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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2013 Apr;33(4):302-10.

[Self-assessment of health by older Brazilians: systematic review of the literature].

[Article in Portuguese]

Author information

1
Faculdade de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, GO, Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To conduct a systematic review of the literature on self-assessment of health status in the elderly population.

METHODS:

Medline and LILACS were searched following the Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) methodology. Original articles on self-assessment of health status conducted with older Brazilians were selected. The following were examined: general characteristics of the studies, the prevalence of negative self-assessment of health, the factors associated with this negative self-assessment, the question used to inquire about health status and response categories.

RESULTS:

Of 97 studies identified, 11 met the inclusion criteria. Variations between the studies regarding the formulation of the question and answer choices were identified. The prevalence of negative health self-assessment ranged from 12.6 to 51.9% between studies. The most usual dependent variables associated with negative self-assessment of health were the presence of disease, number of medications, monthly family/household income, hospitalizations, medical office visits, difficulty/inability to perform activities of daily living, presence of depressive and anxiety symptoms, and complaints of insomnia.

CONCLUSIONS:

The heterogeneity of factors associated with a negative self-evaluation indicates that the health of older individuals is defined by determinants that fall within a broad view of health. The standardization of questions and answers for research on self-assessment of health in older people is recommended, since this information will produce knowledge and allow monitoring and comparison of results, and will therefore be useful in guiding decision-making regarding the formulation of health policies for Brazil and Latin America.

PMID:
23698180
DOI:
10.1590/s1020-49892013000400010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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