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Open Access Research article

Predictors of positive health in disability pensioners: a population-based questionnaire study using Positive Odds Ratio

Göran Ejlertsson1*, Lena Edén1 and Ido Leden2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Sciences, Kristianstad University, S-291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden

2 Rheumatology Section, Department of Medicine, Central Hospital, S-291 85 Kristianstad, Sweden

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BMC Public Health 2002, 2:20  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-2-20

Published: 11 September 2002

Abstract

Background

Determinants of ill-health have been studied far more than determinants of good and improving health. Health promotion measures are important even among individuals with chronic diseases. The aim of this study was to find predictors of positive subjective health among disability pensioners (DPs) with musculoskeletal disorders.

Methods

Two questionnaire surveys were performed among 352 DPs with musculoskeletal disorders. Two groups were defined: DPs with positive health and negative health, respectively. In consequence with the health perspective in this study the conception Positive Odds Ratio was defined and used in the logistic regression analyses instead of the commonly used odds ratio.

Results

Positive health was associated with age ≥ 55 years, not being an immigrant, not having fibromyalgia as the main diagnosis for granting an early retirement, no regular use of analgesics, a high ADL capacity, a positive subjective health preceding the study period, and good quality of life.

Conclusion

Positive odds ratio is a concept well adapted to theories of health promotion. It can be used in relation to positive outcomes instead of risks. Suggested health promotion and secondary prevention efforts among individuals with musculoskeletal disorders are 1) to avoid a disability pension for individuals <55 years of age; if necessary, to make sure rehabilitation actions continue, 2) to increase efforts to support immigrants to adjust to circumstances connected to ill-health and retirement, 3) to pay special attention to individuals with fibromyalgia and other general pain disorders, and 4) to strengthen ADL activities to support an independent active life among disability pensioners.