Overall self-rated health as an outcome indicator in primary care

J Eval Clin Pract. 2007 Dec;13(6):882-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2006.00766.x.


Rationale, aims and objectives: The ultimate goal of health care systems is to improve overall health from the patient's point of view. However, overall self-rated health is not routinely monitored as a performance indicator. The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a measure normally employed in community health surveys as a quality indicator in primary care clinics.

Methods: In order to do so, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of community medicine patients treated in five clinics in Amarillo, Texas to test the theory that, in primary care patients, a single-item measure of self-rated health is significantly related to the usual risk factors found in community health surveys (environmental factors, demographic characteristics and health behaviours).

Results: Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age, race, frequent mental distress, current smoking and health confidence were independently related to the odds of reporting good health.

Conclusion: Our results support using a single-item measure of self-rated health in primary care. Our data also suggest that encouragement of health confidence would appear to be in the best interests of patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Black or African American
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Social Environment
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology