Health-related quality of life in adult population before and after the onset of financial crisis: the case of Athens, Greece
Trends of person-oriented indices with respect to the general population have not been adequately investigated. In Athens, two Health Surveys in 2003 and 2016 provide the opportunity to analyze HRQL in the general adult population. The objectives of this study were to investigate changes in HRQL of adults in the broader area of Athens between 2003 and 2016 and their association with certain socio-demographic determinants.
We compared participants from pre- and during-crisis cross-sectional surveys. We used data from 982 and 1060 adult residents of Athens from 2003 and 2016 surveys, respectively. Income-related missing data were treated using three alternative methods. Subscale and summary component SF-36 scores were compared with Mann–Whitney tests and linear regression analyses were used to estimate the effect of demographic and socio-economic variables on HRQL before and after the onset of crisis.
The analysis was based on the results of the procedure of handling missing income data as a separate income group and showed that physical component summary score (PCS) has improved and Mental Component Summary score has deteriorated. The most important predictors of HRQL were being widowed and during the crisis not being employed. Additionally, socio-demographic characteristics explained a higher proportion of variance of HRQL after the onset of crisis, especially for PCS.
Decline in mental and improvement in physical HRQL were observed between 2003 and 2016. HRQL has been certainly affected by the recession, but it is difficult to estimate the exact impact of the financial crisis on HRQL.
KeywordsHealth-related quality of life (HRQL) Trends Financial crisis Greece
Collection of data for 2003 and 2016 surveys was funded by the Greek Ministry of Health and the 1st Regional Health Authority of Attica, respectively. The funders had no role in study design, data analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. No physical samples were collected as part of this study. The 2003 study protocol was approved by the Review Board of the Hellenic Open University and the 2016 study protocol by the Ethics Committee of the 1st Regional Health Authority of Attica.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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