A multilevel analysis of the effects of rurality and social deprivation on premature limiting long term illness


Barnett, S., Roderick, P., Martin, D. and Diamond, I. (2001) A multilevel analysis of the effects of rurality and social deprivation on premature limiting long term illness. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55, (1), 44-51. (doi:10.1136/jech.55.1.44).

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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech.55.1.44

Description/Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE---To examine the geographical variation in self perceived morbidity in the south west of England, and assess the associations with rurality and social deprivation.

DESIGN---A geographically based cross sectional study using 1991 census data on premature Limiting Long Term Illness (LLTI). The urban-rural and intra-rural variation in standardised premature LLTI ratios is described, and correlation and regression analyses explore how well this is explained by generic deprivation indices. Multilevel Poisson modelling investigates whether Customised Deprivation Profiles (CDPs) and area characteristics improve upon the generic indices.

SETTING---Nine counties in the south west of England

PARTICIPANTS---The population of the south west enumerated in the 1991 census.

MAIN RESULTS---Intra-rural variation is apparent, with higher rates of premature LLTI in remoter areas. Together with high rates in urban areas and lower rates in the semi-rural areas this indicates the existence of a U shaped relation with rurality. The generic deprivation indices have strong positive relations with premature LLTI in urban areas, but these are a lot weaker in semi-rural and rural locations. CDPs improve upon the generic indices, especially in the rural settings. A substantial reduction in unexplained variation in rural areas is seen after controlling for the level of local isolation, with higher isolation, at the wider geographical scale, being related to higher levels of LLTI.

CONCLUSIONS---This study highlights the need to treat rural areas as heterogeneous, although this has not been the tendency in health research. Generic deprivation indices are unlikely to be a true reflection of levels of deprivation in rural environments. The importance of CDPs that are specific to the area type and health outcome is emphasised. The significance of physical isolation suggests that accessibility to public and health services may be an important issue, and requires further research.

Item Type: Article
Related URLs:
Keywords: rural health, limiting long term illness, deprivation indicies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Statistics
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Community Clinical Sciences
ePrint ID: 24273
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:13
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24273

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