Perceived health measures the percentage of people (ages 12+) who say their health is ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ in response to the question: “In general, would you say your health is: excellent, very good, fair or poor?”
Why This Matters
Perception of health – how healthy they feel – is an important part of people’s subjective well-being and is a common indicator of overall health status.
People’s self-assessment of their health captures elements of their well-being that cannot easily be measured or captured in a clinical setting.
Measurement and Limitations
Self-rated health measures people’s responses to the question: “In general, would you say your health is: excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor?” People are given the clarification, “By health, we mean not only the absence of disease or injury but also physical, mental and social well-being.”
As a self-assessment, this question can capture elements related to well-being that cannot be captured clinically, such as “incipient disease, disease severity, physiological and psychological reserves, and social function” (Statistics Canada, 2010).
According to Statistics Canada (2010): “Studies have demonstrated that this is a reliable and valid measure, associated with functional decline, morbidity and mortality. As well, perceived health is often more effective than clinical measures for predicting help-seeking behaviours and health service use. Perceived health is a relative measure-evidence suggests that people assess their health in relation to their circumstances and expectations, and their peers.”
Answers of “Fair” and “Poor” were combined to prevent suppression. Those who answered “I don’t know” were not included. Results from 2000-2005 were included (Manitoba RHA Indicators Atlas 2009, 428).
Data are reported for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA). It should be noted that 2012 data use new boundaries from previous years’ data-the former Churchill Regional Health Authority (RHA) has been integrated into the WRHA. The Churchill RHA has a very small population (approximately 1,000 individuals), but this may have affected the figures somewhat.
Statistics Canada. Table 13-10-0113-01 Health characteristics, two-year period estimates Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1310011301
2007/08 – 2013/14 Data: Statistics Canada. Table 13-10-0452-01 Health indicators, two-year period estimates Retrieved from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/cv.action?pid=1310045201
Data is updated on Peg as it becomes available from the data providers.
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. (2009). Manitoba RHA indicators atlas 2009. Retrieved from http://mchp-appserv.cpe.umanitoba.ca/reference/RHA_Atlas_Report.pdf
Perceived Health in the Sustainable Development Goals
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3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.