The main purpose of this project was to study the social and psychosocial determinants of poor self-rated health in the general population of seven east and central European countries, and to find out whether the concepts previously established in western populations are valid in the former communist countries of central and eastern Europe. To our knowledge, the question of the applicability of many of the concepts has not yet been investigated in such detail. Our main findings can be summarized as follows. First, there were strong socioeconomic gradients at the individual level; they were pronounced by education, and in particular by material deprivation. Second, perceived control was strongly related to SRH. Third, the effort-reward imbalance was found as the strongest predictor of poor SRH among work related psychosocial factors; particularly when measured as a continuous variable. Work variety was also associated with SRH. And fourth, the effect of inequality measures characterising whole populations - the Gini index of income inequality and inequality index - has been associated with poor SRH, but their effect was substantially reduced by adjusting for individual based factors (mostly by adjusting for individual’s material deprivation and perceived control).


Income Inequality Psychosocial Factor Material Deprivation Decision Latitude Inequality Index 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hynek Pikhart
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonUK

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