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Journal Article

Citation

Fekete C, Siegrist J, Reinhardt JD, Brinkhof MW. PLoS One 2014; 9(2): e90130.

Affiliation

Swiss Paraplegic Research, Nottwil, Switzerland ; Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, University of Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2014, Public Library of Science)

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0090130

PMID

24587239

PMCID

PMC3938582

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate socioeconomic inequalities in a comprehensive set of health indicators among persons with spinal cord injury in a wealthy country, Switzerland. METHODS: Observational cross-sectional data from 1549 participants of the Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort Study (SwiSCI), aged over 16 years, and living in Switzerland were analyzed. Socioeconomic circumstances were operationalized by years of formal education, net equivalent household income and financial hardship. Health indicators including secondary conditions, comorbidities, pain, mental health, participation and quality of life were used as outcomes. Associations between socioeconomic circumstances and health indicators were evaluated using ordinal regressions. RESULTS: Financial hardship was consistently associated with more secondary conditions (OR 3.37, 95% CI 2.18-5.21), comorbidities (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.83-4.53) and pain (OR 3.32, 95% CI 2.21-4.99), whereas mental health (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.15-0.36), participation (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.21-0.43) and quality of life (OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.15-0.33) were reduced. Persons with higher education reported better mental health (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.00-1.07) and higher quality of life (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.09); other health indicators were not associated with education. Household income was not related to any of the studied health indicators when models were controlled for financial hardship. CONCLUSIONS: Suffering from financial hardship goes along with significant reductions in physical health, functioning and quality of life, even in a wealthy country with comprehensive social and health policies.


Language: en

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