, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 182-188
Date: 09 Sep 2009

Do Healthy People Worry? Modern Health Worries, Subjective Health Complaints, Perceived Health, and Health Care Utilization

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Abstract

Background

Modern health worries (MHW) are concerns related to modern or technological features of daily life (e.g., air pollution, x-rays, food additives, etc.), and have been associated with subjective health complaints (SHC) and health care use.

Purpose

The MHW scale was expected to predict aspects of health status in healthy individuals (e.g., health care visits, health perceptions, and medication use). SHC was thought to mediate the relationship between MHW and health care use. Likewise, negative affect was considered to mediate the relationship between MHW and SHC.

Method

University students (n = 432) completed assessments for MHW, SHC, perceptions of health, medication use, and health care visits.

Results

MHW were positively related to the number of subjective health complaints with negative affect partially driving this relationship. MHW were negatively related to reports of present health and medication use. MHW were marginally related, whereas SHC were significantly associated with health care utilization.

Conclusion

Concerns over modern technology appear to influence symptom reporting, perceptions of current health, medication use, and, to a degree, visits to health care providers even in young healthy samples.