Diversity & Equality in Health and Care Open Access

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Investigation of Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health-Related Quality of Life across Europe: A Systematic Review

Ellina P*, Middleton N, Lambrinou E and Kouta C

Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a multi-dimensional concept that includes domains related to physical, mental, emotional, and social functioning. Recent research on health inequalities shows that social inequalities in health are a scientific, academic, research, political and social issue. Poverty reduction, effective health care for citizens and improved quality of life are long-term objectives for ensuring social and economic cohesion. The aim of the paper is to present the review of the literature of population and community studies that have used the SF36 tool to investigate the quality of life in the general population.
Methods: Systematic review of articles in SCOPUS database collates the findings of the studies which have investigated the quality of life in the general population. The main inclusion criteria were: The use of SF-36, study being in Europe in-between 2011-2017.
Results: Eighteen studies (n=18) met the inclusion criteria. The search revealed studies from different European countries. Most of the studies used cross-sectional design. The sample size and sampling varied between the studies. Factors that appear to be associated with low quality of life related to health included, female gender, older age, low education, lower occupational classes, reduced income and some health behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity and obesity. Conclusion: Inequalities affect everyone. Conditions that lead to marked health disparities are detrimental to all members of society. Public and community health nursing advocate for a healthy society established on a foundation of social justice.

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