Background: Australian health surveys occasionally include health utility measures in describing health related quality of life (HRQoL) across the general population. However, the HRQoL of specific population groups, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (respectfully referred to as Aboriginal), are poorly understood. Our analysis describes HRQoL utility among Aboriginal South Australians by examining the characteristics of respondents completing HRQoL questioning, the relationship between HRQoL and respondent characteristics, then considers reported HRQoL utility in the wider population context.
Methods: Population weighted and self-reported HRQoL was measured using SF-6D, as derived from the SF-12 version 2, in the South Australian Aboriginal Health Survey's face to face interviews with 399 respondents aged 15 or more in 2010/11.
Results: Mean HRQoL utility was 0.77 (95% CIs 0.76-0.79) with marked variations by gender (females 0.03, 95% CIs 0.00-0.06 lower than males), age (with ages 55 or more 0.08, 95% CIs 0.02-0.14 lower than 15-35 years) and number of chronic health conditions (3 or more conditions 0.14, 95% CIs 0.09-0.19 lower than those with 0 conditions). A pattern of response to HRQoL questions was also evident. Response was less likely among respondents speaking Aboriginal languages at home, living in non-urban settings, and experiencing multiple chronic health conditions.
Conclusions: The SF-6D provides useful information on the HRQoL of Aboriginal South Australians. However, non-completion was pronounced among respondents speaking traditional languages and experiencing more chronic health conditions. Improved participation of vulnerable and health compromised respondents through culturally safe and relevant self-reporting HRQoL utility instruments is needed.
- Aboriginal health
- Health inequities
- Health related quality of life
- Health utility
- Patient reported outcome measures