Objective: Few studies have evaluated the determinants of perceived health in patients with chronic illness. The present study was designed to evaluate the role of biomedical, demographic, and psychosocial influences on global subjective health by means of a structural equation modeling approach. Method: A conceptual model of perceived health was tested in a subsample of patients (N = 146) from the multicenter Studies of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD) trial. Domain-specific quality of life constructs (emotional status, social support, and physical functioning), were assessed by means of multiple indicators. These latent (mediating) variables, along with six single-indicator biomedical and background variables, were modeled as predictors of a composite index of perceived health. Results: A satisfactory fit was obtained for the proposed model, with practical fit indices ranging from .89 to .95. High levels of perceived health were associated with low levels of emotional distress and high levels of physical functioning. Social support was positively correlated with physical functioning and negatively associated with emotional distress. Among the background variables, no direct associations were observed between any of the single-indicator variables and perceived health. Several background variables (eg, age, income, walk-test scores) had indirect effects via associations with the latent variables of physical functioning and emotional distress. Conclusions: These findings support the use of a structural modeling approach in assessing determinants of perceived health in patients with congestive heart failure. Further research is needed to evaluate the utility of the model in other patient populations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- left ventricular dysfunction
- perceived health