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. . . In the "public health corps" and in health, wellness, fitness and disease, the concept of health-related quality of life refers to a person or group's believed physical and mental health over a measured time period. Physicians have often used health-related quality of life to measure the affect of chronic illness and disease in their patients, to help better understand how an disease issue interferes with a person's overall wellness and health and the impact on their every-day healthy life and healthy lifestyle goals.
Public health corps professionals and a
public health clinic may also sometimes utilize health-related quality-of-life issues to
measure the effects of various health and wellness conditions, short or
long-term disabilities, and disease in diverse populations.
Tracking health-related quality of life in different
populations can identify groups with poor physical
or mental health and can help guide policies or work
to improve their health.
Answer the set of questions called the "Healthy
Days Measurements" to measure health-related quality
of life. These health questions include the following:
Would you say that in general your overall health is:
- Very good
- Good or Average
Now thinking about your general physical wellness and health, which includes
physical illness and injury, for how many days during
the past 30 days was your physical health not good?
Now thinking about your mental health, which includes
stress, depression, and problems with emotions, how many days during the past 30-days was your mental
health not good?
During the past 30 days, for about how many days did
poor physical or mental health keep you from doing your
usual activities, such as self-care, work, or recreation?
This section includes the four core questions above,
and ten additional questions about health-related quality
of life. These questions ask about recent pain, depression,
anxiety, sleeplessness, vitality, and the cause, duration,
and severity of a current activity limitation an individual
may have in his or her life.
How is the summary index of
unhealthy days calculated?
Unhealthy days are an estimate of the overall number
of days during the previous 30 days when the respondent
felt that either his or her physical or mental health
was not good. To obtain this estimate, responses to
questions 2 and 3 are combined to calculate a summary
index of overall unhealthy days, with a maximum
of 30 poor health days per month.
For example, a person reporting
4 physically unhealthy days and 2 mentally unhealthy
days is assigned a value of 6 unhealthy days, and
someone who reports 30 physically unhealthy days and
30 mentally unhealthy days is assigned the maximum of
30 unhealthy days.
Healthy days are the positive complementary form of
unhealthy days. Healthy days estimates the number of
recent days when a person's physical and mental health
was good (or better) and is calculated by subtracting
the number of unhealthy days from 30 days.
- Americans said they feel unhealthy (physically or
mentally) about 6 days per month.
- Americans said they feel "healthy and full
of energy" about 19 days per month.
- Almost one-third of Americans say they suffer from
some mental or emotional problem every month—including
who said their mental health was not good for 14 or
more days a month.
- Younger American adults, aged 18–24 years,
suffered the most mental health distress.
- Older adults suffered the most poor physical health
and activity limitation.
- Native Americans and Alaska Natives have reported
the highest levels of unhealthy days among American
- Adults with the lowest income or education reported
more unhealthy days than did those with higher income
- Americans with chronic diseases or disabilities
reported high levels of unhealthy days.
Disease Specific Findings from
the National Center for
Chronic Disease Prevention and
Arthritis . . . A recent cross-sectional
study of almost 10,000 adults found adults reporting arthritis pain said they had on average 5 more unhealthy days per month vs adults without arthritis pain. Among adults with chronic osteoarthritis, the largest number of unhealthy days was experienced by women (much more vs reported by men), and persons with less than a college education.
Breast Cancer . . . Findings revealed
that over 300,000 women surveyed, women with breast cancer diagnosis reported experiencing 8 unhealthy days per month vs 6 unhealthy days per month for women
without breast cancer.
Cardiovascular Disease . . . Findings
revealed more than 50,000 persons in over 20 states, reported having had a heart attack, heart disease,
atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, or a stroke reported an average of 10 un-healthy days for the previous month vs 5 poor-health days reported among persons not having had one of the conditions.
Diabetes . . . Findings revealed that
of more than 500,000 adults surveyed, adults with diabetes
reported experiencing 10 unhealthy days per month compared
to 5.1 unhealthy days per month for adults without diabetes.
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