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Gender, ethnicity and self-reported health: the case of African–Caribbean populations in London

This paper explores quantitative and qualitative information on self-reported health, focusing especially on gender differences in the reporting of health problems by men and women. The research reported here particularly examines evidence relating to the African–Caribbean population in London, some of which suggests that there may be a distinctive pattern of reported illness in this ethnic group in Britain, which differentiates it from the average pattern for the majority population. Various population surveys using systematic measures have shown that women and men differ in terms of reported morbidity (particularly in the prevalence of self-reported illness and psycho-social health). This paper reviews the quantitative data available to investigate the gender differences in the African–Caribbean population, showing that the pattern seems to vary according to the measure of health used. We consider how qualitative material from research conducted in East London may complement quantitative survey data and provide possible explanations for the reported health of African–Caribbean women and men. We report on qualitative observations of the process of completing standardized questionnaire items and discussion of these by the informants. We also examine the understandings about health and illness expressed by African–Caribbean women and men during in-depth interviews. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Science & Medicine Elsevier
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