The structure of health in Europe: The relationships between morbidity, functional limitation, and subjective health

Primary investigator: PhD Candidate Aija Duntava (Department of Sociology, Uppsala University).

Funder: The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet in Swedish).

Project description: Health is a topic of great interest among the researchers in medical sociology. The various aspects of health, such as morbidity, functional limitation, subjective health, and mortality, are commonly used as proxy variables. Yet, what constitutes health and how its different aspects are related to each other is still poorly understood. Therefore, the main aim of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of health by empirically studying its structure. This thesis proposes a parsimonious model of health consisting of morbidity, functional limitation and subjective health where these are put into one interconnected system of relationships. The model is then tested on European adult population across different ages and both genders. The possible European diversity is also taken into account by applying the model to different European regions. In addition, this thesis investigates how different socio-economic characteristics and health determinants further shape the observed relationships. The study objectives of this thesis are achieved by utilizing the data from the European Social Survey (ESS) and by employing structural equation modelling assisted by cluster analysis and t-tests.

The thesis is being conducted as part of the research project entitled “The different aspects of health: Relations between mortality, morbidity, functional status and subjective health in European populations”, for which the Primary Investigator (Prof. Ilkka Henrik Mäkinen) was awarded funding.

Advisors to the dissertation: Prof. Ilkka Henrik Mäkinen (Department of Sociology, Uppsala University) and Prof. Hannah Bradby (Department of Sociology, Uppsala University).

Publications:

Duntava, A., Borisova, L. V., & Mäkinen, I. H. (2021). The structure of health in Europe: The relationships between morbidity, functional limitation, and subjective health. SSM - Population Health, 16, 100911. 

Last modified: 2022-01-24