Modern Health Complaints and Care Utilization

Introduction

The main research problem of the reviewed article is that of an association between modern health worries (described as concerns that certain aspects of modern life are affecting health) and subjective health complaints and resulting health care utilization (Indregard, Ihlebæk & Eriksen, 2013). To solve it, researchers examine correlations between the levels of modern health worries and reporting of subjective health issues, a connection between worries and self-certified sick leaves in comparison to doctor-certified, and gender differences in those reports.

Evaluation of Research Methods

Hypothesis

The initial hypothesis of the article is that a relation between modern health worries and subjective health complaints exists and that it is a significant problem for the modern health care system, and the main point is to prove that. This hypothesis is supported by the results of the research provided by the analysis of a questionnaire that included the Subjective Health Issues Inventory and the Modern Health Worries Scale (Indregard et al., 2013).

Review of Literature

The first feature that is notable about the reviewed article is that there is no literature review of previously conducted researches concerning this issue and no review of the cited works. It is a major flaw, as this work is not the first one on the issue; in fact, the authors conducted similar research earlier. However, that fact does not detract from the relevance of the issue, as the question of modern health worries is still the major one in modern medicine, as is its effect on the health care system. Also should be noted the continuously rising numbers of potential facets of modern life affecting health. As such, despite not providing the reader any literature review, the authors still inspect a relevant issue.

Design and Procedures

It also should be noted that the method used by the research team is that of a questionnaire survey, as such, research has a descriptive style, thus marking it as a not-experimental one with known issues of possible measurement errors and questionnaire bias (Indregard et al., 2013). Still, the anonymity of the questionnaire and the size of a sample partly diminish those issues. This research has participated 569 members of the Norwegian working population of ages ranging from 16 to 67 (Indregard et al., 2013). Both genders were represented in the survey, with female participants being 49% and male 51% of interviewed (Indregard et al., 2013).

Like the big part of the research was to establish an association between sick leaves, both self-sanctioned and doctor-sanctioned, the inclusion of only the working populace in the survey is justified, as is its age limits. Thus, it is safe to conclude that while the methods used are prone to some errors, the composition of the sample is adequate to the stated goals of the research.

Although it is informative research, it is not one that could have practical application. As its results point out that many subjective health issues stem from anxiety and worries about various aspects of modern life, it still does not help with the fact that those issues should be inspected by specialists to make sure that they are indeed subjective.

In addition to that, the authors point out that most people with a high level of modern health worries and subjective health issues take self-sanctioned sick leaves instead of utilizing the health care system; thus, the system is not able to provide for them fully. Still, the authors did suggest that it will be advantageous for the health care system to take note of revealed correlations.

Data Analysis and Presentation

To significantly improve this research, the authors should include the review of the literature to add some context for their studies. For further improvement, it would be better for the researchers to list their countermeasures to the flaws of survey methods and to increase the sample size, separating those who were interviewed by age in addition to gender. Apart from that, the writing of this article is concise and on point, with no major issues or flaws. The research itself is structured and straightforward, its composition and overall formatting are clear and adhere to academic standards.

Modern-day realities, along with continuous researches in that field, make it clear that there is potential in the research of issues described in this article. The number of factors that affect health continues to rise, which leads to an increasing amount of research concerning the impact of psychological well-being on physical health (Chen, 2015). As such, the results of this article provide evidence that anxiety and health worries can affect not only one’s personal health but also have a direct impact on public health, leading to the increasing numbers of self-sanctioned sick leaves (Indregard et al., 2013). That, in turn, leads to the estrangement of the populace from the health care system and to more health issues that could have been avoided if that person utilized health care properly.

Conclusions and Implications

In conclusion, several aspects of the reviewed research should be noted. First and foremost is that this study has been successful in its stated goals. Researchers had a sample of 569 subjects of varied gender and had got the results showing that people who reported more problems related to modern health issues are also more likely to report a subjective health complaint and take a self-certified sick leave.

Apart from that, results show that women are at higher risk of reporting subjective health issues and have a higher level of modern health worries in general. At the same time, results showed little correlation between the high levels of modern health worries and doctor-certified sick leaves or health care utilization. At that, the researchers conclude that subjective health complaints are very prevalent even among the healthy working population and that the health care system should pay closer attention to modern health worries among the populace. Our nursing courses often provide us with information that high levels of worry are the reason for many health issues, and this article discusses this problem that nursing staff should be ready to resolve.

Second, is that while the format and structure of the work are straightforward, there are ways to enhance it, along with enhancing the research itself. To do that, the authors should add the literature review and the backstory of the research for reasons already stated. Increasing the size of the sample along with discussing countermeasures against survey method flaws could also add to the study. There is the problem of practical results as well, as there is little that the health care system as it is could do to take advantage of the results of this analysis. Still, overall, this research is a success, as it adheres to the criteria of scientific study and solves its posed research problem.

References

Indregard, AM. R., Ihlebæk, C. M. & Eriksen, H. R. (2013). Modern health worries, subjective health complaints, health care utilization, and sick leave in the Norwegian working population. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 20(3), 371-377.

Chen, MF. (2015). Influences of health consciousness on consumers’ modern health worries and willingness to use functional foods. Journal of Health Psychology, 20(12), 1549-1557.