Geographies of health perception in Québec: a multilevel perspective

Soc Sci Med. 1999 May;48(10):1483-90. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(99)00043-x.


Self perceived health is a widely used measure and, in Quebec, it has been shown to vary significantly between geographical areas. In the present study, these geographical variations are examined in a multilevel analysis in order to disentangle compositional (individual characteristics) and contextual (place) effects. The analysis recognizes four levels of variation: individual, household, local and regional. Similar analyses carried out in Britain, have considered only two levels: individual and local. Data come from the 1992-1993 Quebec Health and Social Survey, a general household survey using a stratified two-stage sampling design. Health perception (the response variable) is considered with a set of individual predictor characteristics reflecting gender, lifestyle, socio-economic conditions, marital status and social support. Results show the existence of significant local area variations in health perception after having allowed for individual characteristics and variations at the household level. At the regional level, however, no systematic and significant variations remain although some individual regions are found to have a significant impact on health perception.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Marriage / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Quebec
  • Random Allocation
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires