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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Self-esteem, stress and self-rated health in family planning clinic patients

James E Rohrer1* and Rodney Young2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, USA

2 Department of Family Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-Amarillo, USA

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BMC Family Practice 2004, 5:11  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-5-11

Published: 3 June 2004

Abstract

Background

The independent effects of stress on the health of primary care patients might be different for different types of clinic populations. This study examines these relationships in a low-income female population of patients attending a family planning clinic.

Methods

This study investigated the relevance of different sources of personal stress and social support to self-rated health, adjusting for mental health, health behavior and demographic characteristics of subjects. Five hundred women who attended family planning clinics were surveyed and 345 completed the form for a response rate of 72 percent.

Results

Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that liking oneself was related to good self-rated health (Odds ratio = 7.11), but stress or support from children, parents, friends, churches or spouses were not significant. White non-Hispanic and non-white non-Hispanic respondents had lower odds of reporting good self-rated health than Hispanic respondents (odds ratios were 2.87 and 2.81, respectively). Exercising five or more days per week also was related to good self-rated health. Smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day, and obese III were negatively related to good self-rated health (odds ratios were .19 and .22, respectively with corresponding p-values equal to .0043 and .0332).

Conclusions

Among younger low-income women, addressing low self-esteem might improve health status.