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Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 256498, 10 pages
Research Article

Individual and Community Socioeconomic Status: Impact on Mental Health in Individuals with Arthritis

1Gerontology Institute, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3984, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA
2Epidemiology Group, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK
3Thurston Arthritis Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
4Departments of Medicine and Social Medicine, Thurston Arthritis Research Center, Department of Epidemiology, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA

Received 12 January 2014; Revised 18 June 2014; Accepted 19 June 2014; Published 4 August 2014

Academic Editor: Burkhard Leeb

Copyright © 2014 Chivon A. Mingo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To examine the impact of individual and community socioeconomic status (SES) measures on mental health outcomes in individuals with arthritis, participants with self-reported arthritis completed a telephone survey assessing health status, health attitudes and beliefs, and sociodemographic variables. Regression analyses adjusting for race, gender, BMI, comorbidities, and age were performed to determine the impact of individual and community level SES on mental health outcomes (i.e., Medical Outcomes Study SF-12v2 mental health component, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health-Related Quality of Life Healthy Days Measure, Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression [CES-D] scale). When entered singly, lower education and income, nonmanagerial occupation, non-homeownership, and medium and high community poverty were all significantly associated with poorer mental health outcomes. Income, however, was more strongly associated with the outcomes in comparison to the other SES variables. In a model including all SES measures simultaneously, income was significantly associated with each outcome variable. Lower levels of individual and community SES showed most consistent statistical significance in association with CES-D scores. Results suggest that both individual and community level SES are associated with mental health status in people with arthritis. It is imperative to consider how interventions focused on multilevel SES factors may influence existing disparities.