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Self-rated health in a population of expatriate workers and partners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 16:55 authored by Mark NelsonMark Nelson, Matthews, CMT
Background. Anthropological theory suggests that expatriate workers progress through a sequence of adaptive stages during their adjustment to a new environment. The psychological and physiological effects of this adaptation process may be reflected in changes in self-rated general health. Aims. To explore the relationship between self-rated general health, duration of expatriate assignment and two health-related behaviours: physical exercise and cigarette smoking. Method. A self-administered questionnaire recorded the demographics, self-rated general health, exercise and smoking behaviours of the adult non-Saudi residents of an expatriate compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Results. The mean self-rated general health of the study group was better than comparable UK and New Zealand population norms. Self-rated general health was not associated with duration of assignment, but was associated with physical exercise, including a dose-response effect. Middle Eastern expatriates had lower self-rated health scores and a higher prevalence of cigarette smoking than other expatriates. Conclusions. While the sampling frame limits generalization, physical exercise may promote expatriates' general health. Middle Eastern expatriates may be a target group for smoking health education. Â© Society of Occupational Medicine 2004; all rights reserved.
Publication titleOccupational Medicine
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationLondon, England