JOURNAL ARTICLE

Social capital and lack of belief in the possibility to influence one's own health: a population-based study

Martin Lindström
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 2006, 34 (1): 69-75
16449046

OBJECTIVES: To study the impact of social capital (social participation and trust) on lack of belief in possibility to influence health.

METHODS: The Scania 2000 public-health survey is a cross-sectional, postal questionnaire study including 13,604 persons aged 18-80 years which was conducted in 2000 by the regional healthcare authorities in Region Skåne, southern Sweden, to investigate health-related risk factors in the population. A logistic regression model was used to investigate the association between social capital and lack of belief in possibility to influence health. The multivariate analyses analysed the importance of confounders on the differences in lack of belief in possibility to influence health according to the social capital variables.

RESULTS: In total, 31.0% of all men and 33.5% of all women lack belief in the possibility to influence their own health. Lack of belief in possibility to influence health was positively associated with both low social participation and low trust, although stronger for social participation than for trust.

CONCLUSIONS: Low levels of social capital, particularly low social participation, is positively associated with lack of belief in the possibility to influence one's own health.

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