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Renée Larocque, PhD1, Katherine Mohindra, PhD1, Marta Feletto, PhD2, Delampady Narayana, PhD3, and Slim Haddad, MD, PhD4. (1) Unité de santé internationale, Université de Montréal, Edifice St-Urbain, 3875 rue St-Urbain, 5ieme etage, Montréal, QC H3W 1V1, Canada, 514-890-8000x 15929, firstname.lastname@example.org, (2) Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Edifice St-urbain, 3875 rue St-Urbain, 5ieme etage, Montréal, QC H3W 1V1, Canada, (3) Centre for Development Studies, Prasanth Nagar, Ulloor, Thiruvananthapuram, 695011, India, (4) Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Université de Montréal, 3875 Saint-Urbain, 5th floor, Montréal, QC H3W1V1, Canada
Background: It is known that the most deprived groups have the poorest health. However, in India, the Paniya tribes, known as the lowest social groups, report a better health.
Objective: To assess if the “good” self-reported health of the Paniyas is misleading.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey (N=3352 households) was conducted in Kottathara Panchayat (Kerala, India) during April-June 2003. Basic health (self-reported) and socio-economic information was collected. A panel survey (N= 543 households) was also conducted from October 2003-September 2004 in order to measure episodes of illness over time through a health diary. Additionally, a small Participatory Poverty Assessment was done in a Paniya community.
Results: A significantly lower proportion of Paniyas reported a poor perceived health compared to the other social groups (19% vs 24%, OR=1.3; 95%CI:1.2, 1.5). Similarly, Paniyas also report less episodes of illness during a year than others (6.6 ±5.6 vs 8.5±6.7). However, more households of Paniyas are classified as Below Poverty Level (83.7% vs 38%), have no toilet facilities (52.2% vs 6.0%), are not electrified (73% vs 40%), etc. In addition, during the Participatory Poverty Assessment, members of the Paniya community rated that most (90.6%) households wellbeing was miserable.
Conclusions: Evidence demonstrate that most determinants of health of the Paniyas are poor and that the good self-reported health is misleading and probably biased by the perception that they have of their own health. Care should be taken by researchers and decision-makers in using such measures to assess the health status of extremely deprived communities.
Keywords: Health Assessment, Indigenous Populations
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.