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Health related quality of life of Bedouin Arab women in southern Israel

Miriam Iben-Hammad, MA1, Noya Galai, PhD2, Ilana Shoham-Vardi, PhD, MPH1, and Dahlia Weitzman, PhD1. (1) Dept. of Epidemiology and Health Services Evaluation, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, P.O.B. 653, Beer-Sheva, 84105, Israel, 972-1-6477451, abnhamad@bgumail.bgu.ac.il, (2) Dept of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21205

Introduction: The Bedouin population is a Moslem minority in Israel undergoing rapid social change from semi-nomadic to sedentarized living. Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) in Bedouin women was not yet assessed. Study objectives: To describe aspects of HRQOL, to identify factors associated with them, and to assess the suitability of the SF36 index in this population. Methods: A sample of 100 Bedouin women were personally interviewed using the SF-36 questionnaire translated into Arabic and additional questions regarding socio-demographic factors, health indicators and coping abilities. Results: Mean scores for the Mental component summary (MCS) and physical component summary (PCS) were 58.0 ( 25.0) and 61.0 ( 25.1) respectively. Higher level of education and working outside the home were associated with better HRQOL in the univariate but not in the multivariate analysis. Coping ability was positively associated and indicators of low health status were negatively associated, in a multivariate model, with both MCS and PCS. Age over 45 was associated only with low PCS while not getting enough sleep and being a second wife in a polygamous union were associated only with low MCS. Conclusions: HRQOL of Bedouin women is lower than in other women populations. In addition to factors usually associated with HRQOL, in Bedouin women, polygamy is a significant predictor of poor quality of life.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Measuring Health and Disease in the Population I

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA