Impact of family communication on self-rated health of couples who visited primary care physicians: A cross-sectional analysis of Family Cohort Study in Primary Care
Self-rated health (SRH) is a subjective health measurement that predicts mortality and morbidity and reflects mental health and socioeconomic status. Since a couple’s relationship can influence the health status of the individuals involved, poor family communication can negatively influence the health status of its members. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors affecting SRH among married couples in primary care and evaluated the effect of family communication on SRH.
Material and methods
In this cross-sectional analysis of Family Cohort Study in Primary Care, 469 couples (938 participants) were analyzed to evaluate the relationship between SRH and family communication. Participants answered questionnaires on demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors. The Korean version of the Family Communication Scale of Family Adaptation and Cohesion Evaluation Scale-IV was used to assess family communication, and a 5-point scale of SRH questions was used to assess the SRH status. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed in order to evaluate the relationship between family communication and SRH and identify associated factors for good SRH.
Wives with a high family communication level had higher OR for good SRH. When the husband and wife both reported high family communication levels, the OR for good SRH increased in wives; however, the relationship between family communication and SRH was not significant in husbands. In the multi-adjusted model, the OR for good SRH of husbands increased in those with >12 years of education, moderate drinkers and decreased in current smokers. The OR for good SRH of wives increased in those with age of 60 to 69, those with >12 years of education, and those who participated in vigorous physical activity, and decreased in those with diabetes and depressive mood.
Our results indicate that improvement in family communication may contribute to better SRH.