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Self-rated health revisited: Exploring survey interview episodes with elderly respondents


  • Jylhä, Marja


Analysing transcripts of survey interview episodes where self-rated health was discussed, the paper aims (1) to throw light on the interview situation and the way in which talk is structured in this situation, and (2) to uncover the elements out of which the interviewees construct their 'health'. The excerpts analysed show that the survey interview is an interactional situation produced by the interpretations and actions of the people involved. As a rule, the interviewees did not simply opt for one of the preset alternative answers but inserted their own descriptions and explanations. In this talk, 'health' appears as a multidimensional, context-bound phenomenon that can be constructed out of different, even contradictory elements.

Suggested Citation

  • Jylhä, Marja, 1994. "Self-rated health revisited: Exploring survey interview episodes with elderly respondents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 983-990, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:39:y:1994:i:7:p:983-990

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    Cited by:

    1. William Griffiths & Xiaohui Zhang & Xueyan Zhao, 2010. "A Stochastic Frontier Model for Discrete Ordinal Outcomes: A Health Production Function," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1092, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Baron-Epel, Orna & Kaplan, Giora & Haviv-Messika, Amalia & Tarabeia, Jalal & Green, Manfred S. & Nitzan Kaluski, Dorit, 2005. "Self-reported health as a cultural health determinant in Arab and Jewish Israelis: MABAT--National Health and Nutrition Survey 1999-2001," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(6), pages 1256-1266, September.


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