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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


SANTOS, Simone M.; CHOR, Dóra; WERNECK, Guilherme Loureiro  and  COUTINHO, Evandro Silva Freire. Association between contextual factors and self-rated health: a systematic review of multilevel studies. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.11, pp.2533-2554. ISSN 1678-4464.

The influence of residential characteristics on self-rated health has received little research attention, especially in Brazil. This study summarizes the available evidence on the association between contextual factors and self-rated health, using a systematic review of articles published from January 1995 to August 2005. We searched for the terms neighbourhood or neighborhood, ecological, contextual, environment, and community, combined with self-rated health, self-reported health, and multilevel or hierarchical in digital bases. Most of the 18 reviewed studies analyzed socioeconomic indicators, while some investigated psychosocial variables and a few included physical environmental indicators. Spatial units of reference varied from census tracts to States. Differences among scales of contextual analysis and several indicators, with different categories, were identified. The associations corroborate the hypothesis that neighborhood context influences self-rated health, beyond the effect of individual factors. Physical and psychosocial neighborhood characteristics are important contextual factors in the determination of self-rated health. Worse socioeconomic neighborhood conditions have a negative effect on health, thereby increasing the odds of worse self-rated health.

Keywords : Health Status; Socioeconomic Factors; Review Literature.

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