Dynamics of self-rated health: biopsychosocial mechanisms and relations to external events

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
End date: 31/12/2013
Funding: 2750000 SEK


Self-rated (subjective) health is a construct of increasing importance to understand health development over time. In addition to its obvious importance for the individual, self-rated health is a strong predictor of health care consumption, morbidity and mortality. Even though some knowledge is established, the process by which an individual's appraises her health is obscure. Recent advances indicate the importance of following changes in self-rated health over time to further improve its predictive abilities. The present project is based on such findings, and applies a biopsychosocial perspective in both population-level and experimental studies. We aim to delineate mechanisms and connections between some key factors (sleep/tiredness, pain, positive affect and measures of inflammatory activity) and self-rated health over time, to see how such connections are affected by live events, and to identify protective factors in this relation. One study uses pilot data from 7000 individuals in a population study that with time will encompass a significant amount of the Swedish population. Another study uses data from a cohort where 7000 students are followed in the transition from studies to working life, a transition in which many individual's experience decreased health. The last project studies the subjective health experience in a short-term perspective, where a model is used where a transient feeling of sickness is caused experimentally and where brain imaging with fMRI is used. The project will generate increased knowledge about the dynamics of self-rated health and may contribute to a better understanding of why self-rated health is a good predictor of future morbidly and mortality.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13