Scotland's People Annual report: Results from 2009/2010 Scottish Household Survey

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10 Health and Caring

Introduction and Context

Improving health is one of the Scottish Government's five strategic objectives: [61]Help people to sustain and improve their health, especially in disadvantaged communities, ensuring better, local and faster access to health care.

This is supported by the national outcome: 'we live longer, healthier lives'. A series of 45 national indicators and targets has been devised to help assess progress towards achieving these national outcomes and strategic objectives. A number of these indicators are directly related to health and health-related behaviours. For example, the following target was set in relation to smoking: ' Reduce the percentage of the adult population who smoke to 22% by 2010'. The Scottish Household Survey ( SHS) was used to monitor progress towards this target.

The proportion of adults who smoke has fallen fairly steadily from 25.4% in 2006. Despite this decrease the proportion of adults who smoke in 2010 (24.2%) is above the 22% target - see Figure 10.1.

Although other sources of data on health in Scotland exist, such as the Scottish Health Survey ( SHeS), the long time-series and relatively large sample sizes available from the SHS mean that it is currently better placed than other surveys to monitor progress towards the smoking reduction target and to provide data on self-assessed health status to proxy healthy life expectancy. These measures are both explored in this chapter, alongside the prevalence of long-standing illness or disability in households in Scotland and arising need for regular care and support.

The section on adult smoking looks at trends in smoking prevalence between 1999 and 2010 and examines the influence of age, sex and deprivation. The health and caring experiences of men and women are examined, as well as consideration of who is providing such care. The influence of other factors such as housing tenure, household income and area deprivation is also explored. Finally, some analysis on life satisfaction is presented.

Smoking in Adults

Figure 10.1 shows the trend in proportion of adults saying they smoke between 1999 and 2010, with smoking among adults seeing a gradual decline from 30.7% in 1999 to 24.2% in 2010. This compares against the target of reducing the proportion smoking to 22% by 2010.

Figure 10.1: Whether respondent smokes by year
1999-2010 data, Adults (2010 base: 12,418)

Figure 10.1: Whether respondent smokes by year

This question is only asked of three quarters of the sample.

Legislation to prohibit smoking in public places came into effect in late March 2006. The primary intention of the legislation was to reduce the harm from environmental tobacco smoke in the general population and, in particular, among employees exposed to smoke in the course of their work ( e.g. bar workers). The legislation might, as an additional consequence, have encouraged some people to give up smoking, though there is no apparent change in the overall trend through that period.

Figure 10.1 shows that the smoking rate declined every year between 1999 and 2010, except in 2007 where there was a slight increase. The average reduction across the period is around half a percentage point each year.

Figure 10.2 shows the proportion of men and women who smoke, along with the prevalence of smoking in different age groups. Typically, more men than women smoke (26% and 23% respectively). Younger men more commonly smoke than younger women, with the gap widest (nine percentage points) between the ages of 25 and 34 years. This relationship is reversed among those aged between 60 and 74 years, with a higher prevalence of female smokers to male smokers (20% of females smoke compared to 19% of males).

Figure 10.2: Percentage of respondents who smoke by age and gender
2009/2010 data, Adults (minimum base: 907)

Figure 10.2: Percentage of respondents who smoke by age and gender

Younger people more commonly smoke though there is a pronounced drop in smoking prevalence among those aged over 60 years. Among the 60-74 year old group, the proportion smoking is down to 1 in 5, reducing to 1 in 10 among those aged 75 or over.

Figure 10.3 shows the variation in smoking behaviour by economic status, with those still at school least commonly smoking (6%) followed by those permanently retired from work (16%). The adults who most commonly smoke are those unable to work due to short-term ill-health (60%), those unemployed and seeking work (52%) and those who are permanently sick or disabled (47%).

Figure 10.4 illustrates the relationship between smoking prevalence and area deprivation. [62] Adults in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland are considerably more likely than those in the rest of Scotland to say that they are current smokers (42% and 21% respectively). Looking across from the 10% most deprived to the 10% least deprived areas shows a trend of generally decreasing smoking prevalence rates. Less than one in ten adults living in the 10% least deprived areas of Scotland smoke, compared to 44% in the most deprived areas.

Figure 10.3: Percentage of respondents who smoke by economic status
2009/2010 data, Adults (base: 24,927)

Figure 10.3: Percentage of respondents who smoke by economic status

Figure 10.4: Percentage of respondents who smoke by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
2009/2010 data, Adults (base: 24,912)

Figure 10.4: Percentage of respondents who smoke by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Figure 10.5 compares the self-assessed health status of non-smokers and smokers. Smoking causes and exacerbates a number of chronic respiratory diseases and cardio-vascular disease, and can worsen the health of people with long-term conditions such as asthma. Smokers are less likely than non-smokers to describe their health as 'good' or 'very good' (65% and 77% respectively) while 10% of smokers say their health is 'bad' or 'very bad' compared with 5% of non-smokers. The determinants of self perceived health are examined further towards the end of the chapter.

Figure 10.5: Percentage of respondents who smoke by self perception of health
2009/2010 data, Adults (base: 24,927)

SHS 2009/2010 Figure 10.5: Percentage of respondents who smoke by self perception of health

Long-standing Illness or Disability

The SHS asks participants whether anyone in their household, including children, has: " Any long-standing illness, health problem or disability that limits your/their daily activity or the kind of work that you/they can do? By disability as opposed to ill-health, I mean a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities."

The question is therefore a subjective measure of long-standing illness, disability and health problems and is not subject to any verification. In addition, this wording does not capture all forms of disability covered by the legal definition within the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, though this is being explored for future years of the survey. [63]

Figure 10.6 shows that a third of households in Scotland (33%) contain at least one person with a long-standing illness, health problem or disability. This figure covers all members of the household, including children. Households comprised of older people are more likely to contain someone with a long-standing health problem or disability, with over half of 'older smaller' [64] (52%) and 'single pensioner' households (53%) doing so compared with only 16% of small family households.

Figure 10.6: Households where someone in the household has a long-standing illness, health problem or disability by household type
2009/2010 data, Households (base: 28,404)

Figure 10.6: Households where someone in the household has a long-standing illness, health problem or disability by household type

In Figure 10.7 around 45% of households with net annual incomes between £6,001 and £15,000 contain someone with a long-standing illness, health problem or disability. The corresponding figure for households with a net annual income of over £40,000 is 12%. These findings are partly explained by the income profile of older households, which suggest that older smaller households and single pensioner households have lower income than other households.

Figure 10.7: Households where someone in the household has a long-standing illness, health problem or disability by net annual household income
2009/2010 data, Households (base: 27,336)

Figure 10.7: Households where someone in the household has a long-standing illness, health problem or disability by net annual household income

Household income in the SHS is that of the highest income householder and their partner only. Includes all adults for whom household income is known or has been imputed. Excludes refusals/don't know responses.

Owner occupier households (28%) and those who rent from the private sector (19%) are less likely to contain someone with long-standing health problems or disabilities than those living in the social rented sector (52%) or other tenure types (Figure 10.8). The discussion above noted that many pensioners and single pensioners in particular have low incomes. However, although they can have lower incomes, older people are more likely to be owner occupiers than people in other age groups, so the association between disability, health status and living in the social rented sector is likely to be explained by factors other than just the age of the householders.

Figure 10.9 shows the age and gender profile of those with a long-term health issue or disability. The gender split of those with a long-term health issue or disability is 54% female and 46% male overall, with proportionately more ill or disabled women than men in the over 70 age group (37%, compared with 29% of ill or disabled men). Men are more prevalent in the slightly younger group, with 22% of ill or disabled men in the 60-69 age group compared with 19% of ill or disabled women.

There is evidence of a greater concentration of males with health issues or disabilities in their youth. A total of 10% males aged less than twenty years, compared with 6% of females are reported as having a disability or long-term illness.

Figure 10.8: Households where someone in the household has a long-standing illness, health problem or disability by tenure of household
2009/2010 data, Households (base: 28,404)

Figure 10.8: Households where someone in the household has a long-standing illness, health problem or disability by tenure of household

Figure 10.9: Household members with a long-standing limiting illness, health problem or disability by age and gender
2009/2010 data, Household members with a disability and/or long-term illness (base: 11,523)

Figure 10.9: Household members with a long-standing limiting illness, health problem or disability by age and gender

Care needs within the home

This section looks at the care needs of household members in Scotland, including children's needs. Figure 10.10 shows that while 13% of all households contain at least one person who requires regular help or care, just under one in four single pensioners and more than one in five older smaller households have care needs. Looking across different types of household, it can be seen that almost half (46%) of those households with care needs contain only one adult [65] so such households are more likely to need care from outside the household.

Figure 10.10: Households containing someone who needs regular help or care by household type
2009/2010 data, Households (base: 24,700)

Figure 10.10: Households containing someone who needs regular help or care by household type

Table 10.1 shows how the required care is being provided, which can either be provided by someone inside the household, from a person outside the household or a combination of both. As would be expected for single adult and single pensioner households the care is provided exclusively from outside the household but for both household types there is an element of unmet need.

Table 10.1: Households containing someone who needs regular help or care by household type
Percentages, 2009/2010 data

HouseholdsSingle adultSmall adultSingle parentSmall familyLarge familyLarge adultOlder smallerSingle pensionerAllBase
Care provided within household (informal)07751114180728,404
Care provided from outside the household (informal and formal)1034223723828,404

There is also a significant pattern between needing care and household income, with the highest income households being the least likely to contain someone in need of regular care or help. Between 14% and 21% of households with a net annual income of £20,000 or below contain someone who requires regular help, compared with around one in ten with incomes between £25,001 and £30,000, and around 5% of households with an annual income above £30,000 (Figure 10.11).

Figure 10.11: Households containing someone who needs regular help or care by net annual household income
2009/2010 data, Households (base: 11,950)

Figure 10.11: Households containing someone who needs regular help or care by net annual household income

Household income in the SHS is that of the highest income householder and their partner only. Includes all adults for whom household income is known or has been imputed. Excludes refusals/don't know responses.

When looking at the provision of care it is of interest that for the lower income households with a net annual income of £15,000 or below, a higher percentage of households receive the required care from outside the household, whilst for net annual incomes above £15,000 care is more likely to be provided within the home (Table 10.2).

Table 10.2: Households containing someone who needs regular help or care by net annual household income
Percentages, 2009/2010 data

Households£0 - £6,000£6,001 - £10,000£10,001 - £15,000£15,001 - £20,000£20,001 - £25,000£25,001 - £30,000£30,001 - £40,000£40,001+All*Base
Care provided within household (informal)5481110953727,336
Care provided from outside the household (informal and formal)9121495321727,336

In Table 10.3, just over one in ten owner occupiers and less than one in ten private renters have someone in the household with care needs, compared with one in four social renters.

Table 10.3: Households containing someone who needs regular help or care by tenure of household
Column percentages, 2009/2010 data

HouseholdsOwner occupiedSocial rentedPrivate rentedOtherTotal
Yes112561613
No8975948487
Total100100100100100
Base16,9675,0232,36934124,700

In Table 10.4, social renters are the most prevalent household type to contain an unpaid carer providing care within the household (one in ten). In Scotland overall, around 7% of households contain someone providing unpaid care within the home.

Table 10.4: Households containing someone who provides regular unpaid help or care within the household by tenure of household
Column percentages, 2009/2010 data

HouseholdsOwner occupiedSocial rentedPrivate rentedOtherTotal
Yes610367
No9490979493
Total100100100100100
Base18,9516,2632,75143928,404

Looking at the provision of unpaid care by adults in Scotland, just over 87% of adults don't provide any unpaid care. Table 10.5 also shows that 8.9% provide unpaid care solely outside of the household and 3.1% provide unpaid care solely inside of the household. By taking those people who do not provide any unpaid care out of the analysis, it can be seen that 71% of adult carers solely provide care to someone outside the household, with 25% providing care solely within the household and just 4% providing care inside and outside the household.

Table 10.5: Provision of unpaid care by adults
Column percentages, 2009/2010 data

Adults
Don't provide unpaid care87.6
Provide unpaid care outside the household8.9
Provide unpaid care inside the household3.1
Both0.5
Total100
Base24,982

Columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.

Self Perception of Health

In 2009 the question on self perception of health changed from asking " over the last 12 months would you say your health has on the whole been…" (good/fairly good/not good) to " how is your health in general, would you say it was…" (very good/good/fair/bad/very bad). As such, analysis from 2009/2010 may not be directly comparable to those from previous years.

Three quarters of adults (74%) say their own health is either 'very good' or 'good', compared to 7% of those saying it is 'bad' or 'very bad' (see Table 10.6). There is little difference in self perception of health between males and females. There are differences in health when looking at age however, with those 60 and above much more likely to say their health is in general 'bad' or 'very bad' (around one in ten adults aged 60 and over).

Table 10.6: Self perception of health by gender and age
Column percentages, 2009/2010 data

AdultsMaleFemale16 to 2425 to 3435 to 4445 to 5960 to 7475 plusAll
Very Good/Good757485858172655274
Fair191913121519253519
Bad/Very Bad67234810137
Total100100100100100100100100100
Base10,89614,0322,0483,3534,1746,0835,9913,27924,928

There is a relationship between income and perceived health - one in which age may be a contributory factor though - with around one in ten of those with a net annual household income of £15,000 or less saying they have 'bad' or 'very bad' health compared with 2% or less where income in excess of £30,000 (Table 10.7).

Table 10.7: Self perception of health by net annual household income

Column percentages, 2009/2010 data

Adults£0 - £6,000£6,001 - £10,000£10,001 - £15,000£15,001 - £20,000£20,001 - £25,000£25,001 - £30,000£30,001 - £40,000£40,001+All
Very Good/Good706162697481858875
Fair232726222016131119
Bad/Very Bad71312964216
Total100100100100100100100100100
Base1,1683,2934,8613,6482,7452,1473,0863,09724,045

Household income in the SHS is that of the highest income householder and their partner only. Includes all adults for whom household income is known or has been imputed. Excludes refusals/don't know responses.

Looking at tenure (Table 10.8), those adults who live in the social rented sector are more likely to say their health in general has been 'bad' or 'very bad' (15%) as compared to those from owner occupied households or the private rented sector (around 4%).

Table 10.8: Self perception of health by tenure of household
Column percentages, 2009/2010 data

AdultsOwner occupiedSocial rentedPrivate rentedOtherAll
Very Good/Good7957806674
Fair1728162319
Bad/Very Bad4154127
Total100100100100100
Base16,5365,6242,37339524,928

Table 10.9 also shows that people living in the 15% most deprived of areas in Scotland [66] are more likely to say their health is poor compared with those living elsewhere (13%, compared with 5%). When considering differences in perception of health by deprivation deciles (from the 10% most deprived areas to the 10% least deprived), we see a gradual increase in the proportion saying their health is good. Around two thirds of adults living in the 30% most deprived areas in Scotland say their health is 'good' or 'very good', which compares against over four fifths for those in the 30% least deprived areas.

Table 10.9: Self perception of health by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
Column percentages, 2009/2010 data

Adults10% most deprived10% least deprived
12345678910Scotland
Very Good/Good6268667274777781818574
Fair2522252119181816161219
Bad/Very Bad1410976554337
Total100100100100100100100100100100100
Base2,4042,3912,4522,6582,7152,5902,8542,4512,2812,11724,913
15% most deprivedRest of Scotland
Scotland
Very Good/Good637674
Fair241819
Bad/Very Bad1357
Total100100100
Base3,61321,30024,913

Figure 10.12 shows that smokers are less likely than non-smokers to describe their health as good, with 77% of non-smokers describing their health as 'good' or 'very good' as against 65% for smokers. However, it is unclear how smoking works alongside age - since older people less commonly smoke but more commonly report not having good health, while smokers tend to be younger but also tend to report less good health.

It is also evident that differences exist in self perception of health depending on whether people have undertaken any physical activity in the past four weeks. The vast majority of adults who have undertake some form of physical activity (82%) consider their health to be 'good' or 'very good', with only 3% saying it was 'bad' or 'very bad'. In contrast, 16% of those people who have undertaken no physical activity the past four weeks described their health as 'bad' or 'very bad'.

Figure 10.12: Self perception of health by smoking, illness or disablity and whether has done physical activity in the past four weeks
2009/2010 data, Adults (minimum base: 5,984)

Figure 10.12: Self perception of health by smoking, illness or disablity and whether has done physical activity in the past four weeks

Life Satisfaction

At the start of 2009, the following question on life satisfaction was introduced in to the SHS: " All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole nowadays on a scale where 0 means extremely dissatisfied and 10 means extremely satisfied?". It should be noted that the concept of life satisfaction, or happiness, refers to a cognitive sense of satisfaction with life, and does not simply refer to an absence of negative experiences.

Figure 10.13 shows that the majority of adults are generally satisfied with their life as a whole nowadays. Sixteen per cent of adults are extremely satisfied with their life, whilst the highest grouping was for those rating their level of satisfaction at eight (30%).

Figure 10.13: Satisfaction with life as a whole nowadays
2009/2010 data, Adults (base: 18,511)

SHS 2009/2010 Figure 10.13 Life satisfaction

There are some differences in life satisfaction when looking at variables of interest such as age and gender. Females are more likely to say they are extremely satisfied with their life than males are (17% and 14% respectively). When looking at differences by age, there is evidence that those from the older age groups have more polarised views; around one in five of those aged 60 and over say they are extremely satisfied with their life, compared to at most 15% from the other age groups. At the same time, those aged 75 and over (whilst having a higher propensity of saying they are extremely satisfied) are also likely to providing a rating of five (neither satisfied nor dissatisfied).

Table 10.10: Satisfaction with life as a whole nowadays by gender and age
Column percentages, 2009/2010 data

AdultsMaleFemale16 to 2425 to 3435 to 4445 to 5960 to 7475 plusAll
0-3332334223
4-6171714161818151817
7-10808184827978838081
Mean8.68.78.88.68.58.58.98.78.7
All100100100100100100100100100
Base8,08210,4291,5352,4783,0834,5704,4582,38718,511