An Examination of Factors Affecting Individual Perceptions of Community Health
Background: To date, most assessments of community health have been based on objective measures of an area’s health. However, little research has been carried out to examine an individual’s perception of their community’s health and factors associated with those perceptions. This study considers the role demographics, personal characteristics and community characteristics have on individual perceptions of community health.
Methods: Based on data collected from a sample of 610 individuals from the greater Tulsa metro community, this research reports on conditions associated with community health.
Results: Results of stepwise regression analysis indicate age, income, personal health, body-mass index, self-care and neighborhood safety were statistically significantly associated with community health.
Conclusions: Older individuals, those with lower incomes, better personal health ratings, residing in neighborhoods perceived to be safe and those engaging in regular self-care activities reported better community health. Implications of these findings for public health practice and research in Oklahoma are discussed.
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