Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Influence of Social Support on Health-Related Quality of Life in New-Generation Migrant Workers in Eastern China

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Influence of Social Support on Health-Related Quality of Life in New-Generation Migrant Workers in Eastern China

Article excerpt

Abstract

Background: The World Healtii Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) has generally been used for patients, few studies in migrants who move from rural to urban within one country. Many studies asserted that social isolation presents a risk to individual healtii. Poor social networks are associated with worse QOL. This study examined health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and social support in new-generation migrant workers and compared it with urban workers.

Methods: Nine hundred thirty new-generation migrant workers and 939 urban controls completed the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire and Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS) by stratified sampling in 2011. Spearman's correlation was performed to clarify the relationship between social support and HRQOL in migrants. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify the variables that were associated with HRQOL.

Results: The general healtii, psychological healtii, and environmental scores of QOL in new-generation migrant workers were lower than in urban workers. New-generation migrants had poorer social support compared with urban controls with regard to general support, objective support, and support utilization. A positive correlation was found between social support and HRQOL. Workers with a higher level of education achieved better psychological, environmental, and general scores than workers with a primary education. Physical, social, environmental, and general healtii was also closely connected with die age factor. Physical healtii scores were higher in males than in females.

Conclusion: These data suggest diat new-generation migrant workers have significant impairment in HRQOL and receive less social support. HRQOL may be affected by social support, education, age, and gender.

Keywords: Healdi-related quality of life, Social support, New-generation migrant workers

Introduction

Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has be- come an important target in the medical area, in- cluding treatment outcome assessment, health economics evaluation, and assessing the effects of health education (1-3). HRQOL has been widely applied in epidemiological studies (4). However, it has rarely been used among migrant workers with- out specific illnesses. Many studies asserted that social isolation presents a risk to individual health (5, 6). Poor social networks are associated with worse QOL (7-10). Furthermore, poor social sup- port has been linked to higher mortality from al- most every cause of death (11-14).

In China, with the rapid development of the econ- omy and promotion of the integration between urban and rural areas, the number of migrant workers has rapidly increased. The migrant population already reached 221 million in 2010, based on the 2011 Report on China's Migrant Population Development (15), and 79% of them were migrant workers. The coastal cities in Zhe- jiang province in eastern China have attracted a large number of migrant workers. Presently, the migrant population accounts for two-fifths of the total population. In some developed cities and towns, the migrant population was even more than the local registered population. With the pas- sage of time and changes in national policy, the age structure of migrant workers, extrinsic motiva- tion, and factors that affect employment appear to be increasingly different compared with the past, gradually forming two seemingly different groups: first-generation migrant workers and new-genera- tion migrant workers. The name of new-genera- tion migrant workers was firstly used in the Cen- tral Document No.l issued by the State Council in 2010. Up to now there have not explicit definition of this concept; however there are some generally accepted characteristics such as they are not famil- iar with agriculture and eager to enter into urban society. They have the higher level of education, career expectations, material and spiritual require- ments and lower work tolerance compared to the first-generation migrant workers (16). …

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