Older adults rate their mental health better than their general health

Elena M. Magwene, Ana Quinones, Gillian L. Marshall, Lena K. Makaroun, Stephen Thielke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Self-rated health (SRH) shows strong associations with measures of health and well-being. Increasingly, studies have used self-rated mental health (SRMH) as a predictor of various outcomes, independently or together with SRH. Research has not firmly established if and how these two constructs differ. We sought to characterize the relationship between SRH and SRMH, and to determine how this relationship differed across subgroups defined by sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. Design and methods. We analyzed data from the 2012 CAHPS Medicare Advantage Survey. SRH and SRMH ratings were crosstabulated to determine the distribution of responses across response categories. The expected joint probability distribution was computed and compared to the observed distribution. A constructed variable indicated whether SRMH was better, the same, or worse than SRH. We analyzed the distribution of this variable across various subgroups defined by sociodemographic and health-related factors. Results. A total of 114,905 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries responded to both the SRH and SRMH questions. Both in general and within all subgroups, SRMH was usually rated as better than SRH, and rarely as worse. Conclusions. Within a large group of Medicare recipients, the overwhelming trend was for recipients to rate their mental health as at least as good as their overall health, regardless of any sociodemographic and health-related factors. This finding of a shifted distribution encourages caution in the analytic use of selfrated mental health, particularly the use of both SRH and SRMH for adjustment. Additional research is needed to help clarify the complex relationship between these variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number967
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health Research
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 29 2017

Fingerprint

Mental Health
Health
Medicare Part C
Social Adjustment
Medicare
Research

Keywords

  • CAHPS
  • Older adults
  • Self-rated health
  • Self-rated mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Older adults rate their mental health better than their general health. / Magwene, Elena M.; Quinones, Ana; Marshall, Gillian L.; Makaroun, Lena K.; Thielke, Stephen.

In: Journal of Public Health Research, Vol. 6, No. 2, 967, 29.09.2017, p. 78-84.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Magwene, Elena M. ; Quinones, Ana ; Marshall, Gillian L. ; Makaroun, Lena K. ; Thielke, Stephen. / Older adults rate their mental health better than their general health. In: Journal of Public Health Research. 2017 ; Vol. 6, No. 2. pp. 78-84.
@article{68961fdaf369415684a3a1f05019ea85,
title = "Older adults rate their mental health better than their general health",
abstract = "Background. Self-rated health (SRH) shows strong associations with measures of health and well-being. Increasingly, studies have used self-rated mental health (SRMH) as a predictor of various outcomes, independently or together with SRH. Research has not firmly established if and how these two constructs differ. We sought to characterize the relationship between SRH and SRMH, and to determine how this relationship differed across subgroups defined by sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. Design and methods. We analyzed data from the 2012 CAHPS Medicare Advantage Survey. SRH and SRMH ratings were crosstabulated to determine the distribution of responses across response categories. The expected joint probability distribution was computed and compared to the observed distribution. A constructed variable indicated whether SRMH was better, the same, or worse than SRH. We analyzed the distribution of this variable across various subgroups defined by sociodemographic and health-related factors. Results. A total of 114,905 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries responded to both the SRH and SRMH questions. Both in general and within all subgroups, SRMH was usually rated as better than SRH, and rarely as worse. Conclusions. Within a large group of Medicare recipients, the overwhelming trend was for recipients to rate their mental health as at least as good as their overall health, regardless of any sociodemographic and health-related factors. This finding of a shifted distribution encourages caution in the analytic use of selfrated mental health, particularly the use of both SRH and SRMH for adjustment. Additional research is needed to help clarify the complex relationship between these variables.",
keywords = "CAHPS, Older adults, Self-rated health, Self-rated mental health",
author = "Magwene, {Elena M.} and Ana Quinones and Marshall, {Gillian L.} and Makaroun, {Lena K.} and Stephen Thielke",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "29",
doi = "10.4081/jphr.2017.967",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "6",
pages = "78--84",
journal = "Journal of Public Health Research",
issn = "2279-9028",
publisher = "PagePress Publications",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Older adults rate their mental health better than their general health

AU - Magwene, Elena M.

AU - Quinones, Ana

AU - Marshall, Gillian L.

AU - Makaroun, Lena K.

AU - Thielke, Stephen

PY - 2017/9/29

Y1 - 2017/9/29

N2 - Background. Self-rated health (SRH) shows strong associations with measures of health and well-being. Increasingly, studies have used self-rated mental health (SRMH) as a predictor of various outcomes, independently or together with SRH. Research has not firmly established if and how these two constructs differ. We sought to characterize the relationship between SRH and SRMH, and to determine how this relationship differed across subgroups defined by sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. Design and methods. We analyzed data from the 2012 CAHPS Medicare Advantage Survey. SRH and SRMH ratings were crosstabulated to determine the distribution of responses across response categories. The expected joint probability distribution was computed and compared to the observed distribution. A constructed variable indicated whether SRMH was better, the same, or worse than SRH. We analyzed the distribution of this variable across various subgroups defined by sociodemographic and health-related factors. Results. A total of 114,905 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries responded to both the SRH and SRMH questions. Both in general and within all subgroups, SRMH was usually rated as better than SRH, and rarely as worse. Conclusions. Within a large group of Medicare recipients, the overwhelming trend was for recipients to rate their mental health as at least as good as their overall health, regardless of any sociodemographic and health-related factors. This finding of a shifted distribution encourages caution in the analytic use of selfrated mental health, particularly the use of both SRH and SRMH for adjustment. Additional research is needed to help clarify the complex relationship between these variables.

AB - Background. Self-rated health (SRH) shows strong associations with measures of health and well-being. Increasingly, studies have used self-rated mental health (SRMH) as a predictor of various outcomes, independently or together with SRH. Research has not firmly established if and how these two constructs differ. We sought to characterize the relationship between SRH and SRMH, and to determine how this relationship differed across subgroups defined by sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. Design and methods. We analyzed data from the 2012 CAHPS Medicare Advantage Survey. SRH and SRMH ratings were crosstabulated to determine the distribution of responses across response categories. The expected joint probability distribution was computed and compared to the observed distribution. A constructed variable indicated whether SRMH was better, the same, or worse than SRH. We analyzed the distribution of this variable across various subgroups defined by sociodemographic and health-related factors. Results. A total of 114,905 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries responded to both the SRH and SRMH questions. Both in general and within all subgroups, SRMH was usually rated as better than SRH, and rarely as worse. Conclusions. Within a large group of Medicare recipients, the overwhelming trend was for recipients to rate their mental health as at least as good as their overall health, regardless of any sociodemographic and health-related factors. This finding of a shifted distribution encourages caution in the analytic use of selfrated mental health, particularly the use of both SRH and SRMH for adjustment. Additional research is needed to help clarify the complex relationship between these variables.

KW - CAHPS

KW - Older adults

KW - Self-rated health

KW - Self-rated mental health

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85030703278&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85030703278&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.4081/jphr.2017.967

DO - 10.4081/jphr.2017.967

M3 - Article

VL - 6

SP - 78

EP - 84

JO - Journal of Public Health Research

JF - Journal of Public Health Research

SN - 2279-9028

IS - 2

M1 - 967

ER -