Which Life Domains Impact Most on Self-Rated Health? A Cross-Cultural Study of Switzerland and its Neighbors
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General life satisfaction (GLS) is a strong health correlate and can be conceptualized as an aggregate of satisfactions in different life domains and as a proxy for quality of life. Little is known about which life domains—measured as domain satisfactions—contribute most to GLS and are the best predictors of self-rated health (SRH) and whether these associations differ between countries and/or language areas. We used stepwise logistic regression models to investigate how domain satisfactions, GLS and SRH are interrelated and compared German-speaking and French/Italian-speaking Switzerland with the corresponding neighboring countries of Germany, Austria, France and Italy. The associations of domain satisfactions with GLS and SRH varied significantly in magnitude and between countries and language areas. GLS was strongly related to self-rated health in all populations, but more so in the German-speaking than the French/Italian-speaking regions. Adjusted for all domain satisfactions, satisfaction with one’s financial situation and job satisfaction showed independent effects on SRH and were the most important predictors of GLS, although no clear geographical pattern emerged. Domain-specific satisfactions were similarly associated with GLS and SRH, but the strength of the association varied between German-, French- and Italian-speaking populations. Any similarity between Swiss language areas and neighboring countries was limited to German-speaking populations. Country- and language-specific life domain satisfactions may provide useful pointers for targeting policies in the respective domains.
KeywordsSelf-rated health Life satisfaction Domain satisfaction Life domains Switzerland
We thank EUROSTAT and the Swiss Federal Statistical Office for providing access to the individual data of the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) 2013. The responsibility for all conclusions drawn from the data lies entirely with the authors. We are indebted to Julia Braun for statistical advice regarding interaction models.
This work is part of the project “Ageing, Work and Health” which was funded by an unconditional grant of the “Pfizer Stiftung für Geriatrie und Altersforschung”. The funding source had no role in the design and conduct of the study, analysis and interpretation of the data, preparation, review or approval of the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights
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.
However this is an observational study based on survey data that were collected on a voluntary and anonymous basis, no approval by the ethics committee was required.
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