Self-rated health (50+ years)

The Short Form (36) Health Survey, or SF-36, is one of the most widely used questionnaires for measuring self-reported physical and mental health status. The SF-36 questionnaire consists of 36 questions (items) measuring physical and mental health status in relation to eight health scales:

  • physical functioning
  • role limitation (physical)
  • bodily pain
  • general health perceptions
  • vitality (energy/fatigue)
  • social functioning
  • role limitation (emotional)
  • general mental health.

(Ministry of Health 2008)

Scores are expressed on a 1–100 scale for each of the eight health scales, with higher scores representing better self-perceived health.

Māori males aged 50–64 years rated their health slightly lower than non-Māori males of the same age on all scales. All the differences were significant except for social functioning, where there was no significant difference (Figure 7). There were no significant differences in the 65+ years age group except for physical functioning, where Māori men rated themselves significantly lower than non-Māori men (Figure 8).

There were slightly different patterns in self-rated health in older women. Although Māori females aged 50–64 years rated their health lower than non-Māori females the same age across all scales, Māori women aged 65+ years rated themselves higher in four of the eight scales.

In the 50–64 years age group, Māori females rated themselves significantly lower in all scales except vitality (energy/fatigue) where there was no significant difference (Figure 9). In the 65+ years age group there were two significant differences: Māori females rated themselves significantly higher than non-Māori females in both role limitation (physical) and vitality (energy/fatigue) (Figure 10).

Figures


Figure 7: Mean SF-36 scores, Māori and non-Māori, males, 50–64 years, 2006/07

Figure 7: Mean SF-36 scores, Māori and non-Māori, males, 50–64 years, 2006/07

How to interpret results – figures
See data source for figure 7 >

Source: 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey, Ministry of Health

Notes:
Age standardised to the 2001 Census total Māori population.
Prioritised ethnicity has been used – see Ngā Tapuae me ngā Raraunga: Methods and data sources for further information.

Figure 8: Mean SF-36 scores, Māori and non-Māori, males, 65+ years, 2006/07

Figure 8: Mean SF-36 scores, Māori and non-Māori, males, 65+ years, 2006/07

How to interpret results – figures
See data source for figure 8 >

Source: 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey, Ministry of Health

Notes:
Age standardised to the 2001 Census total Māori population.
Prioritised ethnicity has been used – see Ngā Tapuae me ngā Raraunga: Methods and data sources for further information.

Figure 9: Mean SF-36 scores, Māori and non-Māori, females, 50–64 years, 2006/07

Figure 9: Mean SF-36 scores, Māori and non-Māori, females, 50–64 years, 2006/07

How to interpret results – figures
See data source for figure 9 >

Source: 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey, Ministry of Health

Notes:
Age standardised to the 2001 Census total Māori population.
Prioritised ethnicity has been used – see Ngā Tapuae me ngā Raraunga: Methods and data sources for further information.

Figure 10: Mean SF-36 scores, Māori and non-Māori, females, 65+ years, 2006/07

Figure 10: Mean SF-36 scores, Māori and non-Māori, females, 65+ years, 2006/07

How to interpret results – figures
See data source for figure 10 >

Source: 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey, Ministry of Health

Notes:
Age standardised to the 2001 Census total Māori population.
Prioritised ethnicity has been used – see Ngā Tapuae me ngā Raraunga: Methods and data sources for further information.

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