor more often than whites (27.3% vs. 9.7% for physical health and 24.0% vs. 5.0% for mental health) and both groups rated similarly on the health index scale (80.0 for Chinese vs. 77.9 for white).


Health status measurements performed inconsistently across ethnic populations. The EQ-5D health index was consistent with the number of chronic conditions, whereas results from the 5-point Likert-type scale and the health index scale were not consistent with the number of chronic conditions. Perceived health status differed by the measures used and ethnicity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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