Self-rated health status and its implications.Population study of pregnant women in Brno

Authors: M. Bouchalová 1;  L. Kukla 2;  P. Okrajek 3
Authors‘ workplace: Výzkumné pracoviště preventivní a sociální pediatrie, LF MU, Brno (v současné době je zrušené) 1;  Centrum pro výzkum toxických látek v prostředí, RECETOX, Přírodovědecká fakulta MU, Brno 2;  Ústav matematiky a statistiky, Přírodovědecká fakulta MU, Brno 3
Published in: Čes. Gynek.2012, 77, č. 6 s. 524-539


The subject of self-rated health status of women in fertile age has not yet been investigated in our country. As our study is longitudinal and the same questions-questionnaire items regarding self-rated health of the monitored women are repeated in each investigation phase, we are able to not only find out which factors are related but also verify how this relationship evolves with their ageing, life situation changes and growing up of their children.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Masaryk University, Brno.

Pregnant women from the Brno part of ELSPAC study rated their health status for the time period before becoming pregnant, for the first months of pregnancy and for the half of pregnancy.

On the four-grade scale of self-reported health status the associations with their personal health-history (from prenatal questionnaires and prenatal and obstetrician health-care network) were investigated.

The monitored women rated their pre-pregnancy health-status increasingly worse with increasing age and weight, increasing morbidity, increasing medicine consumption and with increasing number of injuries. Also their parents, siblings and children were more often ill and more often admitted in hospitals as in-patients. These women required more specialized care starting in their childhood, suffered more from infectious diseases, operations, injuries, stresses and break-ups of their original families.

Their misunderstanding with parents was occurred with higher frequency, their upbringing was more strict, they suffered from school failures more often, they had problems with the police and premature pregnancies.

According to the mother’s education, especially the daughters of college educated women felt subjectively worse. Also women with basic level of education, problems at work, financial troubles, those who had many children and less adults in their household rated their health worse. They were also unemployed and dissatisfied with their housing situation. In partner relationships conflicts were present frequently including violence. They also suffered from depression, anxiety, neuroses, phobias and social isolation more often. They also attempted to become pregnant longer than other women and tolerated pregnancy worse. They noted more changes to themselves and experiences more stress. The worse their feelings were during the first months of pregnancy, the higher frequency of pregnancy difficulties, delivery pathologies and post-natal complications were present according to the health-status documentation.

This paper brings a whole series of original findings of factors associated with self-rated health-status. The socio-economic position in the families of their own had a more substantial influence on the health-status of the monitored women compared to the position in the families where they grew up. The indicators – e.g. stress, social isolation, work, social support, education, income and household created gradients on the health-status scale which were overall highly significant.

Key words:
self-rated health, pregnancy, morbidity, childhood, partnership, SES, social network, education, social support, outcome of pregnancy.


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Paediatric gynaecology Gynaecology and obstetrics Reproduction medicine

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