West Indian Medical Journal
Print version ISSN 0043-3144
BOURNE, PA. Health determinants: using secondary data to model predictors of well-being of Jamaicans. West Indian med. j. [online]. 2008, vol.57, n.5, pp. 476-481. ISSN 0043-3144.
OBJECTIVE: During 1880-1882, life expectancy for Jamaican males was 37.02 years and 39.80 for their female counterparts and 100 years later, the figures had increased to 69.03 for males and 72.37 for females. Despite the achievements in increased life expectancies of the general populace and the post-ponement of death, non-communicable diseases are on the rise. Hence, this means that prolonged life does not signify better quality life. Thus, this study seeks to examine the quality of life of Jamaicans by broadening the measure of well-being from the biomedical to the biopsychosocial and ecological model METHOD: Secondary data were used for this study. The sample was a nationally representative one collected by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica and the Planning Institute of Jamaica in 2002. The total sample is 25 018 respondents of which the model used 1147. Data were stored and analysed using the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Multivariate regression was used to test the general hypothesis that well-being is a function of psychosocial, biological, environmental and demographic variables. RESULTS: The model explains 39.3 percentage of the variance in well-being (adjusted r2). Among those 10, the 5 most significant determinants of well-being in descending order are average number of persons per room (β = -0.254, ρ < 0.001), area of residence (1 = KMA) (β = -0.223, ρ < 0.001), area of residence [1 = Other Towns] (β = -0.209, ρ < 0.001) and age of respondents (β = -0.207, ρ < 0.001). These five variables accounted for 27.2 percentage of the model, with average occupancy and area of residence (being KMA) accounting for 7 per cent each. CONCLUSION: This study has shown that well-being is indeed a multidimensional concept involving psychosocial, environmental and demographic variables.