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Keywords:

  • dignity;
  • physical health;
  • mental health;
  • occupied Palestinian territory;
  • refugees

Abstract

This study was conducted in an attempt to asses a recently developed instrument to measure dignity and examine how it affects health status. In this study it was expected that those who scored lower on this dignity scale (under development) were more likely to also have lower health status. A cross-sectional survey was conducted during the month of July, 2006, among 404 adult Palestinian refugees to examine the association between dignity and health. Health was assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire. Dignity was assessed using an instrument consisting of four themes; autonomy, self-respect, worthiness, and self-esteem. Results show a positive association between health and dignity levels. Four of the models assessed physical health; of them, role limitation due to physical health, pain, and general health appear to statistically significantly improve per one unit improvement in dignity scores (OR = 1.045, 1.068, and 1.104, respectively, with p-values <0.001). Four other models assessed mental health; of those, energy/fatigue and emotional problems appear to statistically significantly improve per unit increase in dignity scores (OR = 1.094, 1.066, respectively, with p-values <0.001).