Arch Hellen Med, 34(1), January-February 2017, 65-74
Health related quality of life in the unemployed population during the financial crisis
E.A. Mechili,1 A. Kalokairinou,2 D. Kaitelidou,3 P. Galanis,3 M. Diomidous4
OBJECTIVE Assessment of the health related quality of life (HRQoL) of the unemployed population in Greece during the current period of economic crisis.
METHOD A cross-sectional study was conducted on a population sample of 396 unemployed persons (convenience sample) using the Short Form-36v2 (SF-36v2) questionnaire to estimate the HRQoL. Statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 22.0. Descriptive and inductive statistics were used for data analysis, with a p value of 0.05 considered significant.
RESULTS The mean age of the study population was 33.8 years, standard deviation (SD)=12.3 years, and 55.1% of the sample were female and 44.9% male. In the "physical functioning" dimension of the SF-36, the mean score was 51.25 (SD=7.9), in the "physical role" dimension 48.6 (SD=6.98) and in the "body pain" dimension 47.9 (SD=11). In multivariate analysis, gender, age, chronic illness, nationality, cohabitation, and problems of access to health services were factors found to be statistically significantly correlated with the HRQoL score in at least one dimension.
CONCLUSIONS Unemployment has many negative health consequences. In general, it leads to a reduction in the overall level of HRQoL and to deterioration of both the physical and the mental state. Prevention and health education programs for the population with chronic diseases should be integrated into the services of the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED). Health policies should be focused on easy access and provision of free health services to this vulnerable population.
Key words: Financial crisis, Greece, Health related quality of life, Unemployment.